Upcoming Power Tool Release for TFS 2008

Brian Harry

Now that the 2008 wave of products have shipped, many of you are probably beginning to ask yourselves – "hey, what about the Power Tools"?  I know this because I’ve been bombarded with emails about it today 🙂

We have a plan :)  I wish I could announce that they were ready to go but unfortunately we just weren’t able to get them all ready at the same time as getting Orcas shipped.  Here’s our schedule for delivering updates…

The week of 11/26

VSTS Web Access – We released a CTP that is compatible with the TFS 2008 object model a couple of months ago.  This build will continue to work against the TFS 2008 RTM.  Next week we will release a "final" TFS 2008 compatible TSWA.  In addition to the bug fixes we’ve done, it also includes:

  • A set of easily accessible urls to various information – work items, queries, file history, etc. for easy linking from other applications
  • New custom control samples
  • More efficient memory management
  • Documentation
  • And we are now set up to start producing localized versions (although they will come out over the next couple of months).

I’ll publish a list of the new urls next week when we release it.


Mid December

MSSCCI Provider – We’ve updated the MSSCCI provider (that enables TFS access from VS 2003, VS 2002, VS 6 and a host of other IDEs) to use the TFS 2008 object model.  In the process we’ve fixed as many bugs that have been reported as we could.  The updated MSSCCI provider will be available in Mid-Dec.

TFS Power Tools – The main TFS Power tools package will be released in mid-Dec.  We are currently shooting for the week of the 17th.  It will be compiled against the new TFS 2008 object model and all of the VS addins will work against the VS 2008 IDE.  Note, the add-ins will not work against the VS 2005 IDE – in September, we shipped the final version of the Power Tools that target VS 2005.  From here forward, all Power Tool releases will target the VS 2008 client or later.  Of course, keeping consistent with our TFS 2008 compatibility goals, the old and the new Power Tools will both work against either a TFS 2005 or a TFS 2008 server.  So you can continue to use the Power Tools that are compatible with your IDE against whatever version of the server that you have.

In addition to VS 2008 IDE compatibility, this new Power Tool release includes:


Build Notification Tray app – We’re releasing our first Power Tool version of the build notification tray app.  This tool allows you to monitor the current status of automated builds easily.  You can be notified immediately when a build fails (or succeeds even) so that you can address it promptly.  A failure notification will appear like…

From which you can easily navigate to the build status window which allows you find out more info on the build.  Or you can go to the changesets/workitems that are in the build.


Process Template Editor – We’ve made bug fixes and small improvements to the Process Template Editor.  They include:

  • Making it more discoverable by moving it to the VS Tools menu
  • Substantially improved the performance – particularly when there are many states
  • Fixes for all of the serious bugs that users have reported.


Best Practices Analyzer – The Best Practices Analyzer is a tool we first released in September that is designed to help diagnose problems with TFS installation and help you quickly correct them.  In this Power Tools release, we have updated it to support TFS 2008 and the wide array of addition configurations that TFS 2008 supports.


WI & WIT Destroy – We have added support to the tfpt command line to enable permanent deletion of work items and work item types.  We added server side support for it in TFS 2008 but did not have time to get the client side support done.  So until that makes it into an official release, that support will live in the Power Tools.


Until you get the new Power Tools releases, you can continue to use the older versions with TFS 2008.  The primary pain point is going to be that the IDE based tools – the Process Template Editor, etc will not run inside the VS 2008 IDE until the Dec release, so you will have to keep Team Explorer 2005 on your machine until then to use them.




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