Implementing Continuous Delivery with VSO

Posted by Graham Smith on March 8, 2015No Comments (click here to comment)

In another series of blog posts on this website I describe how to implement continuous delivery with TFS. I start from scratch by describing how to install and configure TFS and there's no denying that it's quite a lot of work. Once installed TFS can require a not inconsiderable amount of care and feeding and in bigger organisations it's almost certainly going to be someone's full-time job. There is an alternative though -- Visual Studio Online. This is a SaaS version of TFS hosted in Azure, and started life as Team Foundation Service back in 2012. The name change coincided with the release of Visual Studio 2013 in November 2013.

VSO isn't the full-blown TFS as it's missing the SSRS reporting capabilities and the SharePoint portal integration. At the time of writing a subscription can only consist of one Team Project Collection and editing of process templates isn't supported. On the other hand, VSO receives updates approximately every three weeks so it contains new application features well ahead of TFS. A post here has a nice comparison. What you may find interesting is that as per Brian Harry's blog post Microsoft are planning to gradually move their teams currently using TFS over to VSO. If that isn't putting faith in VSO then I don't know what is!

So if it's good enough for Microsoft it's surely good enough for the rest of us. But as always the key questions for some people are how to get started and can using VSO give us the nice integration with the other tools such as Microsoft Test Manager and Release Management? This blog post series will focus on answering those very questions. I'm aiming to write a soup-to-nuts guide on how to implement continuous delivery with VSO, comparing and contrasting with the TFS blog post series as we go. Do use the comments system to give me feedback!

Cheers -- Graham