Table of contents

DevOps and Application Lifecycle Management

Last Updated: 8/4/2016

Team Services | TFS 2015 | Previous versions

Use our integrated tool set to speed the development and delivery of your software applications. Build better apps for any platform, including iOS, Android, Java, Linux or Windows.

Whether you work in the cloud, on-premises, or a hybrid of each, you have a comprehensive set of DevOps and Agile tools to support team collaboration throughout the cycles of planning, development and test, and continuous delivery. Monitor your web and device apps to gain actionable insight to improve performance, determine usage patterns, and plan for the next version of your software.

Visual Studio Team Services and Azure cloud services help remove barriers between teams, encourage collaboration, and improve the flow of value to your customers. Or, use our on-premises enterprise-grade server, Team Foundation Server (TFS), when you want to maintain your data within your network. Quickly expand the power of these tools through integration with other services and tools using service hooks and extensions.

Continuous planning and delivery

Choose Team Services or an on-premises TFS

Choose Team Services when you want quick setup, maintenance-free operations, and to collaborate easily across domains. You’ll also have access to cloud load testing, cloud build servers, and application insights. Small teams can start for free!

Choose on-premises TFS when you need your data to stay within your network or you want access to SharePoint sites and reporting services that integrate with TFS data and tools.


Visual Studio, Team Foundation clients, and cross-platform support

Visual Studio and Team Foundation clients support program managers and other stakeholders to connect to TFS and Visual Studio Team Services. You can get started using the free Visual Studio Community edition. Compare Visual Studio versions to learn which editions provide access to premium features.

Team Explorer is installed with each version of Visual Studio. You can download it for free by installing Visual Studio Community. Team Explorer supports connecting to team projects hosted on either an on-premises TFS or VSTS.

Use Team Explorer Everywhere, the Team Foundation Server plug-in for Eclipse, to connect to TFS and Team Services from Eclipse. The TFS plug-in supports version control, build, and work item tracking.

Agile tools support planning and tracking work

Prioritization of investments should be based on real-world usage patterns. Use Agile tools to plan and track work using Scrum and Kanban processes or a mix of both. Configurable charts, dashboards, and reports help teams monitor and report progress. And, enterprise organizations can scale the tools and manage a portfolio of products while teams work autonomously.

DevOps tools support continuous development, test, and delivery

Agile methodologies speed up the development and test cycle and make sure that you can deliver real value to your customers on a regular basis. Use Git, Team Foundation version control (TFVC) or both to store code for your app and give you access to different versions of your code. Set up continuous integration builds for your app that run for every check in. Test that the user stories you want to release work as planned, and easily load test your apps and provision test environments. Track when the quality is sufficient to release to the customer.

No matter what platform you target or language you use, you can simplify the continuous integration of your apps that build on Linux, Mac, or Windows. Multi-platform build agents support Android, iOS, Java, .NET, and other applications. And, you can seamless integrate information about your builds with work, code, test, and release.

Release Management helps you automate the deployment and testing of your software in multiple environments. With it, you can either fully automate the delivery of your software all the way to production, or set up semi-automated processes with approvals and on-demand deployments. These elements help your team continuously deliver software at a faster pace and with lower risk, while improving efficiency and collaboration between all teams that participate in release processes.

*Feature availability: * Both Package Management and Code Search are in preview. Package Management is available only from Team Services. Initially the Package Management service supports NuGet packages and private feeds that are only visible within your teams or team projects.

Software development teams often rely on re-using libraries or providing libraries for others to re-use. Package management supports code sharing as binary components across organizations and within teams. With it, you can build projects to produce packages and update projects that consume updated packages. Our package management service enables plugging in existing package management services you already use, such as local NuGet servers for IP protection, NuGet, MyGet, or Artifactory.

Code Search provides a comprehensive solution to all your code exploration and troubleshooting needs. From discovering examples of an API's implementation to searching for error text, Code Search offers a fast and powerful way to find code. Search across one or more projects, with semantic ranking and rich search results to ensure you find what you need and can focus in to understand your code. Code Search lets you filter your results based on code types such as definitions, comments, and references; filter by path, file extension, or repository; and use logical operators such as AND, OR, NOT to refine your query and get the results you need.

Code Search also makes team collaboration easier and helps maximize developer efficiency. View history and annotations to see who last changed a line of code, and what they changed. Search locally within code files, and find references or definitions of Code Search matches, when debugging or exploring your code. Add your comments and then communicate the results to team members easily by sharing the query URL.


Use Application Insights to understand how your app is being used and to make sure it is performing well. Detect issues, diagnose crashes and track usage of your mobile apps, and web apps hosted from Azure, or your own IIS or J2EE servers.

Use HockeyApp to distribute beta versions of your apps on iOS, Android, Mac OS X, and Windows, collect live crash reports, get feedback from users, recruit new testers, and analyze test coverage.


Our extensibility framework enables you to build integrations directly within VSTS or your on-premises TFS to create first-class, seamless connections between different tools and services.

Service hooks enable integration scenarios between other applications and VSTS or your on-premises TFS by subscribing to events instead of constantly polling for them. Service hooks provide a more efficient way to drive activities when events happen in your team projects. For example, you can send a push notification to your team's mobile devices when a build fails, or create a card in Trello when a work item is created. Some of the services you can easily integrate with are UserVoice, Zendesk, Trello, Slack, and HipChat.

Industry-standard RESTful APIs extend the power of VSTS and TFS from your apps and services. With them, you can integrate from virtually any device, platform, or technology stack, including Windows, Android, iOS, Node.js, and more.

With Marketplace extensions (currently in private preview), you can create first-class integration experiences, such as a simple context menu or toolbar action. Or, you can create a complex, powerful full UI experience that seamlessly lights up within the VSTS web portal.

Additional resources

Pricing, costs, and licenses

Team Services Pricing provides per user costs. Small teams can start for free.

On-premises TFS provides three license levels Stakeholder, Basic, and Advanced. You don't need to buy licenses for users who have eligible MSDN subscriptions. Use the Visual Studio and MSDN Licensing White Paper to plan your licensing requirements.

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