Team Foundation Server is updated every three months, whereas Visual Studio Team Services is updated every three weeks. This means that TFS is slightly behind VSTS in terms of available features. With the newest update of TFS 2018, however, the gap between the two products is very small. The new features of the latest TFS update include GFVS caching support in the TFS proxy and an updated VSTest task, as well as various bug fixes.

GFVS Caching Support

A Git Virtual File System cache, or GVFS, virtualizes the file system beneath a Git repository so the Git tools see a normal repository. However, the files are not actually present on the disk. GVFS downloads files only as they are needed. The TFS proxy can now power the download of these files. This allows caches to be put close to distributed development teams.

VSTest Task

Automated tests that use TestCase as the data source can now be run using the VSTest task. For this to work, a few prerequisites are needed: Visual Studio 2017.6 or higher, a Personal Access Token (PAT) authorized for the scope “Work Items (full),” and a secure Build or Release variable called Test.TestCaseAccessToken with the value set to the PAT. For more information, refer to the release notes.

Even with the latest TFS update, there are still a few differences between the cloud and on-premises offering. These differences include agent-based deployment in Release Management and DevOps Projects. Most of the features in VSTS will end up in TFS eventually, but there will be a delay of at least three months.

Agent-based Deployment in Release Management

Release Management already supports out-of-the-box multi-machine deployments. Agent-based deployment capabilities rely on the same build and release agents. However, instead of installing build and release agent on proxy servers in an agent pools, the agent is installed directly on the target server. This feature is currently in early adopter phase in VSTS. It is currently planned to be available on-premises in TFS 2019. Check out this blog for more information on this feature.

DevOps Projects

Azure DevOps Projects help to launch an app on an Azure App Service in a few quick steps. They also provide everything needed for developing, deploying, and monitoring the app. In short, these DevOps Projects lower the learning curve of getting started in Azure. This feature is currently in Public Preview in VSTS. According to the features timeline, there is no plan to include this in future versions of TFS. For more information about getting started with a DevOps Project, refer to this Microsoft DevOps Blog post.

XAML builds are no longer supported as of TFS 2018. Additionally, support for XAML builds in all VSTS accounts is projected to be deprecated by the end of 2018. However, PRAKTIK has you covered and can help upgrade your legacy TFS Builds. Reach out to our team to learn more.

To get started with your own migration to VSTS or to upgrade your TFS instance, contact our team of experts here at PRAKTIK.