Alexander Vanwynsberghe

"There is nothing impossible to him who will try"

ALM Rangers Practical Kanban Guidance RC

Yesterday, together with the Visual Studio and Team Foundation Server 2012 RC release, the ALM Rangers have also SIMultaneously SHIPped their guidance as RC. As I’m really proud to have been involved in the ALM Rangers team, I can tell you that we also shipped the RC version of the Practical Kanban Guidance.

The Practical Kanban Guidance offers teams that are new to Kanban and teams that are using a manual, paper or whiteboard-based Kanban board, guidance and tool support for Kanban in Team Foundation Server 2010 and Team Foundation Server 2012. The guidance also describes how Team Foundation Server can capture metrics and other information that can be used to track and continuously improve a team’s software delivery process.

You can check it on the CodePlex project. If you have any suggestions for improvements, remarks, bugs,… just let us know! Your feedback is really valuable.

Enjoy the release!

Microsoft Feedback Client using TFS11

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When your team is developing software, it is really important to capture feedback from the project stakeholders like end-users and the product owners. This way, you can ensure that the progress that the team is making is on track to meet the requirements that the stakeholders have in mind. In the next version of Team Foundation Server, there is a new tool called ‘Microsoft Feedback Manager’. I mentioned this in a previous post, but now I will handle this subject a little bit more in depth using the brand new TFS11 beta.

 You can start the Feedback tools in two ways. The first way is ‘voluntary‘, where you decide to gather some feedback without being asked. The second way is ‘on request‘, where you got a request to give your feedback about a particular part or feature of an application. To start a ‘voluntary‘ feedback session, go to Start -> All Programs  -> Microsoft Visual Studio 11 -> Microsoft Feedback Client. The first thing you have to do is connect to your Team Project. After you select the Team Project, the feedback client is running on the left side of the screen:

There you see in the Instructions that you’re running the tool in ‘voluntary’ mode. In this mode, you don’t have any instructions available about the feedback session. The other way to start the feedback client is by making use of the ‘Request Feedback’ link on the TFS11 Web Access.

In the “Request Feedback” screen, you select the Stakeholder(s) you want to invite. You also provide some information about the product/application and what you expect as feedback. This can be anything related to a particular feature or about a general thing

When you click on ‘Send’, you should receive an email with the request for a Feedback session. In this email, there is link which will open the Feedback Client. The first time you do this, you’ll get a dialog asking you to open the Feedback client

When the Feedback client is started, you now see that the ‘Application‘ and ‘Instructions‘ have the same content as you provided in the previous dialog on the Web Interface

When you click ‘Next‘, you’re ready to gather some feedback. Do what you have to do (described in the instructions) and enter as much feedback as you can. The Feedback client has support for audio, video, screenshots and attachments. Using this functionality, you can create rich feedback to the developers. When you make a Feedback Request, you can also request multiple feedback items. In the Feedback Client tool, you will see multiple items to gather feedback for.

The last step is to Publish your feedback. Just click on ‘Next‘ and you will see a summary of the feedback you provided. You will also see the location where the feedback will be stored.

Now your feedback is submitted to TFS. The person who requested the Feedback can check your session. You can do this using the TFS Web interface. Go to the ‘Work Items‘ section of you Team Project, select ‘Shared Queries‘ and open the ‘Feedback Requests‘. There you will see you feedback request and the actual feedback session.

One of the nice things is that you automatically get the System Information which can be very useful for Web Application, because it will also show you the browser version and some additional information. Actually, this information is linked to your Feedback Response Work Item.

Now you have an idea what the possibilities of what the Feedback Client can do for your. It’s really a powerful tool to help you collection all information you want from your stakeholders. It’s nicely integrated in the Visual Studio 11 suite and it looks slick in the new metro-style. Thanks for reading!

TFS 11 Beta Build Service on Windows Azure

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With the new upcoming version of TFS, you will have to possibility to have your own TFS instance running on Windows Azure, called “TFS Preview”. One of the cool things about this is the fact that you’re not responsible anymore for the TFS infrastructure. You don’t have to invest in some decent hardware, everything you want is there for your, on Windows Azure.

