TFS has continued to improve and add to the compatibility guidance. This blog includes links to the 2005 and 2008 forward compatibility updates as well as the forward and backward compatibility detailed scenarios.
Table of Contents
2010 Team Explorer Client to the 2008 Team Foundation Server
2010 Team Explorer Client to the 2005 Team Foundation Server
2008 and 2005 Team Explorer Client without the Forward Compatibility Update (GDR)
The Team Explorer 2008 Forward Compatibility Update (GDR)
The Team Explorer 2005 Forward Compatibility Update (GDR)
Team Explorer Everywhere and Teamprise Updates
The MSSCCI Provider 2010 Power Tool
TFS compatibility is taken very seriously - both new clients accessing older server versions and older clients accessing newer server versions. As such, we have worked to make the new TFS 2010 clients work with the TFS 2008 servers (in addition to TFS 2010 servers). We are also ensuring that TFS 2005, TFS 2008, TEE and MSSCCI clients will work with new TFS 2010 servers, although patches are required to ensure this. Many of the features in TFS 2010 have components on both the client and server that work together to provide the full benefit. Using either an older server or older client means that some of the TFS 2010 features will not be available to you, but we have taken great strides to ensure that key features (old or new) work. In addition, API compatibility support was maintained in the object model and web services, so programs written against the old client or server versions should continue to work as designed.
Example 1: 2010 Team Foundation Server supports work item hierarchy. Older clients will be able to query, view and edit work items on a 2010 server but will not be able to view or change the hierarchy.
Example2: Test results publishing has been improved with the 2010 server and older clients will be able to use the improved publishing as they were able to publish Test results previously.
In the event that you must use an older client (e.g. when you are doing SQL 2005 Business Intelligence development with VS 2005), you can run a newer TFS 2010 client side by side and access functionality not available in the older client.
Because TFS 2010 is such a large step forward, a few features in TFS 2005, 2008 and MSSCCI clients need updates to work with TFS 2010 server. As such, updates (patches) are available to those clients. The TFS 2010 RTM server blocks connection to the older unpatched clients by default. An error message with the location of the client patch will be provided. This is a configurable setting and an administrator after reviewing the issues with unpatch client will be able choose to unblock the unpatched client or not. All of the details on the issues and configuration settings are below.
Back Compatibility: The new version clients support the older server.
Forward Compatibility: The older clients support the new server, sometimes with the additional help from an update (patch).
VSTS 2008 Forward Compatibility Update - KB974558
VSTS 2005 Forward Compatibility Update - KB979258
VS 2005 Side By Side QFE for Office Integration-KB946075 on Code Gallery
VS 2005 Side By Side QFE for Office Integration-KB946075 on Connect
Team Explorer Everywhere
TFS Support Matrix
VS / TE 2010
VS / TE 2008
Y (no change)
VS / TE 2005
VS / TE 2008 w/ GDR
VS / TE 2005 w/ GDR
Team Explorer Everywhere
Teamprise 3.2 (or earlier)
The 2010 Team Explorer client provides a similar experience to the 2008 Team Explorer client when connected to a 2008 Team Foundation Server. New functionality the server does not have is disabled or hidden from the user.
Before TFS 2010, TFS services always appear at the root of a web site. Starting in TFS 2010, you can configure a path. The 2010 connect dialog defaults to the default TFS 2010 sub path "tfs".
Team Explorer 2010 connection dialog will need the path field cleared to connect to a previous version of Team Foundation Server.
By default the 2010 Team Foundation Server will block clients without the Forward Compatibility GDR from connecting to the new server. The list of issues below is therefore blocked unless the default server registry setting is changed.
Here is the list of issues and workarounds if TE 2008or TE 2005 is used without the update and only if the server registry setting is changed.
As Team Explorer 2008 and Team Explorer 2005 are not aware of several Team Foundation Server 2010 features, administrative functionality has been limited to the Team Explorer 2010 client. For example, the administrator can only run the Project Creation Wizard from Team Explorer 2010 to add Team Project to Team Foundation Server 2010. Team Explorer 2010 client can also be used to administer the Team Foundation Server 2008 server.
Tools only available to the Team Explore 2010 client when against a 2010 server include:
Use Team Explorer 2010 to perform administrative functions on Team Foundation Server 2010.
