TFS Azure

by jesfer 29. October 2010 12:58

Yesterday at the PDC keynote it was announced that a CTP of TFS on Windows Azure will be avilable in early 2011. From what I've seen soo far this looks really interesting. All the new Azure stuff should provide som very interesting benefits. I'm envisioning a really simple way to handle virtual machines for Lab Management, build servers, load test etc. And no more worries about single or multi server deployment. Cant wait to hear more about this!

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ASP.Net vulnerability affects TFS

by jesfer 24. September 2010 08:39

All versions of TFS are affected by the security vulnerability discovered recently. Brian Harry has blogged about this and attached a document on how to work around this problem until a patch is released. If you are a TFS admin you have some work to do...

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ASP.NET | TFS | Troubleshooting

Work Item Link Filters

by jesfer 20. August 2010 13:20

Interesting fact regarding work item link filters when working with the Process Editor to create a new process template:

"Include all" does not equal "Include" + selecting all link types.

  • "Include all": link types from all installed process templates will be shown to the users.
  • "Include" + check all boxes: Only the links types in the current process template will be shown to the user.

In my experience, "Include all" is never a good option for a work item link filter. It will only serve to confuse users and break reports. But when working with the Process Editor "Include" restricts your selection of link types to only include those specified in you process template. If you want to use link types from your template and some of the system defined link types (like parent/child) you will have to edit the XML markup manually.

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TFS Backup Plan

by jesfer 20. August 2010 07:53

Brian Harry recently blogged about a cool new feature in the next version of TFS Power Tools (no date yet). Backing up and Restoring your TFS Server is the most exhaustive post and makes for some interesting readin while Backing up your TFS Server with Sharepoint and Reporting more or less just states that you can backup the Sharepoint and Reporting parts of TFS as well.

Now, lets hope they add a tool for restoring the backups as well Smile

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Messing up TFS with LinkControls and Fields

by jesfer 18. August 2010 14:28

I recently stumbled across a interesting case using TFS 2010 where you could end up unintentionally setting a field on a work item that is not supposed to use the field at all. This is probably best explaned with a simple example.

Lets say you team project is based on the MSF for Agile v5 template. You want to modify the Task WIT so that the LinkControl in the Links tab includes a column for severity. This way, whenever a Task is linked to a Bug you will know the severity of the bug without opening it up. Perfect! Lets do it!

I'll skip the details of how to do this, the interesting part is that even though Task does not use the field Severity you will need to add it to the Task WIT in order to show it as a column in the LinkContol. Name, Field type and Ref name must be identical to what is used in the Bug WIT. And this is where you might make a small but potentially very annoying mistake. If you also copy the rules of this field from the Bug WIT (easily done if you copy/paste between XML-files or if you are just very thorough and decide to specify the field exactly as it is on the Bug WIT) all your Tasks will from now on be asigned the severity level "3 - medium".

And why is this bad? Well, you'll probably not notice it for some time. If you are lucky you wont ever notice it and if so, good for you! But chances are that sooner or later someone will get a very wierd result from a work item query or report. Lets say you have a report that counts the number of bugs of each severity level. Depending on the laziness of the person who designed the report, it might not check the work item type because only bugs used to have a severity level... and now this report is telling you that the number of bugs of severity level "3 - medium" is increasing at an alarming rate!

Good news is this that the mistake is fairly easy to solve. Remove all rules for the severity field on the Task WIT, create a query to return all tasks with severity "3 - medium", export to excel, remove severity value from all tasks and publish the changes back to TFS. Done! Unless your report keeps track of history as well...

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Another reason for moving to TFS 2010

by jesfer 16. August 2010 17:07

Recently one of my clients (who uses TFS 2008) encountered the TF14083 warning when merging two branches. This is the warning message:

The item '{0}' has a pending merge from the current merge operation, please resolve and check in the current merge and merge again to pick up this change.

In most cases this is nothing to worry about, all you need to do is just what it says in the message. Resolve, check in and merge again.
But a cautious user might start to think along the lines of "so,what happens if the second merge fails? I've already checked in the first part of the merge!". The simple answer would be that you do a rollback to the previous changeset using TFS 2008 Power Tools.
However, in TFS 2008 the rollback will only rollback the actual changes but the merge history will not be affected and this will cause trouble when you try to redo the merge operation as TFS believes the two branches have already been merged. You can probably solve this dilemma by doing the merge using TFS command line tool and use the /force option but by now most people are thinking something along the lines of "this is stupid, TFS should be able to handle all this".

And if you move to TFS 2010 it can! Not only has one of the main reasons for the error above been fixed, but rollback is now part of the standard TFS command line tools and has an option for keeping merge history or not. There, another good reason why you should move to TFS 2010! Smile 

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TFS | Troubleshooting


by jesfer 23. April 2010 08:35

In case anyone noticed... I changed the heading of this blog from "GUI, .Net and..." to "TFS, ALM and...". Now why did I do that? Basically because it is what I'll be working with from now on and it is very interesting Smile The "anything else that comes to my mind" leaves a lot of room for other stuff though. Like Mushroom Management and other interesting things...



HTC headsets

by jesfer 27. November 2009 17:14

I finally got my HTC HD2 and I love it! The included headset on the other hand... complete and utter crap. Why HTC continue to ship their phones with lousy headsets is a mystery to me. Their phones are reat but the headsets always takes away from an otherwise pleasant experience. So, if you plan to buy this phone, make sure to order a new headset.

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Random thought

Mushroom management

by jesfer 17. November 2009 16:00

This is nothing new, but I was not aware it had a name. Mushroom management... Why are anti-patterns so much more fun than all the useful patterns? Laughing 

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Random thought

TFS Basic - continued...

by jesfer 5. October 2009 14:15

I found some more info on TFS 2010 and the "Basic" version on bharry's WebLog.

Lot's of nice pictures there but I'll skip right to the listed features of TFS 2010 Basic:
All of this gives you a development system with Version Control, Bug tracking and build automation (making continuous integration a snap!).  What it lacks from Standard TFS is Sharepoint and Reporting capabilities.  The great thing though is that TFS "Basic” IS TFS so as your needs grow you can reconfigure it to add more capabilities.

I'm guessing this will quickly become the most common setup. SourceSafe on steroids... while TFS Standard/Advanced will be SourceSafe on sci-fi steroids :)  

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About me

My name is Jesper Fernström, I live in Uppsala, Sweden. I work as an ALM and TFS expert at Solidify. I'm also a Professional Scrum Trainer with and a member of the Visual Studio ALM Rangers.


Solidify’s processes for software development allow you as a development manager, CIO or business developer to focus your resources effectively. The result is more software of better quality, produced faster and at a lower cost. Solidify has received Microsoft Western European ALM Partner Awards five years running.


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