The one thing you need to have ‘on premise’ is a build server, as TFS Preview does not give you any options to use a cloud-based build server. Which is in fact understandable, because a build server can generate lots of load and needs to be monitored precisely. But, shouldn’t it be cool to have ‘everything’ in the cloud? Well, actually you can: TFS Build Service on Windows Azure using the VM Role

In this post, I’ll take you trough the steps to setup your own build service and host it on Windows Azure.

1. Azure account

Because you will be hosting your build service on Azure, I suppose you already have your an Azure account. If not, you might already have access using your MSDN subscription (there is some good information on this blog post). The next thing you have to do is signup for the VM role beta program. You can do this on windows.azure.com and then select “Beta Programs”.

2. Base VM Role Image setup

The next thing you have to do is create your VM Role Image, which you will use to upload on Windows Azure. In fact, this virtual image will be configured like an on-premise build service. This image contain an operation system (off course) and a TFS 11 build controller with one (or more) build agents.

  • To get started, open Hyper-V manager on a Windows 2008 (R2) machine, and select the option to create a new Virtual Machine.
  • Follow the wizard, and set the amount of memory to 2048 MB. Also be sure to select the ‘Virtual Network’ connection.
  • Create a new virtual disk called “baseimage.vhd” and set the size to 30GB (when you select this size, you can deploy the VM in a “small” role, take a look at the pricing for more info)
  • Finish the wizard, boot your new virtual machine and install your operation system (windows 2008R2 for example).
  • There is a special requirement for a valid VM Role image. You have to allocate the entire virtual hard disk file to a single partition where you install the operating system. To avoid creating a recovery partition during the installation, follow these steps:
    1. Choose the Custom (advanced) installation type to select the partition where you will install Windows.
    2. Press Shift + F10 to open a command prompt during GUI-mode setup.
    3. At the command prompt, enter the following commands:
      1. diskpart
      2. select disk 0
      3. create partition primary
      4. exit
    4. Close the command prompt window.
    5. Install Windows in the newly created partition.

3. TFS 11 Build Controller

  • Next step is to install the TFS build controller on the VM, but do NOT configure it yet. We will configure it when the VM role is online on Windows Azure.
  • To do this, run the TFS 11 beta installation (you can download the beta using MSDN or this link.)

  • When the installation is finished, close the Configuration screen.
Tip: When you are planning to build more than some ‘basic’ applications, be sure to also install Visual Studio!

 

4. Windows Azure VM Role Integration Components

The next part is the installation of the VM Role Integration Components. The integration components must be installed on the machine before base image is uploaded to the Azure. The integration components start each time the OS starts. It handles the integration between the role instance and Azure environment. Follow these steps:

  1. In the Virtual Machine Connection window, in the Media menu, point to DVD Drive and then select Insert Disk. In the Open dialog, browse to the location of the ISO file for the VM Role Integration Components, wavmroleic.iso, and then click Open. The wavmroleic.iso is located at ‘C:\Program Files\Windows Azure SDK\v1.6\iso\’
  2. In the Operating System Configuration step, enter an Administrator Password, confirm it, and then click Next.
  3. Follow the wizard and once the installation of the components has finished, you will be prompted to restart the system. Click Yes to continue.
  4. Wait for the system to restart and log in to the guest machine once again. Now, inside the VM, open the Start menu, type %windir%\system32\sysprep\sysprep.exe and then press Enter to launch the System Preparation Tool. Set the System Cleanup Action to“Enter System Out-of-Box Experience (OOBE)”, check the option labeled Generalize, set the Shutdown Options to Shutdown, and then press OK. This tool will prepare the image by cleaning up various user and machine settings and log files, as well as removing any hardware-dependent information.
  5. Wait for the system to completely shutdown. Your image is now ready for deployment.

