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  • Blog Post: Upgrading your build definitions from TFS2010 to TFS2012

    There have been a lot of problems with compatibility of custom builds when upgrading from TFS2010 to TFS2012. This blog post is my attempt to summarize what you have to do and how to fix some issues you might run into. The very first step is to upgrade your Server. Your build machines should match...
  • Blog Post: TFS 2012 – Cleaning up Workflow XAML files (AKA removing versioned namespaces)

    If you haven’t run into this problem in TFS Build 2012 yet, you probably will… Problem: After Upgrading your Visual Studio client or your build machine from 2010 to 2012, you start seeing errors like these… Opening a XAML file in Visual Studio 2012 - System.Reflection...
  • Blog Post: TFS 2012 – IBuildDetail.RequestedFor is not what it used to be!

    If you have custom build tasks or activities that rely on “build.RequestedFor” (or “build.RequestedBy”) being the account name, you may have some problems when converting those customizations over to TFS 2012 Build. In TFS 2012, we have completely switched over to Display names in the UI. To make this...
  • Blog Post: TFS 2010 - Viewing the Build Details Log View in Visual Studio is very slow

    So, there are several things I want to talk about, but they all boil down to the perf of the Log View in the Build Details window in Visual Studio. Unfortunately, if you have a large amount of data here, it slows down everything until it gets fully loaded. We knew about some of the limitations here,...
  • Blog Post: TFS2010 – Where is $(BuildNumber)?

    So, I have been asked this very question a couple of times now which means it should be searchable for all :). In TFS Build 2008, all of the logic for building on the server was tucked away in a targets file for MSBuild. All Team Build did was to call MSBuild on a special TfsBuild.proj file and pass...
  • Blog Post: TFS 2010 – Making Your Build Log Less Noisy

    So, I have been asked this question a couple of times now and so I decided to put it out there for everyone. If you are creating custom build templates that do a lot of looping or other work that seems to make the build log way too noisy, you may want to hide some of that. Well, we had the same problem...
  • Blog Post: Using The Custom Assembly Path to Deploy Custom TFS Checkin Policies

    First, what is the Custom Assembly Path? In TFS 2010, we added a feature to the Build infrastructure that will automatically copy dlls checked into version control to the Build Machine. This functionality was added so that the custom build process designer didn’t have to visit each and every build machine...
  • Blog Post: WF - Creating an Activity Base Class

    (or Designing Your Workflow Activity Class Hierarchy) One of the questions that we've had to consider when designing our Workflow Activity Class Hierarchy is whether it is valuable to have our own Activity base class (derived from Activity and inherited by all of our activity classes). Our answer was...
  • Blog Post: WF - The Asynchronous Activity/Service Pattern

    In my previous blog post ( Creating an Asynchronous Workflow Activity ), I explained why your custom activities should either be really fast or run asynchronously. But, I didn't give you a real world example of how to do this. In this post I provide an example of the pattern that my team uses when creating...
  • Blog Post: WF - Creating an Asynchronous Workflow Activity

    What a silly topic for a blog post! Workflow already runs my whole activity tree on a another thread, I don't have to worry about being Async, Do I? Yes, you do. While it is true that each Workflow gets its own thread (in the default setup), that thread can be easily blocked by a long running or hung...
  • Blog Post: Stopping a Build -> Cancelling a Workflow

    This post continues my quest to learn more about Windows Workflow and share that experience with you. It assumes knowledge of Windows Workflow. If you don't understand some of the concepts please take a look at one of the books that I mentioned in my first WF post . One of the operations that we require...
  • Blog Post: My Introduction to Windows Workflow Foundation (WF)

    Team Build is a build workflow tool. It manages how and when builds are performed. Currently (in VS2005 and VS2008), that workflow was written in the language of MSBuild. This allows us a lot of flexibility and power on the machine that runs the build. However, modifying the MS.TF.Build.Targets file...
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