Buck Hodges

Visual Studio Online, Team Foundation Server, MSDN

  • Buck Hodges

    Customizing Team Foundation Server Project Portals


    Phil Hodgson, a developers on TFS, published a new whitepaper that explains how to customize and get the most out of your dashboards in TFS 2010.  Check it out!

    Customizing Team Foundation Server Project Portals

    Phil Hodgson, Microsoft Corporation

    May 2010

    This article describes important concepts about project portals for Microsoft® Visual Studio® Team Foundation Server 2010 and provides guidance for process authors who customize process templates used to create project portals for team projects.

    Team Foundation Server supports project portals that are matched to the out-of-the-box process templates. Process templates are designed to be customized to a team’s or organization’s specific needs. Similarly Team Foundation Server project portals can be customized to provision custom content or features to the portal site. Examples of customizations that may be considered are:

    • Changing the dashboards provisioned including adding new dashboards

    • Adding new Excel workbooks

    • Changing the Web Parts (or Web Part properties) on standard dashboards

    • Changing the visual appearance of the portal site

    • Activating custom SharePoint Features

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  • Buck Hodges

    TFS 2010 Power Tools are now available!


    Here is the first full release of Power Tools for TFS 2010!  Previously we had released versions for beta 2 and RC.  With this release the focus was to have parity with the 2008 power tools and fix bugs.  We’ll be adding new power tools in the next release (no date yet).

    TFS Build Extension Power Tool  is an exciting new addition to our power tools line up.  The Build Extensions provide the ability to execute Ant or Maven 2 builds from Team Foundation Server and publish the results of the build along with any associated JUnit test results back to Team Foundation Server.  This release is compatible with Team Foundation Server 2005, Team Foundation Server 2008 and Team Foundation Server 2010.

  • Buck Hodges

    How to see the TFS server calls made by the client


    Back in 2006 I wrote a post about a performance dialog that lets you see all of the calls made by the client.  It works with Visual Studio (devenv.exe), TFS command line (tf.exe), TCM command line (tcm.exe), Test Manager (mtm.exe), etc.

    It’s still in the product in 2010, and it’s as useful as ever if you are writing code that talks to TFS, and you want to optimize for performance.  It’s easy for extra calls to creep in, and this is a really easy way to keep track of it.  Also, if you find that something seems slow in VS when working with TFS, it provides a way for you to see whether it is calling the server and long it took. 

    Turning it on is easy.  All you need to do is to add the following lines to the bottom of your application’s .exe.config file, just inside the closing </configuration> element.  Note that the version number below is for an app using the 2010 TFS client object model.  2008 requires, and 2005 requires

        <add name="TeamFoundationSoapProxy" value="4" />
      <trace autoflush="true" indentsize="3">
          <add name="perfListener" type="Microsoft.TeamFoundation.Client.PerfTraceListener,Microsoft.TeamFoundation.Client, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b03f5f7f11d50a3a"/>

    When I edited my devenv.exe.config file to add this, I had to run Notepad (or VS) as an Administrator in order to change the file (I’m using Windows 2008 Server R2, and I expect Windows 7 requires the same).

    Here’s an updated screen shot showing calls made by Visual Studio 2010 in connecting to a team project on a 2010 server.


    If you hover over one of the lines in the bottom panel, you’ll get the stack trace for the call.


    If you select rows from the grid, you can paste them into another document, such as a spreadsheet.  Here I selected all of the rows in the top panel and pasted the results.

      WebService TotalTime Last Count Average Min Time Max Time
      QueryNodes[Administration] 3711 1545 6 618 190 1545
      ListChildren[ReportServer] 3610 3610 1 3610 3610 3610
      GetMetadataEx2[WorkItemTracking] 2256 1926 2 1128 330 1926
      ReadIdentities[Services] 1155 767 2 577 388 767
      Connect[Services] 777 777 1 777 777 777
      QueryItems[VersionControl] 710 187 2 355 187 523
      QuerySecurityNamespaces[Services] 632 632 1 632 632 632
      GetRegistrationEntries[Services] 605 605 1 605 605 605
      GetListCollection[SharePoint] 534 534 1 534 534 534
      QueryPendingSets[VersionControl] 498 498 1 498 498 498
      QueryWorkspaces[VersionControl] 470 470 1 470 470 470
      QueryBuildDefinitions[Build] 442 442 1 442 442 442
      GetStoredQueryItems[WorkItemTracking] 353 353 1 353 353 353
      QueryCheckinNoteDefinition[VersionControl] 294 294 1 294 294 294
      GetProperties[Administration] 292 292 1 292 292 292
      QueryResourceTypes[Administration] 231 231 1 231 231 231
      QueryResources[Administration] 213 213 1 213 213 213
      QueryPermissions[Services] 198 198 1 198 198 198
      Connect[Administration] 181 181 1 181 181 181


  • Buck Hodges

    TFS 2010 has shipped!