 

5. Uploading the VM to Windows Azure

Now we have a VM image ready for deployment.  Next step is to upload this image. To do this, we will use the ‘csupload‘ command from the Windows Azure Command Prompt. Follow this steps:

  1. Open the Windows Azure SDK Command Prompt as administrator
  2. Type the following command to link the context to your current subscription:
    • csupload Add-VMImage -Connection “SubscriptionId=[SubscriptionId]; CertificateThumbprint=[ThumbPrint]” -Description “TFS Build Service” -LiteralPath “C:\baseimage.vhd” -Name baseimage.vhd -Location “West-Europe”
      • The subscription id can be found on the management portal in the property grid, when you select your subscription.
      • The certificate thumbprint is a private certificate that is installed on the local machine and that is linked to the management certificates on the Azure portal.  Uou can easily copy the thumbprint from the property grid in the Azure Portal
      • Be sure to change the LiteralPath to the location of where your VHD is located.
      • The location (data center) needs to be defined where the storage will be created. You can use friendly names like “West-Europe”
  3. Now the upload will start. The first step in the process is the preparation
  4. After preparation, it will start uploading. When the upload starts, you can see your new vhd on the Windows Azure portal as ‘Pending’
  5. Wait for the upload to complete. This can take several hours, depending on the upload speed of your Internet Connection. When finished, you should see:

6. Creating the Service Model

After completing the previous step, you now have a VM image deployed to your Windows Azure account. In this task, we will create a service model and configure it to reference this image.

  1. In Visual Studio, create a new Windows Azure Project. In the New Windows Azure Project dialog, click OK without adding any roles. You will create a Virtual Machine role in the following steps.
  2. When the solution is created, right-click the Solution folder and select New Virtual Machine Role. This option is ONLY available when you are in the VM Role beta program. When your request was accepted, you should have received an email with a link to enable the VM Role option in Visual Studio. If you lost this mail, you can use this link (32bit or 64bit), it’s a small change to the Windows Register.
  3. You should see a the properties of the new VM Role. In the ‘Virtual Hard Disk‘ section, select your Azure subscription and select the the image we have just uploaded
  4. In the ‘Endpoints’ section of the wizard, add a port for the build-controller. A TFS Build Controller uses 9191
  5. Save your settings and close the window. Next step is to publish your VMRole and meanwhile enable Remote Desktop. You can do this by right-click on the solution, and select ‘Publish’.  In this window, follow the Wizard and enable ‘Remote Desktop’.
  6. Now you can Publish this solution. You can follow the status of your deployment using the Windows Azure Activity Log screen.

  7.  The roles take the following statuses
    • Initializing
    • Waiting for host
    • Setting up Windows for first use
    • Starting Windows
    • Starting Traffic
    • Ready
  8. When finished you can see your Hosted Service using the Azure Portal. Now you can also connect to the VM using Remote Desktop. Click on the Remote Desktop icon and log in using your account (defined in the Remote Desktop Setup process).

7. Configure your Build Service

Last step is to configure your brand new Build Service. When you are logged-in on the VM using Remote Desktop, launch the TFS Build Controller configuration.

  1. Click on “Configure Team Foundation Build Service” and then click the Start Wizard button at the bottom.
  2. On the Project Collection screen, identify your team project collection/account on the hosted service.  You can’t type here so just click the Browse button and add your TFS preview/Hosted TFS account. In my case, I already have a build controller running, but I’ll add another one
  3.  Next step is to configure the Build Service. In my case, I already have a build controller, but I will replace it with a new one (the original one is offline). You can also decide to use this machine as a ‘Scale out’ system for an existing Build Service. This existing one will use this new machine as extra agent capacity.
  4. In the next step, you can configure which account will run the Build Service. This can be network service, or a specific account within your Active Directory (if you use Azure Connect with AD integration). This depends on the installation type. In my case, I’ll just use the network service.
  5. In the ‘Advanced‘ section, you can define your hosted TFS  Service Service Account. Leave this by default. You can also change/manage this using the Administration section of your Hosted TFS account, in my case:
  6. Verify and confirm the Configuration Settings
  7. Configuration completed
  8. That’s it, now your Build Service is up and running, on Windows Azure. Now you can tweak this by adding some agents,… You can manage the Build Controller using Visual Studio 11 (or 2010) by going to the ‘Builds‘ section of your Team Explorer, and click on ‘Actions‘.

8. Conclusion

Now we have our TFS11 Build Service up and running on Windows Azure. Now you can create Build Definitions and queue builds (a failing build in my case)

Good luck with your Build Service and enjoy it!
Thanks for reading.

