Tuesday, February 27, 2007

TFS Event Subscription Tool

The Team Alerts dialog lets you subscribe to basic email alerts on a Team Project such as:
  • My work items are changed by others.
  • Anything is checked in.
  • A build status changes.
  • A build completes

But the dialog is severely limited; the full richness of the email subscription mechanism in TFS isn't available. To set up advanced subscriptions, you needed to use bissubscribe.exe.

This is problematic, because the command-line syntax is complicated, and also because bissubscribe.exe is only available on the TF Server.

To address this deficiency Naren posted a GUI tool that lets you create Work Item Event Subscriptions in July 2006. The tool was modified later by jatwood so that it supports all event subscriptions, along with a bunch of other enhancements The new Team Foundation Server Event Subscription Tool is up on CodePlex now.

Some examples of subscriptions you might want to create are:

  • Email me when any new work item is created.
  • Email me when any work item moves to the resolved state.
  • Email we when a specific field changes in a work item.
  • Email me when someone checks source code into a specific folder.
  • Email me when someone overrides a checkin policy.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Saturday, February 24, 2007

TFS Power Tools Video

Ed Hintz, development lead on the TFS team, gave a demo of the newly released Team Foundation Server Power Tools v1.2.

Ed demonstrates a new tool for monitoring the status and uptime of TFS as well as a new Process Template Editor for visually customizing work item forms, workflow, and more.

The video is available on Channel 9

Analyzing Application Performance

Performance tools in VSTS for Developers allow developers to measure, evaluate, and target performance-related issues in their code. These tools are fully integrated into the IDE to provide a seamless and approachable user experience. The performance tools support two methods of profiling: sampling and instrumentation.

You can check all the needed info about the Performance Tools on MSDN.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

TFS Power Tool - Feb 2007

The Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Team Foundation Server Power Tool (formerly known as Power Toys) is a set of enhancements, tools and command line utilities that improve the Team Foundation Server user experience.

This release includes two new command-line tools for the developer and three non-command line tools: a set of custom check-in policies, a build test task, and a process template editor. This version (1.2) includes some bug fixes to the Team Foundation Power Tool and adds the following functionality:

  • Workspace Command (tfpt.exe) - Use the workspace command for additional workspace operations not supported in the currently shipping Team Foundation Server command line (tf.exe).
  • Treeclean Command (tfpt.exe) - Use the treeclean command to see and optionally delete files in the current directory and all sub directories that are not under version control.
  • Team System Process Editor - A tool integrated with Visual Studio that provides a convenient method of viewing and customizing process templates. When connected to Team Foundation Server, you can use this tool to customize work item type definitions and global lists on an active project.
  • Check-in Policy Pack - A set of handy check-in policies to address needs customers have expressed.
  • Build Test Tools Task - A tool that allows running unit tests by simply specifying the DLLs, or by specifying a file name pattern in TfsBuild.proj, instead of using .vsmdi files to specify tests to run.

A great addition to TFS. The Process Editor is really a great addition, you can check it's Forums here.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

TFS SP1 Installation Problems

For a while now people are struggling with some TFS SP1 installation issues. The majority of issues come down to a tool called TFSQuiesce.exe, that is responsible to "shutdown" TFS while performing the SP1 upgrade and restart it when it is done. Most issues with it are that for some reason, it does not always shutdown all services and it does not always restart them properly - leaving your server in an inoperable state. The good news is that it is almost always easy to recover from.

Customer Scenarios

The following scenarios describe the vast majority of issues seen around SP1.


Customer Impact

Workarounds/Next Steps


SP1 fails to install on a SQL Cluster

Blocked from installing SP1 or any other DT patches.

None. Look for a patch/work around coming in the next couple of weeks.


SP1 install fails and:

  • TFS databases in single-user mode
  • IIS in state where remote connections are declined

AT won’t start an errors reported in Event Log.

