CASE STUDY - SureView Systems
SureView Systems’ migration from Microsoft Team Foundation Server to Microsoft Azure DevOps was far from straightforward. Standard methods couldn’t achieve the desired end-state, so DevOpsGroup engineers extended the functionality of open source tooling to overcome technical issues. We helped the business achieve a seamless transition and enabled software delivery acceleration with Continuous Integration / Continuous Delivery principles to facilitate SureView’s movement towards SaaS.
DevOpsGroup was appointed to migrate SureView’s flagship Immix product from TFS to Azure DevOps. The objective was to facilitate better ways of working on the more modern, Azure DevOps platform thereby accelerating software delivery and helping the business move towards a SaaS model.
Following an inception day led by one of our consultants, it was clear that a customised migration would be required, due to the scale of the application’s source code and the nature of SureView’s existing cloud-based estate. Our engineers devised a customised approach using open source tools to ensure the migration could be orchestrated seamlessly, while quickly unlocking the benefits of the new environment. Ahead of the full migration, we held a dry-run to test and validate the process. This took around two weeks. Investing time and effort upfront ensured the actual migration ran smoothly and efficiently, completing in seven hours.
Immix is our core product and it was vital that its migration to Azure DevOps was handled with care and expertise. DevOpsGroup delivered on both counts. The high calibre of consultants and engineers ensured this complex task was completed on time, with potential issues resolved during the dry-run.
Migrating from TFS to Azure DevOps is a complex process. For SureView, this was compounded by the fact that it had another application already running on Azure DevOps. Using the standard Microsoft database migration tools would have resulted in two separate ‘organisations’ which would hinder the Continuous Integration / Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) principles SureView wanted to adopt.
Additional complications included the sheer number of Git repositories that had to be created. It would have been too time-consuming to validate each of these manually ahead of the migration, so DevOpsGroup had to develop a reliable alternative.
At the outset, we worked closely with SureView’s in-house team to examine the source control of Immix, as well as work item templates and customisations. This gave us the insights we needed to devise a frictionless migration, ensuring the right code was moved in the correct format, and any necessary customisations were applied in the new Azure DevOps environment.
Our core task was to transition the source code from TFVC in TFS 2013 to Git-hosted in Azure DevOps. In total, 668 Git repositories had to be created and uploaded to the new platform.
Since Microsoft’s supported database migration tools were not a viable option on this occasion, we used the open source Git-TFS to convert the source code. Then Azure DevOps Migration Tools were deployed to push the code into SureView’s existing Azure DevOps organisation.
To handle the 668 Git repositories quickly without compromising validation, we developed a PowerShell wrapper for Git-TFS. This performed a series of checks against the existing TFVC repository ahead of the migration. Then it validated each Git repository post-migration to ensure the code’s version history had been preserved. Automating this process enabled us to quickly identify any issues with the migrated repositories, so we could focus on fixing them.
We also migrated around 5,000 work items and removed unnecessary customisations. This involved mapping custom work item types and states into standard types and states. It enabled SureView to make a fresh start and use the new work item model in Azure DevOps to apply any future customisations.
The dry-run took two weeks and the full migration was completed in seven hours. DevOpsGroup has performed migrations of this nature many times, so consultants and engineers understand the issues they are likely to encounter and how to resolve them.
A smooth transition meant SureView’s delivery teams got back up-to-speed quickly after the migration. DevOpsGroup is a Gold Microsoft Partner; we provide upfront planning and post-migration support as part of our reliable migration service.
Migration is a one-off process, so handling it in-house introduces risk without any lasting benefits. With DevOpsGroup managing the entire process, interruption of SureView’s delivery and operations was kept to a minimum.
A key driver for the migration was the need to keep pace with the latest development and deployment tools as we migrated towards a continuous delivery, continuous integration DevOps model. DevOpsGroup ensured the migration was handled in the optimum way to help us achieve this goal.
The Immix code base enjoyed a successful and frictionless transition to SureView’s existing Azure DevOps organisation, despite the scale and complexity of the process. The IT team now has an enhanced ability to embed CI/CD principles and develop more adaptive working practices as it moves towards an SaaS offering. This, in turn, facilitates competitive differentiation and customer satisfaction, driving commercial advantage.