TFS Extensions for SharePoint, manual installation

When I was at a customer last week, I had a situation that SharePoint Foundation 2010 was installed as a local instance on the TFS application tier. The TFS extensions for SharePoint were already installed using the TFS installation. Now the SharePoint Foundation 2010 instance had to be changed to a farm installation. So the SharePoint Content and Configuration databases had to be located on a data tier (SQL Server 2008 R2). After the re-install of SharePoint Foundation 2010 in a farm mode, the TFS extensions for SharePoint had to be installed again.

When I went to the Team Foundation Administration Console, the ‘Extensions for SharePoint Products’ were still there (as it was previously connected to our local SharePoint Foundation 2010 instance). The problem was that the TFS extensions were not available anymore on our new SharePoint instance. When I click on the ‘Extensions for SharePoint products’, I got the error:

“TF249063: The following Web service is not available: http://abc:17012/_vti_bin/TeamFoundationIntegrationService.asmx. This Web service is used for the Team Foundation Server Extensions for SharePoint Products”

That’s correct, that TFS integration service asmx was not available anymore. The first thing I did was an un-install from the extensions (using the TFS installation media). Then I did a re-install of the extensions, but without any result. I hoped those steps could solve my problem, but they didn’t.. Time for the next step.

stsadm to the rescue

To resolve the issue, you have to install the TFS extensions manually to the SharePoint solutions store, and then deploy them. To do this, you need the stsadm tool from SharePoint. That’s the command-line administration tool from SharePoint. You have to add 3 .wsp files to your SharePoint farm.

  1. Go to the directory: C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\14\bin\
  2. Open a command window (Shift + right-click -> Open Command Window here)
  3. Be sure that you run the command window with a user who has the right credentials (SharePoint Farm Administrator and have rights to the Central Admin Content Database on SQL server)
  4. Run the following commands:
    1. stsadm -o addsolution -filename “C:\Program Files\Microsoft Team Foundation Server 2010\Tools\Templates\Microsoft.TeamFoundation.SharePoint.wsp”
    2. stsadm -o addsolution -filename “C:\Program Files\Microsoft Team Foundation Server 2010\Tools\Templates\ TswaWebPartCollection.wsp”
    3. stsadm -o addsolution -filename “C:\Program Files\Microsoft Team Foundation Server 2010\Tools\Templates\Microsoft.TeamFoundation.SharePoint.Dashboards.wsp”
  5. Open your SharePoint Central Administration (http://server:17012 or something equal)
  6. Go to system settings and click ‘Manage farm solutions’
  7. You should see the 3 TFS wsp files
  8. Click on the first one, and click ‘Deploy Solution’
  9. Deploy the solution by clicking ‘Ok’
  10. When you deployed the 3 solutions, you should see
  11. All you have to do now is grant access for your TFS instance to SharePoint using the TFS Administration console.

That did the trick for me. Thanks for reading!

Add reporting to a Team Project using Powertools

Last week, I had the following situation at a customer: There was a dual-tier TFS 2010 installation without reporting and analysis services. The customer did already create some Team Projects, and now they wanted to activate the reporting and analysis functionality. Ok, no problem at all. First installing the SQL Server 2008 R2 reporting and analysis functionality on the application tier and then link the reporting and analysis services to the data tier (where all database are stored, so the services do run on the application tier, and the data is stored on the data tier).

After the installation of the services, we wanted to upgrade our existing team projects to make use of the reporting functionality. There is a way to do this manually, like described in this post, but this is really hard. You have to download your process template, create the correct mapping on your reporting server, upload ‘all’ reports (for each team project), divide them in correct folders,..

There is a better way, use the TFS Power Tools. Just install the Power Tools on your application tier, and open a command prompt. If you enter ‘tfpt’, you should see a list of all the commands you can use with the Power Tools.

One of the cool features you have is ‘addprojectreports’. This will add or overwrite all reports of a team project with the reports from your selected process template. In our case, the team project does not have any reports (yet), so we want to add the ‘ MSF for Agile Software Development v5.0’ reports. We can simply do this using the command:

All you have to do is supply your TFS instance, the team project name and the process template name you want the reports from. After executing this command, you have your reporting linked to your team project. Note: Be sure that your team project collection has a folder on the report server (http://your_reportserver/Reports) like ‘TfsReports/DefaultCollection”, and that you link this folder to your reports section of your team project collection in the TFS administration Console.

