Buck Hodges

Visual Studio Online, Team Foundation Server, MSDN

November, 2012

  • Buck Hodges

    New tool to upgrade from Visual SourceSafe to Team Foundation Server or Service


    Today we have released an upgrade tool for users of VSS to upgrade to either on-premises TFS or the Team Foundation Service in the cloud! It provides a wizard-based UI for upgrading a VSS repository to TFS 2010, 2012, or the service.

    Compared to the old VSS conversion experience, there are quite a few improvements.

    • Wizard-based UI
    • VSS DLLs are bundled with the tool (no need to have VSS installed)
    • No manual mapping or creation of XML files
    • Lots of bug fixes
    • Support for Team Foundation Service

    With mainstream support having ended back in July for VSS 2005, now is a great time to move.

    You can download it now and find the documentation here.

    [UPDATE 11/14/12] We will be changing the docs to indicate that you are not required to have an empty team project collection or team project for this tool to work. However, we do not validate that there will not be a collision before the migration starts, so you will need to make sure that there is no path in the destination in TFS that will be the same as what you are migrating from VSS.

    Follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/tfsbuck

  • Buck Hodges

    TFS and VS 2012 Update 1 now available


    [Update 2/1/13] A fix for the issues is now available.

    [Update 1/14/13] See this post for the latest on issues with attaching a collection.

    As announced on Soma’s blog, Update 1 for Visual Studio and Team Foundation Server 2012 is now available. Over at the ALM blog, you can find more details on what’s new. For those using the Team Foundation Service at tfs.visualstudio.com, you are already familiar with the new features, as we update the service every three weeks.

    In addition to fixing bugs that were discovered after RTM, here are the new Features in Team Foundation Server in Visual Studio 2012 Update 1, which I’ve copied here from the ALM blog.

    Note: The Version control warehouse still has a 260 character limit and you need to have this update applied to both your Team Foundation Server and Visual Studio client.


    One caveat I want to mention is with upgrading your build computers. After you install TFS Update 1 on your build computers to update them, you will need to go through the configuration again, including choosing the collection, setting the service account, etc. If you have settings you want to preserve, be sure to look them up in the TFS Administration Console on your build computer and write them down for use after you upgrade your build computer. We hope to have this fixed for Update 2.

    Power Tools

    The Team Foundation Server Power Tools will be updated for Update 1 as well. There were significant changes to the APIs in the server DLLs (not the web services – the .NET assemblies), so tools like the backup/restore tool for the server had to be updated. The update 2012 power tools should be available later this week, barring any last-minute issues.

    Server Installation

    I’ve seen some questions about how to install Team Foundation Server 2012 Update 1. Because it is a server and we need to do things like modify the database as part of the installation, we designed TFS 2012 to use the regular installer to install the updates. You do not need to uninstall anything. Just run the installer, and it will take care of updating your TFS. After the installer completes, it launches the upgrade wizard.

    So, when you go to http://www.microsoft.com/visualstudio/eng/downloads you’ll see two choices for TFS 2012, Install Now and Download Now.


    • Install Now will use the web installer and will download what is needed in order to install TFS 2012 Update 1
    • Download Now will download an entire layout, which you can use to install on a machine that doesn’t have internet access or if you need to update more than one and want to avoid the downloads by the web installer.

    After you run either one and the installation phase is complete, you will see the upgrade wizard.



    You then must confirm that you have a backup.


    Then select your database by setting the SQL Server Instance if the default isn’t correct and then using List Available Databases to see a list of all of the configuration DBs (usually there is just one).


    At that point it becomes just a matter of clicking the Next button a few times, watching the upgrade run (okay, only for a small DB – you may want to grab a bite to eat while it runs for a bigger DB), and you’re done!





    Note: If you had a browser open with the web UI for TFS 2012, you may get something garbled after the upgrade if you click on a link that doesn’t do a page refresh. The reason is that it’s a mix of the old and new web code. Just click Refresh in your browser to fix that.

    After clicking a link after upgrade (browser was open with the TFS web interface prior to upgrade):


    After clicking Refresh in the browser:




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  • Buck Hodges

    TFS 2012 Update 1 Issue: Error while configuring build


    [Update 2/1/13] A fix for the issues is now available.

    [Update 1/14/13] See this post for the latest on a fix with attaching collections.


    We’ve discovered an issue in TFS Update 1 that may result in errors when you try to configure a build agent or controller. You will see an error in the Build Service Configuration Wizard (configuring a new agent/controller) or in the TFS Administration Console (viewing the properties of a build controller/agent).

