Sunday, November 15, 2009

DogFoodII: VSTS 2010 | Follow-ups

Had a fantastic audience Friday for my VSTS 2010 Overview presentation at DogFoodII. Thanks for coming. I wanted to follow up on some of the questions with more complete responses.

Q. Will 2008/5 custom SSRS reports fail following the upgrade?

A. One key aspect here is “custom”. 2010 significantly changes the data warehouse schema (…which drives most reports). So, existing reports will need some work to function properly under 2010. That said, the VSTS team upgraded/updated the process templates and reports for Agile and CMMI to work properly against the 2010 schema. If you have custom reports, you’ll need to update them manually. Excellent information from Aaron Bjork here.

Q. Will 2008/5 customizations to team builds fail following the upgrade?

A. After doing some internal reading, I think this will actually work ok and upgrade successfully. The process template upgrade solution will wrap custom builds in a “legacy” MSBuild file and simply call Team Build against it. That said, you may want to leave behind some customizations and embrace the more optimal WF-style of automated builds. You may find you don’t even need that customization any longer. Finally, C# MSBuild Tasks you built custom and want to leverage in 2010 should continue to function as they did with 2008.

Q. Will 2008/5 customizations to process templates fail following the upgrade?

A. There is a process template upgrade “engine” (for lack of a better term). I think this will depend upon the extent of customization.

Aside: Internally, there was an exhaustive Beta1 to Beta2 TFS Upgrade Guide published to assist early-adopters and MVPs with the upgrade. The Rangers are taking on a similar project for the RTM. Keep an eye on the “TFS Upgrade Guide” on the Rangers page. Pramodv is heading up the team.

Q. Will Visual Studio 2005 Team Explorer work with TFS 2010?

A. Yes, as will most clients…with an upgrade/install called the General Distribution Release (GDR) Forward Compatibility Update. Great details here from the WIT team. KB article is here.

Q. Is it possible to expose my TFS repository over the Internet?

A. Yes, with 2008, this is possible via SSL. However, I would err on the side of requiring remote users to use a VPN to first connect to your internal network. At the least, if you must expose TFS on the public Internet, deploy certificates to would-be clients using AD/PKI. Older but good article here.

Q. Is there anything that would accelerate my remote development teams? Interacting with the source repository consumes lot of time for my overseas / geographically disperse teams.

A. Yes. Check out TFS Proxy Server. It synchronizes source changes across slow or remote connections. Grant Holiday provides a nice launch point here.

Q. I would like to pull quantitative developer metrics (lines of code committed, number of unit tests, reactivations, code churn, number of builds broken, average code coverage, etc.) from TFS. Is this possible?

A. I haven’t done it but yes, most of this is possible. However, I don’t recommend it. IMO, it’s too easy to misinterpret this data at an individual level (vs. a team level). Just because I have a lower number of lines of code committed or number of unit tests, doesn’t necessarily mean I’m a sub-standard developer. That said, you could easily pop open Excel 2007, point to the TFS data warehouse and/or SSAS cubes and crawl through the schema. Good starting points here and here.

Friday, November 13, 2009

DogFoodII: VSTS 2010

Thanks for coming to my VSTS 2010 (Beta2) presentation at DogFoodII in Columbus. I've posted the deck here and will publish a follow-up post with Q&A from the session.

Special thanks and appreciation to Randy Pagels, Microsoft Developer Solution Specialist for the Heartland District for supplying a lot of the material. Randy maintains an excellent resource on VSTS/TFS at

Also, special thanks for the VSTS MVPs for helping us learn and understand what's coming in 2010.