Team Foundation Server for R&D teams
December 01, 2015

Team Foundation Server for R&D teams

Bill Starling | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Team Foundation Server

Team Foundation Server is used by the entire company across the globe. Development uses it for obvious reasons in developing new software and fixing bugs that are found and logged into Team Foundation Server by our quality assurance analysts. Support uses Team Foundation Server to log issues from clients and professional services uses it to make minor changes while in the field with clients. Sales uses it to demonstrate new features to clients and to set up environments when holding trade shows.
  • Allows a great deal of history detail on every issue found or new feature added. It keeps a detailed history of any code changes by developers so you can always see who changed what portion or code.
  • You can adjust users permissions down to a group of users (i.e. testers vs. developers vs. managers) and can get very technical with permissions for each group. The permissions can also be set based on certain portions of the code base not just on the entire thing.
  • The information that is tracked is great. When you find an issue and you log it in Team Foundation Server you have many options for fields to utilize and edit to make sure you get the correct team of developers to look at it. You can also have different requirements for each issue or when checking in code such as changes made, priority level, area and iteration (these are used for internal development purposes usually).
  • Simplify the permissions interface and navigation. Permissions are great but sometimes finding the correct screen is difficult.
  • Make the interaction between different versions easier. Sometimes you can run into issues when trying to use an older Team Foundation Server server with a new Team Foundation Server Build server. This occurs when you don't have the resources to upgrade all servers at once.
  • Team Foundation Server significantly improved efficiency by allowing everything to be integrated which allows the global teams to work together on items.
  • We can provide better support to our clients because our support teams can use Team Foundation Server to log problems and to check on existing issues.
  • Fixing issues in development is easier to overcome since the history tracking is so thorough and detailed.
  • N/A
I have not used any other source control software.
This is more suited for a larger corporation or development team as the cost of acquiring the software/hardware might be too large for a smaller company. Setting it up can also be hard for a small team if there is no experience with it. Finding experience can be hard because of this fact but the Team Foundation Server wizards are generally helpful and provide adequate help in setup and administration.

Azure DevOps Server Feature Ratings

Using Team Foundation Server

Research and Development, Support, Professional Services, Legal, Sales, and Marketing.
5 - Experience with Team Foundation Server is a plus but any source control software is preferred. Experience with SQL Server and other Microsoft products. Knowledge of source control practices and software configuration management ideas are required. Also use with virtualization and Hyper-V is useful along with knowledge of general IT infrastructure such as servers, virtual machines, networks, etc.
  • Test Cases and test plans
  • Development of new software
  • Change tracking
  • Creating client specific branches or patches.
  • Change tracking allowing for the rollback of specific changesets without having to rollback changes that were done afterwards. Can also do partial rollbacks.
  • Utilize some of the new features of the newer versions of TFS and have all TFS servers on the latest versions.
  • Integrate newly acquired software into existing Team Foundation Server servers and databases.
  • Implement a more concise permissions plan.
Because we are a Microsoft Gold Partner we utilize most of their software and we have so much invested in Team Foundation Server now it would take a catastrophic amount of time and resources to switch to a different product.

Evaluating Team Foundation Server and Competitors

  • Product Features
  • Vendor Reputation
  • Existing Relationship with the Vendor
  • Positive Sales Experience with the Vendor
My company is a Gold Certified Microsoft Partner and as such we utilize most Microsoft products and they are typically the go-to for any of our software needs. Having this existing relationship helps whenever a new need arises as Microsoft develops most of their software with larger corporations in mind.
I doubt it would be changed as we utilize many other Microsoft products and the integration between all products is fairly seamless when using software from the same vendor.

Team Foundation Server Implementation

Do research beforehand and, if possible, do a trial run before implementing into production environment.
  • Connectivity to all network servers
  • Correct configuration of servers

Team Foundation Server Support

I have never used Team Foundation Server support from Microsoft. Finding help on the internet is quite simple if you know source control methodologies and terminology.
I have used Microsoft's Technet website to find a few answers to the Team Foundation Server issues I have come across. It is very easy to do a search on Google, Bing, etc. and find Technet results that typically answer the question.

Using Team Foundation Server

The complex permissions drags it down for me and since I nothing is perfect I'm subtracting one point for the permissions from my original score of 9.
Like to use
Relatively simple
Easy to use
Technical support not required
Well integrated
Quick to learn
Feel confident using
  • Code check ins
  • Connecting to TFS servers
  • Editing projects
  • Editing user permissions
  • Setting up initial build definitions and configuring Build servers with correct software
  • Upgrading TFS server to new hardware using newer version of software.
Yes - It works rather well. The biggest issue with it is with the overly complex permissions. Instead of having permissions for each area of TFS in their own spot it would be nice to just have them on one 'page' and then divide them into tabs or something of that sort rather than entirely different sections of TFS (i.e. for test permissions you must go into test cases then security, for build permissions you must go into builds then security, etc)