    In the event log on the server, you’d find an error about the database not being configured correctly.

    TF53010: The following error has occurred in a Team Foundation component or extension:


    Detailed Message: TF30065: An unhandled exception occurred.


    Exception Message: TF30040: The database is not correctly configured. Contact your Team Foundation Server administrator. (type DatabaseConfigurationException)

    Exception Stack Trace:    at Microsoft.TeamFoundation.Framework.Server.TeamFoundationSqlResourceComponent.TranslateException(Int32 errorNumber, SqlException sqlException, SqlError sqlError)


    Exception Message: Operand type clash: dbo.typ_BuildControllerTableV2 is incompatible with dbo.typ_BuildControllerTable (type SqlException)

    The workaround is to run the following commands.

    • iisreset
    • net stop tfsjobagent
    • net start tfsjobagent

    Grant Holliday posted more details here.

    [Update 11/30/12] Note that this is a race condition that you may not hit and that the app pools for TFS are set to recycle every 29 hours (the Regular Time Interval setting in IIS), which will also fix this issue.

    Follow me at twitter.com/tfsbuck

  • Buck Hodges

    November power tools release for TFS 2012


    Today we published a new release of the power tools for TFS 2012 Update 1. This includes important fixes for the backup/restore power tool to be compatible with the release of TFS 2012 Update 1. We did a lot of refactoring of the server DLLs for the cloud service, http://tfs.visualstudio.com, and we needed to update the backup/restore power tool in particular as a result.

    The one new thing we added in this release is x64 support for the PowerShell scripts.

    Beyond that, we fixed a number of bugs, most notably performance issues for the team members feature.

    Download power tools for TFS 2012 Update 1

    If you need the backup/restore power tool for TFS 2012 RTM (not Update 1 or newer), you can get it here.


    Follow me at twitter.com/tfsbuck

  • Buck Hodges

    Video from 2012 Build Conference: Evolution of TFS into a Service


    This year at //build/ conference I gave a presentation on the evolution of Team Foundation Server from a box product to a service that has a box product. It’s been a fun journey, and I enjoyed telling the story of what our team has accomplished over the last couple of years. I start with the beginning of the 2012 cycle and go over the changes we’ve made to our process and engineering system to be able to ship every three weeks. Along the way I answer questions from the audience and wrap up with some of the lessons we’ve learned. I hope you enjoy it.

    Developing Continuous Services: Real world experiences of the Team Foundation Service engineering team



    Other Build conference presentations related to TFS:

  • Buck Hodges

    Windows Phone SDK now available in Build for Team Foundation Service


    Brian mentioned this in a blog post last week, but I think it may have gotten lost in everything else that was going on. The Team Foundation Service’s build feature (i.e., build in the cloud) has the Windows Phone SDK installed on it now so that you can build you Windows Phone 8 (and 7) apps. The blocker here had been that the SDK could not be installed on the VMs we use because they run Windows Server 2008 R2, and that was fixed with the SDK released last week.

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  • Buck Hodges

    Doc on unattended configuration of TFS 2012


    TFS 2012 (RTM and newer) added a new tfsconfigure unattend command that supports unattended configuration of the server, build proxy, and SharePoint extensions. There’s now a new whitepaper available that explains it. While the paper is titled Unattended Installation of TFS 2012, it’s really unattended configuration.

    Unattended Installation of TFS 2012


    Unattended install is a feature of Team Foundation Server that lets a user pre-set all configuration parameters for a desired TFS instance in advance. This allows TFS to be configured from start to finish without pausing for input from the Configuration Wizard during the process. Unattended Installation takes place via the command prompt. This paper describes the two commands through which it is performed: Create and Configure.

    Who Should Use Unattended Install?

    This feature is ideal for users who are very familiar with TFS and the configuration process, and whose environment divides TFS functions over many different machines. For example, many large-scale enterprise systems have several servers that are designated to builds. Unattended install allows an administrator to quickly kick off the Team Build installation process on these machines without having to supervise each one independently. Furthermore, since the configuration for each build server will likely be almost or completely identical, it should be easy to set each machine’s configuration parameters quickly.

    Feature Overview

    The unattended install feature can be used to configure all different instance types of TFS. These include: Basic, Standard, AT-Only, Build, Proxy, and SharePoint Extensions. To do this, you must determine in advance how the instance should be configured — usually by creating an .ini file and editing it — and then run the specified configuration in the command prompt. This paper covers both the Create command to make this file and the Configure command to actually run the configuration. It explains the different options, or parameters, for these commands and touches on a few scenarios that unattended install does not support.


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