Buck Hodges

Visual Studio Online, Team Foundation Server, MSDN

March, 2008

  • Buck Hodges

    Spec available for "Codename TFS Bug Submission Portal"


    Hakan Eskici, program manager for Team System Web Access, has posted the spec for a new power tool that's based on TSWA that is designed to help customers comply with the new licensing changes in TFS 2008 while getting the most out of the product.  Please read this, as well as the other Rosario specs, and give us your feedback.

    Spec available for "Codename TFS Bug Submission Portal"

    We've published the spec for the "Codename TFS bug submission portal" power tool on Rosario Specs website (1).

    Note (1): Although it appears on Rosario specs website, this is a power tool for TFS 2008 (Orcas).

    Here's some background:

    Team Foundation Server 2008 Standard Edition allows using some of the work item tracking features even without a Client Access License (CAL).

    “You do not need a CAL to access work item tracking functionality to create new work items, or view and update work items you opened

    Even thought the EULA enables these scenarios, there's no out-of-box UI that will help customers to make sure they're in compliance with the license terms. Therefore, we have built a power tool based on TSWA that will enable these 3 core scenarios:

    As a user without a CAL, I can:

    create new work items

    edit the work items I’ve created

    see the list of work items I’ve created

    The codename for this power tool is "TFS Bug Submission Portal" for now, and the official name will probably be different.

    To learn more about the details, please take a look at the spec. Your feedback is very important for us, so please make sure you express your thoughts on the spec discussion forum, we're looking forward to hearing from you!

    Hakan also posted Wednesday about the Anniversary of the devBiz acquisition.  It's amazing how quickly a year goes by, and how much can be accomplished.

  • Buck Hodges

    Team Development with Visual Studio Team Foundation Server - now in Russian


    Jeff Beehler has pointed out that Team Development with Visual Studio Team Foundation Server has now been translated into Russian.  It's great to see it, and I'm sure it's the product of a lot of hard work.

  • Buck Hodges

    How Do I: Use the Builds Check-in Policy?


    A year ago I wrote a blog post about a new check-in policy that we added in build for TFS 2008 to prevent "piling on" when the build is broken in continuous integration environment.  That post has all of the details on how it works and even the code showing you how it was implemented.

    Now Richard Hundhausen has a video on how to make effective use of this new check-in policy.

    How Do I: Use the Builds Check-in Policy?

    Use the Builds Check-in Policy in your Continuous Integration Environment to let you know when somebody has broken the build. Richard Hundhausen shows you how.
    Presented by Richard Hundhausen http://www.accentient.com on March 4, 2008
    Length: 12 minutes 19 seconds

    Video Downloads:

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

    Audio Downloads:

    AAC | WMA | MP2 | MP3 | MP4

    Download the code: Visual Basic | Visual C#

  • Buck Hodges

    Visual Studio Team System Chat: April 9


    Join members of the Visual Studio Team System product group to discuss features available in Team Foundation Server, Team Suite, Architecture Edition, Development Edition, Database Edition, and Test Edition. In addition, discuss what's new for these editions for Visual Studio 2008.

    Add to Calendar

    April 9, 2008
    10:00 A.M. Pacific Time
    Additional Time Zones

  • Buck Hodges

    Teamprise 3.0 Ships!


    Martin Woodward write that Teamprise 3.0 has now been released!  If you want the equivalent of Team Explorer integrated into Eclipse on any platform or need a client from Linux or Mac, you'll definitely want to check out Teamprise.

    Here's a quick bullet list of features that I lifted from his post.  I'm particularly happy to see the new integration with Team Foundation Build.  It opens up the TFS build feature to teams that need to build on other platforms, in addition to the integration with Eclipse.

    • Full Team Foundation Build integration (including ability to execute Ant based builds)
    • Check-in policy support
    • Recursive folder compare
    • Single sign-on (from Microsoft Windows machines)
    • "Destroy" command for version control
    • Show deleted items and undelete from Source Control Explorer UI
    • much much more (see release notes)

    Martin says they have also improved the pricing structure for customers who only need a small number of licenses.

    Check out the full post for all of the details, including screenshots: Teamprise 3.0 Ships!

    Congratulations to Martin and everyone else at Teamprise!

  • Buck Hodges

    Account used to install TFS must have read permission to Active Directory


    We've seen a couple of customers run into a rare problem where the account being used to set up a new Team Foundation server does not have read access to Active Directory (this does not apply to the workgroup edition of TFS).  Vasu Sankaran, developer on the TFS identity management system, explains the error below.

    When Team Foundation Server (TFS) is deployed in an Active Directory (AD) environment, TFS makes use of the Windows Identities stored in Active Directory. For such AD identities associated with TFS, the server needs to retrieve information from AD, such as the account SID, its display name, mail address, and similar attributes. The identities about which TFS queries AD are either service accounts, or other users and groups added to TFS (manually or during installation). This synchronization of information with AD requires read privileges only. TFS does not create or modify AD objects. The following links provide useful information regarding TFS deployment in AD environment.

    During an upgrade scenario, the setup account used to perform the upgrade requires the same AD read permission, since it tries to sync information from AD about TFS service accounts. Lack of this privilege could lead to a setup error such as the following:

    Detailed Message: TF213002:The service account specified during setup could not be added to the Team Foundation Service Accounts group. The installation or repair failed with the following exception message: System.NullReferenceException: Object reference not set to an instance of an object.
    at Microsoft.TeamFoundation.Server.GroupComponent.AddIdentityToGroup(String groupSID, Identity member, DateTime sourceTimestamp)
    at Microsoft.TeamFoundation.Server.TeamFoundationGssInit.Install(Options opts, List`1 args)

    Admittedly, this is poor error reporting. But essentially the AD identity accessor is returning null for the service account when it attempts to retrieve information from AD, due to lack of permission. This is occurring when we try to add the service account to the Service Accounts TFS group, causing the null reference exception.

    Ensuring that the setup account has AD Read permission will solve this problem.

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  • Buck Hodges

    MSBuild project analysis tool: BuildCop


    Jelle Druyts has created an interesting tool and made it available on CodePlex.

    Just Released: BuildCop v1.0!

    It is with great pleasure that I'm finally ready to release another open source tool on CodePlex: BuildCop.

    BuildCop is a tool that analyzes MSBuild project files (interactively or during e.g. a daily build) according to a customizable set of rules and generates reports - e.g. is strong naming enabled, are certain project properties set correctly, is XML documentation being generated, are assembly references correct, are naming conventions respected, ...

    This has grown out of a quick-and-dirty tool to check various build settings in a large customer project (to make sure that the developers were sticking to the guidelines), and has evolved into quite a clean, flexible and customizable tool that you can now start using as well.

    All information, downloads and documentation is available on the BuildCop homepage on CodePlex, so rush out and let me know what you think!

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