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  • Blog Post: TFS Administration Tool 2.3 (2013) Released

    As I did after the last major TFS release , the TFS Administration Tool has been updated to depend upon the TFS 2013 Object Model. You no-longer need Team Explorer 2012 installed to use the tool. It can be installed on machines running either the stand-alone object model ( http://aka.ms/TFSOM2013 ),...
  • Blog Post: What does a well maintained Team Foundation Server look like?

    After spending some time out in the field looking at customer’s TFS environments and more recently looking at some of Microsoft’s internal on-premises TFS deployments , I realised that some environments are configured and better maintained than others. Some of the general concepts and...
  • Blog Post: Five years at Microsoft and a new job

    Recently, I completed 5 years of service at Microsoft. The company makes a big deal of anniversaries that fall on the 5-year milestones with increasingly larger " optical crystal " monuments. As part of my anniversary, I also imported another tradition back to my local branch office from my...
  • Blog Post: New book: Professional Team Foundation Server 2012

    I’m very pleased to announce that our new book Professional Team Foundation Server 2012 is now available! It’s an update to the 2010 edition that reflects all the great new features and changes introduced in Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2012. For example, there are whole new chapters on Managing...
  • Blog Post: TFS2012: New tools for TFS Administrators

    This is a brand new feature in TFS 2012 that hasn’t really been documented or talked about yet. If you’re a TFS administrator and you browse to this address on your server, you will see a new web-based administration interface for some things inside of TFS: http://your-server:8080/tfs/ _oi/ Activity...
  • Blog Post: TFS, Load Balancers, Idle Timeout settings and TCP Keep-Alives

    Since TFS 2010, it has been possible to have multiple Application Tier servers configured in a load-balanced configuration. If you use something like a F5 BIG-IP LTM device, then the default Idle Timeout settings for the TCP Profile can cause problems. (But don’t despair, read the whole post). Here’s...
  • Blog Post: TFS: How to Customize Work Item Types

    Team Foundation Server has allowed you to modify your Work Item Type Definitions since the first version of TFS. (Side note: this is not the case with the Team Foundation Service , but the team hopes to enable that at some point in the future. At the moment, limiting the customization allows them to...
  • Blog Post: TFS2012: IntelliSense for customizing Work Item Types using XML

    Team Foundation Server allows you to modify the Work Item Type definitions. You can use a graphical interface like the Process Editor included in the Team Foundation Server Power Tool, or you can edit the raw XML. For making changes across many work item types, I prefer to edit the raw XML in Visual...
  • Blog Post: TFS2012: What are all the different Jobs built-in to TFS?

    This is a question that I get occasionally, and it’s covered in more detail in the Professional Team Foundation Server 2012 book that I wrote. Team Foundation Server has a Job Agent built in. It’s implemented as a Windows Service that runs on your Application Tier servers. There are some...
  • Blog Post: TFS2012: Monitoring Management Pack

    The Visual Studio 2012 Team Foundation Server Monitoring Management Pack for monitoring TFS with System Center Operations Manager 2007 SP1 or 2012 is now available. You can download it here . The Team Foundation Server 2012 Monitoring Management Pack provides both proactive and reactive monitoring of...
  • Blog Post: Visual Studio and Team Foundation Server 2012 Update 1 is now available

    The Visual Studio Updates are a new mechanism that the team is using to provide ongoing value through the year to Visual Studio and Team Foundation Server customers. For more information on the updates, see:  Visual Studio 2012 Update 1 Visual Studio 2012 Update 1 Now Available (Soma’s Blog) Visual...
  • Blog Post: TFS Administration Tool 2.2 Released

    I am pleased to announce that the TFS Administration Tool 2.2 has been released. This release works against Team Foundation Server 2012 and installs on a machine with Team Explorer 2012 . You no longer need to install Team Explorer 2010 to use this tool. Download TFS Administration Tool 2.2 (1.55 MB...
  • Blog Post: Premier Support Catalogue now available

