Home > Agile, Microsoft Project, Modelling, planning > News in Team Foundation 2010

News in Team Foundation 2010

From a project manager’s point of view

On 2009-06-25, I and a colleague listened to a seminar concerning news in Team Foundation Server (TFS) 2010. We are currently using TFS 2008 mainly for source code handling and tracking progress (using the work item tracking functionality) during projects. Here are my notes.

Fundamental changes

TFS 2010 include a new client, especially for testers, Test Essentials or Test & Lab Management. This will mean that to be able to work effectively as a test leader or tester, you don’t need a Visual Studio installation. It is today unclear how licensing will work with the new client.

The integration with Microsoft Office require Office 2007.

SQL 2008, SP1 is required.

You can run a VS 2010 client against TFS 2008 SP1 and using patches, a user can run VS 2008 against TFS 2010. This enables a step by step upgrading of the environment.

The installation of a new server is complicated and takes a lot of time. You can though make the installation first and make all configuration in a second step, This means that the person responsible for installation does not need all configuration variables to complete the installation.

The possibilities for load balancing has been increased which would enable us to runt TFS on multiple servers and also make use of several SQL Server.


Work item tracking

The most important change here is the possibility to not only link work items but actually specify how items are linked. You can for example:

  • Specify a hierarchy. This would mean that we can specify which tests are included in a test plan or which tasks belong to a product backlog item.
  • Predecessor/successor relationship. This would mean that we could specify that one task is dependant on the for filling of another task.
  • Related items of a specific work item type. This would mean that we could specify requirements in the form of tests and we could then specify on a task Definition of Done in the form of which tests are to be passed to see the task as completed.

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A smaller change is that you can group different work item types to ease the creation of reports and queries. Using our current development process, we have no need for this.

The reports are as before available in Reporting Services format but there is an increased number of Excel reports, which also use the data warehouse. This would make us less dependant of reporting services for our project management.

There is also a specific report called Agile Workbook. In this, a number of reports, focused on the product owner and scrum master roles has been gathered.

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Building environment

The concept of Gated Build is introduced and means that when a developer checks in, he can make a test build before an actual checkin. This would better hinder checkins which breaks the build.

The build scripts use Workflow 4, which enable a more graphical view of builds.

TFS Admin Console

A new client, targeting the administrator wanting control of his TFS and include the functionality which an administrator needs.


Test & Lab Management

This is a Windows client which does not require Visual Studio and target the needs of the tester. Here a tester can set up test manuscripts, run tests and report bugs. What was also really interesting was that while running tests, a tester can choose to record his steps and when filing a bug, he can automatically send a film or pictures of the situation. The recording can then also be used when verifying that a bug is fixed: the macro retakes all steps to the failing step, which makes the validation faster.

What also was interesting was the possibility to set up virtual environments for different test scenarios, for example different cultural settings and configurations. Since a test is run in a specific environment, we can keep better track of the environment in which the tests are run and not run. Also, when filing bugs, a snapshot of the environment at the time of the failure is possible.

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Visual Studio for Architects

The seminar did not cover functionality in Visual Studio but notable is the inclusion of modeling in UML using Visual Studio. Use cases and processes can be directly modeled in Visual studio and linked to code and work items. Also, it is possible to automatically derive a model from a current system.

Since this is stored in the source control system, the models would be source controlled, which means that you can track changes of the system and even see which checkins have changed the model.

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Query handling

The visualization of a search result has been improved since you can view a tree view or a link of the items and their directly related items. You can also click and drag to move work items in the hierarchy, for example if you want to move tasks between sprints or product backlog items.

Queries can now be collected in folders and you can also make rights settings these folders to hinder users from accidently changing common queries.

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Source control

You can in TFS see graphically how branching and merging has occurred and using a graphical tool merge.

Web client

The user interface in the web access has been improved and include a dashboard functionality to enable views which are specific for the different types of users.

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