Compare JIRA and TFS; How Do I Choose?

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One of the most popular comparisons on IT Central Station is Atlassian JIRA vs TFS.

Which of these two solutions would you recommend for Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) and why? Would you recommend Atlassian or Microsoft Team Foundation Server?

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21 Answers
JohnMaoReal UserTOP 5

JIRA and TFS (AzureDevOps) are not equivalent products to compare anymore. AzureDevOps should be comparing to JIRA + Jenkins (Chef) + Git now.

03 March 19
Manager, Live Production at a software R&D company with 1,001-5,000 employeesReal User

Thanks for the information!

18 April 18
Senior Manager of Infrastructure at a retailer with 10,001+ employeesReal User

Both products share a decent amount of market share. I prefer the use of TFS when conducting .NET development due to the ease of use with the Microsoft IDE. If this is the primary basis of the development effort - perfect. If on the other hand the development is spread across a variety of languages & technologies, or the development landscape is varied and primarily open, JIRA becomes the platform of choice. TFS seems great in small team settings, while JIRA seems more easily applied to large, distributed development teams.

19 March 18
Senior Systems Engineer with 501-1,000 employeesUser

I have access to JIRA and TFS, but have used them very little making it difficult for me to provide any comparison. From an ALM perspective, I’ve been using IBM CLM instead with its Enterprise level Scaled Agile support for SAFe 4.5

16 March 18
Agile Transformation Coach (Consultant) at a tech services company with 51-200 employeesConsultant

If it's a Microsoft team I would defer to their preference. Otherwise, my own preference would be to use JIRA.

15 March 18
Senior System Analyst at a comms service provider with 1,001-5,000 employeesReal User

I would recommend using a modeling tool that architects and/or solution designers use. And use applications as objects on their drawings.
This would give insights on what applications are used more than others.
Once you have this insight then it becomes a matter of storing and using it either using Jira or TFS

15 March 18
MohammedIdaisReal UserTOP 20

Both are good, it depends on your operation and requirements.

1. Are you looking for flexibility interface? If so, JIRA is easier to use than TFS.

2. Are you looking for Reports Analytics? Again, JIRA is better than TFS.

15 March 18
Peter NtendeReal UserTOP 20

The best comparison would be Atlassian toolset Vs TFS. What is covered in TFS can be covered with the different Atlassian tool sets. The integration between the different Atlassian tools is quite seamless but you are not bound. Most tool sets provide an integration with Jira. For great automation I appreciate the Jira (Atlassian) ecosystem. There are several plugins that cover most needs. However other issues such as your current needs,skills, budget, company size and tools should be taken into consideration. And the best ROI is to get the free versions and try them out both can do the Job and even Microsoft shops developing with Visual Studio can easily integrate with Atlassian tools.

15 March 18
Sr Software QA Engineer at a manufacturing company with 1,001-5,000 employeesReal User

Having been a user of both Jira and (currently) TFS within the same organization, I would agree w/ Rene's assessment.

14 March 18
Anita WallVendor

Jira alone does not provide all the capabilities of an ALM; typically it will integrate with an ALM solution such as Zephyr or Micro Focus ALM in order to provide ALM-type capabilities, such as end-to-end governance and traceability of development/test assets.

Likewise, TFS (Team Foundation Server) also requires another component which is client-based called VSTS/Visual Studio Team Services to provide full ALM capabilities.

Usually, a choice for TFS is made when the development technology stack is based mainly on Microsoft, such as .NET. The Microsoft suite comprising .NET, TFS, and VSTS is an entire ecosystem that serves that technology stack very well. It is a licensed solution.

If the development technology stack is more diverse, e.g., includes Java, Python or other similar technologies, then a solution that includes Jira (which is open source) plus Micro Focus ALM or Zephyr (which are licensed) tends to be more popular. The integration of all the diverse technologies tends to be better with Jira.


Let me know if this helps, or requires more explanation.

