S4 Development and Test Team Streamlines with Visual Studio Online

Previously, the S4 Group has used the popular open-source solutions Redmine and BugTracker to log and track bugs and feature requests reported by both customers and our internal testing teams. These logs were then accessed by our development partner, Obermeier Software, from their offices in Germany, who then manually transferred the information to a private Microsoft Team Foundation Server and turned them into bugs and work items. Being implemented as closed silos, these separate systems required constant manual effort to keep in sync, with loss of important details being a constant issue.

All of our teams have now transitioned to Visual Studio Online, streamlining this process and cutting out the extra steps of manually transferring data between isolated systems. This allows for closer coordination between these different groups by closing the gaps in the test and development cycles and allows us to tie these different items directly to changes in the underlying code.

In addition, we have invested in additional equipment for the S4 test lab and added VPN services between Obermeier Software and the S4 offices here in Ogden, UT. This enables Obermeier Software to test our integrations with real BAS devices much sooner in the development cycle than was previously possible. It also facilitates us working closer as a team much earlier in the development process or when addressing customer support issues.

So far, we have seen increases in productivity and quality in all areas of the development process allowing us to release higher quality products in shorter timeframes.