As of Version 2017, Microsoft no longer supports the native integration of Team Foundation Server (TFS) with Microsoft Project Server (PPM). If you are using this integration with one of the earlier versions of TFS, it will stop working after an upgrade. But it is possible to fall back on third-party suppliers such as TPG to resolve this. If you plan work with the cloud-based version Azure DevOps and TFS or are even using agile methods, the integration with Microsoft Project Server or Project Online makes sense. It provides your portfolio and program managers with an overview of the project portfolio.
Only Microsoft PPM contains all the projects. Likewise, the overview of all required and available resources is only available in Microsoft PPM. With the integration of TFS / Azure DevOps, you increase the productivity. At the same time, you ensure that all involved are working with the tool that is optimal for them.
For over 20 years, TPG PSLink has been a proven middleware product for the data exchange between different enterprise systems. It also supports a bidirectional integration with TFS or its cloud-based version Azure DevOps. The product’s high configurability ensures that this middleware is implemented very quickly. TPG PSLink enables several business cases outlined below.
DevOps / TFS Integration with Project Server / Online
The project manager structures the projects in Microsoft Project. Thus, a structure can be created in TFS from Microsoft Project: the Microsoft Project summary tasks become features in TFS; the subtasks become requirements. The project manager can decide individually which tasks to synchronize to TFS.
The work packages of the projects repeatedly involve the same to-dos. The team member has to work through these again and again. In many cases, they have to be created manually. Standardized to-do lists / checklists are a way of simplifying these repeated processes.
A SharePoint list is the suitable solution to this scenario. It includes the contents of the to-dos to be completed on the TFS / Azure DevOps side. The contents are also easy to update in case anything changes.
There are no limitations for the structure of the checklists. TPG PSLink ensures this, as it permits the free assignment of SharePoint fields in the integration.
Once the stakeholders have created their individual work items in TFS, the execution of those items begins. It is possible to communicate a status to the project manager both in TFS and in Microsoft PPM. To this end, various attributes are maintained. These include:
These data are aggregated and transferred from TFS to Microsoft PPM. This results in an up-to-date and lean project plan, since you avoid transferring all details from TFS. This is a huge benefit for project managers, as their planning remains concise.
Even though the project managers may not want to have all the individual activities from TFS / Azure DevOps in their project plan, it can be helpful to show them. This makes the dependencies better to understand.
To this end, it is possible to display all details from a selected task of the project. The tool TPG ProjectDetails collects these from (even several!) external systems and shows them in a dialog field.
If required, this solution also allows you to carry aggregated data (e.g. the latest date or the sum of the actual hours) over to the project plan.
The synchronization between Microsoft PPM and TFS / Azure DevOps occurs via the publicly available REST API. The latter makes the object model of the TFS / Azure DevOps available for the integration with other systems. The API consists of documented and quality assured web services, which Microsoft offers in many products.
|TFS / Azure DevOps Objects||Data Sharing|
|Work Items|| |
TPG PSLink® ensures the consistency of the data shared across the systems involved.