    Monday was the official launch for the TFS and VS 2010 releases!  I highly recommend upgrading from TFS 2005 or TFS 2008 to TFS 2010.  The number of new features in TFS 2010 is very long, and there are lots of posts on them.  One of the most exciting is that you can install TFS on a client OS (e.g., Windows 7) using SQL Express 2008.  Brian Harry runs TFS and VS 2010 on his Win7 netbook that has 2GB of RAM.

    For those of you using VS 2005 and VS 2008 to connect to TFS 2010 servers, you’ll need to install the appropriate patch for compatibility.  We had to make some changes to the behavior of the server for the new features that affects the older clients, and we didn’t want to leave the old clients in a bad state.  These are the final versions of the patches.

    2008: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?displaylang=en&FamilyID=cf13ea45-d17b-4edc-8e6c-6c5b208ec54d

    2005: http://blogs.msdn.com/team_foundation/pages/the-visual-studio-2005-forward-compatibility-update-is-available.aspx


  • Buck Hodges

    Visual Studio 2010 Licensing Whitepaper is now available


    I’ve posted before about TFS licensing, and the official whitepaper was finally released last week.  The document covers Team Foundation Server as well as all of Visual Studio.

    Visual Studio 2010 Licensing Whitepaper

  • Buck Hodges

    Fix for Message Size Issue in Outlook 2010 Beta


    If you are using Outlook 2010 Beta, you probably need this fix because all of your emails are huge.  It was killing me (and a bunch of other folks internally).  It is fixed in the recent RC, but most people don’t have access (it’s not a public RC).  The Office team has just posted a fix for this issue for folks using the Beta.

    Fix for Message Size Issue in Outlook 2010 Beta

    Recently, we posted information on the Outlook blog about a bug in the Microsoft Office 2010 Beta that increases the message size of some e-mails messages sent from the Microsoft Outlook 2010 Beta. The Office team has been hard at work building a fix for this issue, which is available immediately.

    Download Outlook 2010 Beta fix for 32-bit Office 2010

    Download Outlook 2010 Beta fix for 64-bit Office 2010

    This fix prevents future messages from consuming unnecessary space, but doesn’t resize existing messages. If you reply or forward an existing message that is affected by this bug, it remains enlarged. To help reduce the impact of large messages on your Inbox and mailbox storage quota, you can also run Conversation Cleanup (new feature in Outlook 2010) on large folders. On the Home tab, in the Delete group, click Clean Up. Also, consider starting new message conversations or threads when possible.

    I thought I’d pass it along.

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  • Buck Hodges

    TFS client API changes from Beta 2 to RC


    While I don’t have a comprehensive list, I do want to point out these four changes in particular because these classes are fundamental to the API.  If you have written code with the Beta 2 client API, here are the changes you will need to be aware of to use the RC client API.

    • TeamFoundationServerBase is now TfsConnection.
    • TeamFoundationApplicationInstance is now TfsConfigurationServer.
    • TfsTeamProjectCollection replaces TeamFoundationServer.
    • TeamFoundationServer is now obsolete.  It still works, but there are limitations with using it because it is not aware of collections.

    [UPDATE 2/12/10]  Jim Lamb has posted updated TFS SDK docs: http://code.msdn.microsoft.com/Project/Download/FileDownload.aspx?ProjectName=TfsSdk&DownloadId=9107.

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  • Buck Hodges

    Uninstall TFS Power Tools for 2010 Beta 2 before installing VS 2010 RC


    Several folks have run into a problem after uninstalling VS 2010 Beta 2 and installing VS 2010 RC.  When VS 2010 runs, you get an error message like the following.

    Team Foundation Error

    Could not load type

    ‘Microsoft.TeamFoundation.Client.TeamFoundationServerBase’ from assembly ‘Microsoft.TeamFoundationClient, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b03f5f7f11d50a3a’.

    The problem is that the TFS Power Tools for 2010 Beta 2 are installed.  Between Beta 2 and RC we made changes to the 2010 client API, so the Beta 2 power tools release will not work.  We do not currently have a release of the power tools for the RC (we are working on a power tools release for 2010 RTM).

    The fix here is to uinstall the TFS Power Tools for 2010 Beta 2.  If after uninstalling it you still get the message, some folks have reported that in order to get rid of it they had to install the power tools again and then uninstall it.

  • Buck Hodges

    Deep dive on Windows Workflow 4.0 activities


    Patrick Carnahan is a developer on TFS Build, and he’s written a series of detailed posts on how to write custom activities in Windows Workflow 4.0 (WF), which is now used to orchestrate the build process for TFS Build in 2010.  It’s a deep dive on WF activities.  Jim Lamb’s post on how to integrate custom workflow activities into TFS Build is a great companion to this series.

