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Agile SCM Talk Blog

Postings migrated from my old blog sites
Passing in report parameters to TFS 2010 OLAP Web Parts on the Team Portal
There is some helpful information from Ewald Hofman on passing in parameters to the TFS SQL Server Analysis Services OLAP reports. But, the 2010 schema has changed. You can use the SQL Server Mgmgt Studio to access the metadata and query the tables to seee the new schema and record values. As an example of the Task Burndown report on the TFS 2010 Project Portal, here's the URL that worked in a browser: http://{your tfs server}/Reports/Pages/Repor... ......

Posted On Tuesday, May 15, 2012 8:48 AM | Comments (2) | Filed Under [ Agile SCM Talk Blog ]

How I Customized Report Parameters for Team Foundation Server 2010
My goal was to have the burndown chart on the team project portal main page display the current iteration. The default report displays the tasks for the entire team project starting 5 days before the current date and ending 25 days after the current date. FRUSTRATING, to say the least! I mean, what a useless report! Who's Agile book did they get that one from? What I wanted was to see the burndown for the current iteration. That is, tasks for that iteration only and that iteration starting on a fixed ......

Posted On Tuesday, May 15, 2012 8:46 AM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ Agile SCM Talk Blog ]

Using a TFS 2010 custom bug work item definition with the MTLM Test Runner
We don’t use the term “Bug,” rather we use “Software Action Request” or “SAR.” I renamed the Bug WI definition from Bug to SAR. I added a few custom fields to our SAR WI definition, but all the Microsoft fields are used and unchanged. What I want is for the MTLM client to be configured to open a SAR rather than a Bug. In other words, out-of-the-box when a user is manually executing a test case with the MTLM Test Runner client and one of the steps fail, the user clicks a button to create a Bug or ......

Posted On Tuesday, May 15, 2012 8:44 AM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ Agile SCM Talk Blog ]

Updating an incorrect reason code after a state transition
When using TFS work items you may find that when you transition from one state to another that you selected the wrong reason code, or you found out shortly afterwards that the reason code you selected is incorrect. Well, you may be surprised to find that reason codes (System.Reason) cannot be updated within the same state. After some looking into, I came to understand the intent of reason code is to document the "reason" the state changed. As opposed to indicate within state changes. However, it ......

Posted On Tuesday, May 15, 2012 8:32 AM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ Agile SCM Talk Blog ]

Set Lab Management (LM) Permissions for Team Projects Created before LM was Configured
What a long title! Anyway, I didn't add LM until sometime after I had setup my Team Foundation Server 2010 instance. There are 2 important realities to face when you do this: The LM permissions in the process template are not applied because LM was configured when the team project was created There's no UI to set LM permissions (arrrgh) All you have are the permissions established by the accounts used to setup LM (i.e. TfsSetup, etc...). Here are the commands I developed to grant permissions to existing ......

Posted On Friday, October 7, 2011 2:38 PM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ Agile SCM Talk Blog ]

Team Foundation Server 2010 Real-Time Burndown Charts
The reality is that project managers need work status in real-time. The TFS Excel reports and web parts are great, but because they are sourced from the TFS SSAS cube the information can be up to 2 hours old. The User Story goes like this... "As a project manager, team lead or team member I want to see what work is currently active and what the burndown is by team and by person is for that work so I know when work delays or time reporting failures are taking place. I need to know this 30 seconds ......

Posted On Friday, September 30, 2011 2:36 PM | Comments (1) | Filed Under [ Agile SCM Talk Blog ]

TFS 2010 Agile Iteration Burndown Chart Error - Could not connect to server...: ensure SQL Server Analysis Services is running
It seems there are many issues that can cause this error. But in my situation it turned out to be a permissions issue. It appears that other TFS 2010 reports use the service account (i.e. TFSReports) to access SSAS. However, it seems that the burndown chart in the TFS MSF v5.0 Agile Iteration Backlog Excel file passes the current user credentials to SSAS to get chart data. As only the TFSReports account had access, the burndown chart request was denied resultign in the error noted above. To fix this ......

