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Migrating TFS Repository with 6 Years of Commit History to Azure Repos

Company X is a software development organization that has been using TFS (Team Foundation Server) for version control and work item management for the past 6 years. As part of their digital transformation strategy, they decide to move their version control system to Azure Repos, the cloud-based repository management service offered by Azure DevOps. The migration is expected to improve collaboration, scalability, and take advantage of modern development features.

Migrating TFS Repository

Step 1: Planning and Preparation

  • The migration team is formed, comprising experienced developers, DevOps engineers, and project managers.

  • The team assesses the TFS setup, repository size, number of branches, and work item dependencies.

  • An Azure DevOps organization is created, and a new project is set up to host the migrated repositories.

Step 2: Selecting the Migration Method

After evaluating different migration options, the team decides to use the "Azure DevOps Migration Tools" due to its versatility and ability to handle both version control and work item migration.

Step 3: Data Backup and Testing

  • A full backup of the TFS databases is taken to ensure data safety throughout the migration process.

  • The migration team sets up a test environment and performs a trial migration to identify potential challenges and optimize the process.

Step 4: Dry Run Migration

  • A dry run migration is conducted on a smaller repository with a limited commit history to verify the effectiveness of the chosen migration method and address any initial issues.

Step 5: Migration Execution

  • The actual migration process begins. The Azure DevOps Migration Tools are used to migrate the TFS repositories to Azure Repos.

  • The migration is scheduled to take place over a weekend to minimize disruption to the development team.

Step 6: Migrating the Commit History

  • The team follows the best practices recommended by the migration tools to ensure the commit history is accurately transferred.

  • Special attention is given to handling branching and merging history to maintain code integrity.

Step 7: Validating the Migration

  • After the migration, the team performs extensive testing and validation of the migrated repositories and work items.

  • They compare the commit history, branches, and pull requests between the TFS and Azure Repos to ensure completeness and accuracy.

Step 8: Addressing Post-Migration Issues

  • A few minor issues are identified during the validation process, including incorrect permissions for some team members and work items with missing attachments.

  • The team promptly addresses these issues and re-runs the migration process to correct any discrepancies.

Step 9: Communicating the Migration

  • The development team is informed about the successful migration to Azure Repos, and they are provided with guidance on using the new repository system.

Step 10: Monitoring and Support

  • The migration team continues to monitor the Azure Repos and provides ongoing support to address any concerns or questions raised by the development team.

  • Regular training sessions are conducted to help team members fully utilize the features of Azure Repos.


The migration of Company X's TFS repositories to Azure Repos with 6 years of commit history was successful. The development team embraced the new repository system, taking advantage of its improved collaboration capabilities and faster build and release pipelines. With Azure Repos, the team gained access to modern development tools and features, leading to increased productivity and code quality. The migration allowed Company X to leverage cloud-based services, reducing the maintenance overhead of an on-premises TFS server and providing a scalable solution for future growth.


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