Announcing Team Foundation Power Tools (September 2007)

Announcing Team Foundation Power Tools (September 2007)

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We are pleased to announce the September 2007 release of Team Foundation Power Tools. This release provides two major new features:

·         Best Practices Analyzer Tool for Team Foundation Server

This tool helps you more effectively discover and resolve issues that can occur in the typical course of installing, updating, and administrating deployments of Visual Studio 2005 Team Foundation Server.

·         Work Item Templates

With this feature, users of Team Explorer can create, apply, capture, and set default templates for work items. This feature adds menu items to the Work Item Templates option on the Team menu.

You can install Team Foundation Power Tools on client computers that are running Team Explorer. These tools provide supplemental functionality for use with Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Team Foundation Server.

You can locate the September 2007 release of Team Foundation Power Tools in the Visual Studio Developer Center on the Microsoft Web site, and you can look for help on these tools in the MSDN Forums.

Best Practices Analyzer Tool for Team Foundation Server

Within minutes of installing this tool, you can view a complete configuration inventory of your deployment of Visual Studio 2005 Team Foundation Server. You can also review other reports that summarize any critical issues in the deployment. Several reports provide different ways of parsing the analysis, which you can use to zero in on the information that is most useful.

The Best Practices Analyzer tool for Team Foundation Server helps you perform these tasks:

·         Verify whether prerequisite software and system requirements are met before you install Team Foundation Server components.

·         Verify whether the deployment of Team Foundation Server is configured according to recommended practices and system requirements.

·         Review the full configuration of a Team Foundation Server deployment in one easily viewed, drill-down tree report.

·         Identify and help resolve problem areas that might interfere with typical functions or cause poor performance in a deployment of Team Foundation Server.

To help you accomplish these tasks, the Best Practices Analyzer tool for Team Foundation Server performs these main functions:

·         Scans the configuration of servers and client computers that are running components of Team Foundation Server or on which you intend to install components of Team Foundation Server.

The health scan checks the state of a deployment of Team Foundation Server that is already operational. The preinstall scan checks the state of a client computer or server before you install one or more components of Team Foundation Server.

·         Gathers information about the environment and deployment configuration of Team Foundation Server.

·         Analyzes the collected information and detects where the configuration does not meet requirements.

·         Reports all the information collected and analyzed in easily viewed formats.

·         Provides links to topics that help you resolve all reported issues.

About Information Gathered

When you scan a deployment, the Best Practices Analyzer tool for Team Foundation Server collects information from a variety of sources. The tool collects information from the Microsoft Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) class, system settings, registry entries, the Internet Information Services (IIS) metabase, SQL Server databases, and elsewhere. You can best view this information by opening the tree report and navigating through the various levels of detail.

Both the health scan and the preinstall scan report collected information.

About Rule Checking and Issue Resolution

The Best Practices Analyzer tool for Team Foundation Server collects and analyzes information according to a set of rules that are contained within XML files. This information includes, but is not limited to, the following data:

·         Are application pools configured correctly?

·         Are account passwords expired or about to expire?

·         Can a connection to the database be established?

·         Are SQL Server services installed, running, and set for automatic startup?

·         Are Web services for Team Foundation Server running, correctly configured, and set for automatic startup?

·         Has SharePoint Products and Technologies been provisioned?

·         Are there any version conflicts between components or prerequisites for Team Foundation Server?

The tool reports and highlights errors, warnings, and non-default configuration conditions with a corresponding icon. In addition, each issue reported contains a link to more information about the test or rule that was run and how to resolve the issue that was detected.  

For More Information

For more information, see the Help file for the Best Practices Analyzer Tool for Team Foundation Server. This file, TfsBPA.chm, is installed when you install the September 2007 release of Team Foundation Power Tools.

Work Item Templates

By creating work item templates, you can reduce the number of steps that are required to create or update work items. When you use a template to create a work item, some of the fields will already contain default values. For example, you can create a task template that will set the area path, iteration path, and discipline whenever you use the template to create or modify a task.

If you open the Team menu and point to the Work Item Templates option, you can perform the following tasks:

·         Show the Work Item Tracking Template window.

·         Set the default path of the template store.

·         Create a work item from the default template.

·         Create a work item from a template that you specify.

·         Capture the fields that are defined in a work item to form the basis of a template.

·         Apply a default template to an open work item.

·         Apply a template that you specify to an open work item.

·         Simultaneously apply a template to multiple work items.

In the Work Item Tracking Template window, you can perform the following tasks:

·         Create or modify a work item template.

·         Apply a template to an open work item.

·         Simultaneously apply a template to multiple work items.

·         Create a folder for storing templates.

For More Information

For more information about how to use this feature, see the guide for the September 2007 release of Team Foundation Power Tools. This guide is installed when you install the most recent version of these tools.

 

--Kathryn

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