    Introduction to Windows Workflow 4.0

    In order to help everyone get up to speed with build customization, I wanted to take a few posts to share our collective knowledge on the Workflow framework in .NET 4.0. In this first post I plan to tackle the different base classes that may be used when designing your own custom activities, along with typical usage scenarios. Other topics, such as extensions, tracking, and more advanced customization will be covered later. I will also be keeping an eye on comments to help point me in the right direction. So without further adieu, on with the code!

    Windows Workflow 4.0 - CopyFile

    It has recently come to my attention that there is unrest regarding our inclusion of a CopyDirectory activity without a CopyFile activity. Therefore, I decided to take this opportunity to introduce everyone to the sub-class AsyncCodeActivity and how you can utilize it with a real world example – a cancelable file copy operation. As you may recall from my previous workflow posts, CodeActivity does provide a mechanism for cancelation while the AsyncCodeActivity does facilitate this need. If you are not familiar with asynchronous programming in .NET then you should probably read the following article to brush up before continuing.

    Windows Workflow 4.0 – CopyDirectory (Part 1 of 3)

    In my last couple of posts I have lead you through some basic introduction to workflow as well as a real world example of how to implement a cancelable CopyFile activity. The next thing I would like to do is dive into a much more involved example utilizing the previous activity. The purpose of this post is to introduce the class NativeActivity, since we will need to implement a custom activity for driving the consumers. We will also be working toward using our producer-consumer activity to eventually develop a parallelizable CopyDirectory activity, which I plan to cover in a subsequent posts.

    Windows Workflow 4.0 – CopyDirectory (Part 2 of 3)

    In my previous post I introduced you to NativeActivity and walked through the design and implementation of a class named ParallelItemScheduler<T>. In part 2 of this series we will be utilizing the aforementioned activity to build a new composed activity named ProducerConsumer<T>. Once we have completed this task we will have a framework for building our final activity, CopyDirectory.

    Windows Workflow 4.0 – CopyDirectory (Part 3 of 3)

    So far we have written ParallelItemScheduler<T>, which is a generic activity that goes dormant and schedules actions based on input via bookmark resumption. We then used this activity to design ProducerConsumer<T>, which takes this idea a little further and provides a generic mechanism for running a producer thread that can pump data into a consumer thread. In the last part of this series we finally have all required building blocks to design our highly efficient and parallel copy directory activity!

    Windows Workflow 4.0 – Workflow Instance Extensions

    In the previous posts we covered one way you could implement a producer-consumer pattern in workflow. This approach used composition and attempted to hide the complexities of the underlying operations inside of the respective activities through composition. However, one scenario in particular this model does not allow you to implement involves modeling of existing .NET events in a workflow. For instance, if we want to implement a FileSystemWatcher activity we need to provide some way for consumers to hook into the events exposed by the .NET object. The only way to accomplish our goal is to hook up to the .NET events and schedule workflow actions from our event handler – but how would this be implemented? Let’s take a look at some more pieces of the workflow framework that will allow us to accomplish this goal.

    Be sure to post comments on Patrick’s blog on what else you’d like him to cover.


  • Buck Hodges

    Does your display not turn off automatically? You may need an update for your wireless mouse.


    On my shiny new Windows Server 2008 R2 installation, my monitors won’t go into low power mode even though they should turn off after 10 minutes of inactivity based on my display settings in Windows.  Chris Rathjen suggested to me that it could be the wireless mouse (Microsoft Natural Wireless Laser Mouse 6000 in my case – what a mouthful) keeping it awake.  I unplugged it from the USB port, and sure enough, my monitors went into low power mode.

    So, I thought I’d try installing the current IntelliPoint drivers for Windows 7 64-bit to see if that fixed the problem.  It did indeed do the trick.  You can download it from http://www.microsoft.com/hardware/downloads/default.mspx if you are having a similar issue with a Microsoft wireless mouse.

  • Buck Hodges

    Free of XP and Vista! All Win7, all the time.


    I took a couple of weeks off over the holidays (a ton of people did – there weren’t many folks around last week), and I finally took the time to migrate our two desktops at home from XP to Win7.  I’ve been running Win7 for many months on my work laptop, my personal laptop, and most recently a Dell Mini 9 (okay, I consider four months ago recently – heck, my blogging frequency is terrible now).

    My regular laptop at home is an old Thinkpad T40 that’s about five years old at this point.  It has 1.5 GB of RAM (not that you need that much for 7 – 1 GB works fine for surfing, email, and that sort of thing), but it’s clearly a weak machine by current standards.  Win7 runs just fine on it.

