I have been roped in for a really exciting new TFS gig which I am about to begin in a couple of weeks. So, in an effort to add value to the client by providing more than what they ask for, I started researching on the cool new power toys that make life easier when dealing with TFS. I must say that I was particularly thrilled with the Best Practices Analyzer and the Work item template editor.
In this, I am going to go over installing the power toys and using the Best Practices Analyzer. In my next post, I will go over the Work Item template editor.
INSTALLING POWER TOYS (Sept 2007 release)
The power toys could be downloaded from here. It is the Sept 2007 release of the power toys and most probably the last one that will be released by MS for TFS 2005 version.
1. Download and install Windows power shell 1.0 from here for Windows server 2003
Download and install Windows power shell 1.0 from here for Windows XP
Before installing the power toys, we need to install Windows power shell 1.0 (prerequisite for installing BPA). If you do not need to install BPA, you could click next on the install window and it will skip BPA installation.
2. Download and install Domain-Specific Language Tools for Visual Studio 2005 Redistributable Components (DslToolsRedist) from here
Before installing the power toys, we need to install DslToolsRedist (prerequisite for installing WTE). If you do not need to install BPA, you could click next on the install window and it will skip BPA installation.
3. Now run the tfpt (powertoys) executable that you downloaded.
Verify the installation by going to Start –> All Programs to see if you have Microsoft Team foundation server 2005 power toys is available.
Best Practices Analyzer
The Best practices Analyzer (BPA) scans your server to discover issues in TFS deployment. There are two types of scans
i. A pre-install scan, in case of a pre installation scan
ii. Health check in the case of a post installation.
It gathers information from all the parts that are affected by TFS installation. It does not modify any system settings. As the name suggests, it is just an Analyzer. This can be run both on the client and server. I am going to be showing the server-side scan to verify TFS installation.
Open the TfsBpa.exe from Start -> All Programs -> Microsoft Team Foundation Server 2005 Power Tools-> Microsoft Visual Studio Team System Best Practices Analyzer as shown below.
Select “Start a new scan” in the Welcome to Team Foundation Server Best Practices Analyzer window.
Note the scan type is Health Check, which means it is a post installation check. Also note that the Perform Scan on dropdown box has “Team Foundation Server only” option. This means that we are about to do a post installation check on the server side. You can give it a scan name and save it as a scan agent. This would be then available as an option on the Welcome to Team Foundation Server Best Practices Analyzer window
This took me around 5 to 10 minutes. This time would depend on your system’s state. The scan does a
1. Health check on the Server
2. It does an install check on the ATDT (because it is a single server installation)
The link above the Scan results shows a report of your scan. There are different views available for the report, like tree view, list reports etc. There are also different types of items. Informational items are those that won’t affect the functioning of the TFS server. Critical items are those that will have an impact on the functioning of the server. An example of critical items is disabled service accounts. If there is an error in this report itself, it means that there is something wrong with the tfsreports account, as this tool uses the tfsreports account to run this report.