Everything you want to know about Visual Studio ALM and Farming
Brian Harry is a Microsoft Technical Fellow working as the Product Unit Manager for Team Foundation Server. Learn more about Brian.
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We've been working for the past several months on a new Power Tool - a TFS Best Practices Analyzer. The goal of this tool is to diagnose TFS configuration and operation problems quickly and easily. As you probably know, TFS is a pretty complex installation and has many places where things can go wrong.
We released the first version of the tool to our Customer Support Services organization (CSS) this week. I just got mail that they've had their first success. Someone was trying to move TFS from one server to another and was having problems. In 5 minutes the tool identified what would normally have taken CSS 2.5 hours to figure out - the customer had forgotten to move the Sharepoint and Reporting services databases. This is huge!
Over the next couple of months, we are going to be working with the support team to refine the tool as we apply it to support incidents. After we feel we've gotten the usability and accuracy of the tool to the right level, we plan on releasing it publicly as a Power Tool for customers to use themselves without having to make a support call.
Of course, we are also working on making setup and configuration changes easier and less fragile. Our Orcas release has many enhancements in this area. However, regardless of how simple we make it, this tool will always be a useful tool for quickly and easily identifying problems.
One of our MVPs, Peter-Willy Schaub, has joined us on a sabbatical for a few weeks. During his sabbatical, he'll be working with us on V2 of this BPA tool. You can follow his experiences on his blog.