    Similarly, my old desktop was over five years old.  Since it has 1 GB of RAM, it runs Win7 very nicely, and that one’s now my wife’s machine.  Meanwhile, I finally bought myself a new desktop (Core i7 HP Pavillion Elite) back in November, and vacation afforded me the time to get all my stuff migrated over to it (after wiping the machine, of course – too much crud comes on new machines).

    To finish moving to Win7, I needed to upgrade my development desktop at work from Windows Server 2008 to Windows Server 2008 R2 (aka Win7 server).  I hadn't found the time to do it, but the video driver crashed again on Tuesday.  I was tired of that happening periodically.  So I made use of the Windows Deployment Service we have here in the local office, and kicked off a Win2k8 R2 installation as I left.

    I spend so much of my day in Outlook these days that the first app I installed was Office (2010 Beta, of course, which works very well!).  I’ve been so busy that I haven’t even installed Visual Studio yet.  I had been running VS 2010 Beta 2, and that’s what I’m also running on my laptop.  I’m hoping to pick up a new signed build tomorrow, and put the latest and greatest on my dev box.

    After redoing my dev box, XP and Vista (in the form of Windows Server 2008) are out of my life.  It’s hard to believe XP has dominated for basically a decade.  All of my installations of Win7 have been great, and I’ve only hit the one snag with a Bluetooth mouse I described in my post on the Dell Mini 9 (a reader commented not having the issue with the same combination, so maybe I did something dumb).  I really love how it finds all of the drivers for video cards, network adapters, smart card readers, and printers.  Win7 is awesome!

    Happy New Year!

  • Buck Hodges

    Building .NET 4.0 Apps with Team Foundation Build 2008


    William Bartholomew, former VSTS MVP and author of the book Inside the Microsoft Build Engine: Using MSBuild and Team Foundation Build, recently joined Microsoft.  He's written a great post on the handful of steps you need to follow if you want to build .NET 4.0 applications with TFS 2008:  Building .NET 4.0 Applications Using Team Build 2008.  Check it out!

  • Buck Hodges

    What features are in TFS Basic 2010?


    Earlier, I wrote a post explaining where to find TFS Basic.  Someone asked a set of questions about TFS Basic, and I thought I’d post the answers here.

    What features are in TFS Basic 2010?

    Brian’s post describes a bit of the feature differences and also shows the installation process. It’s really much easier to talk about features not in Basic, as Basic is just TFS configured using a set of defaults to make the installation experience very simple. Basic does not configure SharePoint or SQL Reporting Services (RS), and because of the lack of RS there’s no warehouse. That’s it. Otherwise, it’s the same feature set as standard TFS. If you decide at some point later that you want to use those features, you can choose to configure them via the Team Foundation Administration Console (note that to use SQL Reporting Services, you must use full SQL Server and not Express).

    You get additional features in TFS Basic of being able to use SQL Server Express 2008 rather than regular SQL Server 2008, though you are free to point Basic at an existing SQL server (default is to install SQL Server Express or reuse it if it is already installed), and you get the feature of being able to install on a client OS (Win7 or Vista).

    Is TFS Basic limited to 5 users?  How can I add more?

    No, TFS Basic is not limited to 5 users. You can have as many users as you like, so long as users 6 through N have TFS CALs, which are either purchased or ones included due to the user having an MSDN subscription. See my post with licensing comments from Doug Seven for more info. If you want to have more than 5 users, you may want to put TFS Basic on a Windows Server OS because the client OSes are limited to about 10 simultaneous connections, after which point connections are either queued (some buffer) or refused.

    Is the new Excel reporting feature available (right click on a work item query and choose to create a report in Excel)?

    You will not be able to use the Excel reports feature built into the product for TFS Basic since there is no warehouse.

    Is web access available in TFS Basic?

    TFS Basic does indeed include web access. There’s unfortunately no shortcut to get to web access via the right click menu in Team Explorer, which has been suggested. You can always find web access at http://yourserver:8080/tfs/web.

  • Buck Hodges

    TFS 2010 server licensing: It's included in MSDN subscriptions


    [UPDATE 2/10/2010]  You can now get the official Visual Studio 2010 Licensing whitepaper, which also covers TFS, Lab, and IntelliTrace. That is the best resource for understanding the licensing.

    Another big piece of news with the release of VS and TFS 2010 betas yesterday is the changes to TFS licensing for 2010 that make it even more affordable.  Here are the comments from Doug Seven, our licensing guru in marketing, on Soma's beta 2 announcement post.

    Team Foundation Server 2010 will be included in the MSDN subscription that comes with Visual Studio 2010 Professional, Premium, Ultimate, and Test Elements. This copy of Team Foundation Server in licensed for unlimited development and test use (as is all MSDN software) and licensed for one production deployment. These MSDN subscriptions also include one CAL.

    Team Foundation Server has three installation choices - Basic, Advanced and Custom.  You will be able to install this either on your client machine (very similar to client side SCM such as VSS) or on a server machine just like TFS 2008.

