Azure DevOps

On this page

Summary

On September 10, 2018 Microsoft renamed VSTS to Azure DevOps and by Q1 2019 will rename TFS to Azure DevOps Server, and upgrade both with the same new user interface.

Azure DevOps (VSTS) is a hosted cloud offering, and Azure DevOps Server (TFS), is an on-premises version. Both offer functionality that cover multiple stages of the DevOps lifecycle including planning tools, source code managment (SCM), and CI/CD. However, first development focus will be to Azure DevOps (SaaS). Their project manager shared that they are releasing on a 3-4 week pace. This seems evident based on their published roadmap. The same project manager also shared that Azure DevOps Server (TFS) will be 3-4 months behind on adopting new features (also evident by their published roadmap). They are both from the same code base.

As part of their SCM functionality, both platforms offer two methods of version control.

  1. Git (distributed) - each developer has a copy on their dev machine of the source repository including all branch and history information.

  2. Team Foundation Version Control (TFVC), a centralized, client-server system - developers have only one version of each file on their dev machines. Historical data is maintained only on the server.

Microsoft recommends customers use Git for version control unless there is a specific need for centralized version control features. https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/vsts/tfvc/comparison-git-tfvc

This is noteworthy given that in June of 2018 Microsoft purchased GitHub, the Internets largest online code repository. This deal closed Oct 26th, 2018.

Overview

Because the Azure DevOps suite is so wide, similar to GitLab, an overview can be helpfull in understanding what we're dealing with. Go to this overview page for more details.

Strengths

Weaknesses

Positioning

Do use

Don't rely on

Resources

Comments/Anecdotes

Pricing

Azure DevOps

VSTS

VSTS Pricing

Visual Studio ‘Professional Version’ is the most comparable to GitLab since Visual Studio ‘Enterprise Version’ includes extras outside the scope of DevOps (such as MS Office, etc).

Visual Studio Professional can be purchased under a ‘standard’ or ‘cloud’ model.

Under their ‘modern purchasing model’, the monthly cost for Visual Studio Professional (which includes TFS and CAL license) is $45 / mo ($540 / yr).  However, extensions to TFS such as Test Manager ($52/mo), Package Management ($15/mo), and Private Pipelines ($15/mo) require an additional purchase.

TFS

TFS Pricing

A TFS license can be purchased as standalone product, but a TFS license (and CAL license) is also included when you buy a Visual Studio license / subscription.

MS pushes Visual Studio subscriptions and refers customers who are only interested in a standalone TFS with a ‘classic purchasing’ model to license from a reseller.

Excluding CapEx and Windows operating system license, a standalone TFS license through a reseller in classic purchasing model is approximately $225 per year per instance. The approximate Client Access License is approximately $320 per year.

Comparison