Buck Hodges

Visual Studio Online, Team Foundation Server, MSDN

July, 2010

  • Buck Hodges

    How to use the MSBuild debugger in Visual Studio 2010


    Dan Moseley, dev lead for msbuild, wrote a debugger for msbuild while on leave(!) back during the 2010 cycle.  While it ultimately couldn’t be fully completed and tested to be an official feature, it is in the product with a switch to enable it (it’s off by default).  This was a conscious decision made by the VS team, and I think it was a great compromise.  It wasn’t something feasible as a power tool, and it’s too useful to have to wait for the next release.

    Dan has written a series of blog posts on how to use it.


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  • Buck Hodges

    Reports to show you what’s happening with the TFS warehouse and cube


    Grant has posted a set of reports that help you understand what’s going on in the TFS warehouse and cube in Team Foundation Server 2010 so that you can deal with issues such as field collisions, which can be very tedious to handle since out of the box we don’t provide easy ways to figure it out.  His post includes an attached zip file that you can download and deploy to your TFS 2010 installation.

    Administrative Report Pack for Team Foundation Server 2010

    One of the key components of TFS is the Data Warehouse, which is made up of a relational database and an Analysis Services cube.  In general, people don’t have a problem with the performance or operation of our Data Warehouse.  However there were two classes of problems that you’re likely to run into as your servers grow larger:

    1. Processing Time – As the number of reportable fields increases, the number of dimensions that Analysis Services has to process also increases.  This increases the time it takes to process the cube and therefore the latency of the data is higher.
    2. Schema Conflicts – In the simple case, when there are two fields in different collections (e.g. Priority) with the same name but a different type (e.g. String vs. Integer) this results in a schema conflict.  That project collection is then blocked from processing warehouse updates and the data in the warehouse & cube becomes stale.

    These reports are useful to TFS administrators, operations/support teams, project administrators & end-users.  The reports in this pack display the following kinds of information:

    • Recent processing times
    • Current status (whether the cube is processing now and, if not, when it is scheduled to process next)
    • Schema conflicts
    • Most recent time that each adapter successfully ran


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  • Buck Hodges

    Team Foundation 2010 SDK published


    Allen Clark has announced the publication of the first release of the TFS 2010 SDK.  This represents a significant improvement in the documentation for the TFS API, and he will be releasing updates to it on a recurring basis.  The first release is small (relative to the size of the TFS API), but it will grow.  Be sure to leave feedback for Allen on what you find most valuable.

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