Friday, August 31, 2007

When "All Files are NOT up to date"

I admit, my TFS blogging has slowed in recent weeks. We're right in the middle of our largest migrations and so I've been spending more time doing work, then telling you about my work. Anyway, today's posting is about removing files from the file system outside of Teamprise Explorer or Team Explorer.

While I don't keep count, I'm guessing ten or so people have stopped by my desk asking why the "Get Latest Version" does not work. At first I freaked out and thought we'd implemented a product developers couldn’t' use, but then found it was simply a circumventing issue.

99.9% of the time when people have this problem it goes as so. They first setup of their workspaces and get the code, but since they're new to TFS, they typically setup the workspace not to there liking (e.g. $/ --> c:\development) and do a Get. This results in a lengthy Get of all the code we have.

To correct this, they first delete the code locally. That is; they open My Computer and delete c:\development \*.*. They don't want all that code filling up there 100 gig hard drives (insert smile here).

After the full delete finishes (it usually takes most of the lunch hour given they just pulled five million lines of code locally), they return to Teamprise Explorer or Team Explorer and try to do a Get just on the projects they need (e.g. $/MyProject/MyApp). Unfortunately TFS says "All Files are up to date" and won't allow them to Get files. This is when they call me, the administrator.

I simply fix their issue by having them do a Specific Version Get and Force it to pull the files down locally. To be honest, the message they get says this as well, but for some reason humans avoid reading messages. To prove that, just two days ago a developer asked me how to resolve the check-in policy error "Please provide some comments about your check-in" (insert second smile here).

So I'm not sure what the ideal solution is, but I'm wondering if TFS ever could be so smart as to first look at the file system before it says "All Files are up to date." This would add overhead, but might save overworked administrators some headaches.

Friday, August 17, 2007

"Undo Pending Changes..." for users no longer with the company

Well I'm back from a two week parental leave and excited to tackle TFS again. Funny how a nice break makes everything better at work. Here is a question posed to me a few minutes ago.

How do you undo a change for a person who is no longer with the company? Apparently people do leave this place. From what I can tell the needed functionality is not provided in the Team Explorer interface. Luckily it's provided in the command line tf.exe command. Here is the syntax I used.

tf undo /workspace:U0000001-XPA;Domain\U0000001 /server: $/MyTeamProject/MyApp/mainline/build.xml /noprompt

Replace the needed values. In our example, U0000001 is the user's unique ID in Active Directory. Yours is obviously much cleaner than the cryptic format we use.

Lastly you'll have to make sure you have the correct permissions. I'm in the [Server]\Team Foundation Administrators group, so I'm as close to Superman as you can get.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

New "Team System Web Access" is great!

August 2007 - We just loaded Team System Web Access 1.0 on our sandbox and we love it! The ability to start and stop and monitor builds is a wonderful addition. No need to fire up Studio just to launch a build. Or even better, we can now have our wireless deviced managers, start builds from their Blackberry's. I think Teamplain 2.0 had some of these features, but we stayed away from it since it was not "officially" released.

In addition to some new features, the load time has decreased significantly which is comforting. With Teamplain 1.0 it often took 5-10 seconds minimum for the application to load in the user's browser. While unscientific, Team System Web Access is loading in a second or so.

I also tested the Documents interface and it looks like a minor bug (actually it's quite major if you didn't abandon the interface like we did) with data loss was addressed. With Teamplain 1.0 we noticed that all changes were lost when checking the document back in. I'm not 100% sure if this is because we had something messed up or not. With Team System Web Access we are now planning to actually use the Documents interface.

We haven't played around with the Source Control tab yet, but there looks to be some nice light weight tools for viewing source and source meta-data.

Our final opinion will be made once we get this on our DEV and PROD systems, but so far we've had nothing but good vibes about this product. It will making adopting TFS by management (who doesn't want to install Visual Studio) much easier.

Thanks for releasing this before Orcas!