Team foundation server (TFS) is one of the most important Microsoft products. This product helps in managing teams and their code. Microsoft released the first version of Team Foundation Server on March 17, 2006, with the name of Visual Studio Team System and that was on-premises (Server) form.
It has been more than a decade since its inception and from that day of release, it has undergone various evolutions. Many professionals of the industry have dedicated their careers entirely to organizing and managing TFS, as administering TFS was quite complex and complicated.
Purpose of the Team Foundation Server (TFS)
The offers that are provided by the TFS include:
- It provides version control; there are two ways of controlling version: whether it is with Team Foundation Version Control (TFVC) or with Git.
- It helps in the reporting and management of requirements.
- For waterfall teams and agile software development, it facilitates project management.
- It provides automated build and lab management.
- It allows release management and testing.
- The application lifecycle and DevOps capabilities are also entirely covered by TFS.
- For integrated development environments, Team Foundation Server can be used as a back-end.
- It is also adjusted for Eclipse and Microsoft Visual Studio on all policies.
Microsoft TFS transformed by Agile Development
In 2012, Team Foundation Server modified into a tool that helped teams a lot in managing their projects of software development with the help of Agile. As the companies already upheld the Microsoft licenses, therefore it became the reason for the popularity of TFS for Agile. It became convenient for the teams to take on and prefer the new Agile software development process.
Microsoft also designed a dedicated ALM tool merely for TFS requirements management. As it was a lightweight tool, thus management of some requirements was an easy task for it, but, on the other hand, there was missing of the strong and adjustable models that can support and assist global teams on a large scale.
TFS has had a couple of different applications on the side of version control. As the Team Foundation Version Control (TFVC) can be known as a centralized and concentrated version control system, thus, with the help of path-based branches that are created and also maintained on the windows server, it kept historical data.
Two forms of Team Foundation Server
Two different forms are available for TFS (now knows as Azure DevOps).
- On-premises (“Server”)
- Online (“Services”)
The cloud service uses the same pattern and code as the on-premises (“Server”) version of TFS. Minor amendments and implements are the most recent features of Team Foundation Server. No initial setup is required by TFS. For environment setup, projects creation, and adding of team members, a user can comfortably sign in by using a Microsoft account. New features also update to the cloud version.
There are two good self-contained redistributes APIs, which can operate without any other hardware or software, for connecting to TFS. These APIs are provided by Microsoft. Names are:
- Java SDK
- .NET Framework
These APIs offer connectivity of clients to Team Foundation Server. As the architecture of TFS is written for a service-oriented type, therefore, it can correspond to approximately any tool that has web service.
Another extensible and adjustable mechanism provided by TFS is subscribing to alerts of the system. For instance, when a work item is changed or when a build completed, alerts are subscribed. There are almost 20 pre-programmed alerts but if there is a need for additional alerts, teams can configure further alerts as well.
While using it in expansible series of development, these alerts can be transferred to a web service that can trigger action by altering or updating work items based on a given scenario such as advanced business rules can be implemented. Through the creation of custom data adaptors, the data warehouse can be extended.
Team Foundation Server primarily supports Visual Studio 2010 and later Azure DevOps assists Microsoft Test Manager (MTM) 2012 and 2013. Some older versions of Visual Studio can also be plugged into TFS.
Like, with the help of Microsoft Source Code Control Integration Provider (MSSCCI Provider which is pronounced as “Miss-Key”), Eclipse and other environments can be added to provide full access to the features in TFS.
Microsoft Project and Microsoft Excel are also supported by the TFS. This support is for the management of items which in turn permits for the massive entry, immense update, and huge export of work items. Microsoft Project also helps with the scheduling of work.
Besides, bi-directional updates of data are assisted by both Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Project. This becomes convenient for the project managers to schedule the project, and then work can be updated by project developers and after that schedule can be updated without performing additional work by the project manager.
Microsoft PowerPoint was also connected with the Team Foundation Server 2012 for the fast and rapid development of the storyboard and for helping the process of requirement management. This integration or connection of Microsoft PowerPoint with Azure DevOps offers extensible storyboard shapes.
Any kind on interface mockup can be built up with the help of these storyboard shapes. Client Feedback was also added to handle the growing team and involve stakeholders. Specific feedback on the functions of an application is also provided without any sessions of demonstrations and unnecessary meetings.
Windows shell integration one of the power tools for TFS helps the users and clients to check and files. By the right-click on the folder, Users can also perform and interpret other tasks.
In short, Team Foundation Server is the combination of issue tracking, application lifecycle management, and version control. It offers help in the management of teams and maintenance of their code. Undoubtedly, TFS is complicated to use, but it can manage various tasks such as service packs, database changes, and numerous upgrades, in turn, numerous features are added to Team Foundation Server.