TFS Overview

TFS is the #2 ranked solution in our list of top Quality Management Tools. It is most often compared to Microsoft Azure DevOps: TFS vs Microsoft Azure DevOps

What is TFS?
Visual Studio Team Foundation Server (TFS) is the collaboration platform at the core of Microsoft's application lifecycle management (ALM) solution. TFS supports agile development practices, multiple IDEs and platforms locally or in the cloud and gives you the tools you need to effectively manage software development projects throughout the IT lifecycle.

TFS is also known as Team Foundation Server.

TFS Buyer's Guide

Download the TFS Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: May 2021

TFS Customers
Vendex KBB IT Services, Info Support, Fujitsu Consulting, TCSC, Airways New Zealand, HP
TFS Video

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Mohamed Sadek
Lead DevOps and Release Engineer-L2 at ITWORX
Real User
Top 5
helps us track each piece of code

What is our primary use case?

It's an integrated system that includes all the information that we need to deliver our products smoothly and to track the progress of each piece of code.

What is most valuable?

It's one continuous integrated solution that includes the code. We can put all of our work from tasks with cases and user tool requirements.

What needs improvement?

The dashboard needs more enhancements.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.
GS
Assistant Manager Business Analyst at Ernst & Young
The tool is efficiently managing teams by giving management information, but more options could be provided from the perspective of requirements management

What is our primary use case?

We have used TFS as part of our SAFe Agile Implementation. Major uses of it were: * Project management * Backlog management * Issue tracking * Source code management.

Pros and Cons

  • "From the project management perspective, the tool is efficiently managing teams by giving management information, such as reports, graphs, velocity, capacity, etc."
  • "More options could be provided from the perspective of requirements management, which would help product owners to use the tool effectively."
Learn what your peers think about TFS. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: May 2021.
511,307 professionals have used our research since 2012.
NB
Sr. Quality Engineering Manager with 51-200 employees
Real User
The solution integrates well with most Microsoft products, but it is expensive compared to other project management tools.

What is our primary use case?

Most of our development is .NET based, integrating with GitHub and the code. It has been performing well. This is why we have been using TFS.

Pros and Cons

  • "The biggest value-add is the solution integrates well with most Microsoft products."
  • "Since it is Microsoft, it is technology agnostic, thus it does not really fit into various different technologies in the organization."
  • "We are also using Microsoft Teams. The two products function separately. There is not enough collaboration between Microsoft Teams and TFS."

What other advice do I have?

This product choice was influenced by the development team more than any other team due to the development around .NET and its accompanying technologies. The product works best for development teams. Overall, I would rate this solution a seven out of 10. We have many different teams, and it does not work well for all them, e.g., applications for management tools. Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: I look at reviews of the product because these are real companies who have been using this particular product.
it_user873726
Senior programming analyst at a logistics company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Great functionality includes work items, backlogs, source code, build releases, and easy to use

What is our primary use case?

The use case is as our repository for UPS Enterprise and the performance is pretty good.

Pros and Cons

  • "Build definitions and releases within the product. allow us to put our latest applications in the field."
  • "It has great functionality: work items, backlogs, source code, build releases, and it's easy to use."

    What other advice do I have?

    It has great functionality: work items, backlogs, source code, build releases, and it's easy to use. TFS is very easy to integrate into your system. It's very easy to follow for any new developers. Also, I would say some 80 percent of developers out there use Visual Studio which is integrated with TFS.
    it_user736197
    Technology Expert at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    The tool provides a complete solution for ALM

    What is our primary use case?

    Yes, TFS provides complete solution for ALM, We are managing the TFS Service for all the organisation like complete development, Development + Support model, Only Support model using Kan-ban board.

    What other advice do I have?

    It's a good tool. Please make use of it and get more benefits.
    Ramesh Karanam
    Microsoft and Dev-ops Architect at Mphasis
    Vendor
    Top 5
    Installation was very easy. We set up a multi-node installation.
    TT
    Senior Developer
    Real User
    With the build server, I can quickly and easily generate binaries for testing and production environments

    What other advice do I have?

    Use the free version of VSTS first, to just to have an idea of what it is. It's even possible to build binaries online.
    Chaminda Chandrasekara
    Software Architect with 501-1,000 employees
    MSP
    allows us to enhance and continuously improve our ability to deliver quality software to our clients

    What other advice do I have?

    Just go for it. Whether you develop on Microsoft platforms or otherwise, you will find it useful and enhancing to the way you work.
    it_user740463
    IT
    Vendor
    Installing build agents from a command line makes maintenance easier to manage

    What other advice do I have?

