The backlogs and Kanban boards for planning and tracking work are second to none. Forecasting and capacity management are made easy with the Azure DevOps tools at our disposal.
The ability to customize work items and workflow is crucial to our business. We are in a specialized, highly regulated business with requirements, unlike most software businesses. We continue to strive to keep development and delivery as lean and agile as possible. We are slowly adopting more DevOps principles. This is especially challenging for our business due to government regulations. As a result, we've adopted an Agile/Waterfall hybrid methodology. Customizing the process, work items and workflow gives us the ability to meet our unique needs.
Git integration is a key feature and keeps our developers happy.
Some of the administrative tasks and management leaves much to be desired. Security and permissions are managed in different places instead of one central location. Alerts and notifications management could use improvement.
Due to the nature of our business, we are not able to move to the cloud and must use the on-prem version. While Microsoft officially supports the on-prem version, they are geared towards the cloud version of Azure DevOps. Microsoft support for many of our on-prem needs seem to be waning.
Work items should be able to be baselined along with code. While we can label the code that was built, there is no way to take a snapshot in time of the historical state of the work items at the time of the build. A feature like this would save our QA department lots of work.
While usability is great, it did take me a few times to find "hidden areas" (like the visual designer link for creating pipelines). Having these in more defined noticeable areas will only improve on the already great usability.
As with other Microsoft tools, the Microsoft login get's a little crazy when you have multiple accounts. In my case, I have several accounts (personal, university, and work) and getting into Azure DevOps with the appropriate account could sometimes be an act of futility.
Central Dashboard of Development Metrics: AZDO nests its dashboards in workflow-specific tracks, which is useful. Still, I'd like to see a home page personalized for each user which provides relevant updates on the most recent work items (updates to features, etc.) and work progress.
Complex Queries: AZDO is great for simple queries, but complex queries and the display of results doesn't always produce intuitive results. For example, sorting and drag/drop can be unreliable in some views. I suspect the AZDO team will work out these issues over the next few releases.
Lack of Themes: AZDO allows for the tracking of Epics and Initiatives, but there doesn't seem to be a structured interface for tracking product investment themes.
Board view of the work we're doing. Project management has found this to be especially helpful and has enjoyed how configurable it is to our needs.
Automation: From testing to the publishing process, there are plenty of options to automate workflows and processes. This has freed up resources and time for our teams to get more meaningful work done.
Collaboration: Since we came from TFS, it's the small things that have enabled greater collaboration within the team and with other departments/stakeholders like the ability to tag individuals in comments, following an item and receive email updates, etc.
It would be nice to have a master board to see everything going on across all projects. This is more of a management view, I would think. For me, I'm having to jump back and forth between our projects. I would like to be able to projects on the master board if this view were available.
Visual Studio supports many languages like C#,HTML.C++ and many others. We can also make Visual Studio to support other different languages with the help of plugins, like for Java, Python, etc.
We are using TFS with the VS, so it makes it easy to track the code and project changes, and if required we can also track the code of every single line to see what it means, by whom this code is written, and for which problem.
A unique work item change order number is assigned to the changes that you are making, apart from your shelveset creation
We can create the build definition through which we can automate the deployment and upgrade processes.
It provides a lot of menus and options/templates through which we can make our computer application for enterprise or for non-enterprise
We can easily integrate our customized/required menu in the VS through registry files or through deployment of the code
Need to make the changes so that it doesn't occupy most of the CPU utilization and memory
Execution of Bulky SQl Queries leads to either the SQl being out of exception or the VS being unresponsive
Integration with Microsoft products is easy, but with non-Microsoft products it is more difficult, and you have to make a lot of configuration changes to integrate
With every upgrade of the Visual Studio, like from VS 2010 to VS 2013 , we need to upgrade our hardware/machine, as the VS hardware requirement also increases
If code is getting compiled in one visual studio, like in VS 2010, that the same code could possibly give an error when compiled in VS 2013, due to certain changes in keyword, data format, etc., with the VS upgrade
Version control of the files: each developer has access to the server and regularly gets the latest server changes in his local box. The local file is maintained and also remains updated with the server version. The program also provides a different copy of a file so that it can be recovered in case of a failure from any individual developer box.
