Team Foundation Server vs. Team Foundation Service

You’ve probably found a few comparisons on the interwebs comparing the “traditional”, on-premise TFS with the new cloud-hosted Team Foundation Service.  I get asked about this a lot – as a result, I thought I’d share the slide deck I used to drive this conversation.  Please let me know if you have any questions!


Basically, TF Service is a nice way to get up and running quickly, without worrying about infrastructure, backups, etc.  What you lose is some customization, lab management, and SSRS reporting.

Happy developing!

Comments (10)

  1. Philip Carlin says:

    Looks very comprehensive, it would be interesting to know what the build limitations are (between the cloud service and server).

    Also, is there a roadmap (link?) for future cloud based additions to this (particular interest to me is anything around windows phone build/automated testing).

  2. slange says:

    Hi Philip,

    Great feedback.  In fact, I just added some more details around the hosted build service.  Hopefully it clears things up a little.  I also added an appendix slide with links to additional information on TF Service.

    As for roadmap, etc.. The best place to keep updated on what's coming (or just released) to TF Service is the news page:…/news

    The UserVoice site is a great place to start pushing what you want to see added to TFS:…/30925-team-foundation-server

    Thanks for reading, and let me know if you have additional questions!


  3. wma says:

    Great deck Steve!

  4. Ahmed Al-Asaad says:

    I wrote an article about TFS Service vs TFS Express vs TFS few weeks ago…/tfs-2012-versions-of-team-foundation-server

  5. slange says:

    @Ahmed – Great summary blog.  Looks good!

  6. @StevenLange Glad you liked it 🙂

  7. unfortunately, I think you loose a lot more than what you've listed above. Please see my links here:…/accfa8de-7b9d-4c04-b66f-c6c9e72f1b70

    I'm ebiz-tutor in the posts, respectfully Rob

  8. slange says:

    @Rob/ebiz-developer – I can certainly agree that there are nuances/processes which work to varying degrees when comparing hosted TFS and TFS on-premise.  This deck is by no means meant to be an exhaustive comparison, but rather one to help an initial conversation.  

    Thanks for pointing out your thread in the comments of this post – it will provide additional context for future readers!



  9. Automation Planet says:

    Nice one, thanks!

  10. Andy Johnson says:


    Many thanks for the information provided I am newcomer to TFS and have just installed TFS for the first time on a win2008 server, which I am about to configure.  

    I have a production server in Azure, along with a development vm and the TFS service is of great interest.  What I would like to understand or at least know if achievable, is could I integrate the two together.  So my local TFS server replicates into the service and then onwards towards production.

    Of course the easy answer is just move to TFS as a service, but this is of course dependent upon there always being a strong reliable connection from my home to the cloud services.

    I would be more than interested to hear your thoughts about my predicament and I look forward to your response.