But it works on my PC!

The random thoughts of Richard Fennell on technology and software development

I'm off to Ireland this week

I am off to present in Ireland this week in a double header with another of Black Marble's test team, Robert Hancock. We will be appearing at the Microsoft Ireland Visual Studio Academy. Our subject is Improved efficiency throughout the test cycle. As registration is still open I guess there are still spaces, so if it is of interest to you why not sign up (and who is not interested in testing?)

So while many of our staff are off living it up in Las Vegas for the SharePoint conference, Robert and myself have been busy building a demo rich session for the Dublin event that touchs on a whole host of different testing tools and techniques. So we hope to see you there for what should be a very interesting session.

TF252005 Error when creating new collections on TFS 2010 Beta1

This week I tried to add a new project collection to our TFS 2010 Beta1 test system. All seemed to be going OK, the settings verified without issue but I got the error TF252005 when it tried to create the associated SharePoint site (on the WSS 3.0 instance on the TFS application tier).

Now unlike TFS 2008 this was not a blocking problem. On 2008 if any team project step failed, such as the team WSS site creation, then the team project was rolled back. It is a really nice feature of 2010 that if there is an error it does try to do as much as it can. So in my case, I ended up with TFS collection with no associated SharePoint site collections, not what I wanted but usable.

The detail of the error I got are shown below:

[10/6/2009 9:35:57 PM][Warning] TF252005: Configuration of SharePoint Products and Technologies failed with the following error: Server was unable to process request. ---> User cannot be found.. Failed to create a path to the SharePoint site. Your account might not have the required permissions to create a sub-site on this server.
[10/6/2009 9:35:57 PM] Servicing step Configure SharePoint Settings passed, with warnings. (ServicingOperation: Install; Step group: Install.TfsSharePoint)
[10/6/2009 9:35:57 PM] Executing servicing step Create Test Management Database. (ServicingOperation: Install; Step group: Install.TfsTestManagement)

So the question was ‘what user could it not find?’

Upon further investigation I found that I could not give users rights on any of the previously created SharePoint sites on this WSS instance. The SharePoint People Picker said it could not find users or groups for the domain user accounts I entered. Also I noticed that if I entered the central admin it said that all my site administrators’ accounts were invalid (all underlined red in the configuration form). Basically it seemed my WSS instance could not find the domain controller.

I next checked that the Reporting Services instance on the same box, this had no problems resolving accounts, so I knew it was specifically a SharePoint issue.

So an investigation of SharePoint settings started. In the end it was Rik who found the root cause, and it was obvious with hindsight, the authentication provider was unset. Once this was set to Windows for all the zones everything leapt back into life.

The question remains how this setting could have become unset. We did have a domain controller hardware failure last week but I cannot see why this should cause this issue. Anyway at least it is fixed now.

TFS for the small team

Over the weekend Brian Harry posted on this blog about a new ‘Basic’ edition of TFS. This is aimed squarely small team currently using Visual SourceSafe. It will provide version control with work item tracking and can be run on SQLExpress. The key difference for the ‘Standard ‘ edition is that it will not have SharePoint or Reporting Services integration. For far fuller details check the blog post.

I think this is going to be a really interesting addition to TFS. This announcement answers a question I was repeated asked at our TFS2010 event last week, ‘we are a small team with VSS, I want something simple to move us forward, what should I use? TFS seems a bit complex and expensive’ So for me it is well timed and well placed within the marketplace.

TF21508 Error, cannot see build server after moving a Hyper-V image

We have been consolidating our Hyper-V system of late, moving various older systems onto a new SAN based cluster. This has meant we have just moved our virtual TFS2008 build machines. After the move I started seeing the following error on all the builds using that server, re-enabling the build machine had no effect.


I restarted the build VM but this did not fix the problem; I had to also restart the TFS2008 AT, once this was done all was fine. I guess that there was a cached IP/ARP table somewhere routing packets the wrong way.

Technical Tip: if you can’t see the build server don’t just assume it is always the build server at fault, it might be the other calling machine i.e. the TFS AT

Interestingly our TFS2010 build machines did not suffer this problem.

TF250020 error creating new Team Projects

Whilst working on our TFS2010 Beta 1 test server today I got the following error when I tried to create a new team project

TF250020: The following SharePoint Web application is not valid: http://vs2010.mydomain.com. Verify that you have the correct URL.

I thought this strange, as I was doing nothing I had not done before, creating a MSF Agile team project with default settings. What I did notice was that in the new project wizard I had the server URL as http://vs2010 but the error message said http://vs2010.mydomain.com. So I checked the alternate access mappings in the WSS central admin, only vs2010 was listed, so I added vs2010.mydomain.com as the Internet alias and it all leapt into life when I tried the wizard again.

Question remains how did this work before, operating system service packs maybe?

Expression Suite Version 3 and Source Control

It is good to see that at last Expression Web and Blend have got source control integrated into their IDEs. This is a vital feature if developers and designers are to work together effectively on the same code. It is a shame that the integration is just for TFS, it would be nice to support other source repositories to get an even wider reach, but TFS is enough for me now.

Just remember that to get this integration to work you need to do a bit more than install Expression Suite

All seems to work though.

Visual Studio 2008 connecting to TFS 2010

You can connect a Visual Studio 2008 IDE instance to a TFS 2010 server, as detailed in Martin Hinshelwood’s blog, but I cannot stress enough you have to have VS2008 SP1 installed. If you don’t, you get an error dialog when you enter the URL for the TFS server saying the URL contains invalid characters.

This seems a simple rule, but as I found today it is easy to not realise your PC is not patched. You look in the about dialog for Visual Studio and it says SP1 installed, but the Team Foundation Client has not been. This was because the following installation order was followed:

  1. Install VS2008
  2. Patch with SP1
  3. Install Team Foundation Client

The SP1 needed to be run again to patch the client then all was OK