To make use of your reporting, all you have to do is rebuild your analysis cube using the administration console ‘Start Rebuild’ button in the reporting section. Have fun!

(You can also use the Power Tools to create a SharePoint  project portal using the command: tfpt addprojectportal)

Visual Studio ALM vNext: Continuous feedback

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In the next version of Visual Studio ALM, there is a big focus on gathering continuous feedback trough the complete lifecycle of a project by involving the Stakeholders in your project. In this article, I want to talk a little bit about the ‘Continuous Feedback’ thing and how Microsoft will support this in their new Visual Studio version.

Continuous feedback you say?

Let me ask you a question: How often have you built software that matched what your customer asked for, but after a demo or just before the release the customer tells you that this is not quite what they wanted? It’s hard to understand what customers really want. If you ask them what they were expecting, the most common answer is “I don’t know, definitely not this but something else”. Ok, but what exactly is the “something else”? No one is really able to explain it. To prevent situations like this, you can try to freeze the requirements in the early stage of a project. You can clarify this to your customer in a sense of “We need to know what we want to build before we start with the development”. No matter how hard you try this, you always have resistance from the customer and in the bad cases, you lose the customer from the beginning. This is definitely not something you want! So how can you prevent situations like this? Well, using an agile practice is the way to start. Let me give you an example of an agile software development approach where you see the flow starting with the requirements:

The emerge of a new application always starts with the requirements. If you don’t have some good, clear and approved requirements, your application/project will definitely fail. Continuous feedback  is also applicable in this part of the application lifecycle. In the next version of Visual Studio ALM you will have a new tool called ‘PowerPoint Storyboarding’

PowerPoint Storyboarding

This new feature will provide you a storyboarding plugin for PowerPoint. It will allow you to do some mocking using the tools you’re already familiar with. It’s really a nice feature because it will allow you to quickly create something you have in mind. It’s easy, and you don’t need to do a lot of magic to show something decent. It comes along with some basic template-slides like for a web application, a Windows Phone 7 and even a Windows application.  I also includes a bunch of standard shapes and you can also add your own shapes to the library. The cool thing is that you can link those storyboarding slides to a Product Backlog Item on TFS so they are available for everyone.

When you have good requirements, you can define your sprints, link the product backlog items to the sprint and start developing. As a developer you do not want to work completely on your own and be completely responsible for your own code, right? What I mean is that it’s really a good practice to use code reviewing. In the next version of Visual Studio ALM, you will have complete code review integration within Visual Studio.

Code Review

Visual Studio vNext includes integrated code review support. This lets team members provide feedback on new code, lifting the shared knowledge of the team. If desired, code reviews can be set as a quality gate in the development process. A developer can now ask a code review request to another developer. This developer will receive this request (using the new improved Team Explorer) and can view the request, linked to the piece of code that has to be reviewed. The developer can make some suggestions on the code, and add some comments to the response. There is a complete workflow behind this that I will explain in a later post. The nice thing is that this is all done within Visual Studio linked to Team Foundation Server.

Ok, at the end of a sprint, you should have a deliverable, which you can show in the Sprint Review meeting. Another nice feature for the Visual Studio ALM vNext version will be the ‘Feedback Manager’.

Feedback Manager

This is a tool based on the Microsoft Test Manager technology. You can see it as the ‘execution’ part of MTM. It uses the same technology and it allows you to let your stakeholders test your application like they will use it in ‘production’. The feedback manager tool keeps track of everything the -end user/stakeholder- is doing. It also lets the user add additional information about the things he/she encounters. This can for example be a screenshot. A cool thing is that a screenshot can automatically be edited using Microsoft Paint by double-clicking on it. What you can also do with this feedback tool is creating a bug work item in TFS. The ‘steps to reproduce’ field will automatically be completed with all steps the user followed. You can also reduce the steps (for example if a user has been clicking around for 30 minutes, you do not want to include all steps from this session).

Now you have anoverview about what Microsoft Visual Studio ALM Vnext will offer you regarding continuous feedback. In some next posts, I will take a little bit more in depth about each new feature. Thanks for reading!

