Thursday, December 28, 2006

Load Tests Results Dilema

Been trying to read the load test results captured on a client’s machines at the client’s hosting environment on our development environment to capture what are the problems we have in the application.

It took hours to figure out why the test results keep giving unable to connect to load test repository.

The only solution found is the following:
  1. Create a local Load Test on your machine and export it for reference.
  2. Open your Exported Load Test trx file and search for the key m_resultsRepositoryConnectString, this key holds the Load Test Repository connection string encrypted. This key is found under Tests/LoadTestResult node.
    <m_resultsRepositoryConnectString type="System.String">
  3. Copy the encrypted connection string, and open your original exported load test trx files and replace the original connection string with the new one.

Voila!! You are now able to view your test results

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Monitoring and Analyzing a Load Test Result

A great MSDN article related to Monitoring and Analyzing a Load Test Result that is very helpful.
Microsoft Visual Studio Team Test Edition provides tools for running,
monitoring, and analyzing load tests. The load test result viewer is capable of
monitoring a running test or analyzing a completed test. This document describes
the features of the load test result viewer

Friday, December 15, 2006

Visual Studio 2005 Service Pack 1 (SP1) Released

After a long wait, VS2005 SP1 is now available on MSDN, the following are the available options

SP 1 provides over 70 improvements for common development scenarios including:

  • New processor support (e.g., Core Duo) for code generation and profiling
  • Performance and scale improvements in Team Foundation Server
  • Team Foundation Server integration with Excel 2007 and Project 2007
  • Tool support for occasionally connected devices and SQL Server Compact Edition
  • Additional support for project file based Web applications
  • Windows Embedded 6.0 platform and tools support

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


Charles Sterling blogged a nice set of TFS Q&As on his blog ...

Check out his 17 Q&A post
I received some questions from a local and very sophisticated development
shop asking about Team Foundation Sever and figured if these guys were asking
these questions almost certainly other people would be was well.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

VSTS for Database Professionals Videos

A list of videos found on MSDN introducing VSTS for Database Professionals and how to use it.

TFS Team Interviews

Brian Keller, Technical Evangelist for Team System, is preparing to conduct some more video interviews for Channel 9. He is traveling to North Carolina to interview members of the Team Foundation Server team later this month, including Brian Harry.

For any questions you'd like to him to ask, contact Brian Keller by December 13th.

Submit Your Questions for the Upcoming Channel 9 Interviews of the Team Foundation Server Team.

VSTS Virtual Lab: Change Management with TFS

A new virtual lab in the Team System section of MSDN Virtual Labs is now available that covers Change Management with Team Foundation Server.
In this lab:
VSTFS enables developers to handle change at an individual
level by letting them isolate themselves from outside changes
VSTFS enables
a team to leverage best practices with process frameworks templates and
automated guidance and provides you with ready-to-use industry recognized best
practices like MSF and SCRUM
VSTFS offers an integrated work environment
designed for change management in teams with a variety of roles
VSTFS source
control system integrates information and artifacts in a safe and secure
centralized location
Team Foundation Work Item Tracking system enables to
maintain efficiency by ensuring that developers are focused on the most critical
work items
The integration of Team Foundation System enables you to take the
overhead out of traceability and collaboration
Team Foundation Build
improves quality everyday by regularly integrating your team’s work together
Team Foundation Build reporting capabilities enables you to identify issues
including bottlenecks early on by taking a team-wide view of your progress

Saturday, December 02, 2006

VSTS for Database Professionals RTM Released

Finally, VSTS for Database Professionals is officially RTM ... with build x251

The product will show-up on the MSDN download site around December 7 or 8th

Great achievement !!

Friday, December 01, 2006

TFS Roadmap

Brian Harry posted the roadmap his team is following as they work on future releases of TFS (bharry's WebLog : Team Foundation Server Roadmap).
I've been hinting at this coming for while now. I think I promised it
would come out in Dec and here it is on the last day of Nov :). I hope
this is helpful to you in knowing where we are headed and also in giving us
feedback on where we are missing the boat. Please share with us any
feedback you have. We are working on getting specs for more of this stuff
published on the VS specs site
here. My goal is for us to publish one spec every week or two. We've
got two up there now and we working on more. I'm expecting that most of
the Orcas functionality will start showing up in CTPs in the Feb

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

TFS Permission Manager 1.0

Leon, a VSTS MVP developed a TFS Permission Manager that can provide the following features
  • Add or remove TFS group membership, Reporting Services role membership and SharePoint role membership.
  • Set Server and Project-level permissions.
  • Set AreaPath and Source Control permissions.
  • Create new TFS users with permissions identical to those of specified existing user.
  • Save user permissions as template and use it later to create new or update existing users.

TFS Permission Manager can be downloaded from here

Saturday, November 25, 2006

TFS Reliability & Disaster Recovery

bharry posed a great article on his blog talking about TFS reliability and disaster recovery breaking it down to the application and data tiers.
We continue to evolve and improve upon the TFS reliability and disaster
recovery story. Fundamentally reliability and disaster recovery are about
preserving service (or minimizing outage) and eliminating data loss in the face
of failure in components of your system. When we look at TFS component
failure, we primarily focus on the application tier (or web tier), the data tier
and the disk subsystem.

TeamWord, a New TFS Add-In

TeamWord, a new TFS add-in created to allow Work Item tracking integration to Microsoft Word 2003.

Check it out here, and you can download it here.

TeamWord is add-in created with .NET 2.0 for Microsoft Word 2003
to enable users (analytics, programmers, project managers etc.) that
use Microsoft Team Foundation Server for work item tracking to use Word as the
front-end for editing work items. TeamWord allows user to insert work item
directly in an existing document, thus allowing tracking work item status from
the place of their origin.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Professional Team Foundation Server, Now Available

Wrox just released Professional Team Foundation Server book by Jean-Luc David (former Team System MVP and now at Microsoft Canada), Mickey Gousset (Team System MVP), and Erik Gunvaldson (Microsoft). Great book ... get a copy ...
As the most important component of Microsoft's Visual Studio® 2005 Team
System, Team Foundation Server is the central integration point that provides a
collaborative environment for every member of a team, regardless of role. Since
Team Foundation Server is so tightly interwoven with the rest of Team System,
the authors have decided to present you with an invaluable resource that covers
both, so that you may learn to set up and administer Team Foundation Server in
order to effectively use the whole Team System toolset effectively.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Boost TFS Performance under a VM

According to Andrew Dugdell, one of the VM Gurus, in order to boost your TFS performance under a VM you have to read the following 7 (non-desctructive and quite simple) tips.
  1. Move your VM to a second physical disk to your host OS – maybe even a USB drive if you are on a workstation or Laptop
  2. Defragment the filesystem inside your VM
  3. Defrag the pagefile inside your VM – Sysinternals PageDefrag works a treat
  4. Defrag the drive on your host that holds the VHD
  5. Defrag the pagefile on your host as well – again pagedefrag from sysinternals
  6. Install [updated] VM Additions inside your VM – latest version is 13.552
  7. Configure your anti-virus scanning to exclude VHD files on the host

For the super deluxe list of Virtual Server tweaks you can check his post.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Work Item Moving Tool

Eric Lee a former MSFT has updated his Work Item Moveing Tool (Code named Hemi) to work with the RTM version of TFS.