    Before purchasing any hardware, you should review all the hardware requirements. Also, plan to scale if growth is expected. Build servers with more than one CPU, if you can have build agents assigned to each processor. For example, if you have a server with four CPUs, then you technically can have four build agents running on that server.
    it_user738723
    Senior System Engineer at a manufacturing company with 10,001+ employees
    Vendor
    Not just a source code repository, but a real and complete ALM solution

    Pros and Cons

    • "Complete integration with VS IDE and Office tools: This give us a possibility of high-level automation, thus minimizing human error."
    • "TFS on-premise does not support integration with SharePoint Online."

    What other advice do I have?

    If you are on MS stack, I can only recommend TFS since it’s much more than just a source code repository. High level of out of box automation, integration with Visual Studio, and other tools will make your life much easier.
    RaviKumar3
    IT Manager 2, Data Mgmt Tools at a tech company with 10,001+ employees
    Consultant
    The product is absolutely scalable for use in large enterprise​ companies

    What other advice do I have?

    It's an outstanding product, but needs technically qualified people to administer this product.
    Ramesh Karanam
    Microsoft and Dev-ops Architect at Mphasis
    Vendor
    Top 5
    Numerous valuable features. Makes it possible for easy integration of VS IDE.
    it_user491649
    SVP Development Manager at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    Great product with capabilities for SCM, ALM and issue tracking

    What other advice do I have?

    I suggest giving the product a try first. Reading too much on paper does not tell you the entire story of the product. It is really good to use it if you want to combine both SCM and ALM.
    it_user718215
    AVP, DevOps Manager at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
    Vendor
    Can Provide A Centralized Place To Store All Source Code And Build Information For Entire Organization

    Pros and Cons

    • "Version Control: TFS offers both the centralized “TFVC” version control technology as well as the distributed “Git” version control technology."
    • "Not all of the functionality, which is exposed by the command line interface (tf.exe) is available in the Visual Studio GUI."

    What other advice do I have?

    Hire a TFS expert or bring on a consultant. Nothing will ruin your development shop quicker than a poorly implemented version control/build system. Microsoft premier consulting services is very expensive, but they can typically get you setup from soup-to-nuts in three to four weeks. That will include extensive guidance in how to use the tool. Your internal resources should work very closely with any consultant as a learning experience.
    it_user718221
    QA IV with 501-1,000 employees
    Vendor
    Project Management And Test Management Can Be Done Together In One Tool

    Pros and Cons

    • "I like its MTM (Microsoft Test Manager) section which gives us options to create various test plans and add test cases into it."
    • "TFS and MTM have their own style of working and they are different from other tools like Jira or TestRail, which are simpler and easy to use."

    What other advice do I have?

    Since I have worked with Jira and TestRail as part of test management, I would strongly suggest giving training to your employees before implementing them. TFS is way different from other tools; its working style is also different. Unless, they get introduced to it, you won’t be able to attain its merits. TFS is really worth it if we can use its advanced features. In order to get that kind of understanding, a training session and follow-up sessions once a while are essential. Learning TFS is like getting familiar with a brand new tool. That kind of awareness is needed from both the employees…
    it_user719787
    DevOps Manager with 5,001-10,000 employees
    MSP
    Initial Setup is Easy and All Features are Valuable

    What other advice do I have?

    If you don't have any impediments, choose a Microsoft Solution. An MS solution is totally integrated.
    Abhishek Ransingh
    Senior Microservice/Cloud Engineer at a retailer with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    Supports Multiple Code Repositories But Needs Improvement On Its Agile Functionality

    What other advice do I have?

    There are better tools for Agile and CI/CD in the market. TFS may be good for code repository purposes; however, it's not the best for Agile practice.
    it_user718479
    Principal Consultant at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
    Consultant
    Speeds Up The Build And Deployment Process

    What other advice do I have?

    Don’t wait too long. If you can use the cloud version, it has so much less overhead and you also stay up-to-date on features.
    ITCS user
    Software Test Consultant / Automation Test Architect at a tech services company
    Consultant
    Makes the Management of Test Artifacts More Effective

    What other advice do I have?

    Do a proof of concept to ascertain that it fits with your organisation.
    it_user354774
    Sr Project Manager at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Consultant
    Pricing Is Better Compared To Other Leading Tools, Support/Help Could Be Improved

    What is most valuable?

    Reports for user stories statuses, hours logged, burn down charts, etc.

    How has it helped my organization?

    We are able to manage the work more effectively. Everyone has a current status at any given point of time.

    What needs improvement?

    Help on the site should be improved.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    A year and half.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Not as of now.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    No.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Have not reached out to technical support.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We used HP QC, then we moved to TFS because of the client's affinity towards TFS.

    How was the initial setup?

    Straightforward.

    What's

    it_user711930
    Senior Technical Lead
    Vendor
    Easily create, update, and delete work-items from the code itself

    Pros and Cons

    • "The API for managing TFS programmatically is very powerful, you can listen on work items changes by TFS events."
    • "Sometimes we feel that it need more CPU, and RAMs on TFS server, either we implemented the hardware with the product minimum requirements."

