Posts Tagged ‘TFS2012 Express’

Visual Studio 2012 Update 4 RC3

Visual Studio 2012 Update 4 RC3 is out. You can downloaded from

Check out this link for the update description

Install instructions

  • 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)
    • vcredist_x86.exe
    • vcredist_x64.exe
    • vcredist_arm.exe

TFS 2012: Set Default Task Activity in the Scrum Template

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


TFS2012: Run Data Driven Unit Tests in TFS Team Build

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” ( 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

Troubleshooting Steps

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

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.

Open “C:\Windows\SysWOW64\odbcad32.exe”

In the User DNS

Click Add


Select Microsoft Excel Driver (the one that contains xlsx)

Click finish

Name it Excel Files

Click OK

Run the build again and it should pass

TFS2012: How to delete a workspace using the tf command

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

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

TFS2012 Team Build Types

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.