    Team Foundation Server will also be available in retail for around $500 USD and will include a license term allowing up to five (5) named users without CALs to use Team Foundation Server. To grow to more than five users, you will need to have CALs for additional users beyond five users. This enables small teams of five or fewer to get up and running on Team Foundation Server for as little as $500 USD.

    Of course having Visual Studio 2010 with MSDN means you can get Team Foundation Server up and running at no additional cost.

    You can also hear more in an interview with Doug Seven conducted by three MVPS: The Ultimate Announcement Show.

    I'm not a licensing expert, so I can't answer detailed questions about licensing.  I did want to make sure everyone sees this.  It's a really exciting change.

    [UPDATE 10/20/09]  I wanted to add a clarification from Doug around the CALs and SQL.  There is a licensing whitepaper in the works that should be out soon.

    Retail TFS does not come with 5-CALs. It has a EULA exception allowing up to 5 users without CALs. The primary difference is that CALs can be used to access multiple TFS instances. A EULA exception cannot. In other words, buying two TFS retail licenses does NOT give me rights for 10-users on one instance of TFS. It gives me rights to two instances with 5-users each. To add more than 5 users, you must have CALs for all additional users.

    TFS also still includes a SQL Server license for use with TFS.  In other words, you can't use the SQL license included with TFS to do anything other than to support TFS.

  • Buck Hodges

    Where is TFS Basic?


    TFS Basic is not a separate download.  It’s just a choice in the TFS configuration wizard.  So to get TFS Basic, you download the regular Team Foundation Server installation, either 32-bit or 64-bit (yes, TFS now supports 64-bit Windows natively), and then run setup.exe.  After the MSI (installation phase that more or less just copies files to your disk) is done, you’ll see the following dialog.  Choose Basic, and finish your TFS setup in record time!


  • Buck Hodges

    Team Foundation Server 2010 Beta 2 is now available!


    With Soma's announcement today, Visual Studio and TFS 2010 Beta 2 are now available for download for MSDN subscribers.  The most exciting part of the TFS 2010 Beta 2 release is the debut of TFS Basic.  Brian Harry describes TFS Basic in detail in a post called TFS 2010 for SourceSafe Users.  Don't think about it as just for SourceSafe customers though.  Beta 2 is a "go-live" release, and I recommend checking out Brian Keller's post to Get read to "go live' with Team Foundation Server Beta 2.

    TFS Basic will install on Windows 7 and Windows Vista.  Prior to Basic, you were required to have a Windows Server OS to install TFS.  So if you want TFS on your laptop, you can do it now.  Basic will automatically install the pre-requisites of IIS, ASP.NET, and SQL Server Express for you.  Just pop in the disk (virtually speaking) and go.  It's that easy.

    Also, TFS 2010 (not just Basic) will now install on a domain controller. This was a request we heard fairly often from users, and we were able to add support in 2010.

    TFS Basic is the same product as regular TFS except that you can use SQL Express, and you don't configure SharePoint or SQL Reporting Services.  It has all of the same version control, build, and bug tracking features.

    Another great change we made in 2010 is in the configuration and administration of the server.  The vast majority of administrative tasks can now be done through the TFS Admin Console GUI.  Brian wrote quite a bit about this in the post, TFS 2010 Admin, Operations, & Setup Improvements.

    Team System Web Access is now part of the product.  On a server with TFS installed, it is available at http://yourserver:8080/tfs.

    You can upgrade from either TFS 2005 or TFS 2008 to TFS 2010.  The TFS 2005 users do not need to upgrade to TFS 2008 first.  Do follow the upgrade guide, though, because TFS 2005 users will need to upgrade from SQL 2005 to SQL 2008 and upgrade to SharePoint 3.0.

    A 2010 version of the TFS 2008 Power Tools is not yet available.  We are planning to release an update to them, but we aren't yet able to share the timeframe.  Stay tuned.

    Visit the MSDN forum Microsoft Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010 Beta 2 to post questions and get answers from the product team, MVPs, and the community.

    Update [10/19/2006]   We have released a patch (download) for Team Explorer 2008 to handle some compatibility issues when using it with a 2010 server.  You can read about those issues in a blog post covering the full compatibility story for 2005 and 2008 clients with a 2010 server.  We plan to release a similar patch for Team Explorer 2005 around the time of TFS 2010 RTM.

    For anyone just getting started with TFS 2010, I highly recommend reading Brian's post that covers the key concepts for TFS 2010.

    If you are not doing a simple installation, you'll want to follow the TFS Installation Guide.  Be sure to follow the instructions on the download page to "unblock" the CHM file.

    Finally, be sure to take a look through the TFS 2010 Beta 2 Readme, as there are known issues you'll need to know about (after all, it's a beta for a reason).

