TFS 11 Power Tools Beta Available

Brian Harry

About a week ago, we shipped a Beta the first version of the Team Foundation Server Power Tools that work with VS 11 and are optimized to work with TFS 11.  This will be a bit shorter than a full announcement post because it’s a Beta and it’s not complete yet.  I’ll do a comprehensive post when we get closer to a final build. This Power Tools release is designed to work with a VS 11 client (they’ll actually work with Team Explorer 11 too) but you won’t get the VS integration in a VS 2010 or earlier client.  If you want that integration, you need to install the 2010, 2008, etc Power Tools – they’ll run side by side.  As a general rule, the Power Tools will work with any version of the server, however, some specific features require specific server versions.  I’ll comment on some of those here. Our goal with this Beta was to get the most critical Power Tools up and running with VS 11/TFS 11.  We’ve also removed some of the Power Tools that have now been integrated into the product and changed the implementation of a few  to take better advantage of new server features.  We haven’t added any new Power Tools at this point. The features included in this release are:

  1. TFS Power Tools
    1. TFPT Command Line
    2. The Team Explorer extensions – All are included except work item templates.
    3. Windows Shell Extension – It’s been enhanced to support local workspaces meaning no more read-only files and need to checkout, better offline support and everything else that comes with local workspaces.
    4. Process Template Editor – We’ve added support for all of the new process features in TFS 11, however some of the implementation is place holder – for instance, editing the agile project management configuration involves editing XML.
    5. Best Practices Analyzer
    6. Test Attachment Cleaner
    7. TFS Powershell commands
  2. Build Extensions
  3. MSSCCI (32-bit) & MSSCCI (64-Bit)

There are some known issues:

  • An incorrect error can come up on SxS install of the Power Tools with the VS2010 tools suggesting and issue with Back-up and Restore.  This in fact related to the Windows Explorer plug-in you need to uninstall the VS2010 version first or choose to not install to leave VS2010 version in place via custom install options.
  • 2. In some places we have not removed power tools functionality that is in the product, for these issues there is no functional impact and these will be resolved for RTM e.g. you will see the Check-in policy for Comments appear twice.
  • There is no Alerts Explorer in the TFS 11 Power Tools because we added that as a web experience to the TFS 11 product.  The result is that, if you are using VS 11 with the TFS 11 Power Tools but an older TFS server, you no longer have the Alerts Explorer Power Tool – you would need to use the TFS 2010 Power Tools.
  • Installing Windows Shell Extensions is “last one wins” – if you install 2010 Power Tools after TFS 11 Power Tools, the 11 ones will be overwritten.
  • To install the Best Practices Analyzer on Windows 8, you must install .NET 2.0 manually first.
  • The docs need lots of updating.
  • We’re doing a significant rethink of the Team Members Power Tool now that we’ve got much better extensibility of Team Explorer and new server side functionality – as such much of the functionality hasn’t been added yet.
  • The Backup & Restore Power Tools are not included yet

The list of Power Tools that have now been removed due to having been included in the product include:

  • Work Item Search – we added this to both Web Access and Team Explorer
  • Work Item Templates: Bulk Edit – you can multi select work items in a Web Access query and set a value
  • Team Members: Team – we added the concept of teams to the core product
  • Alerts Explorer – we integrated Alerts and their admin into web access
  • Team Explorer: Rollback – we added this as a right click menu item where appropriate
  • Check-in Policy: Comments – we added this policy to the set shipped in the server

We’d appreciate you giving them a try and letting us know about any issues you find.



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