It can be downloaded here, this will also be needed for Hemi to work.

For details check Eric's post
Hey guys, I've finally had a chance to update my work item moving tool to
work with the RTM release of Team Foundation Server. Along the way, I made some
modifications and changes that I've wanted to do for a while. I haven't thought
of a better name than 'work item mover' so for now I've code-named it if you
will 'Hemi'.

Monday, November 20, 2006

TFS Capacity Planning

bharry posted a blog talking about TFS Capacity Planning that everyone shout take a look at
We've tried to be very conservative - generally rounding down the actual
results we achieved by 10-20%. Of course every team varies and if you have a
team of people who run queries every 30 seconds all day, you'll need more server
than we're recommending here. These numbers were based on the load we've
experienced using TFS internally for the past year or so. Again, you can read
more detail in previous blog posts but this turns out to be about 0.1 peak
requests per second per user.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

IE7 Browser Template for VSTS Web Tests

Sean Lumley posted about creating an Internet Explorer 7.0 browser template for use in Team System Web tests.
This post walks you through the process of adding a new IE7 browser
template that can be used by your web tests when running them stand alone or
inside of a load test.

Distributed System Designer Walkthroughs

You can use these walkthroughs found on MSDN to gain an understanding of how to use the Distributed System Designers in Visual Studio 2005

VSTS Design for Operations Integration Kit

The Visual Studio 2005 Team System Design for Operations Integration Kit furthers Microsoft’s Dynamic Systems Initiative (DSI) by integrating and automating the communication and management of unhandled (non-instrumented) application errors and performance bottlenecks between operations and development for any custom .NET application. With this Integration Kit, application faults and performance bottlenecks automatically generate work items/trouble tickets in Visual Studio 2005 Team System. The result: both operations and application support/development teams have clear insight into the behavior and health of .NET applications in production, better equipping both to quickly identify, isolate, and resolve application issues, and save unnecessary costs.

It can be downloaded from Microsoft Download Site.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

VSTS for Database Professionals RTM Sneak Peak

Matt Nunn, VSTS for Database Professionals Product Manager, provides a sneak peek into what to expect in the RTM for Database Professional Edition on TechEd
Get ready.... Visual Studio 2005 Team Edition for Database Professionals
will release to manufacture (RTM) at the end of November! Matt Nunn provides a
sneak peek into what we can expect to see.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Scripting Adding User Accounts to TFS

Scripting Adding User Accounts to TFS can be done as scripting any other Windows Group scripting process following the process documented on Technet

You can check TFS Security articles on MSDN TFSAdminUtil and Code Project TFSSecurity

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

TFS Useful Links

While looking for some useful stuff for VSTS, I came across the following great ones ...
Thanks to a bunch of blogs and newsgroups for them ...

MSF Process Guidance, DB Included

MS Released a new version of MSF Processes that supports VSTS for Database Professionals users for both MSF for Agile and MSF for CMMI

Process guidance for database professionals included in the Microsoft
Solutions Framework. This process guidance is the first of its kind in the
industry and demonstrates Microsoft’s commitment to making the database
professional a full-fledged participant in the application life cycle.

VSTS for Database Professionals RTM SOON!

VSTS for Database Professionals RTM on November 30th, 2006

On November 14th 2006 Microsoft announced the official Release to
Manufacture (RTM) date for Visual Studio Team Edition for Database
Professionals. Visual Studio Team edition for Database Professionals is a
market-shifting database development product designed to manage database change,
improve software quality through database testing and bring the benefits of
Visual Studio Team System and application life-cycle development to the database

Sunday, November 12, 2006

VSTS for Database Professionals Launch in NY & Boston

Susan Wisowaty posted in her blog about VSTS for Database Professionals Launch in NY & Boston in December 12th.

VS DB Pro delivers a market-shifting database development product designed
to manage database change, improve software quality through database
and bring the benefits of Visual Studio Team System and life cycle
to the database professional.

VSTS for DB Professionals CTP7 Changes

Below is the change CTP7 team have done in the extensions file for both Custom Test Conditions and Generators in CTP7.

They perform xsd validation now over the xml file and thus require the extensions xml to appropriately map to the required xsd. This thus requires all extension files to be updated to incorporate this. Below is an example

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="us-ascii"?>

<extensions assembly="Generators, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=<Public Key>" version="1" xmlns="urn:Microsoft.VisualStudio.TeamSystem.Data.Extensions" xmlns:xsi="" xsi:schemaLocation="urn:Microsoft.VisualStudio.TeamSystem.Data.Extensions


<extension type="Generators.PersonGenerator" enabled="true" />


Thursday, November 09, 2006

TFS - WSS 3.0 Integration Fails!!

Upgrading WSS 2.0 to 3.0 on your TFS Application Tier is not supported in version 1 of TFS.

Doing so will result in the following:
  • The Team Explorer's 'Documents' node will have a red X on it and will not expand.
  • Team Project Creation Wizard will fail with the standard templates, only templates with all WSS functionality removed will work.
  • You will not be able to browse to the site by right-clicking on the project and selecting 'Open Project Portal'.

This means that the WSS integration to TFS will fail on all client machines.

And this is not resolved in Service Pack 1 as well, I think we'll have to wait for future releases of TFS

TFS VC Check-In Policies

A Check-In Policies pack will be available soon containing the following:
  • Check-in policy granularity
    It will be based on the one available in Code Gallery, the changes will be mainly packaging it, changing some of the UI and taking out some of the complexity.
  • Work-Item Associations
    It will be based on specified queries to check the associated work items by the developers are part of the queries or else it will be blocked, that will help making sure all check-ins are associated with real work.
  • Banned files
    This policy allows you to specify a file extension or a regular expression in order to keep files that you don’t want out of version control. This is usually used for dll’s, build artifacts, or some website files that are automatically generated.
  • Check-in Comments
    This policy gets shipped as part of the SDK. It looks at the check-in comments and makes sure it is not blank.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

TFS Installation Common Errors

TFS can be a difficult program to install, so it's most adviced to follow the Install Guide as close as possible.

Still, a lot of people face problems while doing so. Below is a list of common errors that may appear and their most common resolutions.

Error 26403 (Failed to get group 'WinNT://Localhost/STS_WPG' or failed to add user: TFSSERVICE to group STS_WPG)
There can be several causes for this error. Check the following:
  • Under Administrative Tools in the Control Panel, open Computer Management and check Groups. Make sure the STS_WG group exists. If not, this will need to be created and needs to include the TFSSetup, TFSService and TFSReports users, or whichever users you are using for setup.
  • Make sure that you do not have the SQL Server Desktop Engine (MSDE) or Windows Sharepoint Services for MSDE installed. Check Add/Remove Programs in the Control Panel. If it exists, remove it. Remove Windows Sharepoint Services 2.0 from the machine. Make sure you are installing Windows Sharepoint Services with SP2 that can be downloaded from the Microsoft web site. When doing the installation WSS 2.0, make sure you choose a server farm installation when it asks for the installation type.

