Visual Studio 2012 Update 4 RC3 is out. You can downloaded from
Check out this link for the update description
- Visual Studio
- VS2012.4 RC.exe
- Team Foundation Server (Choose either Web Installer or ISO Image)
- Web Installer: tfs_server.exe
- ISO Image: VS2012.4 RC TFS Server ENU.iso
- Team Foundation Server Express (Choose either Web Installer or ISO Image)
- Web Installer: tfs_express.exe
- ISO Image: VS2012.4 RC TFS Express enu.iso
- Visual C++ Redistributable (Choose architecture: x86, x64, arm)
There is no option to do so without modifying the Task workitem template.
- You need to install the TFS 2012 Power Tools
- Open Visual Studio 2012
- Click on Open WIT from Server
- Select Task to modify the Tasks template
- Click on Edit on the Activity field. At this point we want to know the valid values
- Select SuggestedValues and click on Edit
- You should see a list of the valid values
- Close all the dialogs to get back to the previous screen shot
- Click on the Workflow tab
- Right click on ToDo and click on Open Details
- Click on the new Button
- Select Microsoft.VSTS.Common.Activity from the drop down
- Click on the Rules tab
- Click on the New Button
- Select DEFAULT
- Select value from the From combobox and type Development in the Value field
- Click OK to close the Default dialog
- Click OK to close the workflow State Field Rules dialog
- click the save button.
- Create new Task from Visual Studio or Web Access
In this article I will explain how to create a build definition in the Visual Studio 2012 and TFS 2012 server. I used TFS 2012 Express when I wrote this post. In a previous post, I went through the build types that Team Foundation Server supports.
To run a Team Build in TFS, assuming you already setup the Build Controller and Agents, you need to create a build definition. A build definition acts as a settings or configurations file for the build process.
Create Build Definition
The following steps show how to create a team build definition:
Open Visual Studio 2012
Open Team Explorer (View—>Team Explorer)
Connect to a TFS Server and Team Project
After you are connected to the Team Project of interest, go back to the Home menu or page and click on the Builds link
Click New Build Definition to create a new build definition
Give your build definition a meaningful name (e.g. mypp-CI-Debug, myapp-Scheduled-UnitTests).
Queuing process option is sufficiently explained on the screen.
Click on the Trigger node
On this screen, you can specify the build type. Build types were covered in the previous article. Under Rolling builds, Build no more often than ever x minutes means you want at least x minutes between builds to allow for build accumulation. Under Gated Check-in, check the Merge and build up to x submissions, if you want to group submissions when building them to improve performance.
The next step is to configure the Workspace.
On this screen, you can select as many folders as you want. Those folders and their contents will be downloaded (Get performed) to the Source Directory to the code. As a best practice, you want to avoid referencing the root folder of you team project (e.g. $/MyTeamProject) because you want to avoid getting the code for unrelated files or projects. Point to the folder where your code exists and add other folders for other related code or libraries such as libraries for third party controls. When adding multiple folders, make sure you maintain the folder level or relative path among folders at the Build Agent Folder.
Click on the Build defaults, it is probably called with that name because you can override these values when you queue a build <— I am guessing 🙂
On this screen, you have to specify a Build a controller and the drop folder location. The drop folder contains the output of the build process.
The Process screen is where you can define the Build process Template, which is a workflow of activities to execute your team build, and the Build process parameters that are passed to the workflow build template as arguments.
If you are using the Default Template, you need to at least populate the Items to Build parameter with a solution. Deferent build templates may have deferent parameters. You can also create and customize a build template.
Click the ellipsis button
Click on Add
Select a solution
You can select multiple solutions
You can set the configurations for the build in the Configurations tab
In another post, I will explain the other parameters.
The last step, is to define the retention policy. The retention policy automate the deletion of old builds to save disk space.
Save the build definition
Notice that it will be added to the build definition section on the build window. To queue a build manually, right click and click on Queue New Build
This post is in response to the following forum question http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/tfsgeneral/thread/9b9c6479-34f8-427f-b461-09f8b6a3c8f9
In the post, I will show how to show two backlogs for a Release 1 and Release 2. Backlogs will NOT be visible at the same time.
