New TFS Power Toys Available!

Brian Harry

We’ve been working hard over the past several months and today we are releasing some of the fruits of that labor.  There’s a lot of news in this post so I’ll try to organize it well.   Official support for the TFS MSSCCI provider! The TFS MSSCCI provider allows VS2003, VB6, SQL Server Management Studio and other IDEs to connect to Team Foundation Server and provide an integrated version control experience.  The MSSCCI provider was developed and shipped as an out of band, unsupported component.  Starting today, it is now supported by Microsoft Customer Support Services!  You can use the same resources you have for getting support for TFS or VS to get support for the TFS MSSCCI provider. It is still being developed off cycle and will have a atypical release schedule.  We are targeting the next release for later this year.  It also (unless we see substantial customer demand) will remain English only. The TFS MSSCCI provider plugs into a great many IDEs but, for now, only a subset of them will be supported by customer support.  Here is the current list:

  • Visual Studio 2003
  • Visual Basic 6.0, SP6
  • Visual FoxPro 9, SP1
  • Visual Studio .NET 2002
  • Microsoft Access 2003, SP2
  • SQL Server Management Studio

If you don’t see the IDE you use here on the list, you can still get help on our forums at There is going to be inevitable confusion about support that I’m going to attempt to head off here.  From here forward we are officially supporting the TFS MSSCCI provider.  However, the rest of the Team Foundation Power Toys (for example, see the next section) remain “unsupported”.  This means you can get best effort help in the forums but you can’t call customer support and get a formal support incident on them.  What I expect is that the most popular features from the Power Toys will migrate into an official Team Foundation Server release and that’s how you will get officially supported versions of them.   Team Foundation Power Toys (tfpt) are now a separate download Previous versions of the Team Foundation Power Toys (tfpt) have been available since the spring as part of the VS SDK.  With this release, we have pulled them out of the SDK and made them a separate download as we’ve gotten feedback that many people don’t want the whole SDK.  The new download is available at:   4 Great new Power Toy features We’re trying something new with this Power Toy release.  It’s the first time where we have new features that integrate seamlessly into the VS2005 IDE and are virtually indistinguishable from any other TFS feature in the IDE.  I’m eager to see if people are excited about this and if so, we may see more of it in the future.  In addition to the new IDE based features we also continue to enhance the Power Toy command line.  In addition to the existing Power Toy features like Rollback, Online, Review, etc, the new features in this release include: tfpt bind (command line only) Bind is a new feature of the tfpt.exe command line that will convert from SourceSafe solution bindings to TFS solution bindings.  This can be run after a database is migrated from SourceSafe to TFS to find and “fix-up” all of the version control bindings in projects and solutions.  Type “tfpt bind /?” for more info on how to use it. tfpt query and tfpt workitem (command line only) These new commands allow workitem queries, viewing and editing to be performed from the command line.  This makes things like scripting of work item operations, bulk work item operations, etc easier than ever.  Type “tfpt query /?” and “tfpt workitem /?” for more info. Annotate (IDE & command line) Annotate is a version control feature that enables you to quickly and easily determine who last changed a section of code.  It traverses the history of a file and “annotates” each line with the name of the user that last changed it and the change set # of the checkin. An initial implementation of Annotate was actually in the tfpt command line tool the last time we shipped.  However, since then, we have made substantial improvements to the engine, improving the performance, enabling incremental rendering and perhaps most importantly integrating it into the IDE!  Here’s a screenshot of what Annotate looks like on one of the tfpt files. You can access Annotate using “tfpt annotate” or the Source Control Explorer or Solution Explorer right click menus or using the File -> Source Control menu when editing a file under version control. TreeDiff (IDE & command line) For a while now we’ve been getting lots of feedback that people really miss the ability to compare two folder structures, highlight the differences and take action to resolve them.  The wait is over…  There is a new “TreeDiff” command that enables exactly this.  You can compare your local working folders to the server, two local folders or two server folders (e.g. branches).  Here’s what it looks like: You can access TreeDiff either from the tfpt command line using “tfpt treediff” or using the “Compare…” menu option on the context menu on the folder tree in the Source Control Explorer.   I hope you enjoy using the new features as much as we do…  We’re currently targeting the end of this year for the next release of Power Toys.  As that time approaches, I’ll try to give you a heads up as to what’s coming.  As always, comments welcome and encouraged.



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