Error 28804 (Setup cannot connect to the SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services report server)
This problem can happen if the machine you are installing to has multiple IP addresses, and the address that hosts the report server is not the same as the one to which DNS resolves the machine name. TFS setup will attempt to connect to the Report Server through the IP Address but if the address resolves to a secondary web site and not the report server, the request will fail with HTTP Status 404: Not Found.

To resolve this problem, chang the IP address of the report server in IIS Manager (START, RUN, INETMGR) to match the machine name IP Address and retry the installation.

Error 28805 (Setup cannot finish the request to the SQL Server 2005 Reporting Service report server. Verify that the report server is installed and running and that you have sufficient privileges to access it)
Check the following to resolve this problem:

  • In the SQL Reporting Services Configuration Tool, click on the Database Setup tab and make sure you are using Windows Credentials.
  • Delete encryption keys in reporting service configuration if they exist.

Error 28936 (the Team Foundation Server ServerStatus Web service failed with 404 HTTP NotFound status)
This error typically happens because you logged onto the machine with a domain account and then tried to install TFS with two local accounts. When doing TFS Setup you need to log into the machine on the local account that will be doing the install such as the local TFSSetup account (the account you will use for TFS Setup) or the admin account.

If the above fails, again check that Windows Sharepoint Services for MSDE is not installed.

Error 28925 (Calling the Team Foundation Server ServerStatus Web service failed)
This error has to do with DNS and connectivity. It is typically caused by the server name not resolving via DNS correctly. You can add the server name to the DNS server so that it resolves correctly. It can also be caused by the DNS server IPAddress not matching the other machines on the network. To check, go to START, RUN and type CMD. In the command prompt window type IPCONFIG /ALL and hit Enter. Then check the IP Address of the DNS server. Match this against the DNS Server of another machine on the network.

You can also check IIS to make sure nothing else is using port 8080. If you have something like Apache using port 8080, you will need to have it use a different port.

Error 20082 (Error Unknown)
There are a couple of known causes for this error. First and foremost, remember that when installing TFS you need to be logged in as a user that is under the same context as the TFSService and TFSReports accounts. To clarify - if the accounts that you will use for TFSService and TFSReports are domain accounts, then the account you use to setup TFS must also be a domain account and that's the account you need to be logged into. If the accounts you are using for TFSService and TFSReports are local machine accounts, then the account you use to setup TFS must be a local machine account and you must be logged in as that user. In either case, the account you use to setup TFS must have admin rights to the machine.Another possible cause for this error is that SQL Reporting Services is not configured correctly. Open the Reporting Services Configuration tool from Start, Programs (or All Programs), Microsoft SQL Server 2005, Configuration Tools. If you have red X's on Server Status, Report Server Virtual Directory, Report Manager Virtual Directory, Windows Service Identity, Web Service Identity, Database Setup or Initialization, you will need to resolve these before you can install. You can also start up the IIS configuration tool by going to START, RUN and type INETMGR. Expand the local computer. You should see Application Pools. Look under the Default Application Pool. Make sure ReportServer is listed in the Application Pool. Also, right click Report Server, left click properties and go to the Identity tab. Make sure this is set to run under the local system account.

Error 29112 (Report server service not configured properly)
This error can have multiple causes. Check the following:

  • Reporting Services isn't configured properly, like the error says. Open the Reporting Services Configuration tool (Start, Programs, Microsoft SQL Server 2005, Configuration Tools). If you don't have green checks all the way down to and including Initialization (with the exception of Encryption Keys) then this is most likely the problem. Check the following:
    Server Status - If not Running, click the START button in the middle of the page
    Report Server Virtual Directory - Name should read Report Server; Website should read Default Web Site
    Report Manager Virtual Directory - Name should read Reports; Website should read Default Web Site
    Windows Service Identity - Service Name should read Report Server; Service Account should read LocalSystem; Built In Account should be selected with Local System in the drop down boxWeb Service Identity - ASP .NET Service Account should read NT Authority\Network Service;
    Report Server should read ReportServer; Report Manager should read ReportServer
    Database Setup - Server Name should be the name of the machine; Database Name should read ReportServer; Credentials Type should read Service Credentials
    Initialization - The machine name should be listed with the SQL Server, the ID and the Initialized check box checked. If not checked, select the instance and click the Initialize button
  • Make sure that the Default Application Pool in IIS Manager is set to run under the Network Service Account (Start, Run, type INETMGR, click OK. Right click Default App Pool, Properties, Identity tab)

Error 32000
This is one of those all-inclusive errors that looks really intimidating when you see it because the error itself contains a really big freaking number. 32000 comes in many flavors. It's the very end of the error that you want to look at right after the words 'non 0 value: or 'non-zero value'.

  • non zero value: -2130246810 -
    In INETMGR, right click the Default web site and left click on Properties. On the Directory Security tab, click Edit and make sure that Integrated Windows Authentication is being used.
    In INETMGR, right click the Default web site and left click on Properties. Go to the Web Site tab. Make sure the IP Address field under Web Site Identificaiton is set to 'All Unassigned'.
  • non zero value:-2130242250 or -1 -
    There isn't much info on this error, just that it is normally caused by a bum installation of Windows Sharepoint Services 2.0. Try removing it from ARP (Add/Remove Programs) and reinstall.
  • non zero value: -4 or -5
    This one is typically a problem with SQL Reporting Services. Check the Reporting Services Configuration tool to make sure that you have green check marks for all items.
    Open Internet Explorer and in the Address Bar, type http://machinename/reports to bring up the Reporting Services reports. If you bring up a 'Page cannot be displayed' or 401 or 404 error then Reporting Services is not correctly configured.

TFS Integration

TFS can be integrated with other products than Visual Studio 2005 by installing the Visual Studio Team Foundation Server MSSCCI Provider

The Provider will give TFS Source Control access to the following products:
  • Visual Studio .NET 2003
  • Visual C++ 6 SP6
  • Visual Visual Basic 6 SP6
  • Visual FoxPro 9 SP1
  • Microsoft Access 2003 SP2
  • SQL Server Management Studio
  • Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect 6.0
  • Sybase PowerBuilder 10.5

Team Explorer will still be needed to be installed on client’s desktop.

Team Foundation Sidekick V1.1

Attrice has released a new version of their Team Foundation Sidekick, a TFS plugin including features as follows:

  • The ability to edit build definitions more easily inside Team Explorer
  • An option to have the history window track the selection in the Source Control Explorer
  • A feature to search for files in the Source Control tree by doing a filename wildcard search

Team Foundation Sidekick is available to download from here.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Add Test to Multiple Test Lists

If you would like to place a Test in multiple Test Lists, you can just press the CTRL button while dragging it to make a copy of it instead of a move action.

The pre-RTM builds had the drag and drop feature working normally but that was just changed in the later realease.

At least it still can work ...

