For over 10 years, Applied Systems has been using Team Foundation Server (TFS) for project management in industrial software development.
TFS is an effective solution for software development teamwork, covering the entire development life cycle, from requirements gathering to testing and product launch.
TFS provides a manageable toolkit for collaboration in large development teams that covers every role: project managers, analytics, architects, developers, testers, and DevOps engineers.
TFS is also well-integrated with other Microsoft products, such as Visual Studio, Office, OneNote, SharePoint, etc. Its web version ensures convenient operation of distributed commands and reliable interaction with the customer.
The complexity of software development projects requires close interaction of different specialists through a large number of project tools, especially in such long-term projects as industrial ones. Yet, to ensure these tools interact smoothly with diverse project artifacts in sync is a complex challenge.
To solve this challenge, TFS serves as a single entry point for all the development team members. All the project details are stored in the same database and automatically synchronize to stay updated. For example, the project team can track the test coverage of specific requirements or reasons of any code changes with a few clicks.
We use TFS for requirements gathering, project management, centralized source control, organization of testing processes, issue tracking, and more. The customizable reporting system allows quick and easy tracking of the key project metrics.
The introduction of TFS allowed us to abandon many different tools, to intermediate data import/export files and to put the entire development process down to a single system. With the working instruments simplified this way, we can save 40-50% of the time spent on project management and quality control, and significantly reduce project risks.
Development of complex industrial systems is distinguished with longer product life cycles, specific use scenarios and more stringent requirements of reliability.
Here, close collaboration and trust between the customer, or the product owner, and the development team plays a critical role. The full-featured web TFS interface allows the customer to monitor all the project aspects at any time.
Flexible, customizable dashboards help to get up-to-date information on the workflow, contribute to manageability and raise predictability of the development costs and quality.
With the help of TFS our customers can get full information about the development process: from the overall picture of the project to the smallest details at any time. Such transparency ensures high responsibility of every team member and increases trust between our customers and us as the contractor.
Industrial software needs to interact with specialized tools related to equipment and technological processes.
To address this, TFS features a fully automated, scalable build server that supports multiple configurations, supporting third-party products for functionality extensions. The open API TFS allows integrating additional tools and creating "bridges" between different infrastructures.
Our specialists can both effectively use the standard TFS functions and expand the tool’s functionality by integrating third-party systems/plug-ins. Additionally, we can migrate projects from other project management solutions to TFS, provide infrastructure configuration, administration and professional support of such migrated projects.
Mature development processes and convenient tools go hand in hand. This ensures successful communication and high efficiency from the very start of collaboration.