    As a Premier Field Engineer , we are constantly skilling up and getting accredited to deliver our proactive support offerings. All of these offerings are in the latest Microsoft Services Premier Support Catalogue for Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) . Here’s the main offering that I deliver – the TFS...
  • Blog Post: From Server to Service: How Microsoft Moved TFS to Windows Azure

    Recently I was invited to speak at TechEd 2012 Australia on my experience with building an Internet-scale service on Windows Azure. Rather than focus on the coding aspects which are documented quite comprehensively on MSDN , I focused on the operational aspects that are crucial to running a reliable...
  • Blog Post: Fix: Analysis Services crashes while processing the TFS OLAP cube

    I was on-site with a customer last week performing a Team Foundation Server Health Check (TFSHC) . While I was there, I noticed that their SQL Server Analysis Services 2008 R2 SP1 instance had been crashing. So, I did what any good PFE would do and grabbed a copy of the crash dumps (SQLDmpr0001.mdmp...
  • Blog Post: How to: Take a Memory Dump of an ASP.NET Application Pool Quickly

    When I was running the internal Team Foundation Servers (TFS) at Microsoft, we sometimes encountered issues that could only be understood by analysing a memory dump. This was especially true on the Pioneer and Dogfood servers that were running pre-Beta builds. If the problem was serious enough (crashing...
  • Blog Post: How to configure HTTP access to the TFS Analysis Services Cube

    This is a fairly obscure Team Foundation Server (TFS) and SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS) configuration, but if you find yourself in this situation, it is another option for making the TFS Analysis Services cube available to your users. I would be surprised if it was ever tested by the TFS product...
  • Blog Post: What does a Premier Field Engineer (PFE) do, anyway?

    To be perfectly honest, I had never heard of or understood the ‘PFE’ role at Microsoft until I moved away from Redmond and into the subsidiary. That was one of the traps of being in the product team on campus – by not being on a customer site every day, it was very easy to forget about the “real world...
  • Blog Post: Where’s Grant?

    You may have noticed that my blog has been a little void of new content lately. The good news is that I'm back with a bunch of new things to talk about. First of all, for those of you who don't know, my family and I relocated back to my hometown of Canberra, Australia in September last year. I spent...
  • Blog Post: Team Build 2010: Associate Changesets and Work Items with a Dummy Build

    Jason Prickett has a blog post called Creating Fake Builds in TFS Build 2010 . It includes code for creating a dummy build service host, build controller, build definition and then a build result ( IBuildDetail ). One thing that isn’t shown is how to associate Changesets and Work Items to the build result...
  • Blog Post: TFS: Empty Process Template

    Over the last few years, I've occasionally had a need for an empty or minimal process template. For example: You are setting up a sync with the TFS Integration Tools and you want to do a "context sync" (i.e. let the tool copy the Work Item Types, Areas/Iterations, Global Lists from one server to...
  • Blog Post: TFS 2010: What Service Packs and Hotfixes Should I Install?

    Team Foundation Server 2010 was released in April 2010. Since then, there have been a number of important Service Packs, Cumulative Updates and hotfixes that have been made available based upon internal usage at Microsoft and customer feedback via the support organisation. This blog post is an attempt...
  • Blog Post: TFS2010: Update Activity Logging Cleanup Interval

    Every command that a user executes in TFS is logged to the database. This is very useful for investigating performance issues and other things. I’ve blogged before about how to query this table for TFS2008. Those same queries work for TFS2010 as well. By default, each night a job runs that deletes log...
  • Blog Post: Getting Started with TFS Hosting from DiscountASP.NET

    With the recent reorganization of SPLA prices for Team Foundation Server, there’s been some new offerings in the Hosted TFS space. I’ve blogged about other TFS hosting services in the past and there’s a list of the companies that provide TFS hosting services here . Now there’s...
  • Blog Post: Monitoring the TFS Data Warehouse - FAQ

    This blog post describes how to interpret the Data Warehouse & Cube status reports included in the Administrative Report Pack for TFS2010 . Should I expect some processing jobs to fail? Why might most processing jobs fail? Why might many Incremental jobs be upgraded to Full jobs? Why...
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