Guidance Automation Toolkit and Domain-Specific Language Tools for Visual Studio 2005: Integration Scenarios

Mauro Regio and Víctor García Aprea wrote a great article about Guidance Automation Toolkit and Domain-Specific Language Tools for Visual Studio 2005: Integration Scenarios on MSDN.

The Microsoft Guidance Automation Package (GAT) and Domain-Specific Language Tools for Visual Studio 2005 (DSL) are two key technologies in Microsoft's software-factory strategy that allow architects and developers to author and package guidance and domain-specific languages.

GAT and DSL offer considerable value when used separately. However, when used together, they complement each other and, more importantly, can make up for certain limitations that each technology might have in its current state.

This paper presents a few GAT/DSL integration scenarios and discusses the benefits of adopting them, how to combine the two technologies, and whether you need to develop significant code development to do that.

TS Level 200 Training

A self learning VPC-based training course on Team System basics is now available for download from Microsoft Downloads (Visual Studio 2005 Team System Basics Training (200-Level)).

It contains the following modules:
  1. Overview
  2. Team Foundation Administration
  3. Architect
  4. Developer
  5. Tester
  6. Project Manager
  7. Team Explorer

The VPC is really large (over 5 GB extracted to 15 GB), but it contains a virtual machine image that contains a complete installation of Visual Studio Team System, including Team Suite and Team Foundation Server.

VPC image can be run on Virtual PC 2004 or Virtual Server 2005.

Monday, November 06, 2006

VSTS for Database Professionals Latest News

VSTS for Database Professionals CTP7 was released few days ago and is now available for downloading

A side to the new release, a New TFS Administrator Guide is ready to download as well in CHM format, the file include updates made since August's release.

Also, the English version of the Documentation is now available on MSDN.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

How to Configure TF Build for an Incremental Build

An incremental reuses the results of a previous build maintained by Team Foundation Build to perform an optimized build based on the changes since the last build.

After you create a build type for incremental builds, run the first build. This creates the required workspace and gets all the source files onto the build computer.

Check the full post on MSDN.

VSTS Webcast Series

Learn more about VSTS by attending those Webcast series.

The Sessions are designed to provide concrete understanding of VSTS' tools that support the Software Development Team. 

VSTS Lab @ Dubai

I'll be heading to Dubai on Friday to attend a 5 days VSTS Lab held by Microsoft ... I'm sure I'll come back with lots and lots of stuff to post about ... See you when I'm back ...

VSTS for Database Professionals Final CTP

CTP7, the final CTP version is currently in the final testing phases, think of it as the RC, it'll be out early next week.

Things to know about the upcoming release are:

CTP7 Installation Requirements

In order to get ready for RTM, CTP7 will now require a retail version of  VSTS or the trial version of VSTS (found here). That is how the evaluation process will work once released. If a customer is looking to evaluate VSTS or any role based product in the suite, they are required to download the VSTS trial bits. The product is very close to be released, so they are essentially providing access to CTP7 in evaluation mode.

New Features

There are a few small (but important!) features that have been put into CTP7 (along with continued bug fixing and performance improvements of course). The first one is the ability to control how many warnings / errors you want to see at one time in your error and warnings tool window. If you select Tools->Options... and then select Database Tools->Design-time Validation Database, you'll see this dialog:

Max Errors Option

Fill in whatever number you'd like. The default is 200.

Along the same lines, the ability to suppress warnings via a text box on the Build tab of your database project was put as well. Just type in a comma separated list of warning you do not want to see in your Error List window (don't include the "TSD" prefix in the text box, just the numbers).

Suppress Warnings

Another feature was squeezed in is the ability to assign different properties to individual objects in your project that differ from the default properties specified in the database project properties tab (right click on the database project node and select "Properties"). Specifically, CTP7 allows you to override the project settings that control the ANSI Nulls and Quoted Identifiers settings. See the image below.

Object level property overrides

The great team are committed to preserving compatibility between projects created in CTP6 on up, all the way through RTM. Great Work!!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Configuring TFS to Use a Remote SharePoint Server

Many organizations’ data centers already maintain and manage a central set of Windows SharePoint Site servers, and restrict creation and deployment of new sites to this set of servers. Team Foundation Server requires installation of a SharePoint Server on the Team Foundation Server application tier and that new team sites be created on this SharePoint Server. This represents an issue for these organizations and may even hinder the adoption of Team Foundation Server for some.

This technical note describes the steps that you must follow to configure an installation of Team Foundation Server to use a pre-existing SharePoint Server that is not on the Team Foundation Server application-tier computer.

Be aware that the instructions are neither simple nor short and it will require great courage to go through it ... Good Luck :)

Getting a TFS Product Key to Upgrade from Workgroup or Trial TFS Editions

Charles Sterling got it all very clear and descriptive in his post

I have had a couple of customers ask me "Where do i get a product key for Team Foundation Server" and it was pretty embarrasing that i didn't know and had to refer them to either their account manager or Stuart White/Arabind Coomaraswamy.  Well that is no longer the case as i have directions for upgrading a Workgroup or Trial editions of TFS.

VSTS for Database Professionals Online Chat

Join members of the VSTS for Database Professionals product team this Wednesday to discuss the latest addition to the Team System line up. Experts from all areas of product development will be available to answer your questions.

Join the chat on Wednesday, November 1st, 2006 10:00am - 11:00am Pacific time.

To add this chat to your calendar, click here.

To see your local time of when this chat is, click here.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

VSTS Project Server Connector

The VSTS Project Server Connector is now in a stable state and can be downloaded here

The Connector is also available as a part of the Avanade Software Lifecycle Platform™

Understanding TFS in an Extranet Scenario

James Manning has a comprehensive post (The TFS "extranet" ISAPI filter mechanics) that explains the inner workings of what's happening when configuring TFS in an extranet scenario using the ISAPI filter found in Visual Studio 2005 SP1.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Assign Work Item to a specific user on Failed Build

Steven St Jean posted an interesting article on how you can assign the work item created on faild build to a specific user.


I just came across a post on the MSDN TFS forums that was asking how you go about assigning the workitem created on a failed build to a specific user.  I have also been asked to do this in my organization. 


Team Build will create a new workitem in your Team Project when a build fails.  The "task" is assigned to the account that ran the build.  In my case, that account is a build service account.  One of my Dev Leads asked how we could modify the build process to make the assignment to him whenever one of his builds failed.  I didn't have time to look into it, so I pretty much blew him off.  I recently had some time to look back into this subject.

