Thursday, September 27, 2012

2 useful tools for the TFS administrator: TFS Power Tools 2012 & TFS Team Project Manager

Looking for some tools to simplify your job as a TFS administrator? These are 2 of the ‘must have’ tools:

Microsoft Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2012 Power Tools

This is the latest update of the TFS Power Tools with support for Microsoft Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2012.

Best Practices Analyzer

A diagnostic tool that you can use to perform the following actions:

  • Verify that the deployment for Team Foundation Server is configured according to recommended best practices
  • Identify the source of problems in an unhealthy deployment
  • Take a snapshot of the configuration of a deployment
  • Obtain usage data about the volume of data stored or accessed in the past 14 days. Includes specific information about database tables that have a tendency to grow and that may need to be reduced in size.
Process Template Editor

A Visual Studio 2012 add-in, located under the Tools menu, the Process Template Editor provides a graphical user interface for customizing Team Foundation Server process templates.

Storyboard Shapes

This tool enables you to create shapes for the PowerPoint storyboarding add-in with custom resize logic.

Team Explorer Enhancements

This tool provides additional Visual Studio menu options and functions to support finding files under version control by status or wildcard, opening a folder using File Explorer from the Source Control Explorer context menu, and labeling files and folders in Source Control Explorer. Clone builds definitions easily and copy work item paths. Collaborate and share with your teammates within Visual Studio using the new Team Members page in the Team Explorer tool window. You can communicate with your team through instant messaging, share queries and components, create workspace templates, and track your sprint progress.

Team Foundation Power Tool Command Line (tfpt.exe)

A companion tool to “tf.exe” that offers additional version control commands, work item tracking, and team project manipulation. Some commands invoke a graphical user interface when run.

Team Foundation Server Backups

You install this tool on the application-tier for Team Foundation Server. The tool can schedule backups for the following databases that your deployment of Team Foundation Server uses:

  • the configuration database
  • the database for each team project collection
  • the databases that Team Foundation Server uses in conjunction with SharePoint Products, if your deployment includes integration with SharePoint Products
  • the databases that Team Foundation Server uses in conjunction with SQL Server Reporting Services, if your deployment includes reports

By using the restore wizard included with this tool, you can restore your entire deployment to new hardware, or selectively restore team project collections to an earlier point in time.

Test Attachment Cleaner

The execution of a Test Run (whether automated or manual) generates a bunch of diagnostic data, which may be captured either automatically by the system or manually by the tester. This diagnostic data is critical in eliminating the “no repro” bug scenarios between the testers and developers. However, the downside of this rich diagnostic data captures is that the system/user generated diagnostic data, over a period of time, can grow at a rapid pace and start taking up database space.

In Visual Studio 2012, the database administrator has little or no control over what data gets attached as part of Test Runs. For example, she has no policy settings to limit the size of the data capture, or how long to hold the data before initiating a cleanup. This tool addresses these issues by:

  • Determining which set of diagnostic captures is taking up how much space AND
  • Reclaiming the space for runs which are no longer relevant from business perspective.
Windows PowerShell Cmdlets

This tool provides a Windows PowerShell interface that supports basic version control commands and a pipeline and glue to enable scripting.

Windows Shell Extensions

This tool provides integration with Windows Explorer and the common file dialogs. With this integration, you can perform many source control operations without having to run Visual Studio or a Team Foundation command-line tool.

Work Item Templates

A plug-in to Visual Studio, this tool provides an add-in to the Team menu and a new section on the Work Items page in Team Explorer. With this tool, you can create, apply, capture, set, and organize default work item templates.

Download here.

TFS Team Project Manager

TFS Team Project Manager can help you...

  • Manage build definitions
    • View and delete build definitions
    • Update common properties within build definitions
  • Manage build process templates
    • Understand which build templates are used by which build definitions
    • Unregister existing build process templates
    • Register new or update existing build process templates
  • Manage security
    • Understand which security groups have which members
    • Delete security groups
    • Add security groups
  • Manage source control
    • Understand which projects have which source control settings (multiple check-out, get latest on check-out, check-in notes)
    • Update source control settings
    • Retrieve the latest changesets (e.g. to see which projects are still active)
  • Manage work item configuration
    • Compare work item configurations (i.e. work item type definitions, categories, process configuration) with various sources, e.g. to determine which Process Template was likely used to create which project
    • Understand which projects use which work item types and how many work items there are of each
    • Import new or update existing work item types
    • Manage work item categories
    • Manage process configuration (i.e. common and agile configuration)


Download here.

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