TFS vs Azure DevOps Server: What Is the Difference?

Since it was launched in 2005, Team Foundation Server (TFS) has evolved significantly until Microsoft launched Azure DevOps in 2018. As a part of the broader shift to cloud services, the company renamed the cloud-based Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS) to Azure DevOps Services and TFS as Azure DevOps Server. Let us take a look at the differences between TFS vs Azure DevOps Server and identify the various reasons to upgrade.

Why Upgrade from TFS to Azure DevOps?

Azure DevOps Server 2019 was more than just rebranded TFS. Several new features were introduced. Let us look at some of the additional benefits when you upgrade from TFS to Azure DevOps.

Improved Navigation Experience

TFS was primarily designed for admins. Despite incremental improvements, many users found it complicated to use. With Azure DevOps, users enjoy a seamless experience that is consistent across both Azure DevOps service and Azure DevOps Server. The navigation is inspired by Microsoft’s Fluent design language that is being rolled out across its offerings for consistency and predictability. With this capability, users can switch between services easily. The user interface is more responsive, and users can focus on their work better. The UI overhaul is the most notable difference between TFS and Azure DevOps.

Simplified Artifact and Release Management

Users can leverage Artifacts even with the Basic License. Additionally, the Release Management Deployment Pipelines will not have to be procured separately as it has been integrated with Azure DevOps Server. With this, users can take advantage of the new Build and Release pages and use the YAML data serialization standard to code configuration files. This was not supported in TFS 2018.

Tighter GitHub Enterprise Integration

As a part of enhancing project management capabilities, teams using Azure DevServer can connect GitHub Enterprise with Azure Boards. The commits and pull requests in GitHub can be used in conjunction with the backlogs, different work item types, tools, and boards in Azure Boards that is a part of Azure DevOps. There is no disruption in the workflow as commitments will be merged in the appropriate branches.

Azure SQL Database Support

Both Azure DevOps server and TFS require SQL Server. With Microsoft’s focus shifting to the cloud, Azure DevOps server can be hosted on virtual machines running on Azure. These support Azure SQL Database that can give users superior scaling and backup options without increasing administrative costs for running these complex services.

Advanced Search Capabilities

There have been considerable enhancements in the search capabilities in Azure DevOps Server. The first addition is the introduction of my work flyout. With this feature, information from other components of the product will be accessible from whichever part users are currently working on. This is similar to a notification bar on which you can search for important updates without dropping your current activity. The other improvement is the ability to expand the search box from the product header. This has been added based on user feedback to improve navigation.

Apps4Rent Can Assist with Azure DevOps

Unlike some of Microsoft’s other on-premises solutions such as SharePoint Server and Exchange Server, TFS (now Azure DevOps Server) is upgraded every year. However, in the TFS vs Azure DevOps comparison, the upgrade is radical and not incremental as it had been until 2018. So, while it is necessary to upgrade from your existing on-premises TFS sooner or later, the choice between Azure DevOps Server vs Azure DevOps can be more subjective. As a Tier 1 Microsoft CSP, Apps4Rent can help you adopt the right Azure solution for your business. Should you choose the Azure DevOps Server, our Azure experts available 24/7 via phone, chat, and email can set it up on Azure VMs so that you can make the best use of your cloud subscription. Call us today for the best prices on Azure plans and services.

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