TFS 2010 introduces the notion of Team Project Collections. A TFS "server" can house many Team Project Collections. Team Explorer 2008 SP1 can connect to any of the Team Project Collections in a TFS instance but you must type the full url for the collection.Workaround
Add the whole path as shown below in the Add Team Foundation Server dialog.
We can express the connection string as follows: http://<serverName>:<port>/<vdir>/<collectionName>
The <vdir> is an optional path for the TFS web sites specified by the administrator during setup. By default it is "tfs".
Example connection strings looks like: http://myserver:8080/tfs/Collection1 or http://server:8080/Collection1
Warning: Although the Admin Console displays the URL with a final slash, "/", the older clients do not take handle the slash and will not connect.
It is possible to connect to the default Team Project Collection by providing the server name only. This method is limited, as it only allows connection to one of the Team Project Collections in a TFS Instance.
Test results cannot be published using Team Explorer 2008 SP1 or older clients.
Use Team Explorer 2010 or Team Explorer 2008 SP1 with the Update to publish test results.
Rename in Version Control can cause unexpected results using Team Explorer 2008 or older clients. It is possible to create a case where the client gets confused about a pending file that has been renamed and a new file with the pending files original name. In this case, only one file with a conflicting name can be checked in by the old client leaving the new file pending and unable to check in. This requires the user to undo the changes to get the client back to a good state. Using rename will never block other users from checking in files, nor will any data corruption occur on the server.
If you must work from the 2008 client without the update, always check in a file after a rename before creating another file with the same name.
Use Team Explorer 2010 or Team Explorer 2008 SP1 with the Update to use rename in Version Control.
Work Item Tracking Queries with new functionality create unexpected error messages.
Place new queries with linking, grouping, categories, or field comparisons in a separate folder marked "New Clients Only" so customers using Team Explorer 2008 SP1 or older clients can distinguish those queries without these features.
Team Explorer 2008 SP1 or older clients do not recognize the path to the reports for a Team Project hosted on Team Foundation Server 2010.
Use a browser to navigate to the http://<reportserver>/reports then click on the "Team Foundation Server Reports" folder and the Team Project Collection folder for the appropriate collection that contains the Team Projects you are interested in.
Administrators are able to configure the location of the Shared Documents, Project Portal and Process guidance but Team Explorer 2008 SP1 Client will not be able to find the new location.
If the Shared Document, Project Portal and Process Guidance locations have been modified, URLs to the new locations can be sent to the user with Team Explorer 2008 SP1 Clients or older clients.
Customers who open a Microsoft Project plan created from a Team Explorer 2010 client with a Team Explorer 2008 or older client will cause the plan to become unusable.
Do not port project plans to other Microsoft Project tools using older client add-ins without the Forward Compatibility GDR.
TE 2008 SP1 or older client users will be able to submit changes that affect gated build definitions, but they will not be prompted with the confirmation dialog and, if their check-in affects multiple gated definitions, it will fail.The customer may not know if they were successful or not.
The customer can check the build explorer (just like in Team Explorer 2010) or use the build notification applet (Team Foundation Server 2008 power tools release rather than Team Foundation Server 2010 release).
Team Explorer 2008 SP1 or older client users can create new build definitions but they will not be able to edit them or to edit other, existing build definitions. New build definitions will be automatically upgraded to Team Foundation Server 2010 build definitions using the upgrade build process template, so Team Explorer 2008 or older client users will not be able to edit them.
Use the Team Explorer 2010 to edit build definitions. Alternatively, you can use a text or XML editor to edit the build process template.
While users of Team Explorer 2008 will be able to use the Manage Build Agents dialog box when connected to Team Foundation Server 2010, they will not be able modify the properties of Team Foundation Server 2010 Build Controller. If they attempt this, they will get the following error message: Updating build agents is not supported from this client. Please use a client compatible with Team Foundation Build 2010 and try again.
Use the Team Explorer 2010.
Team Explorer 2008 SP1 or older clients will not be able to view new 2010 controls like Stand Alone Labels, the Web Control, the Associated Test Automation Control, and the Test Steps Control. New controls used in some new Team Project work item types like Test Cases show as missing in older clients. The location on the form where the control is missing displays as red with the path to the missing control shown.
Use Team Explorer 2010 to view all of the 2010 controls or Team Explorer 2008 SP1 with the Update to view a read only version of the Associated Test Automation and Test Steps controls.