VSTS for Database Professionals CTP6

VSTS for Database Professionals CTP6 just released including the following changes done since CTP5

  • Full SQL Server 2000 & 2005 object support
  • Extended Properties Support
  • Inline constraint support
  • Pre and Post script deployment population during Import Script
  • Team Build Support
  • Import Schema Wizard ( also integrated with the New Project Wizard )
  • The ability to synchronize your project from a database ( selective import essentially, based on differences. )
  • Refactoring is allowed in files that are in a warning state
  • Overall stability and performance
  • Fixed many customer reported problems
  • Support for 3 and 4 part name resolution when referenced database is present on design instance
  • No longer install SQL Express ( you'll notice the download is a LOT smaller! ). You can pick your own SQL Server 2005 Developer Edition or SQL Server 2005 Enterprise Edition instance on the local box
  • Display detailed Schema Object properties in the property window for selected objects in the Schema View
  • Separation of user target database settings through the user project file

Sunday, October 15, 2006

MSDN Banking Industry Center for Architects

MSDN Banking Industry Center was just released, the new site will provide prescriptive architecture guidance addressing current and emerging challenges the industry faces. Customers, partners, and system integrators will be able to view webcasts, whitepapers, blogs and podcasts that address banking concerns.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Helpful Resources for Architects

An Architectural Perspective on Software + Services
Technological advances can cause disruption in the use of IT which can have a significant impact on organizations. Beginning with a look at this disruption and the opportunity for innovation that it generates, this article examines the melding of SOA and Web 2.0 into a Software + Services model.

Software as a Service - Articles, Opinions, Webcasts, and more
Software as a Service (SaaS) is a model of software delivery in which the software company provides maintenance, daily technical operation, and support for the software provided to their client. Visit this page to find architecture guidance and share your opinions on this new model of software consumption

Readings in Service Orientation; Book Two in the Architecture Journal Series - Available Online
Available online and for download, Readings in Service Orientation presents papers on architecting services authored by a variety of well-known writers in the architectural space. Read this book to form your own opinions about the impact of services orientation on your business and computing environments.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

VSTS for Database Professionals CTP5 - Beta

The latest CTP version of VSTS for Database Professionals was released on the 3rd of October on Microsoft.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

What Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Team Edition for Database Professionals Can Do for You

This article provides an overview of the latest addition to the Microsoft Visual Studio Team System: Visual Studio 2005 Team Edition for Database Professionals.

A Closer Look at TFS Power Toys

Erin Geaney is on Channel 9 demonstrating the TFS Power Toys (A Closer Look at the Team Foundation Server Power Toys)

VSTS Webcast Series

From architecture through development and testing, the integrated tools in Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Team System enable you to be more productive throughout the stages of application development. Learn how through this Series of On-Demand Webcasts

Monday, October 09, 2006

Updated Team Foundation Admin & Install Guides

A new release of TF Administrators and TF Installation Guides are available for download.

  • Team Foundation Administrator's Guide
  • Team Foundation Installation Guide

    When you first open the Administrator's Guide, you may see some bogus content in the topic display area; however, if you select any topic in the table of contents, that topic will display correctly.

    Wednesday, October 04, 2006

    VSTS for Database Professionals CTP Survey

    Cameron Skinner posted a request for all Data Dude CTP users to take a product feedback survey from this link.

    I just finished posting a request for all you "Data Dude" CTP users out there to please click this link and take a product feedback survey. Please take the time ( shouldn't take you more than 15 minutes )! We take your feedback seriously, and very much appreciate your time and energy on this. We want to garner more detailed and structured feedback about the various features and goals we are trying to nail in this first version.

    Tuesday, October 03, 2006

    TFS Power Toys

    TFS Power Toys released.

    The Team Foundation Power Toys are primarily command-line tools, with each Power Toy implemented as a command in a common application (tfpt.exe). To use these commands, start tfpt.exe at the Command Prompt. Some of the Power Toys will display a graphical user interface when called. In addition, you can access the Annotate and Treediff commands from Source Control Explorer in Visual Studio or Team Explorer. Previously, the Team Foundation Power Toys were only available in the Team Foundation Server SDK. This release includes four new Power Toys: Annotate, Bind, Query, TreeDiff, and Workitem.

    Available Power Toys are:

    Unshelve Command

    Use the unshelve command to unshelve and merge the changes in the workspace.

    Rollback Command
    Use the rollback command to roll back changes that have already been committed to Team Foundation Server.

    Online Command
    Use the online command to create pending edits on writable files that do not have pending edits.

    GetCS Command
    Use the GetCS (Get Changeset) command to get the changes in a particular changeset.

    UU Command
    Use the UU (Undo Unchanged) command to undo unchanged files, including adds, edits, and deletes.

    Annotate Command
    Use the annotate command to download all versions of the specified files and show information about when and who changed each line in the file.

    Review Command
    Use the review command to optimize the code review process to avoid checking in or shelving.

    History Command
    Use the history command to display the revision history for one or more files and folders. The /followbranches option returns the history of the file branch’s ancestors.

    Workitem Command
    Use the workitem command to create, update, or view work items.

    Query Command
    Use the query command to run a work item query and display the results. If you do not provide a specific query, all the active work items assigned to you are displayed.

    TreeDiff Command
    Use the treediff command to display a visual representation of the differences between files in two server folders, in a server folder and a local folder, or in two local folders.

    Thursday, September 28, 2006

    VS 2005 and TFS Service Pack 1 Beta

    Visual Studio 2005 and TFS Service Pack 1 Beta is now available on Microsoft Connect, the Service Pack includes bug fixes, performance enhancements, and some new features for Team Foundation. It can be downloaded by registering on Connect.

    What's Fixed in SP1

    The service pack includes the following improvements for Team Foundation:

    Support for Microsoft Office 2007

    With this service pack, Team Foundation now supports working with Microsoft Office 2007 Project and Excel. Team Foundation is supported for use with Microsoft Office Beta 2 Technical Refresh, or later.

    Note: At this time there is no support for Microsoft SharePoint 2007, so don't use Team Foundation Server with Microsoft SharePoint 2007 just yet.

    Support for Web Application Projects

    With this service pack, Team Foundation now supports working with Web Application Projects.

    Performance Improvements and Bug Fixes

    The Team Foundation product team collected and analyzed all of the crashes that were uploaded through Dr. Watson crash analysis system. The top issues that accounted for a significant majority of all crashes that customers experienced or reported are fixed in this service pack.

    This service pack includes 85 Team Foundation issues (including the features listed below). This includes all fixes that were delivered to customers as QFEs through the customer support team.

    The following issue areas are addressed in the service pack:

    • 15 Microsoft Office integration issues to support Excel & Project 2007.
    • 8 reporting issues to improve performance and scalability and provide support for moving the Analysis Services database.
    • 8 administration and operations issues that address several Watson reported bugs and provide basic authentication support.
    • 38 version control issues that are mostly performance improvements based on analysis of internal usage of Team Foundation Server at Microsoft, and support for the new Web application projects and other fixes.
    • 13 work item tracking issues that address the GC handle object model problem, provide custom work item controls, and more.
    Release Notes

    The release notes for this beta release of this service pack are available online:

    New Team Foundation Features

    This service pack also includes some new functionality for Team Foundation, the documentation for which is still under development. Once it is available, I'll be sure to let you know.

    Basic Authentication and Digest Authentication Support

    An ISAPI filter that enables you to deploy Team Foundation Server more easily in environments where Internet users need access to Team Foundation Server without using a VPN connection.