Open TFS Web Access
Click on Configure Schedule and iterations
I have two releases two sprints in two different releases. In real case scenario, a later Sprint than Sprint 1 will be the current Sprint for Release 1
Click Set as team’s backlog iteration for Release one to show workitems assigned to Release 1 in the backlog
Close the popup
Click on View backlog
Notice that you can only see the backlog items assigned to Release 1
One of the issues you will have is when you view the backlog, the Iteration path is not one of the visible columns. It is useful to show the Iteration Path in the grid. Click on Column Options and add the Iteration Path from the left rest to the right one.
To show the backlog for Release 2. Click the home button and click on the configure schedule and iterations. You can select Release 2 now.
Make sure you check Sprint 1
In the steps, I will be adding a workitem query to the team favorites to show the number of the workitems assigned to a Release. Go to the Work tab then Work Items. lick on the Product backlog. Click on the editor tab then modify the iteration path then click on the Save as Query button. I am calling it PBL-Release1.
Create another query for Release 2.
Click on the little triangle next to the the new queries and add them to the team favorites
Notice that the queries got copied to the team favorites section
Go to the home page and notice the new tiles
In a previous post, I explained how to run one test method twice using the data driven approach with Excel workbook as a datasource. The solution worked without issues when running using Visual Studio 2012. But I wasn’t able to run the unit tests using TFS Team build. I was getting the following error
The unit test adapter failed to connect to the data source or to read the data. For more information on troubleshooting this error, see “Troubleshooting Data-Driven Unit Tests” (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=62412) in the MSDN Library. Error details: ERROR [IM002] [Microsoft][ODBC Driver Manager] Data source name not found and no default driver specified
The following is my setup:
Active Directory: Windows 2008 R2
TFS 2012 Express: Windows 2008 R2, SQL Server 2012 Express
Team Build Server: Windows 2008 R2, Team Build Controller and 1 Agent running as NT Authority\ Network Service
Check if the Excel file is copied to the Out folder
In my case it was copied
Check if you have the proper drivers installed
In my case I had make sure that the ODBC driver for Excel xlsx files is installed. There are two versions of ODBC Datasource: 32bit and 64bit. To learn more about that topic checkout this KB http://support.microsoft.com/kb/942976
I opened both the 32bit and 64bit versions of the odbcad32.exe on the build machine and I noticed that the drivers were installed for the earlier version of Excel (xls) and not the 2007+ version (xlsx).
The reason it was working in Visual Studio (local machine) is I had Office 2010 installed on the machine that has Visual Studio.
I logged on as lab\administrator (domain admin rights) and then I Installed Office 2010
Now I opened the ODBCad32 and found out that the driver is installed and the DSN is added to the User DSN.
If I run the team build now, I will fail with the same error because the service is running as Network Service not lab\Administrator
Change the Run as account
Open the TFS Admin console from the build machine
Click on Build Configurations Node
Stop the Build Service
Click on Change in the Run the Service as groupbox
Select User a user account
WARNING: You MUST NOT use a domain admin for your run as service. I will change it later on in the article. The reason I am using a domain admin here is because I installed office using that account. The office installation adds the DNS names for at the user level which only accessible to the current user. I will show it to you working first then I will change the account.
Enter your username. If you keep the “User the same identity as Windows Service” checked, TFS will add this account to the Project Collection\Project Collection Build Service Accounts group. You can use a local machine admin account in the first box and a domain user with limited privileges in the Connect to TFS as box as I will show later on.
Click OK and Save.
Queue a team build
Replace Run as Service Account
Now I will replace the the run as Service Account as a local Administrator
Open the TFS admin console from the build machine
Build Configuration—>Service Property—>Stop the service
Click the change button
I am using a local admin account. If you template interact with other network computers you need to use a domain account.
Uncheck Use the same identity as windows Service
Click the Change button
Enter the account information. This account will be used for any interaction with TFS
Click and Start
Queue a new build
The build should fail with same error we had above.
