using TFS for beginners – common issues


Below are few issues which I guess one would run into on their first usage of TFS & Team Explorer, some of them are fixed in TFS 2010 and some other in TFS 11 Smiley

1) Permanently deleting Dummy Projects: After playing around for a while there would few dummy Team Projects created. By default TFS uses a soft delete. For permanent (hard) delete one can use tf command line utility with destroy option.

Note if you have deleted a project already you need to undelete it & check in pending changes. Destroy doesn’t work on deleted projects. Also the folder you are trying to delete should be mapped to a workspace (File -> Source Control ->Workspaces…)

E.g. tf destroy $/YourProjectName/SubFolder/… /collection:http://myserver:8080/tfs/defaultcollection (for other options check out tf destroy /?)

2) Logging in as a different user: By default VS.NET would ask you credentials to connect to TFS every time you run it. You can avoid it by caching required credentials. To cache your credentials go to Control Panel -> User Accounts -> Manage your network password (left column) -> Click Add to add the required details. Once added VS.NET won’t trouble you for credentials.

3) Deleting a workspace: Workspace belongs to a owner (authenticated user by TFS). Let’s say you have logged in as Admin & set your working folder to C:\WorkingFolder. Now you want to log on TFS as local user (without admin rights) & use the same mapped path (C:\WorkingFolder). TFS at this level would complain Admin is already using that location, hence you can’t use it. In order to remove workspace created by Admin you again need to fallback on tf utility.

E.g. tf workspace /delete MyWorkspace;MyDomain\Admin /server:http://MyTFS:8080/tfs

4) Automatic Check Out – not working: If you go to VS.NET Tools -> Options -> Source Control -> Environment, you will see 2 drop downs there. There is one which reads Editing – Check Out Automatically. What this means is when you have a opened project & you edit files using Solution Explorer those would be checked out automatically. But sometimes you won’t find it working. A possible reason, your solution is not binded to source control. To regain the bindings click on File -> Source Control -> Change Source Control (N.B. At this point of time Source Control explorer should be closed). There you will a list of your projects & solutions. Select them & click on bind button on the tool bar window. Things would start working now as expected. When you bind the TFS project and solution by default they will be checked out and 2 additional files vspscc and vssscc would be created. You need to check-in the project (.csproj) / solution (.sln) files to avoid rebinding of the solution next time. There isn’t a need to include vspscc and vssscc inside TFS.

5) Unlocking a file: 2 steps – find the workspace that belongs to the user and then execute undo command by specifying workspace, user account and file path –
tf workspaces /owner:domain\userid –you would get these parameters from the file lock message
tf undo /workspace:workspacename;domain\userid $/filePath –filePath you can copy it from File Properties in Source Control

6) Permanently deleting a WorkItem: There is quite a possibility there your team could create dummy workitems in process of getting familiar with the system. At times it might be important to cleam this items so that they don’t impact your charts and reports. Below is the command you can use to delete a workitem permanently.

witadmin destroywi /collection:CollectionURL /id:id [/noprompt]


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