TFS 2010 Power Tools Coming Soon

Brian Harry

I think for 6 months or more I’ve been promising that we’d release updated Power Tools to support TFS 2010 “soon”.  Well, I apologize that it hasn’t worked out that way.  It seems like some higher priority activity always rears its head when we think we are ready to get started on it.  But the good news is you won’t have to wait much longer, honestly. 🙂  We’ve been working on them and testing them for the last couple of months and we are now doing final validation of the what we think is the last build.  It should be available within a week. With the new release being so close, I wanted to give you a brief preview of what to expect.  The way to think about this release is that we worked to get all of the existing Power Tools that we thought were critical to support Beta 2 adoption working against TFS/VS 2010 and updated to support new 2010 features.  You will see that a few of the Power Tools are still not working in this build.  We will release another Power Tool update around launch where all of the Power Tools will be working. This release of the Power Tools will only run in a VS 2010 IDE.  Most of the features will work against both a TFS 2010 and earlier servers.  However a few features will only work against a 2010 server.  More on this below when I talk about the individual features.  The 2005/2008 Power Tools can still be used with the 2005/2008 VS installs while using a TFS 2010 server.  So pick the version of the Power Tools that matches your client environment. The first step to getting the Power Tools ready for 2010 was removing all of the features that are now built into the 2010 product (or in some way no longer relevant).  If you still want to use some of these features against a TFS 2005/2008 server, you will need to use the TFS 2005/TFS2008 Power Tools.  For example, the Rollback command has been added to TFS 2010 and removed from the Power Tools.  However, the product feature requires new server side support in TFS 2010.  If you want to continue to use Rollback against a TFS 2005/2008 server, you will need to use the TFS 2005/2008 Power Tools. The list of things we’ve moved into the product includes:

  • Quick Label – Replaced by the new Team Explorer label dialog.
  • Rollback command – Replaced by the new TFS 2010 command line Rollback feature.
  • History command – tfpt history /followbranches replaced by new merge tracking features in both the command line and GUI.
  • Find Changeset menu – Replaced by built in “Find Changesets…” in 2010
  • Support for Client Certificates – Built in to TFS 2010
  • Build Notifications – An improved version is now included in Team Explorer 2010
  • TFSUsers – Not necessary because TFS 2010 now automatically reacts to Active Directory user name changes.
  • DestroyWI Command – Incorporated into witadmin.exe
  • DestroyWITD Command – Incorporated into witadmin.exe
  • TweakUI Command – Replaced by tf certificates and other 2010 features.
  • Destroygl – Incorporated into witadmin.exe
  • changedocUrl – Replaced by Configure menu in Office apps

I’m glad we were able to incorporate so much of the Power Tools capability into the shipping product.  Of course, I wish we could have done even more but there’s always next time 🙂 The next step was getting the rest of the existing features working against VS/TFS 2010.  Here’s the list of features supported in the upcoming Power Tools release and the changes we’ve made:

  • Process Template Editor – Our biggest investment has been in the Process Template Editor.  Not only did it require a bunch of new features to support all of the new TFS 2010 work item tracking features but we also invested quite a lot in clean up and bug fixing – we’ve received quite a few bug reports.  In all, we fixed 80 bugs in the Process Template Editor.  The new Process Template Editor will not edit process templates associated with older TFS versions.  If you need to edit a Process Template for TFS 2005 or TFS 2008, use the TFS 2005 or TFS 2008 Power Tools.  The new features include.
    • Support for out-of-the-box 2010 versions of MSF for Agile and MSF for CMMI process templates
    • Creation and editing of query folders
    • Creation and editing of custom link types
    • Support for the new work item form controls: Label, enhanced links control, web page and link labels.
    • Creation and editing of work item type categories.
  • Command Line Interface (tfpt) – No enhancements but other than the removed list above, everything should work.
  • Visual Studio Integration – There’s a bunch of miscellaneous IDE features that have been updated to work with VS/TFS 2010 but without feature enhancements.  The most prominent are:
    • Work Item templates
    • Alerts Editor
    • Find in Source Control
  • Check in Policy Pack – Updated to work with VS 2010 while still allowing policies to be shared with older clients.
  • Best Practice Analyzer – Because the architecture of TFS has changed so substantially in this release (AT scale out, DT scale out, Team Project Collections, new “Job Service”, Lab Management, etc we need to completely overhaul the BPA tool.  You can think of this release as the first step.  The BPA tool now runs against a TFS 2010 server (however you’ll need to use the BPA tool from previous Power Tool releases against previous TFS versions because the new BPA tool won’t run against a TFS 2005 or TFS 2008 server).  It now recognized all of the components of a TFS 2010 farm but has very few rules to validate it yet.  Expect a big increment of new work on the BPA tool in the next Power Tools update.
  • Windows Shell Extension – Updated to work with TFS 2010 but no new features.
  • PowerShell Cmdlets – Updated to work with TFS 2010 but no new features.
  • MSSCCI Provider – Updated to work with TFS 2010 but no new features.

Truthfully, many of the Power Tools required no updates because we maintained pretty good compatibility between 2008 and 2010. So that leads me to what does *not* yet work in this 2010 Power Tools update.  Ironically, the two Power Tools that I wrote 🙁  I’ve started on a new version of TFSServerManager but haven’t completed it yet.  For the mean time, I’m afraid you’ll have to live without the benefit of these tools.  We’ll have them in shape in a few months and include them in the next update.

  • Team Members
  • TFS Server Manager
  • tfpt createteamproject

Thanks and let me know if you have any questions.  I’ll blog an update with the download URL as soon as it is available.



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