    What other advice do I have?

    Try to bring the latest version, TFS 2017.
    it_user711909
    QA Automation Engineer
    Real User
    One of the valuable features is coded UI automation. The record and play functionality needs some improvement.
    it_user712050
    TFS Admin, Configuration Manager at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
    Consultant
    if you intend to use the tool as a complete ALM tool, it will reduce your costs in the long run.

    Pros and Cons

    • "Work item management integration with source control."
    • "Microsoft should discontinue the use of SharePoint as I don’t really see any value add to TFS, document management features can be included in TFS web portal itself, if required!"

    What other advice do I have?

    If you need a complete ALM tool for Microsoft applications and have the budget, please go ahead with TFS.
    ITCS user
    Software Development Manager at a financial services firm with 501-1,000 employees
    Vendor
    It helps us to manage our Scrum process, as well as continuous integration

    What other advice do I have?

    Make sure that you understand Microsoft's licensing model and that you select the process templates that are most suitable to you when setting up the product for the first time. Different process templates have different reports that you can view.
    it_user710526
    Automation Specialist Team Lead at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
    Consultant
    TFS was purchased to help support the development team

    Pros and Cons

    • "TFS’s test management capability without the expensive licensing has large gaps. Users will be unable to access performance testing and coded UI testing capabilities."
    • "Access and permissions are confusing when attempting to include basic manual testing functionalities."

    What other advice do I have?

    Test Management is immature for an application lifecycle management tool and it might take a couple more releases and pricing/functionality restructuring.
    it_user371505
    QA Manager, Automation Testing Architect at a recruiting/HR firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    Provides traceability, test management, and source control. I would like to see better test automation.

    What other advice do I have?

    Look for the cloud version. It will give you an understanding of further development of the product.
    it_user469371
    Development Manager at a financial services firm with 51-200 employees
    Vendor
    It has allowed us to continually maintain our code repository

    What other advice do I have?

    Now, there is the cloud offering of Team Foundation Server which is known as Visual Studio Team Services which would suit those who do not want to maintain the on-premise version and is free for up to five users.
    it_user679293
    Server Administrator at a energy/utilities company with 10,001+ employees
    Vendor
    Increased productivity and reduced our times to market by 60%

    What other advice do I have?

    Team Foundation Server is an enterprise ALM tool, not just for developers. It’s come a long way in 10 years, it's worth a look.
    ITCS user
    Senior Firmware Architect at a manufacturing company with 5,001-10,000 employees
    Vendor
    RBAC management is too complicated for SCM and IT to manage.
    ITCS user
    Head of Department Projects at Pasiona
    Consultant
    We use it to perform Continuous Integration, making build operations each night and increasing quality process to prevent code regressions.
    it_user323955
    Application Developer at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    Developers are able to download code at any point in time, but the bug-tracking tools could be improved.

    What is most valuable?

    Application Lifecycle Management Team Build Definitions Kanban

    How has it helped my organization?

    Developers are able to download code at any point in time. Helped in DevOps responsibilities.

    What needs improvement?

    Team Build definitions Bug-tracking tools.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've used it for around five years.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    No issues encountered.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    No issues encountered.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    No issues encountered.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Customer Service: It's very good. Technical Support: It's very good.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I

    it_user323880
    Lead Developer at a computer software company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    It's replaced a number of separate source control, work items, and build solutions that were stretched to their limits. The initial setup, however, was quite complex.
    SH
    Sr Software QA Engineer at a manufacturing company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Real User
    Being able to easily create new bugs during the execution of a testcase in MS Test, then resume testing, is a time-saving feature. Deleting work items from the database, however, is difficult to do.

    Valuable Features

    As a QA geek, MS Test is the most valuable component.

    Improvements to My Organization

    Being able to easily create new bugs during the execution of a testcase in MS Test, then resume testing is a time-saving feature.

    Room for Improvement

    It is very difficult to delete work items from the database. It would be helpful if MS provided a way to simplify that.

    Use of Solution

    I've used it for over three years at three different companies.

    Deployment Issues

    No issues encountered.

    Stability Issues

    No issues encountered.

    Scalability Issues

    No issues encountered.

    Customer Service and Technical Support

    Customer Service: I have never needed to contact Microsoft about this product. Technical Support: I have never needed to contact Microsoft about this…
    it_user303018
    Software Development Leader at a consultancy with 10,001+ employees
    Consultant
    Version change was quick and very smooth, but its usage needs to be more simple and interactive.
    it_user302907
    Programmer at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
    Consultant
    Because everything is stored in the cloud, I'm able to compare and restore my unfinished work with the shelving changes feature.
    it_user298437
    Senior Developer at a tech vendor with 501-1,000 employees
    Vendor
    Work items allows easier tracking for risks, bug and issues, and tasks.

