VSTS the best for Microsoft builds
June 06, 2018
VSTS the best for Microsoft builds
Score 7 out of 10
Overall Satisfaction with Microsoft Visual Studio Team System
VSTS is currently being used by one department at work but was I brought it into the company about six years ago. We currently use VSTS as a building and testing tool. We set up the builds and create tests to run after a build is successful. When I first started with VSTS I set it up to run on a daily basis and then had the developers correct the problems that were shown by the tests. This works very well and the developers like using it since they did not have to keep on integrating their changes together.
- 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.
- VSTS is very Microsoft centric. If the application you want to build is not based on Microsoft items such as C#, or Visual Basic it is very difficult to use.
- If you are using the latest version of VSTS then you will find a documentation problem. It can be very hard to find methods and help trying to get something running.
- Passing data between VSTS build steps is not easy. It can be done, but it is not a normal thing that you would Microsoft would have put into their product.
- When I first VSTS it was with a team of developers who always work on their own. This project was the first one at the company that used six developers all work on the same product at the same time. Integrating someone else code into the system was an unknown entity. VSTS really helped move this new collaboration forward. The staff who were on this team then moved on work together on other teams because they knew how to handle this type of work.
- The learning curve on VSTS is quite large so make sure you have some of your best starting anew VSTS project. They will fail a few times but after a few mistakes they will get how to do things and your build, tests and deployments will all be automated.
- The user integration into VSTS is very good. As long as you developers can use Team Foundation Server source control, either Microsoft's or git, then they already have the permission to have VSTS access source control. This is very good.
VSTS is great if you final source system is Microsoft based. Everything work well together and once you learned how use VSTS it isn't difficult to build more build systems. If your staff are used to the methods Microsoft uses, their time learning VSTS won't be as difficult as staff that do not know the Microsoft way of doing things. If, however, you are going to build non-Microsoft bases applications, such as Java, Ruby or even Python, Jenkins is probably a better choice.
If you are building a build system for a Microsoft product that doesn't have a lot of steps, VSTS is something that should be looked at. If you want to deploy your application to Azure it is even better. Running Visual Studio to build, run tests and perform load and performance tests works very well. Just be prepared to have your initial setup take some time.