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Tools to migrate to/from Visual Studio Team Services (Visual Studio Online, TFS Online)

Visual Studio Team Service (known as VSO - Visual Studio Online) is a powerful tool that allows us to share code, track work, create build, deploy them and so on. Everything that you can do using TFS 2015, you can do now from Visual Studio Team Services - AS A SERVICE.
We don't need anymore to install and manage TFS Server of build agents - life is easier.

When you need to do a migration from on-premises to an external provider (in our case cloud), you need to see how you can:

  • Migrate automatically, with minimal or no human intervention
  • Migrate all change sets
  • Migrate the task list
This can be done easily, using "OpsHub Visual Studio Online Migration Utility". This is a simple tool that allows us to migrate all our data from on-premises to cloud without any kind of problems. If you have custom templates, than you might need to do some custom configuration, but otherwise is working pretty smooth. 
Another tool that should be used for situations like this is TFS Integration. Try to use OpsHub because is better and is specially created for situations like this.

Before doing a migration like this, you should investigate and prepare also a roll-back plan. How to migrate from Visual Studio Team Services back to on-premises. Unfortunately, in this moment in time, there is no official tool that allow us to do something like this.
The only tool that I found on the market, that works is TFS Integration. Yes, this 'old' tools still works and it seems that is the only free tool on the market that can be used for this kind of situations. Try to install this tool on Windows 7 or Windows 8.X. On Windows 10 I was not able to install and run with success this tool (with my local configuration).
Once you install this tool, you will find on the internet a lot of resources on how can use configure and use it. 
There are a lot of problems when you will need to do a task like this. The first thing that you'll need to manage is the work-item templates - Agile/Not-Agile. When you will searching on the internet you will find a lot of resources and I'm pretty sure that you will solve them. But, try to reserve enough time for this task - days not hours.
Another problem that you can find is the name of the users. I'm pretty sure that you will discover that users from cloud cannot be found on your on-premises source control. There is an exception from this rule, when your on-premises AD is integrated with Azure and only that users used Visual Studio Team Services. The good thing related to this problem is that is not a blocker. If no user is found, the check-in will be made using the user that you used to access the source control from TFS Integration tool. Don't worry, as comment for each check-in, TFS Integration is smart enough to add the original task ID, the original name of the user that made the check-in and the original date.
If you want to map the original user, you can do this by modifying the Xml of the import (this can be done in the 'Edit Current' view, by selecting XML tab (down right). 
<UserIdentityMappings EnableValidation="false">
  <UserIdentityLookupAddins />
  <DisplayNameMappings DirectionOfMapping="LeftToRight">
  <DisplayNameMapping Left="" Right="domain\radu.vunvulea" MappingRule="SimpleReplacement" />

In conclusion we saw that we have two different tools that allow us migration to/from Visual Studio Team Services. Even if migration from Visual Studio Team Services
is not supported with 'new and state of the art' products, we can do it using TFS Integration.
Good luck!


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