Yet More Team Foundation Server Power Tools

Brian Harry

I went on vacation for a few days this week and lo and behold while I’m gone the team has released our next version of the TFS Power Tools (formerly Power Toys).  We’ve numbered it Version 1.2 but I prefer to refer to it as the Feb ’07 release.  There’s a grab bag of new stuff in this release, including:

  • 2 new commands to the tfpt command line tool (use tfpt /? to see details)
    • Workspace – Use the workspace command for additional workspace operations not supported in the currently shipping Team Foundation Server command line (tf.exe).  Specifically, it supports a /updatecomputer switch, that allows you to change the computer a workspace is associated with to “this” computer.  This was added specifically as a result of feedback I got from someone reading my blog.
    • Treeclean – Use the treeclean command to see and optionally delete files in the current directory and all subdirectories that are not under version control.
  • A new Process Template Editor.  This tool is based on the work Joel Semeniuk has done but extends it to integrate with the Team Explorer, display a graphical view of the work item state diagram, handle a broader array of process templates, etc.  This should substantially reduce the degree to which people have to munge around in XML files to edit work items.  It’s by no means a complete Process Template editing solution but it’s a good start and covers the most common cases.
  • A new test task for TFS Build that enables you to specify the DLLs that contain tests to be run rather than having to author a .vsmdi file.  You may have see Buck talking about this on his blog.  This makes it much easier to mantain the list of tests to run during Continuous Integration or Nightly builds.
  • A few checkin policies that enable commonly requested scenarios, including:
    • Changeset Comments – The Changeset Comments policy allows you to verify that the Comments text box in the Check In dialog box is not empty. You cannot check in a file if the Comments text box is empty.
    • Custom Path Policy – The Custom Path Policy works with existing Team Foundation Server check-in policies.  It provides a mechanism that lets you specify the source control path or paths upon which a particular policy acts.  This allows you toenforce a different sets of rules for different source control folders.
      The Custom Path Policy also allows you to filter what specific items upon which a policy acts.  For example, you can enforce an associated work item on check-in for files that end in “.cs, .sln, .csproj.”
    • Forbidden Patterns – The Forbidden Patterns policy allows you to specify a file extension or a regular expression that you can use to keep certain file types from being checked in to source control.
    • Work Item Query – The Work Item Query policy allows you to specify a team query to which the work item associated with a check-in must belong.  If the results of the query do not include the work item associated with the check-in, check-in is blocked.  This allows you to, for example, require that every checkin must be associated with an “active”, “approved” work item.
  • Support for Windows Vista.
  • The TFS Power Tools have been renamed from TFS Power Toys.
  • Some misc bug fixes that I haven’t tracked down a list of 🙂

You can download the new TFPT release from here I’ve already seen one problem crop up – uninstalling the old TFPT release on Vista.  You get the error “Error 1721.  There is a problem with with Windows Installer package. …”.  You either need to disable UAC or you can run msiexec /i tfpt.msi. I’ll try to post any other issues as I learn about them.  Here’s a link to the forum where you can ask any question you have about the new release. We had originally hoped to get this out in early December but a number of things conspired to make it take longer than we had hoped.  As you can see there’s quite a bit of new stuff here and hopefully you will find it useful.  Let us know what you think and what you’d like to see in future releases. We’re already starting to plan what’s next.  We’ve got a Vista sidebar tool already nearly complete and a bunch of other stuff in the hopper.  We haven’t set a date yet but I’m hoping for something like April.  We’ll see. Thanks,



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