    If you had Visual Studio 2010 Beta 1 installed, you'll want to read this before installing VS 2010 Beta 2.

  • Buck Hodges

    Dell Mini 9 and Win7: Getting a Microsoft Bluetooth mouse working


    Win7 is awesome, so today I put Windows 7 Professional on my Dell Mini 9.  This is the third laptop on which I’ve installed Win7, and every time it puts a smile on my face.  The installation works well and generally most devices work after installation, minimizing time spent fiddling with drivers.  The few devices that don’t work after installation often work after getting the drivers from Windows update.

    The only device not working this time was my Microsoft Bluetooth Notebook Mouse 5000.  The computer would find it and list it in the Bluetooth devices in Win7, yet it wouldn’t work (i.e., move the mouse pointer).  I started searching for solutions online.  One suggestion was to run the device driver installer from Broadcom’s Bluetooth Software Download page.  I tried that, but it fails with an error.

    I ran across a thread on a forum where someone stated they’d installed the driver from Dell’s support page. I was skeptical about this since this download is for XP.  Since I couldn’t find a better answer and didn’t have much invested in this installation, I decided to give it a try.  I went to the Dell support page, entered my service tag, and downloaded the Broadcom Bluetooth driver, A01.

    The downloaded file is R197396.exe, and the installation takes a longer than I would expect to run from start to finish.  Along the way it pops up several windows showing progress for different kinds of devices.  Once it finished, I pushed the Bluetooth button on the bottom of my mouse to put it into discovery mode, right clicked on the Bluetooth icon in the Win7 notification area, chose to Add a Bluetooth Device, picked the mouse (the full name didn’t show up until I clicked on it), and the mouse started working properly.

    The only problem I’ve found is that the My Bluetooth Places choice in the right click menu for the Bluetooth icon’s popup menu crashes.  Since I don’t need that, it’s not a problem for me.

    The other change that I made was to have the Windows Bluetooth service start automatically.  To do that, go to Windows Start and type services.msc.  Right click on Bluetooth Service, choose Properties, and change the Startup Type to Automatic.

    By the way, installing Windows from bootable USB thumb drives works really well.

    If you know of a better solution, I’d be interested to know.

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  • Buck Hodges

    Hosted TFS discounted for Microsoft BizSpark members


    If you are in the Microsoft BizSpark program, you now have access to discounted TFS hosting from SaaS Made EasyPaul Hacker, a VSTS MVP, posted the announcement on his blog earlier this week.  He also provides some info on BizSpark, which is a fantastic program for startups.

    BizSpark Hosted TFS

    I would like to announce that SaaS Made Easy, LLC is now a network partner in the Microsoft BizSpark Program. What does that mean? It means that if you are in the BizSpark program you are going to be able to use our Hosted TFS service at a substantial discount. Please visit us to get more information on this awesome offer.

    Microsoft BizSpark is a global program designed to help accelerate the success of entrepreneurs and early stage startups. In addition to a very generous software offer, BizSpark also provides professional support from Microsoft technical experts, as well as visibility on the BizSparkDB website.

    What are the Requirements?
    In order to register for the BizSpark program, your company must:

    Be privately held
    Be in business for less than 3 years
    Have less than $1 Million USD in revenue annually
    Enrollment is free. Microsoft will assess each startup a USD $100 program offering fee due at end of participation in the Program.


  • Buck Hodges

    Using Test Impact in VSTS 2010


    Dennis Stone, a tester on Team Test, has posted a great walkthrough of using the new test impact feature of 2010.  If you aren't familiar with test impact, it's a feature that tells you which tests execute the code you've changed in a checkin.  Rather than run all of the tests, you can run only the tests that test the code you changed.

    Test Impact Walk-through

    One of the key areas of focus for Visual Studio Team System 2010 is to enhance the experience for testers. There’s already lots of overview information on many of the new features out there so I’m going to dive right in to one of my favorite new features.

    In short, the Test Impact Analysis feature gives you a list of recommended tests based on the changes that were made in a build. As you run your tests through Microsoft Test and Lab Manager (code named Camano) you will have the option to run the Test Impact Data Collector which is one of the many built-in Data Collectors available while running tests. This particular data collector will associate the code paths you execute in your application with the test you are running.

    When Team Build generates a new build it will analyze what code has been changed since the last build was done and then provide you with a list of the impacted tests. These are the tests that touch the same pieces of code that were changed since the last build.

    For a more thorough explanation of the Test Impact Data Collector read this blog post by Amit Chatterjee.

    more …

    Also covering test impact but from a different angle, Jakob Ehn shows how to use and view the results in Visual Studio Team System 2010.

