Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Why the TFS Hate

For the last few months twitter has been abuzz with TFS hate, and I always wondered exactly why.

Sure there are some annoyances, but on the whole as a full SDLC tool, TFS is a pretty comprehensive and cohesive tool.

It integrates source control, task management, automated builds and testing into a single system, and handles each component pretty well.

Source Control
+ good branching, merging, labelling support
+ good IDE integration
- not as good as a DCVS (such as git)
- ties source code to source control, a massive pet hate and has caused countless issues in the past

Task Management
+ flexible enough to support release planning, resourcing, task management, bug tracking, etc
+ integrates with build and testing components
+ integrates with the IDE
+ fairly easy to modify
- flexibility poor is relative to something like JIRA

Automated Builds
+ flexible
+ integrates with the IDE
+ simple to set up
+ integrates with Unit Testing (and Test Manager for deployment/UI testing)
- complex to modify

Testing (via test manager)
+ integrates with task management (test failures can generat bugs)
+ integrates with builds (you can define a set of automated UI tests to execute on build success)

As a single system nothing comes close to this level of functionality and flexibility, and despite its warts it does work pretty well.

Saying that, I can name off the top of my head better alternatives for each component, such as Git/Mercurial for source control, TeamCity for builds, HP or Rational Test Managers, JIRA for task management/workflow. Some of these integrate with TFS or Visual Studio to varying levels, but setting them up and day to day integration between these systems is not going to be as cohesive as a single TFS solution.

Granted I know in the past I have struggled to correctly set up TFS, Sharepoint, Reporting Services, Test Center, and HyperV to all work correctly, so perhaps configuring all these external systems is not as difficult as I think.

Git and TeamCity are definitely items I want to become familiar with if only to find out what the hype is all about, but I again reiterate that I don't really understand all the hate with TFS.

Perhaps more experience with these other systems will turn me into a TFS hating ragaholic too :)

No comments:

Post a Comment