Programming Platform Migration—Visual Studio Team Services

Background

Concurrency was honored to assist a national nonprofit organization with an upgrade to the programming platform serving a team charged with carrying out mission-critical functions to interface with donors and potential donors.

The IT team, using .NET tools, builds the front-end, online interfaces that are critical to success of the organization’s mission. Those interfaces include, for example, donor registration and forms.

This group of programmers had been using an on-premises Microsoft development platform, Microsoft Team Foundation Services (TFS). To facilitate more convenient management of the development software, the team desired to migrate its development environment from TFS to the cloud-based Microsoft Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS).

Such migrations are, by their nature, complex and cumbersome. Our clients requested assistance from Concurrency to help plan and facilitate the migration.

Solution

We led the code migration process, working both onsite and offsite, to support the team’s transition to VSTS. Due to little available documentation at the time (due to the platform’s recent release) and a lack of migration tools, the process was complex. We approached the work with a developer’s mindset and, at times, actually went into the source code to make updates when bugs stood in the way of progress.

The project centered on a pilot project and development of documentation to enable our client to migrate the rest of its projects. We conducted a comprehensive training session, which was recorded for future reference.

We also connected the client’s programming team with the Microsoft product group for VSTS to resolve questions and provide feedback. Our role in interfacing with Microsoft also included getting our client added to a private preview for reporting functionality in VSTS.

Results and Next Steps

There are several significant advantages of the cloud-based VSTS versus the on-premises TFS. One is elimination of the need to maintain local server infrastructure. Another is the need to regularly upgrade the platform software, since the cloud-based software is automatically brought current.

We are continuing to support our client’s needs by constructing a VSTS report to help the team facilitate project management—such as sprint planning to support code release dates—with data for review and analysis in the PowerBI reporting framework. Because these functions are very new, little official documentation exists for reporting of this kind. 

Organization

National Nonprofit Organization

Organization Type

Nonprofit

Organization Profile