Some features like shelveset creation, work item monitoring, and publishing the project database.
I can access any developer's local box and see what changes he is doing if he has shared the shelveset with me.
Applying any new changes and undoing them using the pending changes feature.
Once, I added a PDF file to my shelveset so that I could share my changes with my team, but they were unable to unshelve my changes. This is because PDFs cannot be opened in more than one box, and it was locked on my box. So, I had to undo it from my box, and even then it was only accessible to one person at a time. It was problematic. They should at least be able to open it in read-only mode.
Lots of settings are necessary. However, if you accidentally uninstall one, instead of having to install it again, there should be a backup kind of thing for my profile settings in Visual Studio.
The default compare and merge tool provided by Visual Studio does not fill our needs, and we need to install other products like Delta Walker or Araxis Merge.
Having a more modern user interface which doesn't feel outdated.
VSTS is very development team-centric. Development teams are working very closely with product management, who sets their tasks and priorities. There is no way in VSTS for product managers to develop product roadmaps based on product strategies and trickle that down to user stories for developers. The link between product management and development is missing.
Tools like Estimably or something similar for pointing stories in an agile development setting would be very useful, as they are used daily by agile teams.
More built-in visual reporting functionality that could be customized would be a huge asset.
VSTS has a wonderful integration with Team Foundation Source control and Git. This is good because these were two source control systems that we used.
VSTS can be scheduled to run its builds and test at various times of the day. This means it can in the middle of the night and be ready for the developers when they get in in the morning.
VSTS handles Microsoft builds very easily. Building a .Net application can be set up with almost no work. You just have to use the Visual Studio solution that was used by the developers to create the application.
Work item management is fantastic and easy to use. It can be used as simply just tracking tasks, or as complex as tracing work items from multiple projects being assigned to a single developer. Work items can be customized easily to meet the needs of your organization as well, and it isn't difficult to manage the customization.
Source code management is excellent and tied directly into VSTS. You have a choice of TFVC or GIT management options - we've switched to git and have not looked back. It is fully featured and commits can be tied directly to a work item using # tags.
Metrics/dashboard - being able to write simple queries and move them to a dashboard in a few minutes is great. It enables team managers a quick board to review the status of a project and quickly act on any issues cropping up.
Build and release management - if you don't have this... you'll want it. The integration is magic, the interface is easy, and to setup an automated build using the hosted agent was a breeze. We did have to purchase an additional license because of the number of builds we had, but it was worth it.
VSTS has a log of flexibility... almost too much. It's hard to actually decide how best to use it until you just set it up and try it out.
Currently getting a list of work items on the main home page is messy. There's no hierarchy so it can sometimes be just a blast of work without any sorting or prioritization settings. There's a simple work-around to simply create a query for yourself and enable "search across multiple projects". That works alright, but it would be a better experience if the home page had this already covered.
Teams management could be better. It's a little confusing, and not easy to setup. Our specific use case of having some teams able to only see their backlog and nothing else was not achievable in the current implementation of VSTS. As a result, whenever we have to contract out work, we end up creating a new Team Project. It's not all bad, because team project contents can be easily migrated to another project, but it's still a bit annoying.
There are few things that we can say in a negative way because a pending issue was the license and Visual Studio has a lite option that although it does not have all the features of the full version, allows you to fulfill the work planned
The download size of the full version is usually very long and can take a long time to get it
In case of applying the entity framework in non-standardized tables (already existing projects) it generates inconveniences in the creation of the entities
Once you add a new sprint, it does not automatically reflect in the left panel of work items. You have to select the iteration under default teams settings. This is a bit confusing and difficult to figure out if you don't know.
When a task is marked as Resolved, the remaining time does not become 0 like it happens when you close the task. It may be a good idea to reset it to 0 for resolved tasks as well.
The system allows you to close a user story which has open tasks under it. A warning mentioning this while closing the user story will be good.
Azure DevOps (formerly VSTS, Microsoft Visual Studio Team System) is an agile development product that is an extension of the Microsoft Visual Studio architecture. Azure DevOps includes software development, collaboration, and reporting capabilities.