Jul 25, 2018 | 3 min read

Why TFS to VSTS Migration is a Low-Risk Approach to Starting DevOps

By: Craig Kaneshiro

Why TFS to VSTS Migration is a Low-Risk Approach to Starting DevOps

Teams that have integrated DevOps culture and practices in their organizations are likely enjoying benefits like reduced deployment time and increased quality. If your team has not yet implemented DevOps, you might be wondering how you can get started. Here are 4 reasons why embarking on a TFS to VSTS migration is a simple, low-risk approach to begin your DevOps journey.

1. Low Maintenance

Setup is a breeze. Microsoft hosts the service in the cloud, allowing teams to hit the ground running. There are no servers to provision and install. All that is required is signing up for an account online. Once the VSTS account is established, updates are automatically applied. This gives teams the ability to always operate on the latest version and take advantage of new features as soon as they’re released without performing manual upgrades. Quick startup and reduced ongoing maintenance time are huge advantages.

2. Comprehensive

The DevOps toolchain is a vital aspect of any implementation. While the exact terminology may differ from source to source, there are several commonly accepted stages of DevOps that a toolchain should encompass: Plan, Create, Verify, Package, Deploy, and Monitor. It is common to see DevOps toolchains that are comprised of multiple tools to cover all these stages. VSTS is great because it provides features that cover every stage out of the box.

A personal favorite feature of VSTS compared to the older versions of TFS is the separation of package and deploy. In TFS, setting up a build and deployment template for a code branch was somewhat cumbersome and not easily reusable for multiple branches. In VSTS, these activities are separated into distinct features allowing for greater customization and configuration reusability. The build and release configurations are stored as json, and VSTS provides built-in source control to keep track of changes that are made over time.

3. Extensibility

On top of the robust standard set of features, Visual Studio Marketplace has extensions and integrations that make it easy for teams to use other services in tandem with VSTS. If there are desired features that aren’t available natively to VSTS, there’s a good chance the Marketplace will have a solution. If not, teams can always build their own. Microsoft provides a wealth of documentation resources to help teams get started creating their own customizations.

4. Usability

From a development perspective, VSTS integration in Visual Studio is seamless. The latest versions of Visual Studio provide very similar experiences regardless of whether TFS or VSTS is being used. So, teams familiar with TFS will be very comfortable switching to VSTS.

Migrating source code from TFS to VSTS is also an easy transition. There are several options for migrating from TFS to VSTS depending on the desired level of fidelity. While it is possible to transfer changeset history, work item templates, and other TFS instance data, the easiest way is to just upload the code, and start trying out the service!

DragonSpears has extensive experience with TFS to VSTS migrations. Developing this toolchain has been a vital aspect of our DevOps adoption. For help with your own transition, contact DragonSpears.