TFS will be providing a General Distribution Release (GDR) to enable older versions of Visual Studio Team System Team Explorer to work with 2010 TFS. Releasing these GDRs will allow teams to move forward even when some people are not ready due to legacy code or business intelligence issues.

We will support both Team Explorer 2008, and now Team Explorer 2005 clients!

We are still working on scope and schedule for the 2005 client GDR, but we are well on the way for the 2008 Forward Compat GDR and it will be ready by TFS 2010 Beta 2.

The objective of the GDR 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.

An example of new functionality is hierarchy trees utilizing parent/child link types. Queries in 2010 allow you select all of the work items in the tree. The older clients do not know how to parse the new query code, but clients with the GDR will allow you to recognize the queries that are not enabled for the 2008 client. You can see from the snapshot on the right, the user is able to quickly tell which queries they can use with the 2008 client. If the customer, still tries to open one of these queries they are provided an error message that indicates they need to use a 2010 client or Team System Web Access to view or edit the query.

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In addition to this example, several other scenarios have been enabled.

Work Item Tracking

1) TFS 2010 provides flexibility to change the location of your Project Portal, Shared Documents and Process Guidance. The 2008 Forward Compat GDR will retrieve 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.

Office Integration

3) The addition of hierarchy in TFS 2010 has created some portability issues with MS Project plan documents created using a 2010 client when sent to a use 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.

Version Control

4) 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.

5) The user can also correctly view committed changes in both the changeset details and Source Control Explorer.

6) The 2008 client with the GDR will also display accurate messages during conflict resolution.

Test Case Management

7) Test Case Management is really fantastic in TFS 2010 with Test Essentials and we want the customer using TE 2008 to participate, so the new Repro Steps control has been enabled. The Test Steps Control and the Associated Automation Control are viewable in a read only mode providing the user context from Team Explorer.

8) The ability to publish test results from Visual Studio using the Test Result Publishing Server and from the MS Test Command Line Tool are also enabled rounding out the test case management story.

As you can see, this provides a whole lot of goodness to using the Team Explorer 2008 with your new or upgraded Team Project on TFS 2010! Continue to look here to follow our progress for the Compat features.