Using Git to manage TFS source control

As everyone knows, the TFS 2010 Version Control System (VCS) is Centralized. That’s a good thing, but if you ever used a Distributed Version Control System (like Git) you might encounter some shortcomings and feel a little bit frustrated about some annoying things.

The biggest advantages to use DVCS (for me) are the advanced merging possibilities and the offline repo access. When I’m working at home, I can see the full history of the project, every single checkin, without starting up my VPN connection to work and can work like I were at work: checkin, checkout, branch, merge,.. 

Note that with TFS11, there will be local workspaces (as described in Brian Harry’s blogpost). In local workspaces, TFS assumes that your client is master and TFS needs to understand the changes that you make there.

So.. will TFS11 be a DVCS then? No, as Brian Keller mentioned:

I’m certain that about this time, I bunch of people are asking “but, did you implement DVCS”.  The answer is no, not yet.  You still can’t checkin while you are offline.  And you can’t do history or branch merges, etc.  Certain operations do still require you to be online.  You won’t get big long hangs – but rather nice error messages that tell you you need to be online.  DVCS is definitely in our future and this is a step in that direction but there’s another step yet to take.

Ok, back to the essentials of this post: What if you want to use the power a DVCS system like Git and combine it with source control on TFS? You can, using GIT-TFS. This is a Git extension acting as a two-way bridge between TFS and Git. It lets you treat TFS source control as a remote repo. Basically all it does is provide you some Git commands that let Git work against your TFS source control. I’ll show you some possibilities:

 

Getting started

First of all, you need a version of Git on your machine. I use Git For Windows and this works very well (it also gives you a GUI to visualize changes and merges). The next step is to download Git-TFS (a .zip file). After the download, unzip it to specific location (for example C:/GitTfs/) and add this location as an evironment path of your machine. That way you can use the Git-TFS commands in the commandline.

System Properties -> Advanced -> Environment Variables and edit the path variable. Add the Git-TFS path to the Variable value

Path

To check if your Git-TFS will work, just open a commandline window, and enter ‘git tfs’. You should see a list of the available commands. Type ‘git-tfs help [command]’ to get some information about a specific command.

 

Get your source from a TFS repository

Getting your repo sources from TFS is extremely easy using:

git tfs clone http://tfs_server:8080/Collection $/your_project destination

In my example, I cloned a test project

Clone

Note that you get all revisions, which are all stored in your local Git repo.

 

Make some changes and check-in on TFS

The next thing we can do is change some code. After the change has been saved, we have to commit to our Git repository using:

git commit -am “My checkin”

(Be sure to do this on the correct folder level, otherwise Git will not find your .git repo). This is a general commit command for Git. For more information about Git command, check this link

Now that the changes are commited to Git, they need to be pushed to our TFS Source Control. Do this with:

git tfs ct

You will see the check in dialog so you can check-in your changes because you supplied the “ct command” (checkintool).

Checkin

Once the check-in is completed, git-tfs automatically pulls the changeset from the TFS server and merges the change locally in your repository. This is how it looks like:

Checkin3

You can see the changes in the source control history from TFS.

Checkin2

 

Get changes from TFS in our Git repository

The next thing we want to do is the opposite: Get some changes from TFS in our local Git repo. First change some source code directly from TFS, and do a check-in. All we have to do now is:

git tfs pull

This does an update of your local Git repository with the latest version from TFS.

Checkin4

Conclusion

Git-tfs is really easy to use, and if you’re an advanced Git user but forced to use TFS source control it’s the way to go! I’ll also give you some interesting links:

Git workflows with git-tfs:
http://lostechies.com/jimmybogard/2011/09/20/git-workflows-with-git-tfs/

Git-tfs recent improvements
http://www.richard-banks.org/2011/03/git-tfs-recent-improvements.html

Thanks for reading!

How to delete a Team Project in TFS 2010

If you are using Team Foundation Server, you definately have been in the situation that you want to delete a Team Project. Perhaps because it’s obsolete because you moved all branches to another Team Project.

To delete a Team project, you have two possibilities. The manual command-line way, or using the TFS Administration Console.

 

1. The command-line way

You can delete a Team Project using the TFSDeleteProject command. To use this command, open your Visual Studio Command Prompt, enter this: ‘TFSDeleteProject‘ and press enter. If you see the information about the command, you’re good!

