DevOps and Application Lifecycle Management

Last Update: 10/24/2016

Team Services | TFS "15" | 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.

Continuous planning and delivery

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 server, Team Foundation Server (TFS), when you want to maintain your data within your network.

Both options are enterprise-ready, supporting teams of any size, from tens to thousands. Team Services provides a scalable, reliable, and globally available hosted service. It is backed by a 99.9% SLA, monitored by our 24×7 operations team, and available in local data centers around the world.

Also, you can quickly expand the power of these tools through integration with other services and tools using service hooks and extensions.

Get started in the cloud or on-premises

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.

Work in the cloud

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

Sign up for Team ServicesAdd team membersAdd code to repository

Work on-premises

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.

Install TFSCreate a team projectAdd team membersConfigure a backup schedule

Develop code using your IDE of choice

Team Services supports two types of version control Git and Team Foundation Version Control (TFVC). 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.

Depending on whether you use Git or TFVC as a repo, you can develop your code in Android Studio, Eclipse, IntelliJ, Visual Studio, Visual Studio Code, or Xcode.


Git is a distributed version control system. Each developer has a copy of the source repository on their dev machine. Developers can commit each set of changes on their dev machine and perform version control operations such as history and compare without a network connection. Branches are lightweight.

Android Studio      Eclipse      IntelliJ

Visual Studio      Visual Studio Code      Xcode


TFVC is a centralized version control system that lets you apply granular permissions and restrict access down to a file level. Typically, team members have only one version of each file on their dev machines. Historical data is maintained only on the server. Branches are path-based and created on the server.

You can use TFVC to scale from small to large projects, and by using server workspaces, you can scale up to very large codebases with millions of files per branch and large binary files. ng compare and annotate you can identify the exact changes that they made.

Eclipse      Visual Studio      Xcode

Feature availability:&#160&#160Both 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.

Plan and track work with Agile tools

Use Agile tools to plan and track work using Scrum and Kanban processes or a mix of both. crum tools support defining and managing work within sprints, setting capacity, and tracking tasks. Kanban tools allow you to manage a continuous flow of work via an interactive sign board. In addition, configurable charts, dashboards, and reports help teams monitor and share progress.

Define storiesPlan sprints      Kanban workflow       Dashboards

You also gain access to a rich set of customization capabilities.

DevOps: Build - Test - Release

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. Set up continuous integration builds for your app that run with every check in. Multi-platform build agents support Android, iOS, Java, .NET, and other applications. Easily load test your apps and provision test environments. Track when the quality is sufficient to release to the customer.

Build your softwareSet up continuous testingCreate a release

In addiiton to continuous integration testing, you can create test plans, perform manual testing, and run unit tests.

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.

Scale up

As your team grows, your tools will grow with you. You can easily add teams which can focus on their set of backlog stories. Each team you create gets access to their set of dashboards, Agile planning tools, and other collaborative tools.

Add teamsSet team defaultsManage team assets

Once you've signed up for Team Services or installed TFS, you'll want to get familiar with the web portal and its navigational structure.

Other topics of interest:

TFS updates

Pricing, costs, and licenses

Team Services Pricing provides per user costs. Small teams (5 users or fewer) can start for free. Unlimited Visual Studio subscribers are free.

On-premises TFS provides three access levels: Stakeholder, Basic, and Advanced. You don't need to buy additional licenses for Visual Studio subscribers. Use the Visual Studio white paper to plan your licensing requirements.

Extensibility: Create first-class integration experiences

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

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.

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.

Analytics: Monitor your apps to gain insight

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.

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.