    Custom Controls in Work Item Types

    You can now embed custom controls on your work item forms. You can persist custom control data in work item type fields, or elsewhere.

    Detailed Merge History

    Visual Studio 2005 Team Foundation Server only provides summary data on merge history. This makes it difficult to build any sophisticated change tracking tools that track the flow of changes through branches. This service pack includes a new Web service method and object model API that provides detailed merge history data. The new API is named QueryMergesWithDetails and is available on the SourceControl object.

    Move the Data Warehouse SQL Server Analysis Services Database to a Separate Server

    You can now increase the capacity and performance of your Team Foundation Server database tier by moving the SQL Server Analysis Services database to a separate server. After you move the database, the data tier is composed of two computers: the relational data-tier server, and the analysis services data-tier server.

    Tuesday, September 26, 2006

    Monitoring and Analyzing a Load Test Result

    A great article written by Rick Potts, a Load Test team developer.

    Summary: Microsoft Visual Studio Team Test Edition provides tools for running, monitoring, and analyzing load tests. The load test result viewer is capable of monitoring a running test or analyzing a completed test. This document describes the features of the load test result viewer. (23 printed pages)

    Friday, September 22, 2006

    TFS High Availability according to HP

    HP release a white paper detailing their solution for hight availability deployments for TFS.

    You can check it out here.

    DSL Tools Version 1 Released

    Visual Stuido Team Architect announced the release of DSL Tools Version 1 which is shipped as part of the VS2005 SDK Version 3.

    About DSL Tools V1

    Domain Specific Language (DSL) Tools Version 1 is a set of tools for creating graphical designers hosted in Visual Studio. Using these tools, it is possible to create a fully-functional graphical designer with little or no coding. Then the tools automate the process of packaging the designer in an MSI file for deployment to users’ machines. Also included is a text templating engine, which interprets templates to generate text artifacts from information in models edited using the designers. One application of this is code generation. For more details about DSL Tools and this release visit


    The primary audience for these tools are systems integrators and large enterprises who want to automate aspects of their software development processes by generating code and other implementation artifacts from models expressed in domain specific languages.

    Thursday, September 21, 2006

    Bug 1894: TFS Integrator fails to kick off one or more builds when more than one are triggered

    This is a bug on TFS Integrator that was logged on TFS internal installation. They will get a fix out for this soon as they took the opportunity to use Windows Workflow Foundation (now that it is stable). Bug follows.

    I suspect that Team Build is the problem here in that it doesn’t support queuing on its side of the fence. I uncovered this with the CrmOnTime project. The CrmOnTime project consists of three seperate builds CrmOnTimeCommon, CrmOnTime and CrmOnTimeServices. When CrmOnTimeCommon builds dependencies are replicated to the other two projects. If these projects kick off their builds at the same time they seem to fail if they are using the same build server. If they each kick off on a different build server then there is no problem.

    Unfortunately we still have to implement the fix in our code because we are a Continuous Integration engine our users should rightfully expect not to have to run multiple build servers just to get multiple dependent builds kicking off - we just need to queue the requests. I’m thinking that moving forward we should replace the internal state management with an event driven workflow or something like that.

    Temporary Workarounds:

    Structure the sleep periods such that you allow one build to complete before the other gets kicked off - or use multiple build servers.

    Wednesday, September 20, 2006

    Get Work Items Programmatically from TFS

    Brian blogged about how to get Work Items programmatically from TFS using VS 2005 SDK.

    This is used to run TFS queries programmatically to get a report from different areas of the project easily. Check out Brian's post here

    Tuesday, September 19, 2006

    TFS Integrator ... Get Started

    Mitch Denny blogs about a new utility for providing continuous integration on TFS (Getting Started with TFS Integrator). This utility uses .NET Framework 3.0. See Mitch's post for the details on where to get it, and how to configure it. 

    As you are probably no doubt aware, Team Foundation Server does not ship out of the box with a Continuous Integration capability. A lot of people, including myself consider this a glaring omission - but as a developer I have to appreciate the demands of tight delivery schedules.

    Monday, September 18, 2006

    PowerShell & TFS

    PowerShell, the bits formerly known as Monad. If you're a TFS Admin, you'll be very glad figuring out how much you'll be able to do with it.

    Two significant areas of PowerShell are:

    • Commandlets to perform common administrative/operational tasks: Imagine a commandlet to report the currently active web requests, or the most recent X events of a given category or higher;
    • Automation infrastructure: A commandlet to populate AD with a given set of users. Maybe another to take that set of users and give them a some initial permissions with TFS. Still another to validate those users have been modified as expected after using UI automation to modify them from the security/group membership dialogs in VS.

    The former is more interesting because it might be a good extensibility point for those actions. If you can invoke and process output from PowerShell, you can do any of the queries/reports/actions implemented as a commandlet.

    Registered users can grab the updated RC1 of PowerShell here.

    TFS New Mailing List in Australia

    Grant Holliday announced that he's set up a new mailing list to deal with TFS related issues.

    Hi there,

    As you are aware, Team Foundation Server adoption is taking off in Australia since the release in March ‘06. Like myself, you have probably built up a collection of knowledge and experience around the product.

    Although blogging about your experiences is great, I've found that people (who don't read blogs) are missing out on important information. An example for me was that people hadn't heard about the latest TFS Power Tools update. This particular update included a TreeDiff utility that they could be using - but they didn’t know about it.

    So, I have started a mailing list and website called My vision is to create an online community around TFS in Australia that we can all share and benefit from. This is not a user group (however I do like the idea catching up for a beer and a chat).

    I invite you to subscribe to the OzTFS list and give it a try.

    Signing up is simple, just send an email to with the word "subscribe" in the subject. (or click here

    I'm open to any feedback and I'm willing to take the community in whatever direction it decides.  Some of my ideas are already on the website:

    Looking forward to seeing you on the list,

    Grant Holliday

    Tuesday, September 12, 2006

    Team Foundation Administror's Guide Updated

    Team Foundation Administrator's Guide are updated and available to download as CHM files (August Update).

    Friday, September 08, 2006

    New TFS Power Toys Released

    A lot of hard work was done in the past several months that finally we'll all benefit from it today.

    A list of those power toys is below taken from bharry's Blog

    Official support for the TFS MSSCCI provider!

    The TFS MSSCCI provider allows VS2003, VB6, SQL Server Management Studio and other IDEs to connect to Team Foundation Server and provide an integrated version control experience.  The MSSCCI provider was developed and shipped as an out of band, unsupported component.  Starting today, it is now supported by Microsoft Customer Support Services!  You can use the same resources you have for getting support for TFS or VS to get support for the TFS MSSCCI provider.

    It is still being developed off cycle and will have a atypical release schedule.  We are targeting the next release for later this year.  It also (unless we see substantial customer demand) will remain English only.

