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We switched from SVN to TFS at work a little over a year ago, and it was for the better for the most part.  There are some things that annoy me, but that’s also true when comparing SVN to hg or git.


  • TFS is very fast compared to SVN.  No need to wait for svn status, as TFS is explicitly told the files checked out for edit.
  • TFS allows the checked out edits to be temporarily put aside, and then brought back.  This is similar to git stash – TFS calls them shelvesets.
  • TFS allows an individual developer to easily create private builds.  Point TFS at a shelveset, and wait for the build output to show up.
  • The API is very easy to use.  Creating custom tooling around TFS is dead-simple.
  • All-in-one solution (good and bad) for source control, bugs, and build.


  • The world is moving towards offline distributed development, and TFS is decidedly not.  Checking a file out for edit requires connectivity with the TFS server.
  • TFS requires a lot of horsepower to run.  Our configuration involves three machines: SQL Server, SharePoint, and the App Server.
  • The omnibox has won!  I’ll tell you what I want and you figure out how to parse and retrieve the data.  Do not force me to create a query to find a bug, it’s ridiculous.
  • [minor] There are some annoying parts of the UI, such as not being able to sort a table by a specific column. 

I am not really sure how to phrase when TFS is better than SVN or not.  It sounds trite to say for Enterprise because I do not believe that to be true.  How about, if you are on the MS platform, and you want an all-in-one solution TFS is a good answer.  VS integration, source control, and the build server all work in concert with one another very well.  The bug management support is complete, albeit baroque.

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