About 2 years ago I started using Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS) with a work related project. The service looked promising but had a lot of early release issues, so in the last 24 months it was interesting to see how a promising solution became adult.
Visual Studio Team Services provides a set of cloud-powered collaboration tools that work with your existing IDE.There are so many power packed features offered by this product of Microsoft but compared to other version control following is my take on them.
– Allows to have as many GitHub repositories as needed
– Comes with unlimited git repositories, plans are user based
– Microsoft delivers with VSTS a highly customizable and adaptable work item management system. The SCRUM and KANBAN template makes perfect sense for agile teams but also the traditional waterfall model can be implemented.
– VSTS implements based on the work item management a test case management which has the option to integrate it with automation bots via WinRM and other protocols.
– Build definitions are part of the code project
– Release Management allows to aggregate several sub projects
When it comes to closed source projects, forking and pull requests are becoming only important in bigger teams with different products or product lines. We are using this feature strongly in our teams at my company. Smaller startups or teams will not use these workflows often but nevertheless it is a road blocker for me to do the 100% switch to VSTS. I guess it took Microsoft around 12 month to deliver it in a more simple way GitHub is doing this.
Few Drawbacks i see as below
– Repository management is not that intuitive as it is in other solutions
– experienced intermittent errors or timeouts when attempting to access the service
VSTS and GitHub are supporting multiple git repositories but GitHub lets you pay on a package on git repositories, VSTS lets you pay for users. Especially for small teams paying for users is the better deal, compared to paying for repositories. At the end Microsoft offers a smaller groups of 5 everything for free. This fact stopped my permanent GitHub problem: Having too less private repository space.
We have implemented VSTS on our on premise server and working on cloud applications with Windows Azure to solve our customer Infra as well as Software issue. when it comes to business problem solving with visual studio team system , being Agile and working together on set of features or Work Items makes life easy as anything and finally improve our productivity in order to scale our client solutions to new level.