    The TFS MSSCCI provider plugs into a great many IDEs but, for now, only a subset of them will be supported by customer support.  Here is the current list:

    • Visual Studio 2003
    • Visual Basic 6.0, SP6
    • Visual FoxPro 9, SP1
    • Visual Studio .NET 2002
    • Microsoft Access 2003, SP2
    • SQL Server Management Studio

    If you don't see the IDE you use here on the list, you can still get help on our forums at

    There is going to be inevitable confusion about support that I'm going to attempt to head off here.  From here forward we are officially supporting the TFS MSSCCI provider.  However, the rest of the Team Foundation Power Toys (for example, see the next section) remain "unsupported".  This means you can get bets effort help in the forums but you can't call customer support and get a formal support incident on them.  What I expect is that the most popular features from the Power Toys will migrate into an official Team Foundation Server release and that's how you will get officially supported versions of them.

    Team Foundation Power Toys (tfpt) are now a separate download

    Previous versions of the Team Foundation Power Toys (tfpt) have been available since the spring as part of the VS SDK.  With this release, we have pulled them out of the SDK and made them a separate download as we've gotten feedback that many people don't want the whole SDK.  The new download is available at:

    4 Great new Power Toy features

    We're trying something new with this Power Toy release.  It's the first time where we have new features that integrate seamlessly into the VS2005 IDE and are virtually indistinguishable from any other TFS feature in the IDE.  I'm eager to see if people are excited about this and if so, we may see more of it in the future.  In addition to the new IDE based features we also continue to enhance the Power Toy command line.  In addition to the existing Power Toy features like Rollback, Online, Review, etc, the new features in this release include:

    tfpt bind (command line only)

    Bind is a new feature of the tfpt.exe command line that will convert from SourceSafe solution bindings to TFS solution bindings.  This can be run after a database is migrated from SourceSafe to TFS to find and "fix-up" all of the version control bindings in projects and solutions.  Type "tfpt bind /?" for more info on how to use it.

    tfpt query and tfpt workitem (command line only)

    These new commands allow workitem queries, viewing and editing to be performed from the command line.  This makes things like scripting of work item operations, bulk work item operations, etc easier than ever.  Type "tfpt query /?" and "tfpt workitem /?" for more info.

    Annotate (IDE & command line)

    Annotate is a version control feature that enables you to quickly and easily determine who last changed a section of code.  It traverses the history of a file and "annotates" each line with the name of the user that last changed it and the change set # of the checkin.

    An initial implementation of Annotate was actually in the tfpt command line tool the last time we shipped.  However, since then, we have made substantial improvements to the engine, improving the performance, enabling incremental rendering and perhaps most importantly integrating it into the IDE!  Here's a screenshot of what Annotate looks like on one of the tfpt files.

    You can access Annotate using "tfpt annotate" or the Source Control Explorer or Solution Explorer right click menus or using the File -> Source Control menu when editing a file under version control.

    TreeDiff (IDE & command line)

    For a while now we've been getting lots of feedback that people really miss the ability to compare two folder structures, highlight the differences and take action to resolve them.  The wait is over...  There is a new "TreeDiff" command that enables exactly this.  You can compare your local working folders to the server, two local folders or two server folders (e.g. branches).  Here's what it looks like:

    You can access TreeDiff either from the tfpt command line using "tfpt treediff" or using the "Compare..." menu option on the context menu on the folder tree in the Source Control Explorer.

    I hope you enjoy using the new features as much as we do...  We're currently targeting the end of this year for the next release of Power Toys.  As that time approaches, I'll try to give you a heads up as to what's coming.  As always, comments welcome and encouraged.

    Wednesday, September 06, 2006

    VSTS for DB Professionals Extensibility

    As all MS new products, VSTS for DB Professionals have extensibility points. Sachin Rekhi gave a presentation at the annual VS Partner Summit on extensibility points in VSTS for DB Professionals.

    The extensibility points are as follow:

    Team Data Extensibility

    • Data Generators \ Distributions. The data generation feature allows you to bind specific data generators to each table column. We ship in the box with a motley of generators. We have simple generators for every SQL data column. We also have some more powerful generators including the Regular Expression Generator and the Data Bound Generator. You have the opportunity to build your own custom generators to improve the meaningfulness of the data generated for your environment. In addition, you can specify a distribution that you want your generated values to adhere to. We ship with a set of distributions, but those are completely customizable as well.
      • Ideas
        • Person Generator. Most databases have person information, like names, addresses, birthdates, etc. You can imagine creating a custom generator to provide these sorts of values easily for these tables.
        • XML Generator. You can imagine creating a custom generator that would take in an xml schema and generate valid xml adhering to that schema.
        • Credit Card Generator. You can create a generator that will generate credit card numbers according to an appropriate format (AMEX, Visa, etc)
        • Logarithmic Distribution. You can create a distribution that adheres to the logarithmic curve.
    • Test Conditions. The database unit testing feature allows you verify tests using either SQL assertions or easily configurable UI client-side test conditions. We ship a set of test conditions in the box, including row count, scalar value, empty resultset, etc. But these test conditions are completely extensible so you can imagine creating your own to do more powerful test verification.
      • Ideas
        • Data Compare Test Condition. People will want the ability to verify that the resultset data returned is as expected. You can imagine creating a test condition to verify this.
        • Schema Compare Test Condition. In addition to just comparing the data, the schema of the returned resultsets is also important. For example, verifying the right number of columns and of the appropriate data types are returned.
    • Build & Deploy. We have 2 MS Build tasks for build and deploy inside the project system. These are standard MS Build tasks and thus can be extended using MS Build.
      • Ideas
        • Deploy to server farm MS Build Task. People will want to deploy to an entire farm of servers and you can imagine making that process simpler.
        • Data Motion MS Build Task. While we ensure that we never lose data, we do not appropriately migrate data for you automatically. You could add an MS Build task to do this work for you.

    Team System Extensibility

    • Work Items \ Queries \ Reports. Team System allows you to completely customize the work items types and associated fields. You could add, for example, database specific information into these work items. You could then create custom queries and reports that were based off of these fields.
    • Check-in Policies. Team System also allows you to create custom check-in policies that require certain actions to be performed prior to check-in. For example, a testing policy that ships with TFS enforces that a specific set of tests is run prior to checking in your code. You can implement other such db specific policies if you desired.

    Process Guidance Extensibility

    • Process Guidance Templates. Team System ships with a set of process guidance templates, including MSF Agile and MSF for CMMI. Many partners have already creating their own process guidance templates, including Scrum. You can go about creating your own custom process guidance templates. This includes not only prescriptive guidance for roles, workstreams, and activities, but associated work items, reports, queries, check-in policies, etc.

    Tuesday, September 05, 2006

    TFS Administration Tool

    The TFS Administration Tool allows a TFS administrator to quickly add users to all three platforms utilized by TFS: TFS, Sharepoint, and SQL RS, all through one common interface. The tool also allows administrators to change the current permissions on any of the three tiers, identify any errors, and view all of the users and their permission sets across TFS, Sharepoint, and SQL RS.
    This tool was created by the Developer Aftermarket Community Solutions team in Developer Division at Microsoft.

    Check it out

    Wednesday, August 09, 2006

    TechEd 2006 US Team System PowerPoint Slides

    I just came across the PowerPoint slides from the Team System presentations held at TechEd 2006 US in Boston were posted for download from Visual Studio 2005: TechEd 2006.

