21 December 2007

TFS 2008 Power Tools Released

The Team Foundation Server 2008 Power Tools has been released and is available for download here.  There are several tools/features included in this release - some new, some old:

  • Team Foundation Power Tool command-line tool (TFPT.EXE) - contains some new commands for configuring Team Explorer connection settings (tweakui) and for  destroying Work Items and Work Items Type Definitions (destroyWI, destroyWITD).
  • Process Template Editor - updated for use with Visual Studio Team System 2008 Team Foundation Server. It also has several improvements, including: the ability to launch standalone without a Visual Studio installation, performance improvements, improved discoverability and bug fixes.
  • Custom Check-In Policy Pack - a set of custom check-in polices including:
    • Custom Path Policy - provides a mechanism that lets you specify the source control path or paths upon which a particular policy acts.
    • Forbidden Patterns Policy - allows you to specify a file extension or a regular expression that you can use to keep certain file types from being checked in to source control.
    • Changeset Comments Policy - allows you to verify that the Comments text box in the Check In dialog box is not empty.
    • Work Item Query Policy - allows you to specify a team query to which the work item associated with a check-in must belong.
  • Team Foundation Server Best Practices Analyzer (BPA) - updated for TFS 2008 deployments.
  • Work Item Templates - adds additional menu items to the Team Work Item Templates menu.
  • Find in Source Control (NEW) - an addition to the Team Explorer menu that provides the ability to locate files and folders in source control by the item’s status or with a wildcard expression.
  • Quick Label (NEW) - allows labels to be easily applied to a given selection of files and folders in the Source Control Explorer.
  • Build Notification (NEW) - runs in the Windows task bar notification area monitoring the status of the build definitions you have specified.  It can be configured to show notifications when builds are queued, started, or completed for multiple build definitions spanning multiple Team Foundation Servers.

You can read more about what's included with the TFS 2008 Power Tools release here.

10 December 2007

Build Type Settings Changes

I've fielded a couple of questions lately about where some of the settings for build types in TFS 2008 are stored.  In the new version of TFS (2008) some of the build type settings have been moved from the TFSBuild.proj file to the TFS databases (mostly the TfsBuild database).  So, even though you see the settings within the XML file (TFSBuild.proj) the XML settings have no effect on builds within TFS 2008.  However, if you still have VS 2005 (or other "version 1") clients accessing your TFS 2008 build types, you should keep the XML settings in sync with the TFS 2008 database settings.

The settings that have been moved to the database include:

  • Description - the build type's description.
  • Build Machine - the default build agent.
  • Team Project - the Team Project the build type belongs to.
  • Build Directory - the directory where the files involved in the build are built.
  • Drop Location - the network location where the build files are "dropped".

If you create a new build type, you will see comments within the XML file noting the change in settings location.  For example:

This property is included only for backwards compatibility. The description of a build definition
is now stored in the database. For compatibility with V1 clients, keep this property in sync with
the value in the database.
<Description>This is my build type's description.</Description>

06 December 2007

TFSInfo Updated for TFS 2008

A few months ago I created a simple command line utility called TFSInfo that can be used to display various bits of information about a Team Foundation Server 2005 installation.  I have now updated this utility to work with TFS 2008 as well as TFS 2005.


You can see from the screen shot which information is displayed.  In case you can't see the image, the following information is displayed by TFSInfo:

  • AT server name
  • AT Version
  • AT Edition (e.g. Standard, Workgroup, or Trial)
  • DT server Name
  • DT Server Version (not available for TFS 2008)
  • SQL Server Version
  • Reporting Server URL
  • TFS Installation Date
  • TFS Product ID

You'll notice in the list above that the Data Tier schema version is not available for TFS 2008.  This is because the column that's used to determine the schema version in TFS 2005 does not exist in TFS 2008 (at least not in the same table).  I wasn't immediately able to locate a replacement column to retrieve the same information.  If I am able to determine how that information is stored (assuming it is) I will release an update.

The new version can be downloaded here.

NOTE: The Team Explorer Client 2005 or 2008 needs to be installed for TFSInfo to work.

03 December 2007

VS 2008 Add-Ins

As I (like many others) make the full-time transition from VS 2005 to VS 2008 I find that I'm having to update several add-ins and utilities that I've grown accustomed to.  Here is a short list of what I've updated so far:

Visual Studio 2008

  • GhostDoc 2.1.2 - I've become very accustomed to pressing Ctrl+Shift+D to fill in the XML comments for my code.  I'm glad to see that VS 2008 is now supported.
  • Project MRU Cleaner - This is a very handy utility for removing orphaned or otherwise unwanted solutions from the Recent Projects list in VS 2005/2008.
  • ReSharper - Although ReSharper does not fully support the .NET Framework version 3.5 yet, Jeffrey Palermo has published some instructions on how to get the latest version of ReSharper working with VS 2008.
  • Silverlight 1.1. Tools Alpha for VS 2008 - Nothing new here - it's just been updated to work with the final release of VS 2008.

Team Foundation Server

I'm still waiting on the full release of Team Foundation Server 2008 Power Tools as I've grown accustomed to using those tools on a regular basis as well - it shouldn't be long.  I also have a couple of add-ins that I've written that I need to get updated for VS 2008 as well.

02 December 2007

Omaha VSTS User Group is Coming

A co-leader (Tim Kelsey) and I have been planning on starting a Team System Users Group in Omaha for several months now.  The initial web site is finally up at www.otsug.org and we are excited to have our first speaker, Bill Maurer, scheduled for January 22nd, 2008.  Bill will be presenting on the new features and updates in VSTS 2008.  Time permitting, he will also cover some of what's coming in "Rosario".

With the addition of the Team System Users Group, there will now be no less than four Microsoft technology-oriented user groups in the Omaha area, including:

We will be holding the initial meeting at Farm Credit Services of America (my employer - and a user group sponsor).  Depending upon the preferences of the user group attendees, we will either continue having the meeting at this location each month or we will move the meeting around Omaha (much like the current .NET Users Group).  I will be placing a survey on our site in the next few days to get everyone's feedback and preferences.

I am looking forward to the inaugural meeting and all that follow.  I have no doubt we will have some great speakers presenting on some great topics and will learn a great deal from each other about all things Team System.

If you are in the Omaha area and would like to join the Omaha Team System Users Group, please visit our site at www.otsug.org and click on the "Join the group" link.  Also, if you're in the Omaha area or are just passing through and would like to present at one of our user group meetings, please submit the User Group Speaker Proposal document located in the Shared Documents section of the web site.