Posted On Monday, August 8, 2011 2:30 PM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ Agile SCM Talk Blog ]

TFS 2010 Web Part for Data Warehouse Views
Team Foundation Server 2010 includes support for Data Warehouse and Analysis Cube Views. The company, Amrein Engineering, sells a web part that uses SQL statements to source data. You can implement this web part very easily to do some very nice reporting of TFS data. For example, you cannot use "time" as a query criteria in Team Explorer. You can only use the date. That is, you can ask for all work items changed by Joe Black on 9/11/2011. But you cannot ask for changes between 3 and 4 PM on that ......

Posted On Friday, September 9, 2011 2:33 PM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ Agile SCM Talk Blog ]

Publish TFS 2010 Last Work Item History Comment to Excel
Team Foundation Server 2010 does not support publishing history data to Excel. However, there is an easy work around to this problem. However, this is limited to the last recorded History comment for a work item. This is what displays in the query return set when the History column is included. Create a query with History as a column Run the query Click the pulldown on the "Open in Microsoft Office" button Select "Send Query to Microsoft Outlook" An email pops up with the data in a table that includes ......

Posted On Tuesday, September 6, 2011 2:31 PM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ Agile SCM Talk Blog ]

Microsoft Test Manager (MTM) fails to connect when executing test run
If you are logged on to the local machine (not the domain) you will be prompted to enter network credentials when you open MTM to connect to TFS. However, if you receive a connection error when you attempt to run a test case, you may want to try the following work around. Go to the Test Plan Select properties Select you Test settings under Manual Runs Uncheck the ASP.NET Client Proxy collection Save and use that Test Settings Configuration to run a test case ......

Posted On Wednesday, August 24, 2011 2:30 PM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ Agile SCM Talk Blog ]

What Happens to TFS when an Active Directory account gets deleted?
There are at least three scenarios that deserve mention: 1. Existing data It doesn't cause an issue. TFS caches the name->SID mapping in the database. If the accounts go away, existing work items/source control history aren't changed. 2. Checked out files Bottom-line: we need to ensure that there are no files checked out for an account that is to be deleted. You could run into trouble if files are checked out under an account that is deleted and a new account with the exact same name (but different ......

Posted On Wednesday, June 22, 2011 2:25 PM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ Agile SCM Talk Blog ]

SQL Server 2008 R2 Install Failure and Resolution
I was attempting to install SQL Server 2008 R2 on a sever with Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1. The server had a C:, E: and F: drives for the OS/programs, user DB and TempDB/Logs respectively. With the help of Microsoft support I was able to resolve the problem. PROBLEM The first error message was "The installer has encountered an unexpected error installing this package. This may indicate a problem with this package. Error code: 2337"The second error that popped-up after getting past the first one was ......

Posted On Monday, June 20, 2011 2:23 PM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ Agile SCM Talk Blog ]

How to confirm that data has stopped flowing from the TFS 2010 operational store to the data warehouse
This is a great procedure because you can tell instantly if changes are going to be picked-up or not. You don't have to wait for the cube to process. Here's the procedure for TFS 2010: Make one or more of the following changes: Check in a changed file to source control. Update a work item. Publish a test result. Click Start, point to All Programs, point to Microsoft SQL Server 2008, and then click SQL Server Management Studio. In the Server Type list, in the Connect to Server dialog box, select Database ......

Posted On Tuesday, June 29, 2010 2:04 PM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ Agile SCM Talk Blog ]

Resolving Visual Studio 2010 SP1 Install Problems
I experienced the following errors when attempting to upgrade Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate on my TFS application server (WS08 R2): The file '[path\file prefix].msi' is not a valid installation package for the product... The VS2010 repair and uninstall also failed for the same reasons In my case, the specific problem was with Silverlight, the TFS object model and Help Viewer 1.0 With excellent help from Microsoft support, I took the following steps to resovle the problems: Determine what VS 2010 RTM ......

