Choosing Between Visual Studio Team Services or Visual Studio App Center

One of my peers asks me what is different between Visual Studio Team Services and Visual Studio App Center. It seems similar. This article will describe the similarity and the difference between both services.

Product Definitions

Both products are dedicated for different purpose Therefore, it plays a different role in your job. Let's make an analogy by considering car manufacturer. Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS) is a manufacturer to build your software. VSTS helps you to develop your app nicely. After your app is ready, you might need several steps to make your app ready for the market such as testing, distribution, analytics, even crash reporting. Although some of the scenarios can be supported by the VSTS, some of them are not sufficient especially when your application is a modern application that builds for marketplace ecosystem that really needs to be mature before it released. Visual Studio App Center (VSAP) comes handy for this case. VSAP is just like a modern dealership that gives an opportunity for the test-drive, services, and upgrading, in the past, Microsoft name it as HockeyApp. After the acquisition with the Xamarin, the VASP name is come out.


  • It runs on the clouds
  • It still need Visual Studio IDE/Visual Studio Codes
  • It has built-in build engine
  • It supports automated testing
  • It supports distribution to the cloud environment


Please take a look at the table for the positioning between solution

Key Attributes



Main purposes

Managing your software (any app) development lifecycle

Managing your application (mobile app) development lifecycle

Main Focuses

Focuses on developing and deploying

Focuses on deploying and monitoring


Any platform



Software method implementation such as Agile, CMMI, Scrum

Mobile testing environment by using automated UI testing

Main features

  • Versioning
  • Agile / CMMI Tools
  • DevOps
  • Testing Tools
  • Build Tools
  • Build Tools
  • Testing
  • Distribution of Beta Tester and App Store
  • Analytics and Crash Reporting
  • Push Notification


A Big Picture

Here they are the big picture of VSTS and VSAP.

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