14 March 18
Sven MatzenUser

Jira is a "great to integrate" part(!) of an ALM solution. VSTS (cloud) and TFS (on-prem) are much more complete because they already provide version control, work item management, reporting, continuous integration, continuous delivery, wiki, manual and automated test, ...
I would always prefer to use VSTS over TFS over Jira because VSTS does always include the newest features from VSTS/TFS, but both provide a much more complete solution than Jira and I don't want to spend my time to configure integration between different systems.
In the past (when working as a consultant), I migrated a Java-only-team to TFS and the only complaint was that the build system did not provide a way to see the output of maven in real-time ... this has been fixed some years ago.
One important aspect is the know how that is available on the team. If you have great know-how with using Jira and how to integrate it with other ALM parts, it might be a better solution to go that way. If you are new to both, I would recommend TFS/VSTS because you will have a more complete solution with seamless integration of all parts in a shorter time.

14 March 18
Customer Success Region Lead, EMEA & APJ at a tech vendor with 10,001+ employeesVendor

Actually, there is a third tool you should be looking at…ALM Octane from Microfocus. https://www.itcentralstation.com/products/micro-focus-alm-octane-604500?tid=il-q

14 March 18
Bhuvana KamalakannanReal UserTOP 5

I also agree that Jira is a project management tool of atlassian products and can be easily integrated with others like automation tools or continuous integration and delivery tools unlike TFS. Good to use JIRA for Agile development as well

14 March 18
Villarasan KumarVendor

I would recommend JIRA rather than TFS because the Atlassian stack of tools support in all phase of DevOps, CI / CD, Agile implementations, so there will be seamless integration between the tools.

Also, JIRA is easy to learn and lightweight tool for the end user, I have worked in HP ALM, IBM RQM, QTest, Zephyr and JIRA, out of all, Atlassian JIRA is the best tool!!!

14 March 18
Carolina Rios HernandezUser

We use Polarion ALM which after our research has shown us that is the best ALM solution for our software factory needs

It has been bought last year by Siemens.

13 March 18
Claudette SteynbergUser

We use both. It depends on your application and your budget.

For us, the Atlassian suite of tools required to do end-to-end ALM processing is very expensive (currency conversions also does not help). We, therefore, only use JIRA as an incident/support/planning tool.

We are a Microsoft partner and hence the VSTS/TFS tool suite is much more affordable to us. The visibility of this tool from backlog item to code, build test and released into production is amazing, but it lacks some of the basic admin capabilities that are well automated in JIRA e.g. as tasks are moved, the status of parent items/stories/epics are not automatically updated in VSTS. This adds a lot of admin overhead for product owners, scrum masters and team members.

If it weren’t for budget, the Atlassian suite will be my first choice. If you combine, JIRA, Bitbucket, and Bamboo you would get the same visibility.

We also use Confluence extensively as all our documentation are done Wiki style. We found SharePoint just becomes a repository and not a knowledge share platform.

Hope this helps!
Shout if you have questions.

13 March 18
Juan-PerazaVendor

For complete ALM, I would consider MicroFocus ALM Octane? I have worked at a shop where I used and was an administrator of JIRA. As Rene stated, it's not an ALM solution. Take a look at this Octane demo - https://www.goconsensus.com/app/view/p/q33mf86w?autoplay=false

13 March 18
Udayakumar GConsultant

JIRA vs TFS vs ALM? Comparison of these were not really communicating what's your need..
My suggestion would go with JIRA and atlassian tool purchases, if your are working with agile model and your requirement is to manage project.

13 March 18
Ray CuadraUser

Rene's response is correct. Jira is a project management tool. If your goal is just to manage a project Jira might be the best choice for you. If you want an ALM suite and you are a Microsoft shop (even if you are a Java shop) then my recommendation is using TFS.

TFS 2018 is a full ALM suite for managing project, managing code repository, deployment management, etc.) I know before TFS is strictly known for source code repository but over the years they have grown and even know they have a capability to support GIT.

13 March 18
JuergenPilzVendor

Of course, I would recommend neither of them because they are our ALM competition. But customers choose TFS normally when their development is working on the Microsoft stack. For others who are more dedicated to open source based development, they favor Atlassian.

13 March 18
Rene De VleeschauwerVendor

First of all Jira is not an ALM solution. Yes it is part of it, but his main task is issue mgt.

The corresponding TFS feature are TFS workitems.

For real ALM you need to start from requirements, dev environment , versioning, build, quality assurance and finally production.

If you are a pure Microsoft shop go for TFS, if not Jira might be a better choice (for issue tracking..)

13 March 18
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