Using Git and TFS 2013 to collaborate across platforms

Technology is always moving and development teams need to cater for different platforms, languages, and think about how they collaborate together to provide end-users with the best experience.

Not only do teams need to think about the different Operating Systems where their applications will run, but you also have to think about browsers, mobile devices, look at all the different JavaScript frameworks and how is your backend going to be designed and developed.

Each choice brings a different challenge to the table. You may need to use a different Development Environment or even different Operating System to be able to take advantage of a specific technology. Once you pick your IDE, then you have to figure out where you are going to store your source code, which hopefully entails more than just using your Dropbox folder as a backup. You need to be able to not only collaborate with your team that is using the same technology, but in a lot of cases, you may want to collaborate with teams in other technology stacks. Maybe you have a .NET service that is consumed by an HTML 5 app, Android, and iOS app. How do you get all those pieces in the same source control repository while not making it impossible for developers to get their work done? And how can you have a single place where you store all your User Stories, development tasks, and bugs?

Git is a Distributed Version Control System that has gained a lot of popularity in recent years.  You can use Git across platforms and it being very lightweight and fast makes it very compelling as a source control provider for your teams.

There are no IDE restrictions since Git you can access it through command-line, and most major IDE’s have support for it via a Plugin. You are able to take advantage of Git’s features to improve your development workflow by committing early and often and integrating with the rest of your team at the right time. Git allows you to have a shared repository where all team members synchronize with.

Starting with TFS 2013, and with Visual Studio Online, Microsoft introduced Git as a Version Control option in Team Foundation Server. So now you have both Team Foundation Version Control and Git. When you are using a Team Project that is configured with Git as its Version Control System, anyone that has access to the server and has Git tools on their machine is able to interact with Git hosted by TFS. This is not Microsoft’s version of Git, this is a full-blown Git repository. Internally, it is different since Git is file-based and doesn’t use SQL Server as a backend, so Microsoft had to integrate that with TFS, but the service has the same endpoints that you would see with your local Git Server, GitHub, BitBucket or any others. The tools that you use to connect to those, would be the same tools that you would use to connect to Git hosted by TFS.

The best part is that you get to take advantage of all the other Application Lifecycle Management features that TFS brings to the table such as Planning tools, Build Automation, Load Testing, Test Case Management, Release Management, and more.

If you want to get started with Git and be successful with it, while staying in Visual Studio, I created a Pluralsight course that you may want to check out: Git for Visual Studio Developers.

About esteban

Esteban is the Founder and Chief Technologist at Nebbia Technology, an ALM consulting and Azure-powered technology company. He is a software developer with a passion for ALM, TFS, Azure, and software development best practices. Esteban is a Microsoft Visual Studio ALM MVP and ALM Ranger, Pluralsight author, and the president of ONETUG (Orlando .NET User Group).

10 thoughts on “Video: Sprint Planning with Visual Studio Online

  1. sanjeev

    Is this possible through MTM2013 using TFS2010 ?

    1. esteban

      No, this is a TFS Feature not an MTM feature, so you need TFS 2013

  2. Bruce Cutler

    When I select Test Case chart, nothing appears in the Group by drop down. Why not?

  3. Bruce Cutler

    In reference to test case charts in tfs 2013 update 4:
    When I select Test Case chart, nothing appears in the Group by drop down. Why not?

    1. esteban

      Bruce, make sure that before you try to do charts, you go to the Test tab, then click on Column Options, and add the columns that you want to group by. The charts only act on the data that is displayed on the grid.

  4. Anil Yadav

    Is there any way to update string in test steps of multiple test cases in one go, like ctrl+h?

  5. Dave

    I thought that packages restored to the C:\Users\{user}\.dnx\packages directory? I don’t have the test adapter DLL in my bin folder. In fact, I don’t even have a bin folder.

  6. Slawek

    Did anybody have the following error:
    Exception discovering tests from Test1: System.BadImageFormatException: Could not load file or assembly ‘C:\a\ff22bda8\xunit\Test1\Test1\bin\Debug\xunit.execution.desktop.dll’ or one of its dependencies. This assembly is built by a runtime newer than the currently loaded runtime and cannot be loaded.

  7. yos

    hi to all,

    I would like to configure the charts more the 9 CR’s , can I ?


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