Adding DevOps Capabilities to “Visual Studio On-Line” using CloudShare

By Danielle Arad - December 26, 2013
2 min read

If you are a Developer on the Microsoft Stack, you have surely heard the news about the advancements, and renaming of TFS Services to Visual Studio On-Line. Visual Studio On-Line, announced on Nov 13th, comes with a lot of new technology advancements, like build services, Test Management, Load test etc. But it also changes in a big way the license paradigm for developers, where they subscribe to the IDE and the services they use, versus buying licenses. No big surprise given this has been the approach with Office for several years now. But with all that new stuff, there is a gaping problem left to be solved…

Visual Studio on-line still does not address the needs of the developer to tie infrastructure to their code, and build processes. To get from the point of coding to deployment, you quickly hit a wall when it comes time to provision the infrastructure behind your code. Granted if you have the time, money, and knowhow you can build out a complex configuration of hyper-v and System Center. But the complexity here is way to high for the typical developer. And even though Microsoft provides default build process template for Azure, still it’s very limited and covers only web projects.

There is still a big lack of capabilities when you want to use Visual Studio On-Line in the agile development / DevOps kind of way.

This is where CloudShare comes in. CloudShare + our TFS integration provides a new process template and custom activities DLL that support most of needed operations for continuous delivery and automatic environment establishment.

You may download XAML and DLLS from here.

In CloudShare’s solution you DON’T need to install any kind of agents, pre-configuration, VPN, or any other prerequisites. CloudShare’s build integration based on our REST API, so basically all commands are being sent by the build agent (hosted or on-premise) using the API.

CloudShare workflow:
• Running a default TFS build template (get workspace -> compile -> (run unit tests) -> copy outputs to drop folder)
• Preparing your target environment
• Compress build outputs
• Upload your outputs to CloudShare’s cloud folders (storage)
• Uncompressing your outputs
• Run custom deployment scripts that you’ll provide

The screenshot below emphasizes how to plan your deployment on your CloudShare environments, with the integration installed.


The TFS integration shows up in your Visual Studio connected too Visual Studio on-line, on-prem, or where ever you have it. It installs in 5 mins, configured in 2, and you can start deploying code with the infrastructure in-front of it within an hour.

We are very excited with the advancements in Visual Studio on-line. But we also see a big need for the agile developer to code and deploy on various configurations and infrastructure quickly. Without the bloat of a very complex system that needs specialized talent. This is only possible when you combine what is new in Visual Studio on-line with a best of breed deployment infrastructure such as CloudShare.