  • Buck Hodges

    TFS 2010 Beta 1: Don’t run initial configuration from the administration console (MMC)


    Beta 1 for TFS 2010, along with VS and VSTS, is now available to MSDN subscribers and will be available for broad download shortly.  Be sure to check out the Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 First Look site to see what’s in this release, as well as the documentation on MSDN.  Brian has written posts on TFS 2010 features in administration and operations and work item tracking so far.

    There’s a bug you’ll want to avoid in setting up and initially configuring beta 1.  If you choose not to continue on through configuration at the end of the MSI setup phase (in other words, you uncheck the box to launch the configuration tool), you must finish configuration by running tfsmgmt.exe configure to avoid causing problems with SharePoint.  After you have initially configured the server, you can and should use the Team Foundation Administration Console to make changes to your server.  We believe it's a great feature, and we want your feedback on it.  It's just the initial configuration of the server where we have this issue.

    Here's a screenshot with the checkbox I'm talking about.  You'll want to leave it checked and continue through the configuration wizard.


    If you choose to uncheck the box and then run the Team Foundation Administration Console (Start –> All Programs –> Microsoft Team Foundation Server 2010 Beta 1 –> Team Foundation Administration Console), here is what you will see.  Do not click the link to run the wizard.  Instead, run the server configuration wizard from the command line via tfsmgmt configure instead.


    If you go to the Team Foundation Build node in the admin console, you will see a similar link for configuring build.  There are no issues with configuring build from the admin console, so that one is not a problem.

    Here is the content from the Beta 1 Readme about this issue, including the full path to the command line tool.

    1.3.4   Initial Configuration of Team Foundation Server Should be Run From MSI Program or by Command Line

    Initial Team Foundation Server configuration fails on Windows SharePoint configuration if you access the Team Foundation Configuration Tool by clicking the link in the Team Foundation Administration Console instead of by launching Team Foundation Configuration Tool at the end of the installation phase.

    To avoid this issue:

    If you want to setup Windows SharePoint Server during Team Foundation Server configuration, you must launch the Team Foundation Server Configuration Tool by using one of the two following methods:

    ·         Launch the Team Foundation Configuration Tool by selecting the check box at the end of the Team Foundation Server installation

    ·         If you exited Team Foundation Server MSI program (setup.exe) without launching Team Foundation Configuration Tool, do not start the Administration Console from the Start menu item shortcut. Instead use following command line:

    "%programfiles%\Microsoft team foundation server 10.0\tools\tfsmgmt.exe" configure

    After Team Foundation Server has installed and configured Windows SharePoint, you can configure Team Foundation Server by using the Start menu to launch Team Foundation Server Administration Console.

    If you end up in a situation where you have installed beta 1 by launching the configuration wizard from the admin console and ended up with a corrupt SharePoint installation, the easiest way to get out of the situation right now is to uninstall both SharePoint and TFS 2010 and then re-install TFS 2010 Beta 1 and let it install and configure SharePoint.  I'll update this post if we have a set of steps that is less drastic than this.

    This was a problem we discovered at the last moment.  It is due to the fact that we force the Microsoft Management Console (MMC), which hosts our Team Foundation Server Administration Console GUI, to run our MMC plugin under CLR 4.0.  The reason we had to do that is because MMC uses an older COM API to host the CLR, which is now capped at CLR 2.0 due to changes made in CLR 4.0.  The side effect of that hack is that it causes child processes that are executed to also run under 4.0.  One of the processes that we run as part of configuration is stsadm.exe.  Running stsadm under 4.0 causes it to serialize some 4.0 objects in the SharePoint database, at which point SharePoint is broken.

    If you go straight through the setup and into configuration, thus following the default path, everything will work.  If you choose not to continue with configuration after the MSI portion of setup has completed, you need to run tfsmgmt.exe configure to complete the configuration (running it separately like that avoids the problem with the MMC environment).

    Once you’ve gone through the initial installation and configuration of SharePoint, you can use the new Team Foundation Server Administration Console with no restrictions.

    For beta 2 and beyond, we have made changes (yes, past tense…we’ve been working hard on beta 2) that avoid this issue entirely.

    Be sure to provide us feedback and let us know what issues you find in beta 1 by entering them into Connect.

    [Update 5/19/2008]  I've added a couple of screenshots to make it more clear, and I've also added clarification that it's the initial configuration of the server where you need to be aware of this issue.

  • Buck Hodges

    TFS 2008 supports SQL 2008 SP1


    SQL 2008 SP1 has just been released, and we've gotten a couple of questions about whether it is supported with with Team Foundation Server 2008.  We tested SQL 2008 SP1 with both the original release of TFS 2008 and TFS 2008 SP1, and we do fully support using it with either release of TFS 2008.

    [UPDATE 4/14/2009]  If you are installing TFS 2008 and using an instance of SQL that already has SQL 2008 SP1 applied, you will need to follow the steps in the following KB article: How to install Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 Team Foundation Server on a computer that has SQL Server 2008 Service Pack 1 installed.  This is required due to the version number for SQL 2008 SP1 being different than what the TFS 2008 SP1 setup logic expects.