Http 403 forbidden error with browsers

TF2101 message from TE (can't connect)

To get running (without SP1):

  • Databases must be manually placed back in multi-user mode. Use SQL Management Studio; right click on each TFS database; select properties; Select the Options page; At the very bottom there is an item called "restrict access" - set it to "multi_user". There is a KB article in the works and should be published soon.
  • IIS must be manually configured to accept remote connections - See section 6.9 of the SP1 Known issues doc below.

To install SP1:

  • Manually put remaining databases in single-user mode and retry installation. Use SQL Management Studio; right click on each TFS database; select properties; Select the Options page; At the very bottom there is an item called "restrict access" - set it to "single_user". This will not always work if other people are trying to use the database at the same time.


SP1 install succeeds but leaves IIS in state where remote connections are declined

Http 403 forbidden error with browsers

TF2101 message from TE (can't connect)

IIS must be manually configured to accept remote connections - See section 6.9 of the SP1 Known issues doc below.


Users can’t uninstall SP1 Beta after installing Quiescing

The Quiescing logic breaks the Beta from uninstalling but you can’t uninstall Quiescing from Add/Remove programs because it doesn’t appear there if SP1 Beta is installed. (A chicken and egg issue.) The SP1 RTM will not allow you to install if the SP1 Beta is installed.

  • Run a manual uninstall operation from the command-line. See the steps at the bottom of this post...
  • Uninstall TFS SP1 Beta - using Add/Remove Programs.


SP1 fails to install

These error are usually due to changes in configuration after RTM installation that our setup does not handle well. In some cases the customers are left with an unusable server.

Requires a review of the install logs for more details on the specific error and then ultimately identify the configuration change that broke the installer.

Here is a link to an SP1 Known Issues page. Most of these "issues" aren't new problems with SP1 but rather just common issues that people run into with TFS and what you can do about them.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

VSTS TechNotes

A great resource I got across ... VSTS TechNotes
TechNotes are short, focused technical articles that explain a specific
concept or walk through a particular scenario. TechNotes are intended to
supplement the product documentation and technical articles. In addition, we
have brought together some of our very best blog postings in a central

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

VSTS Project Integration Hotfix

When you assign a resource name in a Team Project in VSTS, the resource name may appear as two or more resources when you try to manage the Project in Microsoft Project.
This problem may occur when you use the comma delimiter to separate the last name, the first name, and the middle initial of a resource name in VSTS.

There is a Hotfix available now from Microsoft to fix this issue.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Beta Exam 71-510: TS: Visual Studio 2005 Team Foundation Server

You can now register to take Beta Exam 71-510: TS: Visual Studio 2005 Team Foundation Server, which is the beta for 70-510.

This certification exam counts as credit towards the MCTS: Visual Studio 2005 Team Foundation Server certification.

Registration Begins: February 1, 2007

Beta Exam Period: February 20, 2007 through March 5, 2007

Promotion Code for Registration: TSVS510

Testing is held at Prometric and Pearson VUE testing centers worldwide, although this exam may not be available in all countries. All testing centers will have the capability to offer this exam in its live version.

Beta exams have limited availability and are operated under a first-come-first-served basis. Once all beta slots are filled, no additional seats will be offered.

The exam covers the following topic areas. The percentage indicates the portion of the exam that addresses a particular skill.
  • Installing and configuring Microsoft Team Foundation Server (12%)
  • Administering Team Foundation Server instances and team projects (25%)
  • Administering Team Foundation Server version control (19%)
  • Administering work item types and process templates (19%)
  • Administering a team build (14%)
  • Managing team project reporting and documentation (11%)

For more information, see Preparation Guide for Exam 70-510: TS: Visual Studio 2005 Team Foundation Server.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Generating documentation from code with Team Build

Brian Keller replied to an internal email thread discussing generating documentation from code as part of a build. Check the below links if you would like to do the same.
I just wanted to point out that there are several MSBuild targets available
for Sandcastle which should make
it pretty straightforward to integrate with Team Build. I was actually at one of
my customer’s offices yesterday and they were showing me that they had
integrated Sandcastle with their build process and it looked quite good. I
haven’t tried using these targets yet so I can’t tell you which one is best, but
between the three of them you should find something which works for your