Posted On Tuesday, March 29, 2011 2:22 PM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ Agile SCM Talk Blog ]

TFS 2010 Backup Utility Support for Multi-Server Topology
The TFS 2010 backup utility, which is part of the September '10 TFS Power Tools release, is advertised to support a multi-server topology. Specifically where SharePoint is installed separately and on a different server from the TFS application tier. However, when I attempted to use the utility the SharePoint verification step failed. The reason was I had initially installed the default WSS with TFS on the application tier because my separate SPS server was not ready. The problem happens because the ......

Posted On Thursday, February 3, 2011 2:20 PM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ Agile SCM Talk Blog ]

TFS 2010 - SPS 2010 MOSS Web Part Connection Refresh Failure
ISSUE "Refresh Error" dialog displays on Team Project portal MOSS web parts. There are several variations of refresh errors. Here is one instance: "An error ocurred while accessing application id tfs from Secure Store Service. The following contents failed to refresh: TfsOlapReport" Error dialog on each MOSS web part NOTE: this is for a Team Project portal where the TFS 2010 application tier, data tier and SharePoint Server 2010 Enterprise Edition are running on separate machines. CAUSE One or more ......

Posted On Wednesday, December 8, 2010 2:18 PM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ Agile SCM Talk Blog ]

Integrating Team Foundation Server (TFS) 2010 and SharePoint (SP) Server 2010 when on Separate Server Machines
INTRODUCTION The purpose of this post is to provide clear and concise steps for a very specific scenario: Integrating TFS 2010 with SP Server (SPS i.e. formerly MOSS) 2010 TFS and SPS are on different server boxes SPS is installed on a single sever machine NOTE: in my particular case, TFS is an multi-machine configuration using separate server computers for the TFS application and data tiers. The integration I'm describing is between the TFS application tier computer and the SPS computer dedicated ......

Posted On Tuesday, September 28, 2010 2:17 PM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ Agile SCM Talk Blog ]

Hosting TFS 2010 on an Amazon EC2 Server
I needed an inexpensive TFS environment to support demos and research work for the TFS Austin User Group. Here's what attracted me to Amazon EC2: Easy sign-up; like buying a book. Seems affordable Here's the obvious and not so obvious hurdles I had to overcome: What kind of instance do I really need? Sure, signing up is easy, but once you get past the "marketing" level, the technical details have to be dug out of pages of documentation. The computer name changes every time you launch or restart and ......

Posted On Tuesday, September 21, 2010 2:15 PM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ Agile SCM Talk Blog ]

Visual Studio 2010 – Project Reference Oddness and Revelation
This post is an op-ed on how VS handles references. Over the past few years not only have I experienced frustration on this, but I find that many others have similar views. Just recently I took a significant amount of time to study the issue: reading the MSDN documentation and various blog postings on the subject. My overall impression is: The MSDN documentation does not address or even mention the operative assumptions and requirements that Microsoft used resulting in the current VS features around ......

Posted On Friday, August 20, 2010 2:14 PM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ Agile SCM Talk Blog ]

Team Build 2010 Custom Activity for Assembly Version Stamping
This approach is for those who have the following requirements: Use a Primary.Secondary.Maintenan... (P.S.M.B) version number format Want the build name to include the version number Want the assemblies "stamped" with version number Don't want to checkin the increments to AssemblyInfo.cs files for every build Don't want to modify the .csproj file for their projects To illustrate: Our build definition name format is: [product abbreviation]-[p].[s]{.[m]}... The type indicates a Dev, Test, ......

