Visual Studio Team System 2008

This often becomes a little difficult to convenience users to migrate from VSS to TFS as VSS is probably there with us since far more long time and is pretty handy to use, but the problem arises in the following areas:

1) Scalability
2) Operations & Management
3) Recovery
4) Extensions
5) Performance

Many more areas can be added to the above list to prove that TFS is far more ahead then VSS, but how? Firstly if you see it doesn’t talks about only Source Control but it talks about Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) which covers the process straight from writing the very first development document what so ever it may be. VSS was all used to be a code repository and giving one many features to manage code libraries, users, rights, backup, recovery and etc etc. But TFS is certainly a broader picture of the game since it introduces a concept of ALM let’s see what it provides:

1) Source Control (what VSS was doing)
2) Management of Work Items, Bugs, Scenarios etc
3) A SharePoint site for every Team Project which focuses on Team Collaboration
4) Fast SQL Reporting of Bugs, Remaining Work, Resource Allocation etc
5) Proper Management of Development Documents
6) Team Build and Release Automation
7) And many a more which are there to be explored

The point 1 covered what VSS was doing even the source control in TFS is far more advanced and mature as compared to the one we use in VSS with the improved productivity of features like locking, change sets, comparisons and branching.

VSS was for small – mid size teams but TFS is scalable, VSS Security was Application specific but TFS relies on Windows based security hence the security becomes easy to manage task if you have the AD & proper policies in place, the data stored in VSS was in file system but in TFS it’s in SQL Server which makes reporting, recovery and readability much more enhanced.

TFS is such a strong product was it follows a proper process template, understands different Application Lifecycle roles (PM, Analyst, DBA, Dev etc) and helps everyone to be the part of process further uses the key technologies like SharePoint & SQL Server which are already running in many Data Centers and are not new to IT guys and they can extend & scale the existing functionality of TFS by using its strong API and having in depth understanding of the technologies running at the backend so at the end of the day to me it’s just a scalable tool with front end on SharePoint, VS and backend on SQL Server..

There is a lot which is unwritten like its interop behavior where this multipurpose tool has the power to interact with non MS products and heterogeneous platforms.