Buck Hodges

Visual Studio Online, Team Foundation Server, MSDN

December, 2007

  • Buck Hodges

    Team Foundation Power Tools for Team Foundation Server 2008 available now!


    Earlier today, we released the first version of the TFS Power Tools for TFS 2008!

    I want to highlight the build notification application.  This tool alerts you when a build is started or completed.  If the build breaks, you'll know immediately.

    I posted a preview of the build notification app back in September.  Based on feedback, we have fixed bugs (e.g., it now properly handles the user logging out or shutting down on Vista) and made improvements (e.g., you can now disable servers in the options dialog that you don't want).  See the preview post for more screenshots and details on how it works.

    See Brian's post for the full details on all of the featues on this release, which include support for destroying work items and work item type definitions.


  • Buck Hodges

    MSBuild Sidekick V2 beta


    Eugene Zakhareyev has released a beta of the second version of MSBuild Sidekick.  This version adds some unique features, including visualizing the build targets.  If you've ever had to pick up someone else's msbuild project files, you'll really appreciate this feature.

    Here's a screenshot of the target visualization from Visualization in MSBuild Sidekick v2.

    You can find out more about MSBuild Sidekick v2 in MSBuild Sidekick v2 beta is available!

    Be sure to check out the Team Foundation Sidekick as well.

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  • Buck Hodges

    How offline mode works in TFS 2008 version control


    Ben Ryan, a developer on the version control team, has written a couple of posts about the offline feature introduced in Team Foundation Server 2008 Version Control.  The first one in particular answers some questions that have come up.

    When and how does my solution go "offline"?

    TFS 2008 adds improved support for "offline" scenarios.  This blog post identifies the scenarios under which a solution will be placed in "offline" mode.



    How to make TFS Offline strictly solution-based

    For some users it may be a bit offputting that taking one solution offline causes all other solutions bound to that same server to go offline when they are opened (assuming no "Go Online" operations in the interim). 


  • Buck Hodges

    WiX to be included in the Visual Studio "Rosario" release


    Rob Mensching has written a post about the WiX toolset being included with the Rosario release of Visual Studio Team System.  WiX is part of the toolset used to create the installation packages for Visual Studio, as well as being one of the first open source projects ever at Microsoft.  Whereas Visual Studio setup projects (.vdproj) can only be built using devenv and thus require Visual Studio to be installed on the build computer, the WiX toolset supports msbuild via custom tasks.

    In the post, Rob goes over a series of questions and answers regarding WiX and Visual Studio to explain what's being included and when.  WiX is included in the November 2007 Rosario CTP.  By the way, that CTP doesn't include any new Team Build features, for those who were curious.  You'll have to wait for the next CTP to see what we're doing in Team Build.

    Visual Studio ships the WiX toolset.

    Well, four months ago the Visual Studio setup team approached me to ask if I could help them with that first part of the "Rosario" mission: "enhance collaboration between developers." They had already adopted the WiX toolset as the platform to build the Visual Studio installation package and were now seriously considering shipping the WiX toolset as part of the Visual Studio product. The VS team saw that the WiX toolset enabled developers to collaborate on installation package development and wondered what it would take get the WiX toolset in a state they could release and support for developers around the world.


  • Buck Hodges

    Building Ant projects with Team Foundation Build


    Martin Woodward has written a post on using Ant within Team Build 2008 and 2005.  He includes an initial release of the binaries and documentation.  This is great for the folks using Java with TFS!

    Building Ant projects from Team Build

    With the recent release of Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 Team Foundation Server we are seeing more and more people looking to use the build capabilities of TFS (often referred to as "Team Build") to manage their Java based builds as well as their .NET ones.  We have an MSBuild task available internally that we use to trigger Ant based builds and report the progress back into TFS, and I wanted to share this with a wider audience to get some feeedback.  This task is heavily influenced by Aaron Hallberg's Team Build DevEnv task which I encourage you to go look at if you are interested in getting other build systems integration with Team Build.

    You can download an early version of the Ant task from here (TeampriseBuild_0_8_0.zip 1MB).  There are two versions of the task included in the zip file - one for TFS2005 and one for TFS2008.  Additionally there is a draft set of instructions included on how to get this working today.  We hope to make the process much easier with future releases of Teamprise.


  • Buck Hodges

    Web Deployment Projects (WDP) for Visual Studio 2008 CTP


    [UPDATE 2/3/08] The final version is now available. 

    I know a lot of folks have used web deployment projects (WDP) with Team Build.  The WDP release for VS 2005 does not work with 2008.  The web developer team has just released a Community Technology Preview (CTP) of WDP for VS 2008.  Being a CTP, it's not fully tested.  However, they are looking for feedback before releasing the final version in January of 2008.

    Web Deployment Projects (WDP) for Visual Studio 2008 - December 2007 CTP Released

      Based on the feedback from web development community we just released the Customer Technology Preview (CTP) of Web Deployment Projects for Visual Studio 2008... This release of Web Deployment Projects (WDP) has all the features that VS 2005 WDP release has and in addition has few other enhancements which I will call out later in this post...

      We will be releasing the final version of Web Deployment Projects for Visual Studio 2008 in January 2008 after incorporating all the feedback that we receive via this Dec 2007 CTP release… This CTP is a substantial milestone as it will unblock lot of Web Developers, who depended upon WDP to go ahead and use the latest and greatest features of Visual Studio 2008…


      Visual Studio 2008 Web Deployment Projects is an add-in to Visual Studio 2008 which provides developers with advanced compilation and deployment options... A Web Deployment project is extensible, enabling web developers to create pre-build and post-build actions...

      Web Deployment Projects does not touch any shipping binaries within VS 2008… WDP neither changes the way Visual Studio 2008 Web Sites & Web Application Projects build nor does it changes the files in the source Web site project in any way... Instead, it takes an existing Web project as input and generate a precompiled Web as an output...


    Related post for VS 2005 users: Team Build and Web Deployment Projects

  • Buck Hodges

    Video on the new features in Team Foundation Build 2008


    There's a great new video on the MSDN web site by Richard Hundhausen that goes over the new features in Team Foundation Build 2008.  It's one of the featured videos this week.  The video covers the major new features and provides a great introduction to the product.

    How Do I: Learn the New Features and Capabilities of Team Foundation Build 2008?

    In this video, Richard Hundhausen explores the new features and capabilities of Team Foundation Build 2008, including defining and managing build definitions, agents, qualities, and retention policies.

    Presented by Richard Hundhausen on November 20, 2007
    Length: 14 minutes 33 seconds


    Video Downloads:

    ZIP | WMV | iPod | MP4 | 3GP | Zune | PSP

    You can find more Visual Studio Team System videos at "How Do I?" Videos for Team Suite.

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