Microsoft VSTS Consulting

TFS Consulting

At a time when businesses are attempting to attain the highest possible degree of standardization and automation in software development, an integrated Application Lifecycle Management and software development toolset like Team Foundation Server holds the key to success. A proper commissioning of the Team Foundation Server (TFS) can work wonders for your development teams and your organization to help achieve your goals faster painlessly. Our teams completely assesses the current deployments, tools used and the processes followed to arrive at a customized solution for your very specific needs. Be it optimizing your release and deployment process or automating your testing or implementing robust change management processes, we have a solution for you. Apart from the turn-key commissioning of the TFS, our team also assists in optimizing the processes, hand-holding your teams in adhering to the processes, provide hands-on learning and cover the necessary technical support to ensure a smooth adoption across teams within your organization. The end result of our services will be reduced costs by elimination of redundant tools, improved efficiency by way of standardized development platform, reduced rework by automation of mundane tasks, improved quality by robust gating policies and finally better productivity by integration and optimization of the development processes.

As a preferred ALM partner, we continue to work closely with Microsoft to drive the successful adoption of Visual Studio as an integrated ALM solution. Our key service offerings are listed below:

  • Hardware Sizing, Deployment and Commissioning
  • Upgrade from Legacy Versions of Team Foundation Server
  • Migration from other Version Control Systems (Visual SourceSafe, Subversion, ClearCase) to TFS
  • Application Lifecycle Management Best Practices Consulting
  • End-to-End Release Process Automation
  • Remote Deployment & Technical Support

Hardware Sizing, Deployment and Commissioning

Setting up a great ALM platform is any organization’s dream and they invest in various tools and technologies to strengthen as well streamline the development practices to bring in better transparency. Soon they realize that the need to deploy multitude of tools and inability to fit the disparate teams into the system is sabotaging the expected return on the investments. Microsoft offers a robust scalable ALM platform based on TFS that can easily accommodate diverse development practices and bring great visibility into the project health. Having said that, the right implementation of the ALM platform is the key to deriving maximized benefits and the saying “One size fits all” does not hold good at all. Unless the deployment is tuned to your specific needs, this exercise results in wasteful expenditure on Hardware and resources, curtailing the expected benefits.

Our team of experts deliver optimal solutions based on your specific needs. They study your current and future requirements to provide apt and cost-effective hardware sizing that covers your future growth without the need to reinvest in additional hardware. Based on the needs of the development teams, the TFS topology will be designed and accordingly the TFS will be commissioned. Irrespective of the technologies used by your teams, the size of the projects and teams, and the geographical locations of the team members, you can rest assured that you would have the optimal deployment that benefits your teams and reduce wasteful investments to the minimum. Once the mundane tasks are automated by the ALM platform, your teams will have more available productive time to put to good use. The outcome of a successful implementation of the TFS ALM platform would be faster turnarounds to customer needs and better utilization of your team’s bandwidth.

Our team also assist your teams to adapt to the ALM platform with Proof-of-Concepts (PoC), supplemental trainings, hand-holdings and technical support. 

Upgrade from Legacy Versions of Team Foundation Server

If you are already working on TFS and looking forward to move towards the latest available variants of TFS, this service is especially designed for you. Even though the early versions of the TFS have been good, the recent feature additions on the newer versions offers a bang for your buck. Over a period of time, Microsoft has added some amazing productivity features to the TFS that result in better visibility and hassle-free web based project management.

Our TFS upgrade services are designed to minimize service downtime with zero / negligible data loss. To minimize risks during the migration, our team would be setting up a stand-by server to ensure that the services are available consistently throughout the upgrade process. The transition from the legacy versions would be seamless and covers the incompatible features to ensure that the upgraded features are completely available to the team. The upgrade services can be used to move away from your legacy hardware into the latest hardware as well. You could avail our Hardware Sizing, Deployment and Commissioning Services for this purpose.

Taking into account the technical trainings, hand-holding and technical support provided by our team, upgrading to the latest versions of TFS was never easier.

Migration from other Version Control Systems to Team Foundation Server

As part of your drive to setup robust ALM practices, you may have chosen one or more tools to manage your source code version history for your development teams. Even though most of the Version Control Systems available in the market serve the needs, the efforts required to interface it into the Core ALM platform may not be well worth it. The TFS ALM platform not only provides the Version Control capabilities, it combines it with the rich Project Management, Requirement Management, Test Case Management and Release Management capabilities, making it the de facto tool for ALM practices.

As a way out, you may be looking at a smooth transition from your current version control system to the TFS. Our team of experts offer assistance to migrate from the legacy version control systems to TFS. Great care would be taken to ensure reduced service downtimes with minimal data loss.

The migration services will begin with the stock taking of the current health of your version control system and assessment of the quantum of data loss that could occur during the migration. Every effort will be made to improve the health of the existing repository prior to the migration so that the data losses are minimized to start with. The deployment of the TFS prior to migration can also be undertaken by our team so that you have a turnkey deployment and a painless transition from legacy.

Application Lifecycle Management Best Practices Consulting

Your organization may have invested in procuring the best tools in the market and have well-defined Process Guidelines for the Software Development Practices. Whether your teams are able to optimally use the tooling and the process guidelines to deliver high quality software to the customers while keeping up with the schedule and budget constraints will be the big question.

Our team can evaluate your current development environment and provide invaluable insights into the practices. These insights would help standardize as well as optimize the various processes through your development to bring about rich returns. The insights will also cover the redundant tools that can be de-commissioned as well as the practices that can be discontinued to result in reduced costs along with marked improvement in productivity.

Our recommendations for standardization will be around the Microsoft ALM platform (TFS) and would include the well-defined roadmap for the areas of optimization along with definite timelines. These recommendations can be put into actual practice by availing our Deployment Services. 

End-to-End Release Process Automation

For most organizations, the most labor intensive phase of the Software Development Cycle would be the Release phase. Unless you have robust tooling in place, the release process would still be a source of nightmares for your development team. Wasted efforts and unpredictability may play havoc with your promises on deliverables and schedules to your customers.

The team of experts at Canarys will work with your project teams to understand their release challenges and provide technology / platform agnostic solutions based on Microsoft ALM platform. Streamlining you release process would result in reduced last minute surprises, minimized downtimes and minimal schedule slippages transforming it into a smooth, predictable automated process. The benefits will be major savings in terms of efforts and turnaround times for releases.

Along with the automated releases, the deployments of the software to the various environments like Dev, Test, Staging and Production can be automated to minimize the efforts. This automated deployment can also orchestrate the deployment process within the organization and would follow the necessary approvals from the relevant stake holders. This controlled automation would ensure that the updated software is available at the earliest to the testing team or the customers.

Remote Deployment & Technical Support

Hitting technical roadblocks and challenges while using tools is not so uncommon and TFS is not an exception. Due to huge cache of capabilities available as part of the platform, it is possible that some capabilities may not be fully utilized or configured appropriately by your teams. In these situations, even though it is required, it may not be practical to have an in-house technical resource to help resolve these challenges due to huge cost implications.

Canarys offers an effective solution by providing expert assistance remotely when you need them at much lower costs. Since these teams work round the clock, you can effectively avail a 24/7 assistance in times of need. These services have quick turnaround times and dedicated help will be readily available when you need it. This would ensure that your needs are taken care in-time always.