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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What's that you ask and why would I want it?
As you know TFS stores a ton of lifecycle data about application development - source code, change history, tasks, bugs, historical data, ... If you use the TFS client tools, all of that data goes in and comes out of TFS very nicely. However, there are lots of scenarios where that isn't quite what you want.
The first set are around "legacy systems" and involved questions like.
To help answer these kinds of questions, we built something called the TFS Migration & Synchronization Toolkit. This toolkit helps you build tools that let TFS interoperate with other systems either in a unidirectional or bidirectional way. On top of that we've been building (and working with partners to build) tools for specific systems - like the ClearCase migration and synchronization tool.
In parallel with this we've had another set of customer requests that have nothing to do with other products. They tend to be of the form...
In the long run, some of these scenarios are best served by direct support in the product and we are working on that for our Rosario release. However, in the mean time, it occurred to us that you can view these very much like the "product X" scenarios above with product X just being another TFS server - and hence the TFS to TFS Migration Tool was born.
This tool is delivered on Codeplex with source code (see the link in the last paragraph). It enables:
Lest you become too giddy at the prospect, it is not a perfect solution and some of the limitations of this approach make it less than ideal for some of the scenarios I listed above. Here are some of the key issues to think about when deciding how to use this tool:
In addition to helping address all of the scenarios listed above, it fulfills one additional valuable purpose - it is a fantastic sample of how to use the TFS Migration Toolkit to build a high fidelity tool to integrate TFS with other systems. This is something that has been sorely lacking since we first released the toolkit.
We've already used to this tool successfully with several customers to accomplish the kinds of scenarios I described. However, it's still fairly early and don't expect the ride to but completely bump free yet. You've got the source code so you can fish for yourself or you can contact us through the Codeplex project site and let us know about any problems you have and we will do our best to help you.
Enjoy and good luck with it! Let me know if you have any successes or failures.