What Is TFS?
Team Foundation Server (TFS) is a product of Microsoft that helps its users in multiple ways and positions in the SDLC source code management, reporting, requirement management, project management, automated builds, and release management. With capabilities beyond software development lifecycle, it has also proven its capabilities in DevOps capabilities. With its presence in the market for the past decade, it has evolved in the number of ways. There is a countless professional who successfully woven their career with this great tool. This could be possible as it is complex with great aspects.
- Initial Release – 2005
- Stable Release – 2018
- OS – Windows
- License – Trialware + Purchase
- Availability – On-premises + Online (as known as Azure DevOps)
Microsoft TFS is a software application used for team management with code. It is a mixture of Version Control System (VCS), an issue tracker (like Jira) and also a combination of application lifecycle management tool.
In this section, we will understand TFS and also see what could be the possible difference between Visual Studio.
- It is a hosted version (configured on Servers) whereas Visual Studio is an Online (configured on cloud servers).
- It works only with the premises (kind of limitations) whereas Visual Studio works anywhere (all you need is Microsoft account).
- This need server maintenance or even up gradation whereas for V Studio there is no such need.
- Hardware/ OS up gradation is needed for this but not for cloud version of V Studio
- It does not have SharePoint integration into it whereas V Studio has
- It lacks the SQL reporting service feature whereas V Studio has
- Load Testing is not possible with this but it is possible with V Studio
How does TFS Working So Easy?
- It has a shallow learning curve, which means the complexity in understanding its behavior and functionality. Working with TFS also becomes a bit easier compared to other version control tool like Git is its OS (i.e. Windows). Since windows are a user-friendly platform it makes TFS user-friendly too.
- Since TFS is a CVCS (aka Centralized Version Control System), it makes the developer work easy in a number of ways, one of which is repository details information. To have a copy of repository file system hosted centrally there is no chance of losing data. The disadvantage of this is a user cannot commit changes offline.
- Branches in TFS will create a new directory while copying all the files details with directories details of the parent branch. This is useful as it saves time for the user in defining the relation for newly created branches all the time.
What can you do with TFS?
- It is primarily used for Version Control, Workflows maintenance, item tracking, and notification purposes.
- Since the application cost is huge, later companies tried looking some alternate option for TFS. One such usability for TFS is help desk replacement.
- Help desk tools are mainly for bug reporting tool, bug tracking tool, customer relationship management tool. With this, you can manage records, keep an eye on the previous history, manage contacts and updates information also it serves as a knowledge base.
- It is also used in ticket maintenance.
In short, we would like to say that since a part of TFS does tacking; the companies can do any kind of tracking and maintenance services.
Working with TFS
TFS is a worldwide used tool and has a great customer base. The experience people have working with the tool is mixed as some find it great and some find it bit complex in comparison to other tools like Git.
- It is a great tool for consolidating work with information. With TFS you can find all the similar issues at one place, also there are customizations available to handle them effectively.
- You can monitor code building and deployment; this is helpful for those who are working at multiple projects at the same time. A kind of visibility what actually happening.
- Users say that since it has compatibility to different applications like SharePoint, IIS and Visual Studios it makes there work easier in a number of ways.
- One more factor supporting TFS users is that it gives then accessibility into the tool via the desktop client, web browser and cloud.
- You have a plate full of sweets, just pick the one you like. Sounds great, so readers we would like to say that in general, you will be in this situation if you have an enterprise agreement license of Microsoft. Since MS has several applications if you have an enterprise agreement you can handpick whatever application you prefer.
- If you want to practice agile methodologies in your development process you need TFS.
- There is an old saying ‘Time is Money’, this counts true for TFS as it saves the teams time by managing several works at one suite. Being a multi-tasking application is its biggest plus point.
- It’s easy to understand as it has Windows platform which is highly user-friendly.
There is no special requirement in terms of studies if you want to build your career in TFS. However, we have listed down some skills that might be helpful in gaining some momentum to your career.
- It’s good to have a B.Tech degree (CSC or IT preferred). A master degree in computer science is equally important in the market.
- You should have knowledge of servers and networking
- Analytical skills are good to have
- Programming knowledge is must to have
- SQL server skills and understanding is also crucial.
Regarding scope, we could only suggest our readers is that since TFS is a Microsoft Product you can feel relax about it. This tool as great importance and is going to stay in the market. Regarding the salary of TFS professionals, we have listed down some industry PayScale details along with respective profiles –
- Software Engineer – $74k
- Software Developer -$66k
- Test QA engineer – $71k
- Business Analyst – $55k
- Senior – $98k
TFS is a great tool for version control, process development and maintenance, agile approach and tracking tool. Newcomers must see this as a career scope as it has huge possibilities.
This has been a guide to What is TFS. Here we discussed the definition, working, skills, scope and advantages of TFS You can also go through our other suggested articles to learn more –