Visual Studio Team System Review

It helps us to develop internal products for internal use and is complete solution with a complete set of features in one box


What is our primary use case?

We are an industrial company so we use this program to develop internal products for internal use. We have a complete panel that develops it, and then we test and deploy.

What is most valuable?

What I like about this solution is that you have Source control that enables you to organize and track the production so that you know where you are in the development phase and so on. You can also make some continuous integration with it, so it is a complete solution with a complete set of features in one box. We don't even use all the features.

What needs improvement?

I would say compared to some more modern tools which are made to work offline, with this solution you have to be connected all of the time and with a central server. In our case, it's not a big problem because we all work on-premises, but it can be an issue if you have teams in different locations. Then you don't have synchronization. I would say it's the main problem - I would love to see a better way to work offline.

I think the new version allows you to choose to have different source control. But we use VPN, so we can bypass and still be connected to the company. So it's okay for us and we are on a very small scale, only ten users. So it's easy to manage.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working on this program for about ten years now on premises.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We are a small company with only 10 people, so it is scalable for us.

How was the initial setup?

It was pretty easy to install, and we did it mainly on SQL, so we deployed it ourselves. We don't have a lot of machines running on it. The deployment took about 15 to 20 minutes. The deployment isn't complicated, as we work with the industrial factory that is producing. So we have to synchronize, and wait to start some processes. When we plan to deploy and we have to restart them afterwards.

What other advice do I have?

I like the performance management of this solution and my rating would be eight out of ten. The solution works for us but nowadays I would perhaps adviser others to use a cloud-based version like Microsoft DevOps. 

The biggest lesson I've learned is you can have all the tools but you still have to manage the communication between developers. Even with the tools you can easily run into some issues with several people who work on the same parts of the projects. So it is very important to organize your sources the best you can. But keep the communication channels open. 

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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