Posted On Tuesday, August 3, 2010 2:12 PM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ Agile SCM Talk Blog ]

TFS 2010 SDK Assembly Reference Locations for Team Build Process Template Development
I pulled these from Ewald Hoffman's Customize Team Build 2010 - Part 4 post and posted here for easy reference. Note: you will also have to add a project reference for the code files project in your solution. See Ewald's posting for how to do all this. Assembly Location Microsoft.TeamFoundation.dll Microsoft.TeamFoundation.Bu... Microsoft.TeamFoundation.Ve... Microsoft.TeamFoundation.Ve... Microsoft.TeamFoundation.Wo... c:\Program ......

Posted On Monday, August 2, 2010 2:08 PM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ Agile SCM Talk Blog ]

Turn off Team Build 2010 Scrapping of Project Output to Binaries Directory (OutDir)
The objective of this poat is to simply show how to turn off (disable) TFS Team Build 2010's use of the MSBuild OutDir property to "scrap" project output from the location specified in your project .csproj files to the Team Build BinariesDirectory location. I have found the existing blog postings to be rather confusing on this. So, I will break out distinct problems and show a solution for each. Problem: I don't want Team Build to change project output processing Answer: Change the OutDir property ......

Posted On Friday, July 30, 2010 1:57 PM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ Agile SCM Talk Blog ]

Microsoft Visual Studio ALM Rangers Sabbatical for Coded UI Word Plug-in
Earlier this Summer I had the privilege of working for 16 days onsite at the Microsoft offices in Redmond and Vancouver. The assignment, a "Rangers Sabbatical," is part of the Microsoft Visual Studio ALM Rangers program. It provided me the opportunity to develop a Microsoft Word "Technology Provider" or plug-in for the Visual Studio 2010 ALM Coded UI (CUI) feature. Being onsite I was able to work closely with Microsoft Ranger and Program staff. The Sabbatical was a great success both professionally ......

Posted On Thursday, July 29, 2010 2:28 PM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ Agile SCM Talk Blog ]

Using Environments in VS ALM 2010 Lab Management
I have recently setup Lab Management (LM) in a production environment. LM is very feature rich and flexible. So, there are lots of ways to do things, which means it can be hard to figure out the best practice for your situation. Fortunately for me, Microsoft's Vijay Machiraju has provided me with some excellent guidance, which I will summarize here. My overall goal is to be able to easily spin up a new build pool or deployment pool as needed by existing and new project teams. To achieve this, my ......

Posted On Wednesday, July 21, 2010 1:59 PM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ Agile SCM Talk Blog ]

TFS Branch/Merge and Workspaces
I recently responded to concerns about TFS branching where "...when I delete files from my local workspace..." was part of the situation. More than once since 2005 I've had developers come to me, red faced and exasperated because TFS was "using" incorrect versions of their files even though they had performed Get Latest. Without exception I found that they had also been moving, renaming or and deleting files in the local workspace via the file system. My advice then and now is to consider how Microsoft ......

Posted On Friday, July 9, 2010 2:02 PM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ Agile SCM Talk Blog ]

Accessing VSTS 2010 Offline/Local Process Guidance
You can use local or offline VS/TFS Process Guidance. However, then none of the convenient links from the Team Explorer and the Team Project SharePoint site work. Here's how you can fix that. Starting with VS ALM 2010, Microsoft is using this HelpWare product. See http://helpware.net/mshelp3... What you have to do is update the ProcessGuidance.html files under Documents>Process Guidance (and there's another ProcessGuidance.html file in a subfolder as well) and the Quick Link. To get the ......

Posted On Wednesday, April 28, 2010 2:05 PM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ Agile SCM Talk Blog ]

Visual Studio ALM (TFS) Benefits
Here's a summary of TFS 2010 enabled improvement opportunities. This is based on my research and work with TFS 2010 to-date. Unlike a list of features, this information is organized around the typical work and tasks performed by software engineers. Customer Management Integration with Microsoft Dynamics CRM software supports workflow integration between customer management and engineering Requirements management Two-way integration with 3rd Party Requirements Management solutions (for example, DOORS) ......

Posted On Thursday, March 25, 2010 2:07 PM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ Agile SCM Talk Blog ]

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