TFS4JIRA vs USETFS

Hi, Is there a comparison available for TFS4JIRA vs USETFS? Regards, Samir Shah

4 answers

NOTE: This answer was originaly created in March 2013, both UseTFS and TFS4JIRA evolved much since then so it may no longer be relevant, still might be worth reading :)

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Hi,

I don't think there's a comparission anywhere. For a long time TFS4JIRA only supported TFS changesets indexing while UseTFS had also "Work Synchronizers" that allowed two way synchronization of JIRA Issues and TFS Work Items. This maybe gives UseTFS a bit of advantage in terms of having this a more mature solution, tested and solution by many customers worldwide.

But recently things have changed and I believe that TFS4JIRA has their own implementation. So from functional perspective the main differences as I can see are:

  • UseTFS has check-in policy that helps associating changesets with jira issues when checking in code to TFS repository (provides a GUI for development teams) while TFS4JIRA lacks this functionality
  • UseTFS has a client side tool that serves as a helper - you can view changeset information (changeset details, diff view using your locally configured viewer, file history) using your local Visual Studio controls directly by clicking on related information in JIRA web interface which provides very good user experience (close to working with TFS work items). While TFS4JIRA also has links for viewing those their not a native VS controls, just links to TFS web interface that is not as flexible and user friendly.
  • UseTFS allows more low level configuration of synchronization feature allowing to define quite complex scenarios while TFS4JIRA has much more user friendly configuration screen but seems to offer limited configuration possibilities (compared to UseTFS)
  • UseTFS is a jira plugin (except the client side for developers mentioned above) while TFS4JIRA is a plugin + web application (the synchronization part) that needs some additional infrastructure like IIS, SQL server
  • Both support TFS2010 and TFS2012. In addition TFS4JIRA supports TFS2008.

I think both products are good ones and I encourage anyone to try each of them and make the decision after evaluation. I can't speak for Spartez but we at Pigsty are always opened to implement new features per customer requests. If you expirience any issues or have further questions we're always happy to provide help. Feel free to email at andrzej.pasterczyk@pigsty.com.pl

Disclaimer:

I work for Pigsty - vendor of UseTFS. My opinion is based on experiences that I have evaluated TFS4JIRA in terms of changesets indexing and seen demonstration videos along with documentation for synchronization part.

I hope that someone from Spartez will notice the question and provide a response from their point of view, especially that I'm curious myself :)

We are trying to decide on a TFS - Jira integration now as well and I am finding some downsides to both plugins that I need to figure workarounds for.

@Andrzej Pasterczyk
Since we have the ear of someone from Pigsty, can you answer how this works for stubborn developers (those who dont want to be bothered to install the client side) or for those who may be working from home in a pinch and dont have the client side insalled? Does their TFS commit get put in without relation to a JIRA ticket, or does it get blocked entirely and they cannot commit?

Hi Joseph,

We like stubborn developers and I hope our solution fits their needs. There are several scenarios to consider based on setup you choose.

Scenario 1
UseTFS jira plugin installed, check-in policy not enabled on TFS repository

When doing checkin developer is not prompted for anything. If valid issue key is manually included in check-in comments or check-in notes fields it will be picked up by JIRA plugin and associated with given issue. As far as I know this scenario is same as with TFS4JIRA.

Scenario 2
UseTFS jira plugin installed, check-in policy enabled, developer doesn't have client installed

When doing checkin developer will see a warning notification in check-in window that Visual Studio was unable to load check-in policy DLL. He can continue, but needs to provide additional "Override policy warning" comment (see http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms245460(v=vs.100).aspx ). Same as above if issue key is in check-in comment it will be associated with JIRA issue.

Scenario 3
UseTFS jira plugin installed, check-in policy enabled, developer does have client but can't/won't use it

When doing checkin developer will see a warning notification in check-in window that check-in should be associated with JIRA issue. If developer won't use our check-in policy to do that gets same policy override possibility, and same as above issue key can be manually typed in. When policy is used there's a "***USETFS***" string added to end of check-in comment - this string is customizable in check-in policy settings, and in this scenario if manually typed in it will make the policy pass so no need to override it. In other words if developer just manually creates a comment like "ISSUE-123 something something something ***USETFS***" it will just work out of the box without any policy warnings.

Let me know if you have further questions.

Excellent, thank you for your quick response. I'll play with it and give it a whirl. When playing with TFS4JIRA, I cam across a limitation which I posted a question about here:

https://answers.atlassian.com/questions/235219/tfs-jira-synchronizer-tfs4jira-profile-cloning-or-global-mapping

I have not started configuring UseTFS yet, so I'm not sure if I'll hit the same limitation there.

@Samir, what did you land on? And what is you experience with your choice?

I'm writing on behalf of Spartez, creator of TFS4JIRA plugin. We are happy that you are interested in our product, I just wanted to add that in next two or three weeks we will release new version with many features that was long requested (fo instance synchronization of time tracking, comments and subtasks).

As for the comparison itself I never seen it anywhere. If you have any specific question we will be happy to help, just drop us an email on support@spartez.com.

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