Lately I’m advising more and more people to start using Visual Studio Team Services or Visual Studio Team Foundation Server. But every I start talking about VSTS or TFS, I get the question what is best suited their projects. But the only correct answer to that question is that it dependents on their wishes and needs. That’s why in this blog post I will explain some of the differences and I will give you some of my thoughts about why you should go for one or the other.
People who already used these products might have notice that it in essentially VSTS and TFS are the same product. Microsoft does a great job developing VSTS with releases every three weeks. When they think there is enough added value to let customers update their on-primes environments, they take a copy of VSTS and create an on-primes version of that software. So essentially TFS is an on-primes version of VSTS.
That make our question even harder to answer. Cause it is the same software so why does it matter witch one we take. Well I think there are two things that are the most important to make your choice. First up is budget. When you develop on Visual Studio Team Services then the environment is free for up to 5 users and if anyone has a MSDN subscription then they don’t count for the 5 free users. But if you still need more than 5 users without any MSDN license, then you pay between the 2 and the 8 dollar for each user. This is still a lot cheaper than buying a Team Foundation Server license, hosting that on your own server and maintaining that server and installation. So if VSTS is a lot cheaper then TFS, why our people choice for TFS. That take use to the second important thing. This is that VSTS is hosted in Azure and that means that your data is also in the cloud. There are companies that don’t want their source code standing somewhere in the cloud. Of course the data is protected but Microsoft control’s the access to that data instead of the company from that develops the code. I trust that Microsoft will handle that responsibility with care and with complete integrity. But also Microsoft needs to apply to local authorities and may need to give a government access to your code without your approval.
Next up is a thing to think about but is in my opinion not a reason to go with TFS in state of VSTS. But that is because I love to live on the bleeding edge of technology and I want to have the newest version as soon as possible. But if you don’t like that and want to be sure that there is no change to your environment without you approving it first. Then VSTS is maybe not the right version for you. Cause if you want it or not, they will update it every 3 weeks and sometimes this means that you have to take some time to look at the new features.
So I hope that this will help people with their choice for Visual Studio Team Services or for Visual Studio Team Foundation Service.