While I was at the PDC I missed the announcement that the release candidate for Database Edition was made, I was not following blogs too much. You can find all the download links for the RTM at Gert Drapers Blog, you can also see his PDC session where he made the announcement.
Why did I miss the session you might ask? well I was in Agile development with Team System session – some big improvement in Office integration with TFS
Anyway I have now installed the GDR edition and it is easy and fast, at least if you are upgrading from the previous version. I have not tried a virgin install which I am sure many people will be doing given that any person with Team System Developer license can download the Database GDR edition.
Though not really mentioned in the keynote there are a lot of sessions on VSTS 2010 at the PDC; it is going to be a major really major release.
Chatting in between the sessions with other delegates there seems to loads of interest in the new testing features, but we know this is pain point from Alt.net meetings. It will be interesting to see how these new tools deliver, I am sure the manual testing tools will be useful, but I am a bit more doubtful over the UI testing tools. We have all seen the demo promise of these products before and hit problems when we try to use them for real.
I think the improved integration for Office is also going to be important. At the moment we use the eScrum template for VSTS and the main reasons for this are the easy project visibility it gives to non-developer users via it’s web site and the way it manages the relationship between the product backlog and sprint tasks (given the lack of hieratical work items in the current VSTS). With 2010 I am not sure we are going to need the eScrum web site. The ease of reporting (and live work item updating) in Excel and hieratical work items will make this it superfluous, so the basic Agile template in 2010 may will be able to do the job.
I got this error when installing TFS 2008. In the error log I could see the problem was when the TfsGssInit.exe was run, it said
Detailed Message: TF213000: A required user account could not be added during installation or repair of Team Foundation Server. The installation or repair failed with the following exception message: System.TypeInitializationException…..
I found the answer in the TFS forum. The thread (and others) did suggest there were DNS lookup issues, but the thing that got it for me was removing VS2008 Team Client (and it’s SP1) from the server. I had installed these whilst I had been waiting for the IT department do some work in the SQL Data Tier. I thought I was saving times, I was wrong!.
I think the issue was the VS2008 SP1, but I removed both and the install of TFS worked OK.
Whilst doing a new TFS 2008 dual tier install I was getting a failure with a TF220050 error when I entered the data tier DB instance name. The setup wizard just said ‘failed to connect to data tier’, but you can find the actual error number in the install logs to be found under C:\Documents and Settings\[setup user]\Local Settings\Temp
This error seems to be just a generic low level ‘cannot connect to the DB’; in my case it was caused by one of two issues:
- The SQL server I was pointing at was a SQL 2000 not SQL 2005 (I had been given the wrong server name) – the moral is always check the version yourself.
- Also analysis services was not running on the SQL 2000 box.
So I am not sure which is the actual cause of the error message here, version or missing OLAP service In my case the fix was to just connection to the correct SQL 2005 instance.
I have been working on site that has had to do a disaster recovery of their TFS application tier (AT) due to hardware failure. For a short period they have had to use a spare PC as their AT. Due to the hast required to get the developers working this AT was only configured to for source control and work item editing.
So I was onsite to put the proper replacement AT in place. All seemed to go OK until we added a new Iteration to a team project. It did not appear in the IterationPath field for work items.
This problem actually manifested itself for us in the inability to add a new sprint from inside eScrum. Unlike most team process templates the eScrum front end creates sprints by creating an iterations and an associated work item (to hold extra information) all in one go. This was failing as after the iteration was created it’s creation was not propagated to allow a work item to be associated with it.
After checking the ATs event log we saw TF53010 and TF51338 errors. I then ran the TFS Best Practice Analyser (BPA) and this showed two issues:
- the MyDomain\TFSService account not being in the TFS [Server]\Service Accounts group. I think this was due to fact that the temporary AT system had used using different accounts and the installation of the new AT had left some behind.
- due to this the TFS Scheduler was not running reliably, this would explain why the new iterations were not being propagated.
We fixed this using the tfssecurity /g command to add the MyDomain\TFSService account to the TFS [Server]\Service Accounts group and then restarted the server.
Once this was done we checked the configuration was right using the BPA again, and finally checked we could create sprints in eScrum.
I installed the TFS 2008 SP1 on a site that was using custom accounts for the identities that run the application pools for the WSS instance and Report Services.
These user accounts got reset back to Network Service when the service pack was installed; I had not see this occur on any site I had upgraded previously. This meant you could not start WSS or Reporting Services.
Manually resetting them back to their old correct accounts fixed the problem.
I posted about the problems of using Blend with source control, specifically TFS. Well the next version of TFS Power tools gives a partial answer.
They are to include Windows Shell Extensions so at least the check-in/out process can be managed would having another application open other than an explorer windows.
Well it is step forward, until Blend 3 appears
30. September 2008 12:45
VSTS . SQL
It was announced overnight by Microsoft that the Database Professional SKU for Visual Studio will be made available to all people who have a licensed copy of Team Developer.
This is great news as it addresses the problem of where to put the expensive copy of DataDude (which I think has been a barrier to it's uptake), in most companies there is not the clear distinction between code and DB devs.
So as of tomorrow you can get DataDude via MSDN. You can read more about the recent announcements here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/vstudio/products/cc948977.aspx
23. September 2008 20:10
Brian Harry has published an interesting post on the platform decisions for 'Rosario'.
The most interesting item is it will only support SQL 2008; so get planning a migration for that central enterprise SQL server!
It is all well and good Microsoft saying that a developers and designer can share the same project WPF/Silverlight files in Visual Studio and Expression Blend, but whilst Blend does not have the ability to use a source control repository (TFS, SVN or anything else for that matter) and actually strips out any source control binding it finds in a project file, this is for me unworkable experience. How has this product got to V2 without this feature?
For any company interested in a quality development process source control must be the most basic safety net, irrespective of how agile their methodology is.
I suppose there is one agile model where it could almost work and that is the designer and developer pair programing on the same PC with Blend and VS installed - but how realistic is that? and certainly does not scale beyond two people.
So as I am at Remix, I just asked Scott Guthrie when we would see source control in Blend - he said next version, some time next year, but on the plus side it should also include TFS work item integration. All good but we need it now, this is such a barrier to adoption of the Blend products.