    What is most valuable?

    Source control Work items Team build

    How has it helped my organization?

    It's easy to implement agile methodology, updated and uniform code on work spaces. Work items allows easier tracking for risks, bug and issues, and tasks.

    What needs improvement?

    As of now, TFS delivers what we need on the project/business.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've used it for seven years.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    No issues encountered.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    No issues encountered.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    No issues encountered.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Customer Service: I haven't needed their help yet. Technical Support: I haven't…
    it_user297138
    QA Analyst at a retailer with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    It provides recording and playback, but setup is complex and the license is expensive.

    What is most valuable?

    Record and playback is a good feature.

    What needs improvement?

    Tech support needs a lot of improvement License is expensive

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've used it for six months.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    No issues encountered.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    No issues encountered.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    No issues encountered.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Their support needs much improvement.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    The company chose to switch from HP to Microsoft because of the expense of the licenses.

    How was the initial setup?

    It was complex.

    What was our ROI?

    I don't know the…
    it_user293892
    Business Analyst Practice Lead at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    It has allowed us to document our requirements, but was difficult to transition into initially.
    ITCS user
    Sr. Director, Development at a tech company with 5,001-10,000 employees
    Vendor
    It has built-in validation for most implementation steps, however it needs change control for build definitions.

    What other advice do I have?

    Recognize the fact that TFS isn't just a source code management tool. It's an application lifecycle management tool that covers all facets of software project management as well as development, deployment, and production support.
    ITCS user
    Software Quality Engineer at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
    Vendor
    It provides us with project analysis from scratch and enables us to create a requirements document for maintenance.
    ITCS user
    Technical Manager at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
    Consultant
    We used TFS to force some policies to control the project documentation and source controlling, but the admin tools need to be easier to use.
    it_user288372
    Lead SharePoint Developer with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    It seamlessly integrates with Visual Studio, but outlining user edits in history view would be an improvement.

    What is most valuable?

    Versioning and seamless integration with Visual Studio are the features I like most.

    How has it helped my organization?

    We have had to recall a prior “production-ready” version to provide as a temporary solution.

    What needs improvement?

    History view outlining edits by user would be a nice addition.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've been using it for four years.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    No issues encountered.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    No issues encountered.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    No issues encountered.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    I've not used it specifically for TFS.

    Which solution

    it_user286836
    VMware Engineering Consultant at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
    Consultant
    It's kept our code organized so that our developers aren't stepping on each other's code, but the interface requires new team members to spend a few weeks to get accustomed to it.

    What is most valuable?

    Change control Collaboration Change history

    How has it helped my organization?

    TFS has allowed our development team to function better as a group, by keeping code organized, and making it easier to prevent people from stepping on each other's code.

    What needs improvement?

    The interface needs work. As it is, it takes a few weeks to get new team members used to using it.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've used it for two years.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    No issues encountered.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    No issues encountered.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    No issues encountered.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did

    Chaminda Chandrasekara
    Software Architect with 501-1,000 employees
    MSP
    It's streamlined our software development process, but there were deployment issues at times.

    Valuable Features

    Agile project management Requirements management Team management Source code management Testing software Deployment and test automation

    Improvements to My Organization

    Reduced cost of software implementation and testing processes by automation Streamlined the software development process so that we could deliver high quality software in short time to the market

    Use of Solution

    I've been using it for five to six years.

    Deployment Issues

    Sometimes, but Microsoft support was always awesome.

    Stability Issues

    No issues encountered.

    Scalability Issues

    No issues encountered.

    Customer Service and Technical Support

    Customer Service: It's superb. Technical Support: It's superb.

    Initial Setup

    It is simple and well documented.

    Implementation Team

    it_user281970
    Business Intelligence Developer at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    There are some issues with stability, but I have reduced the time I spend merging code.

    What is most valuable?

    Version control Code backup

    How has it helped my organization?

    I have spent less time merging code from developers.

    What needs improvement?

    They can improve the stability and merging features, especially with SSIS.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've used this version for four months, and previously I was using TFS2010 for two years.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    No issues encountered.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    There were some minor issues.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    No issues encountered.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Customer Service: I have not needed to contact them. Technical Support: I have not needed to contact them. …
    it_user2880
    Senior Developer at a insurance company with 501-1,000 employees
    Vendor
    I will choose this platform again and again.

    What other advice do I have?

    We chose TFS because it was the native choice for .Net development. Although in the bank there are other ALM products (separated for bugs, demands, deployments), we insisted on using a complete one solution for our new development projects, and as for now, TFS is doing its way to become a mainstream product for .Net based develoment projects.
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