  • Buck Hodges

    Debug your build with MSBuild Sidekick v2.3


    The folks at Attrice have released a new version of their MSBuild Sidekick, and it now includes a visual debugger for msbuild.  If you've ever tried to debug a build process, you know how tedious it can be and will want to check this out.

    MSBuild Sidekick v 2.3 is released

    We are happy to announce the release of version 2.3 of MSBuild Sidekick!

    Many of you would remember “How would you spend $100 on MSBuild?” poll published on MSBuild Team Blog. MSBuild users were asked to vote on most valuable future features in MSBuild; and while we could not improve MSBuild engine performance or add inline tasks support we did implement visual debugger for MSBuild! MSBuild Sidekick v2.3 is now the one-stop solution for all your debugging needs such as stepping through the build, inspecting locals and setting breakpoints.

    The new features in MSBuild Sidekick v2.3 are:

    • Visual debugger (you can analyze build sequence using diagram) with breakpoints support and integrated Globals/Autos windows for viewing properties/items values during debugging

    • Customized editors and integrated online help for MSBuild Extension Pack tasks
    • Ability to cancel a running build
    • Ability to edit Project element raw XML
    • Auto-detection of latest .NET Framework on tool installation
    Technorati Tags:
  • Buck Hodges

    Sorting by multiple columns in work item tracking


    Recently I was showing someone the results of a bug query and sorting by more than one column in work item tracking in Team Explorer.  When the person said he didn't realize that feature existed, I decided it would be worth posting.  This also works in Team System Web Access.

    To sort by more the one column, simply hold the Shift key when clicking the column header of the column you would like to sort next.  If you want to sort descending instead of ascending, continue to hold the Shift key and click the header again to flip the sort ordering.

    In the screen shot below, I'm sorting first by Priority and then by Area Level 4.  You cannot tell from looking at the column headers which column gets sorted first.


    This works in the 2008 version and newer of Team Explorer and Team System Web Access.  I was using Team Explorer 2008 SP1 in the screenshot above.

    Since I'm on the topic of subtle but useful features, there's a handy way to diff files in version control by holding the Shift key and double clicking on a pending change.

    Finally, did you know that you can use the formatting toolbar in VS to insert rich text into your work items?  With TSWA it's more obvious because the formatting toolbar is shown just above the text box.  In TFS 2010, the work item editor in Team Explorer also shows the formatting toolbar with the text box.

    [Update 3/23/09]  Sunder Raman, now program manager for the TFS Reporting feature area, reminded me of a couple of great posts he wrote a year ago.  Be sure to check these out for more useful work item tracking tips.

  • Buck Hodges

    Why the CheckInEvent doesn't list all of the files in a changeset


    I recently received a question from someone about the CheckInEvent.

    We subscribe to the Notify event using the BisSubscribe tool. Basically we have many applications that share some projects, but as TFS has no mechanism for sharing we have written our own in house app.

    We have hooked into Notify for the CheckInEvents and we check each file after checkin to see if it is one of our shared files. If it is then we bounce it around to various locations etc..

    All has been working fine until recently we started getting problems on large check ins. After some investigation I have noticed that the string eventXml parameter does not contain all of the check in information. Bascially it seems to only hold a max of 25 checkins.

    I wondered if you'd come across this problem, and if you had any advice??

    What's happening here is that TFS limits the number of changes included in the XML for the event to prevent sending large (or even huge) amounts of data that may not be needed.  To get a list of all of the changes for a particular changeset, you must use the VersionControlServer.GetChangeset() method, specifying the changeset from the XML.

  • Buck Hodges

    New book on MSBuild and Team Foundation Build


    There is now a book dedicated to MSBuild and Team Foundation Build.  The book is written by Sayed Ibrahim Hashimi and William Bartholomew.  Sayed has written about MSBuild before, both in books and MSDN Magazine articles, and William is a Team System MVP with a lot of experience in customizing the build process in Team Foundation.

    If you want to learn more about using build in Team System, you need to get a copy.

    Inside the Microsoft® Build Engine: Using MSBuild and Team Foundation Build

    Product Description
    The build process when code gets assembled to see how and how well it works is a critical step in software development. Developers had few options for customizing the build process before Visual Studio 2005 and Visual Studio 2008, but the Microsoft Build Engine (MSBuild) enables developers to customize each step during a build. MSBuild is extensible and uses an XML file to describe each step, allowing the build master or developer to easily change and augment how projects are built. This book offers hands-on guidance for customizing MSBuild, and provides a cookbook of examples on Web deployment, automated releases, and other essential topics. It also covers Visual Studio Team Foundation Build, the build engine in Visual Studio Team System.

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