All issues using the 2008 client without the GDR apply to the 2005 client. In addition, the follow issues also apply.
There is only one default Team Project Collection in a TFS Instance. If there are multiple Team Project Collections, the 2005 Team Explorer client will not have access without the update.
Use Team Explorer 2010 side by side with Team Explorer 2005 to check files into the 2010 server or install the 2005 update.
The 2005 Team Explorer client is unable to render new controls in the work item form so is unable to view some work items types that use the new controls created with the 2010 v5 Agile and CMMI process templates. The 2005 Team Explorer throws an exception when trying to render the new controls. Therefore, unpatched 2005 clients are unable to view the work item form from within Team Explore if these new controls are present on the form. The Stand Alone Label Control and the Web Control are not found in the 2010 v5 Agile and CMMI process templates but my be added by updating a work item form. If they are added any work item type may through an exception from the 2005 client. In addition, the new Test Case work item form uses the Test Steps and the Associated Test Automation Controls, which also will not work.
Use Team Explorer 2010 side by side with Team Explorer 2005 or use Team System Web Access perform work item tracking functions when working with Team Projects that use these controls.
The VSTS 2008 Forward Compatibility Update is available and can be found at the Microsoft Download Center.
This update is applied over the 2008 SP1 version of Visual Studio Team System Team Explorer to work with 2010 TFS. The update will allow teams to move forward and use the 2010 server even if part of a team that uses the 2008 client.
The objective of this update is to continue to provide the experience of the 2008 client when working against a 2010 server. New functionality will require the 2010 client, but scenarios you already were able to perform in 2008 will continue to work.
Here are the compatibility scenarios that have been enabled or improved with the GDR.
1) TFS 2010 provides flexibility to change the location of your Project Portal, Shared Documents and Process Guidance. The 2008 Forward Compat GDR retrieves the new location from the server and this allows the 2008 client to continue to navigate to the new locations.
2) With the addition of the Team Project Collection, the reporting server paths have changed for the Team Project RDL Reports. The GDR also enables the 2008 client to navigate to the reports new location.
3) The GDR enables the user to determine which queries that can only be run from a newer client.
4) The GDR enables portability between with MS Project plan documents created using a 2010 client when sent to a user with the 2008 client. The GDR enables the 2008 client add-in to update values, but not to change link relationships like hierarchy and dependencies.
5) The GDR also enables the add-in to work with 32 bit versions of the Office 2010 clients. You need to use TE 2010 with 64 bit versions of Office 2010.
5) The GDR enables the 2008 client to correctly view, update, undo, and commit pending changes, mostly centered around rename scenarios when working with the 2010 server.
6) The user can also correctly view committed changes in both the changeset details and Source Control Explorer, in rename scenarios when working with the 2010 server.
7) The 2008 client with the GDR displays accurate messages during conflict resolution, in rename scenarios when working with the 2010 server.
8) Test Case Management is improved in TFS 2010 with Test Essentials and we want the customer using TE 2008 to participate. The Test Steps Control and the Associated Automation Control are viewable in a read only mode providing the user context from Team Explorer.
9) The ability to publish test results from Visual Studio using the Test Result Publishing Server and from the MS Test Command Line Tool is also enabled.
10) The GDR lets you view published test results that were created with the 2008 client.
The VSTS 2005 Forward Compatibility Update is now available. It is more focused on development scenarios. For administrative, project management and test case scenarios, the use of Team Explorer 2010 is recommended in the side by side configuration.
Support for Test Management and Office Integration from Microsoft Project or Excel requires Team Explorer 2010 side by side with the 2005 client. You will need to install the Office Integration side by side QFE for Excel and Project scenarios. For example, the Office Integration Add-Ins for Excel and Project can be launched from 2005 but will have 2010 functionality when side by side. Similarly, test cases can be published from 2010 Build Automation when side by side.
The Eclipse versions of Team Explorer are also available for TFS 2010. Teamprise 3.3 follows a similar compatibility story to TE 2008 with the Forward compatibility update when used with a 2010 server.
Team Explorere Everywhere, the Eclipse IDE add-in of Team Explorer, has full featured hierarch support, history and branches.
The Microsoft Source Code Control Interface (MSSCCI) power tool currently works with TFS 2005 and 2008 servers. Before TFS 2010 is finished, a new release of the Power Tools MSSCCI provider will be available and support TFS 2010 servers in addition to 2008 and 2005.