Neat Custom Work Item Control for visualizing workflow

Recently Michel Perfetti finished up the work on a very useful work item control that lets you visualize the workflow of a work item. This is similar to the graphic view found in the Team System Web Access client but the custom control also has a nice grouping feature which further simplifies the analysis if a work items lifecycle.


The control looks like this:


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Download the control and its source code from the Codeplex project TFSWorkflowControl.


If you are interested in how you can implement your own take a look at the Custom Controls for TFS Work Item Tracking project on Codeplex, which has several other controls in it as well as references to documentation on writing custom controls.

TFS 2010 Client Compatibility Matrix

The short version is that TFS 2010 will support most of the clients used with TFS 2008 today.

There will be places where VS 2005/2008/2010 behave differently but for me it makes sense that 2005 and 2008 will work with their current feature set and only the latest features will be available in 2010.

One small noticeable difference in 2005 and 2008 is that the URL to TFS changes so that we can specify which project collection in TFS to connect to. The default collection (where all upgraded 2008 projects will be placed by default) would require the following setting in Team Explorer 2008:

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For older clients to operate correctly with the new TFS version a “Forward Compatibility Update (GDR)” needs to be applied. In fact, in order to guarantee correct operation, TFS 2010 will block all unpatched clients. You can get the GDR for 2008 here: Visual Studio Team System 2008 Service Pack 1 Forward Compatibility Update for Team Foundation Server 2010. Updates for 2005 and MSSCCI are coming later.

Read the detailed post “Compatibility Matrix for 2010 Beta 2 Team Foundation Server to Team Explorer 2008 and 2005” for all the info about the compatibility from different clients with TFS 2010.

Visual Studio 2010 Beta 2 is out


Today Visual Studio 2010 Beta 2 was released. It’s very exciting to be able to start talking to people about the features in beta 2. A lot has changed since beta 1 and most importantly beta 2 comes with a “go-live” license which means we can actually start building production software using this version. See “Get ready to “go live” with Team Foundation Server 2010 beta 2!” in case you’re wondering that “go-live” means.


There’s also been a change in the SKUs for Visual Studio and the new editions for 2010 are:


  • Microsoft® Visual Studio® 2010 Professional
  • Microsoft® Visual Studio® 2010 Professional with MSDN
  • Microsoft® Visual Studio® 2010 Premium with MSDN
  • Microsoft® Visual Studio® 2010 Ultimate with MSDN
  • Microsoft® Visual Studio® Test Elements 2010 with MSDN
  • Microsoft® Visual Studio® Team Foundation Server 2010
  • Microsoft® Visual Studio® Team Lab Management 2010
  • Microsoft® Visual Studio® Load Test Virtual User Pack 2010

Sadly for us working the VSTS, the Team System brand has been dropped. But fortunately this doesn’t mean that Microsoft is stepping back from the ALM space, instead all MSDN editions will include Team Foundation Server. And for teams who want to start working with TFS but not interested in documents in Sharepoint or reporting the TFS Basic edition will be a great starting point.


As an MSDN subscriber you can get beta 2 today and on Wednesday it will be made available on the Microsoft Download Center as well.

Slot Mode in TFS 2010 Version Control

One of the most fundamental changes in the version control system in TFS 2010 is a feature called “Slot Mode”. This change affects the way versioned items are identified. In TFS 2008 each item is identified using a unique item id. When items are references in TFS the path to the item + the item id is used.

Even though this is an important change, I hope we don’t notice it at all. We should just feel more confident in how TFS handles history and merge operations will give fewer conflicts.

Matt Mitrik on the TFS team has written a great summary called “Changing to Slot Mode in TFS 2010 Version Control” that you should read to get more details on how this new feature works.

Preparing for VSTS 2010: Upgrade process

I’ve earlier posted about the new installation process, which really simplifies the way we setup TFS. With VSTS 2010 Beta 2 around the corner it’s time to start planning for upgrade to TFS 2010 Beta 2 and then forward to RTM. This post is an overview of the overall process of upgrading a TFS 2008 server to TFS 2010. In coming posts I’ll dig in to the key steps below in detail.

Requirements for TFS 2010

  • Windows Server 2003 or 2008, 32- or 64-bit.
  • SQL Server 2008
  • WSS 3.0, 4.0, MOSS

Process

The following steps outline the overall upgrade process:

  1. Uninstall TFS 2008
  2. Upgrade to SQL Server 2008
  3. Upgrade to WSS 3.0 SP1 or SP2
  4. Install TFS. This will copy the bits from the installation media to the local machine.
  5. Configure the features you want from the TFS admin console.
    1. Team Foundation Server
    2. Team Build Management
    3. Team Lab Management
  6. Validate the upgrade
    1. SQL Server
    2. Reports
    3. Sharepoint
  7. Upgrade existing projects to take advantage of the new features in TFS 2010.

Brian Keller has posted more details on Go-Live with 2010 including links to a detailed checklist for rolling out TFS 2010.

TeamCompanion 2.2 Released

I just received a mail from Ognjen Bajic at Ekobit that a new version of TeamCompanion is out.

From Ogy’s blog:

Following is the list of the most important new and improved features of TeamCompanion in v2.2:

• Better offline support and support for occasionally connected clients

• Improved Work item edit form

• Improved Work item preview (Support for history; preview is now fully customizable)

• Improved Work item from Mail action

• Improved Open related object action – for emails multiple related objects are offered; related work item for Outlook Appointments

• Improved Reports support (new conversion formats for Reports; support for Canceling )

• Improved Send Work Item as Mail action (‘with attachments’ option including attaching created mail back to the Work Item)

• Improved usability/ease of use

• TFS 2010 Beta support

• TeamCompanion v2.2 is compatible with Windows 7

Read more in this blogpost.

Here a screenshot showing TeamCompanion nicely integrated in Office 2007:

Make sure to try it out, this is a really useful add-on to TFS!

With VSTS 2010 comes TFS "Basic"

TFS is a pretty large piece of software. To deploy a TFS instace will require knowledge of both TFS and the underlying infrastructure (SQL Server DBMS, SQL Server Reporting Services, SQL Server Analysis Services, Windows Sharepoint Services and so on), which makes it difficult for some companies to handle. Not all team require all the TFS features so dealing with the pre-requisites can be a big deal. The licensing model and its pricing has also been a pain in some segments.


Last night Brian Harry wrote a lenghty post about the latest addition to the TFS suite. In TFS 2010 we’ll have the possibility to install a subset of the full TFS, which will not require Sharpoint or Reporting services. The installer in general is much improved in TFS 2010 but in this particual case it will be a “next, next, finish”-experience, it will install the required pre-requites if needed and do the necessary configuration. This means you should have TFS up and running in less than 30 minutes! And it will run on desktop operating systems as well.


Looking forward to beta 2…