Buck Hodges

Visual Studio Online, Team Foundation Server, MSDN

July, 2006

  • Buck Hodges

    Using an SMTP server that requires authentication


    Bill Essary provided the following as a work around for using a Team Foundation Server email notifications with an SMTP server that requires a user name and password.

    TFS does not directly support using a username and password to connect to an SMTP server but it is possible to work around this limitation by using an SMTP virtual server on the TFS AT.  That virtual SMTP server can be configured to provide the authentication credentials that the “real” SMTP server needs when relaying messages.  Please consult the following links for more details:

    As mentioned in the MSDN forum thread, Pete Sheill provides information on tracing the TFS interactions with the SMTP server in How to verify Tfs is sending emails.

  • Buck Hodges

    Removing the Team Foundation Server association in Microsoft Project and Microsoft Excel files


    Here's a handy tip if you find yourself needing to disassociate or unbind a Microsoft Project (.mpp) or Microsoft Excel (.xls) file from a Team Foundation Server, perhaps because you changed the name of the server, the server no longer exists, etc.

    Microsoft Project

    Yogita Manghnani, a PM for TFS, posted the following process in the Team Foundation Server MSDN forum.

    1. Close Microsoft Project
    2. Right click on the mpp file and choose Properties.
    3. Choose the Custom tab in the Properties window.
    4. Choose any Property listed there named "VS  Team System Data Do Not Edit" and click Remove.
    5. Click Apply or Ok.
    6. Open the mpp file, and you will get a message saying its not associated with any TFS server. Click Ok and Save it.
    7. You will not get the error message every time you open the mpp file as long as you save it once after the message is received.

    Microsoft Excel

    Dennis Habib, a developer for TFS, provides the following process.  Since this involves editing the registry, all of the usual caveats apply.

    1. Close Excel.
    2. Disable the TFS addin by going to HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Office\Excel\Addins\TfcOfficeShim.Connect and change the ‘LoadBehavior’ from ‘3’ to ‘0’.
    3. Open the .xls file.
    4. Wipe out the contents of the custom document properties (File -> Properties -> Custom).
    5. Save the file and exit Excel.
    6. Re-enable the TFS addin.
  • Buck Hodges

    Using the version control caching proxy server to speed up get


    I've written about our experiences using the version control caching proxy server before, but I thought I'd post a screenshot that nicely shows the difference in bandwidth utilization.

    Before I do that, we were recently having a serious problem with our local caching proxy server being slow and sometimes not responding.  Robert Horvick looked into it and figured out that the problem was caused by the NIC setting on the computer being incorrect.  Yet again, we were bitten by the NIC setting not matching the network switch setting.  Not surprisingly, the performance was phenomenally better.

    We recently had a large number of files change in our branch due to picking up changes from main.  There were lots of new binaries for the tools, as well as source code.  In the screenshot below, the small hump on the left is the network bandwidth utilization on my machine running a get without the proxy being used.  I was getting 7 Mbps out of the 10 Mbps available over our WAN connection.

    I stopped that get, changed the proxy settings in Visual Studio (Tools -> Options -> Source Control -> Team Foundation Server) to use our local proxy server, and started the get again.  The area on the left of the image shows what a difference using the caching proxy made.  When the network setting was incorrect on the proxy server, the benefit of using the proxy was marginal.  With everything set up properly, the network utilization is high.  In fact, the utilization shown in the bottom of the window is 53%.  Of course, if you are downloading a bunch of small files, you won't see as much of a benefit, but this was a nice demonstration of the improvement when getting a large set of files that includes a number of medium and large files.

    You can find out more about using the version control proxy server on the following pages.

  • Buck Hodges

    Google Web Accelerator doesn't mix with TFS


    In the forum post Getting Latest Version Error (TF30063), a user was getting the error message "TF30063: You are not authorized to access Microsoft-IIS/6.0" when getting files from version control.  I asked a bunch of questions, which the user answered, but that didn't really help.  The user end up figuring it out.  It turns out that the client computer had the Google Web Accelerator installed, and the web page caching was causing problems.

    I had seen anti-virus applications and firewalls causing problems (for example, random files being left writable after a get), but this was a new one.  In the Preferences section of the help page for Google Web Accelerator, it describes how to specify sites that shouldn't be accelerated.  If you use the accelerator, you'd want to add your Team Foundation Server application tier to the list of sites not to be accelerated.

    Alternatively, setting the BypassProxyOnLocal registry setting as described in How to improve command line performance would probably fix the problem as well.  Turning that on causes the TFS client not to use the IE proxy setting.

  • Buck Hodges

    Team Foundation Server and CodePlex


    If you haven't seen CodePlex, you'll want to check it out.  It's Microsoft's shared community development web site, and it uses TFS to host development projects.  Brad Wilson of the CodePlex team provides some nice answers to about 10 questions of general interest on TFS and CodePlex.

    Answering Questions About CodePlex and TFS

    Phil Haack has some questions about CodePlex and our use of Team Foundation Server that I'd like to answer. Note that I'm not trying to convince Phil to use CodePlex; rather, I want to clarify answers to his questions so that he and others can make the best decisions on their own. (That said, of course we'd love to have SubText on the site. It's an excellent example of a well run and successful open source project.)

    For more information on branching and merging (one of the questions), see the post Overview of Branching, Merging, and Shelving.

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