I am getting this error because the installation of Office 2010 added the DNS name to the User DNS which means it is only available to the the current user. You can fix this issue by logging on as your new account and add the DNS to the User DNS tab.
Add Excel DNS to the Local DNS list
Log on as the new user (I am logging on as LocalAdmin). You can also run the Odbca32.exe as a different user if you don’t want of log off and on.
In the User DNS
Select Microsoft Excel Driver (the one that contains xlsx)
Name it Excel Files
Run the build again and it should pass
Today while I am writing another blog post, I encountered the following error
Exception Message: The working folder C:\Builds\5\MyTeamProject\UnitTestProject1\src is already in use by the workspace 6_5_TFS2012Build1;TFS2012BUILD1$ on computer TFS2012BUILD1. The Build Agent TFS2012Build1 – Agent1 is running as a different user Administrator and local paths can only be mapped to a single workspace. To resolve this issue, you can configure the Build Service to run as the user who owns the conflicting workspace, or you can delete the workspace using the ‘tf workspace’ command. (type WorkingFolderInUseException)
I received that error because, I changed the run as service account for the Build Controller. From a machine that has Visual Studio installed, open the VS command prompt.
Then, the first thing you want to do is check what switches TF workspace has by running the following command
tf workspace /?
To learn more about the switches or arguments, check this msdn article http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/y901w7se(v=vs.100).aspx
You can also use the tf workspaces to target multiple workspaces or to list all workspaces for a collection
tf workspaces /collection:http://tfs2012express:8080/tfs/defaultcollection Collection:http://tfs2012express:8080/tfs/defaultcollection
The above will return you the workspaces on the current machine. If you want to view all workspaces, you need to use the /computer switch
tf workspaces /collection:http://tfs2012express:8080/tfs/defaultcollection Collection:http://tfs2012express:8080/tfs/defaultcollection /computer:*
In my case, I am using the following switches
tf workspace /delete /collection:<a href="http://tfs2012express:8080/tfs/defaultcollection 6_5_tfs2012build1;tfs2012build1$
Type Yes and press enter
In this article, I will go through the build types (triggers) the TFS Team Build supports out of the box.
What is TFS Team Build
Team build is a TFS service that is responsible for building, or compiling, your code. You can ,however, change the behavior of the process by modifying the Build Definition and the Build Process template. The Team Build Service should, ideally, be placed on a machine that is different from the TFS Server. Team Build is a resource intensive operation and placing it on the same machine as your TFS Server will degrade performance. In TFS, you can run as many builds as the number of build agents you have installed.
Build Types in TFS
Team Foundation Server 2012 supports the following build types:
Manual: The Team Build is triggered manually from Visual Studio, TFS API or tfsBuild command.
Continuous Integration (CI): Team Build is triggered whenever a new code checkin occurs. You want to use this type of build to verify the a code checkin from a developer is not breaking the build. You may want to run unit tests part of the CI to verify that the new code is not breaking any of the tested business roles.
Rolling Build: Rolling build is similar to CI build. It queues a build for every check in. However, it allows you to limit your build to one at a time and accumulate the checkins until the previous build is complete. Once the previous build is complete, the team build queues a new build request which includes all the checkins occurred while the previous build was running. You can also limit the number of builds TFS can queue within a certain period of time.
Gated Check in:Gated check in similar to the CI build. It is gets triggered on code check-ins. The code however gets shelved and only is committed to source control if the build passes otherwise that check-in is rejected. Team build run one Gated Build at a time. When you have an active team that checks in many files it may take a long time for the code to be built and committed to source control. In TFS 2012, you can define the Gated Check in build definition to merge x number of submissions together. That feature improves the efficiency of TFS Team Build. If the consolidated build fails, Team build will build each submission individually and commit the changesets that succeed and reject the failed ones.
Scheduled: is a build that runs at a specific day of week and time. You may want to run a schedule this build off hours to run the tests that take long time on your code, e.g. integration, regression and/or coded UI tests. The scheduled build can run once a day. You can choose which days of week you want the scheduled build to run.