    Team Edition for Database Professionals:
    DEV217: Introducing Visual Studio 2005 Team Edition for Database Professionals
    DAT312: Managing and Deploying Your SQL Server Schemas with Visual Studio Team
    DAT320: Testing and Refactoring Your Database with Visual Studio Team Edition
    DAT433: Under the Hood of Visual Studio Team Edition for Database Professionals

    Team Foundation Server:
    DEV233: Visual Studio 2005 Team Foundation Server: Using Metrics to Manage and Troubleshoot Your Projects
    DEV237: Visual Studio 2005 Team Foundation Server: Step-by-Step Migration and Adoption Planning
    DEV327: Visual Studio 2005 Team Foundation Server (Part 1): Applying Version Control, Work Item Tracking and Team Build to Your Software Development Project
    DEV429: Visual Studio 2005 Team Foundation Server (Part 2): Developing Custom Process Templates, Work Item Types and Policies

    Team Suite:
    DEV304: Delving into Visual Studio 2005 Team Edition for Software Architects
    DEV307: Delving into Visual Studio 2005 Team Edition for Software Developers
    DEV311: Delving into Visual Studio 2005 Team Edition for Software Testers

    DEV439: Visual Studio 2005 Team System and Microsoft Solution Framework: Implementing an Agile or CMMI Process

    Tuesday, July 25, 2006

    Why do ASP.NET WebService and ASP.NET WebApplication look alike on the Application Designer?

    Bill Gibson had this great response to a inquiry raised by a customer. I thought I'd post it for the greater good of the community.

    When creating an Application Diagram: if you drag an ASP.NET WebService onto the design surface, you get the same shape and defaults as when you drag an ASP.NET WebApplication. (Although this may be TECHNICALLY correct, it is very confusing to have two different items to drag over that have nearly identical graphical images). When implemening, the only selections are based on Web Sites, however the do correctly implement into a Web Service.

    This is not only technically correct, it is by design.

    Regardless of which of the two ASP.NET prototypes the user chooses on implementation the same kind of application is created – an ASP.NET application. For an equivalent situation in VS consider this - if the user creates a web site in VS the user is presented with a choice of templates each of which has a different icon in the new web site dialog.

    However, regardless of their choice a web site project is created which in the Solution Explorer is represented by the same icon – the same icon because the project is of the same type in each case. The difference between the resulting projects is the content that is created by default within each project. Once created the user has free reign over these web sites/projects and can choose to add to or remove any content that was created by default. They can go so far as to render a project created from one template indistinguishable from a project created by another.
    Returning to the AD, and considering the ASP.NETWebApplication and ASP.NETWebService prototypes. These both create ASP.NET applications which participate in hosting and other relationships identically, regardless of the prototype used for creation. The prototypes differ in that one creates an ASP.NET application with a default web service endpoint and uses one template, the other has a default web content endpoint and uses a different default template.

    Once created, a user could add a web content endpoint to the application created from the web service prototype and remove its web service endpoint. This would not change what kind of application it is or what kind of hosting relationships it participates in. It’s still an ASP.NET application, of course. Similarly, when reverse engineering applications from code, we have no idea what prototype might have been used to create the app, if any at all (none would have been used if the web site was created via VS). All we know is that it is an ASP.NET application with certain facets – such as the presence of one or more web service endpoints.

    Furthermore a user can create any number of additional prototypes on the toolbox that can combine and alter the default characteristics of the prototypes that are supplied, and they can even remove the prototypes we supply. For example a user might quite reasonably create a prototype with both web content and web service endpoints and with their own custom template and a different default language. The user can then choose any icon they like for this prototype – they might well wish to use one that reminds them that this is still an ASP.NET application, because that is what it will create. Notice how the web site template icons have a family similarity. The same approach is used with our application prototype icons.
    It is perhaps only a little unfortunate that the prototype name used for one of the prototypes is the same as the application type name, but there was no other obvious candidate. Once users start to use the tool they will develop the correct mental model. It is important that as we demonstrate the tool we correctly describe what the toolbox contains – it contains prototypes, pre-defined configurations of specific application types. As demonstrated, multiple prototypes may exist that create variations of the same application type. Usefully we will ship with an example of this to reinforce what is going on.

    I hope this helps straighten out any confusion over the issue. We are ensuring this is well described in the UE. I think while this may be initially confusing user’s will soon build the correct mental model. Any attempt to mask this will only cause much deeper confusion once the get past their first encounter. This is most certainly not a bug and not something we plan to change.

    Wednesday, July 12, 2006

    Using the Visual Studio Team System Profiler: Summary View

    Included with Visual Studio Team System Developer (and Suite) edition is a powerful new profiler for finding performance issues in your native, managed or ASP.NET applications. The profiler can run in both sampling mode (which looks at program state in some periodic cycle) and instrumentation mode (which looks at every function exit and entry point). The performance sessions that the profiler generates have several different views to help you to diagnose performance issues. This TechNote by Ian Huff, Software Design Engineer, Microsoft Corporation will take a look at the information that you can glean from the summary view of the performance report.

    Sunday, July 09, 2006

    VSTS for Database Professionals CTP4

    This release features a new project system with a separate project and schema view. You should see greatly enhanced performance when you reverse engineer a database. It also has a large number of bug fixes.

    It is now available for download from

    Monday, June 26, 2006

    Saturday, June 17, 2006

    DataDude CTP3 Now available

    DataDude (Visual Studio Team Editon for Database Professionals) CTP3 is now available for downloading from here

    It can be installed on top of Visual Studio Pro or higher.

    Enjoy !!!

    VS Team Edition for Database Professionals: DB Rename Refactoring

    Database Rename Refactoring is a method of performing cascading updates to database schema.

    This allows you to make a change to the name of any object in the database schema (i.e. a Table, Column, Stored Procedure etc) and have that change made everywhere that object is referenced in the database schema, without the need to look for the affected parts of your entire DB schema.

    Saturday, June 10, 2006

    The Sidekicks ...

    Attrice has developed 2 applications for managing TF Version Control Workspaces and MSBuild ...

    MSBuild Sidekick
    MSBuild Sidekick is a GUI application for creating and editing build project files for Microsoft Build engine. The application provides full-fledged graphic user interface as alternative to editing build project files by hand. The full range of MSBuild schema elements is supported.

    TF Server Version Control Sidekicks
    Team Foundation Version Control Sidekicks is a suite of tools for Team Foundation Server administrators allowing automation of administration tasks.

    In addition to currently available Sidekicks they plan to release the tools to deal with shelvesets management and branch history.

    Workspace Sidekick
    Workspace Sidekick is a tool for TFS Administrators and advanced users providing Graphic User Interface for viewing and performing administrative changes on TFS workspaces.

    Status Sidekick
    Status Sidekick is a tool for TFS Administrators and advanced users providing Graphic User Interface for viewing pending changes by different users and in different TFS projects and for performing TFS version control operations (such as Unlock or Undo) on selected changes.