But it works on my PC!

The random thoughts of Richard Fennell on technology and software development

TFS 11 and VS 11 Announcements

Microsoft have made a few announcements today

On Brian Harry’s Blog

  • In the TFS 11 range there will be a new download of TFS, called Team Foundation Server Express, that includes core developer features:
    • Source Code Control
    • Work Item Tracking
    • Build Automation
    • Agile Taskboard
    • and is free for 5 users (you buy CALs to add more)
  • Visual Studio Express will support TFS

On Jason Zander’s Blog

  • A sneak peak of details of the upcoming  VS11 and TFS 11 beta

For more details read the full posts I have linked to, and look out for the beta that will out on the 29th

You don’t need to keep that old TFS server to support older versions of Visual Studio

I have recently spoken to a number of people who were under the impression that older versions of Visual Studio could not connect to TFS2010. This is not the case. So for example you do not need to keep a TFS2005 running for your VS2005 clients.

Why you might ask does this question even come up? VS2010 can build any .NET 2.0 –> 4.0 project so why not upgrade all your projects to VS2010? The answer is that products such as Biztalk and SQL Business Intelligence use older versions of the Visual Studio Shell e.g. so for SQL 2008 BI you are using in effect VS/Team Explorer 2008. Though it must be said this issue is getting better currently a BI developer still ends up having to use VS 2008 (until SSDT arrives with SQL 2012)

Also some companies may just have a policy to stay on a version of VS for their own reasons.

Either way this is not a barrier to using TFS 2010. The key to getting these older versions of Visual Studio to talk to TFS2010 is only a matter of applying the correct patch sets, so for

All the products can be installed side by side.

Another point to note is that if you are using any of the TFS 2010 PowerTools and want the same features in old versions of Team Explorer you must also install the 2005 and/or 2008 PowerTools versions. Even if the 2010 PowerTools are installed, they will not be found by the 2005 or 2008 clients. The most common time you see this issue is when using check in policies.

For those of you working with VS2003 or VB6 all is not lost, you too can use TFS 2010, you just need Team explorer 2010 installed and the MSSCCI  provider

Hope this post clears up a bit of confusion.

Thanks to everyone who came to my session at NEBytes last night

Thanks to everyone who attended my session at NEBytes last night, sorry I had to rush away. As my session was demo based I don’t have much in the way of slides to upload, but if you want to find out more have a look at my guest blog post on the UK Visual Studio blog on ‘TFS for Everyone’.

Also keep an eye on the Black Marble site for upcoming free webinar sessions on the same subject

Speaking on the 15th Feb at the NE Bytes user group on “TFS for Everyone”

I will be speaking at the NE Bytes user group next Wednesday (the 15th of Feb) on ‘TFS for Everyone’.

This a session based on the guest blog post on the UK Visual Studio blog  I did on how TFS is not just for .NET developers. It can be used from a whole range of development platforms and operating systems. I will be including demos using Eclipse and Ubuntu.

Hope to see you there.

Updated 9 Feb 2012 – here is the registration link http://nebytesfeb2012.eventbrite.co.uk

Filtering in MDX Calculated Members

BI development is not something I do that often, but from time to time you need to develop a custom report in TFS. I recently had to battle a MDX problem that someone who does more BI development I am sure why have had no issue with; but as with most of these blog posts (or my long term memory as I think of it) I thought it worth a post in case it helps anyone else

What I was trying to do was produce a table, as shown below, that would allow me to report for a project on the total estimated time in the requirements work items (an estimate made in the requirements planning phase of the project), the total original estimate in the tasks work items (the estimate made by the developers during iteration planning) and compare both with the actual completed time from the task work items.

Project Estimated Effort (from Requirements) Estimated Effort (from Task) Actual Effort (from Tasks)
Proj A 10 11 12
Proj B 15 14 21
Proj C 23 20 24
Proj D 9 10 10


The problem is that in the TFS warehouse both the requirement and task work item estimate in stored in the


measure. In the MDX query I needed to add a pair of calculated measures that would filter for the two work item type.

This is where I stumbled, should I use IIF() or FILTER(). So I tried both. However, working in Report Builder 3 neither seemed to work. I seemed to end up with either an empty column or not filtering at all and showing the sum of all the work items estimates irrespective of the filter.

The first tip is stop work in Report Builder, this is great for making the report look good, but not the best for resolving MDX issues. Use the query tool within SQL Management Studio. As soon as I did this I saw some of my efforts were returning #Err. This explained my empty columns, Report Builder seemed to just swallow the #Err and give me an empty column.

A a bit more digging I found the form that did what I needed, and ended up with the following form for the MDX in the calculated measures

MEMBER [Measures].[EstimatedWorkForTasks] AS '([Measures].[Microsoft_VSTS_Scheduling_OriginalEstimate], [Work Item].[System_WorkItemType].[Task])'

By editing the MDX in SQL Management Studio it was fair quicker to develop and debug


Once I was happy with the MDX, I could cut and pasted it back into Report Builder and fix the layout of the report. And all without using either IIF() or FILTER().