Advantages of TFS 2017 Release Management over Octopus's Avatar

18 Dec, 2017 05:30 AM

Can you please elaborate on what advantages Octopus has over the release management features of TFS 2017/VSTS? I had mailed to your support id, but have not got any response except for the automated ones.

  1. 1 Posted by on 22 Dec, 2017 10:52 AM's Avatar


  2. Support Staff 2 Posted by Rob Pearson on 02 Jan, 2018 07:19 AM

    Rob Pearson's Avatar

    Hi Prakash,

    Just a quick note to let you know I replied to your email message.

    Hope this helps!



  3. 3 Posted by Lenin Grad on 02 Jan, 2018 02:06 PM

    Lenin Grad's Avatar

    Hi Team,

    Can you please elaborate on the advantages of Octopus Deploy over VSTS Release Management.

    Lenin Grad

  4. Support Staff 4 Posted by Rob Pearson on 03 Jan, 2018 02:19 AM

    Rob Pearson's Avatar

    Hi Lenin,

    Thanks for following-up. My reply was as follows.

    VSTS is a great all-in-one solution and includes build and deployment features whereas Octopus is solely focused on deploying your web apps/services in a fast, repeatable, and reliable manner. Octopus also integrates with build tools like VSTS so it's easy to take advantage of the strengths of each tool.

    I can’t comment deeply on VSTS feature set but I can point out the unique/differentiating features of Octopus:

    • Octopus is very approachable and easy to use. It doesn't require consultants to install and configure. It's has a very low learning curve.
    • Octopus is very easy to understand by design. Create projects, define your deployment process, create and deploy releases. Our dashboards make it easy to see what projects are deployed to which environments.
    • Octopus has a huge library of built-in steps and community contributed steps so it's easy to create projects and define your deployment process without custom scripting.
    • Rich variable management enabling you to update your configuration settings (i.e. database connection strings and third party service usernames/passwords) as you deploy your apps through environments.
    • Octopus has first class support for .NET, Java and more!
    • Octopus supports deploying to Windows, Linux and macOS servers as well as cloud infrastructure like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft's azure platform
    • Elastic environment features enable you to automatically deploy the latest release of applications as machines are scaled up/down
    • Octopus supports multi-tenant deployments which enables you to safely and securely fully automate the deployment of applications for each of your end customers
    • Support for project lifecycles enabling you to easily deploy to different environments based on feature/hotfix branches
    • Octopus securely stores all application secrets and only the Octopus server can retrieve and use them. Also, we active work to prevent secrets from being written to log files.
    • Certificate management features enable you to deploy and manage your certificates easily
    • Octopus works across complicated network topologies (i.e. proxies etc)
    • Support for offline deployments for companies with very secure/locked down infrastructure
    • Guided failure mode (if a step fails, pause to allow the user to decide what to do - great for production deployments to many machines)

    Last but not least, we have fast and friendly customer support. We're here to help as you get up and running and keep using the product.

    That said, I'd also recommend clicking through our home page on to see our top features.

    Hope this helps.


  5. 5 Posted by Lenin Grad on 03 Jan, 2018 04:06 AM

    Lenin Grad's Avatar

    Hi Rob,

    Thanks for your response.

    Lenin Grad

  6. 6 Posted by on 04 Jan, 2018 05:25 AM's Avatar

    Thanks for that Rob, but the comparison of features would also be useful. VSTS/TFS have changed their approach towards release management and have incorporated many of the same functionalities as in Octopus. I am keen on using Octopus, but to justify it, I need some points of comparison on in what way Octopus is better than VSTS/TFS release management. I am sure it would be useful for everyone.

  7. 7 Posted by on 04 Jan, 2018 06:50 AM's Avatar

    [deleted as duplicate]

  8. 8 Posted by Luke, Kirsty on 04 Jan, 2018 10:26 AM

    Luke, Kirsty's Avatar

    Not an Octopus employee, but we do use both TFS Release Management and Octopus here.

    In my experience, RM is best used for Automated Continuous Delivery of a product where you want to perform the same deployment process every time.

    Octopus is much better at handling deployments that can be ran in any order (for example, different Tenants being deployed to at different cadences), and to me seems to be better when your organisation performs manually scheduled releases. It has also had much better support for multiple machine deployment, although TFS 2018 has now added Deployment Groups that cover this scenario.

    Other distinctions would be:

    - If you use TFS as your source control, build server, artifact storage and release management tool, you can create retention policies that link all of these together (no more issues with losing Build history or artifacts for releases that have been deployed to production)

    - RM has Release Gates, which are programmatic triggers you can use to automatically promote releases between stages. The possibilities here are very exciting. For example, MS recently showed an example that uses Twitter sentiment analysis to decide whether a release can go live (deploy to beta users, wait a day to see how positive the feedback to your Twitter account is, promote to live if sentiment is above threshold).

    - RM custom tasks can be written in NodeJS by your developers and (mostly) run cross-platform. They are also shared with TFS Build, so you have flexibility over when to do things. Octopus tasks are PowerShell/C#/Bash/F#.

    - RM has more support for cross-platform mobile deployments (e.g. Apple App Store and Google Play Store deployments)

    - Octopus has much better SSL Certificate management and the ability to automatically install certificates when deploying Web Sites

    - Octopus has better variable management and substitution

    - Octopus has better environment management as they are defined system-wide rather than per-release.

    - Octopus has better security management as permissions can be easily applied to system-wide assets like Environments, Tenants, Machines, Projects and Variable Sets.

  9. 9 Posted by on 05 Jan, 2018 05:33 AM's Avatar

    Thank you Kristy. From your comments it looks like TFS is quickly advancing at a rapid pace to eliminate the need for Octopus Deploy or any other separate release management tool. I wonder what Octopus has to say for this.

  10. 10 Posted by Luke, Kirsty on 08 Jan, 2018 10:40 AM

    Luke, Kirsty's Avatar

    I'm not sure I'd go so far as to say that RM will catch up with Octopus any time soon.

    It more boils down to one question: "do you have a single production environment for your application (preferably in Azure)?"

    If the answer is yes, then RM will work well for you.

    If the answer is no, Octopus is far more powerful and easier to work with.

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