First of all, keep the following in mind

  • Be sure you are a member of the Team Foundation Administrators security group or a member of the Project Administrators security group.
  • Know what you are doing! 
  • Take a back-up of all your important data as there is no way back (or you have to restore the latest backup from TFS)
  • /q = Optional: Use the quiet mode. Do not prompt the user for confirmation.
  • /excludewss = Optional. Specifies to not delete the SharePoint site that is associated with the team project. Specify this option to maintain the existing site so that other team projects can continue using it.
  • /collection:url =Required. Specifies the URI of the team project collection.
  • /force The program should continue even if some parts cannot be deleted.

Ok, let us assume that we want to delete ‘ProjectToRemove’.

Delete_project1

Enter the following command in the Visual Studio Command Prompt

In my case, the team project is located in the CogniStreamer collection. If you execute this action, you will be warned about the fact that this is an irrecoverable operation. Enter ‘Y’ to continue.

Delete_project2

 

2. TFS Administration Console

The next possibility is to use the TFS Administration Console. You can open the console using ‘Start – All Programs – Microsoft Team Foundation Server 2010’

Open the Application Tier node and select Team Project Collections. Select the correct collection, en select the team project you want to delete. Next step is to click ‘delete’. 

In the next dialog, you can select to delete all external artifacts (like SQL Server reporting services, labmanagement) and to delete all workspaces related to this team projects.

This should do the trick!

Ony one remark, from what I experienced, you can only delete the sharepoint site using the command line approach (or exclude the removal using /excludewss). But in the TFS Administrator console, you can only delete the external artifacts and workspaces, but NOT the Project Portals.. 

Getting started with Team Foundation Service

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Introduction

At the Build conference this week, a new service for the upcoming version of TFS was announced. They call it Team Foundation Service. This is a Windows Azure hosted solution of a Team Foundation Server, which is pretty cool! The TFS team definitely did a great job to bring the Application Lifecycle Management features of Visual Studio and Team Foundation Server to a higher level. And from what I can say, it looks promising. In this post, I’ll describe some setup steps and a general overview of some new features. 

 

Setup

First of all you need an account for the Team Foundation Service on tfspreview.com. For now, you need an invitation code to create an account. (If you don’t have an invitation code, I have some left. Just post a comment..) Brian Harry already made a nice blogpost about the registration process and how to add and invite users to your Team Foundation Service environment. When you finish your registration (using your Windows Live Id), you’re in the adminstration mode of the Team Foundation Service.

One tip I can give is that the gray border on top indicates that you’re in administration mode. This is one thing I didn’t notice in the beginning. I was a little bit confused when I tried to open my team project when I was still in administration mode. But after a while I got whole point.

The first thing you can do is create your first team project. You can do this by clicking on ‘create team project’. There you get a dialog where you can enter a name and a project description. You can also select which process template you want to use. The Microsoft Visual Studio Scrum 2.0 Preview 1 template is selected by default. (More about this specific template will follow in a later post) Currently it is not yet possible to add extra process templates. But I think most of us will use the Scrum template or the Agile Software Development 6.0 template.

Creating the team project only takes about one minute or less. Actually it will queue a job in the background, and the service does some jobstatus polling to show the process status to the user.

 

Overview

After the team project is created, you can click on the ‘My Team home page’ and you are redirected. That’s the place where all the fun starts. On top of the page you see:

  • Home: where you have some shortcuts to your activites, and a link to some administration
  • Backlog: where you can add your userstories
  • Board: where you have a graphical overview of the running/sheduled/.. work items. There you can also change the status of the workitems.
  • Source: where you have the possibility to search in changesets, shelvesets. You can lookup code, compare code with previous versions.
  • Builds: where you get an overview of the build history. You can also manage the build qualities.

 

Conclusion

I spent some time on the Team Foundation Service now, and from what I experience it’s really good. It’s surprisingly easy to use and quite fast. I really like the ajaxified interface. The only things which I think will need some change are some usability issues. Apart from that, my first impressions are good.

In my next blog posts, I’ll cover some other things like the product backlog, work-items, the board, how to use Team Foundation Service with Visual Studio 2010,..   You can always share your personal experiences by adding a comment to this post.

Thanks for reading!

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