Today is a big day of releases and announcements. Two of the big ones are that VS 2010 SP1 and TFS 2010 SP1 have shipped and that the Team Foundation Server Project Server Integration Feature Pack is now available for MSDN subscribers. As of today, both are available on the MSDN download site. On Thursday 3/10, the SP1 builds will become available to non-MSDN subscribers on the Microsoft download sites. I’ll update this post when I have the links.
Here are the public download links now:
SP1 is not a huge service pack by VS 2008 SP1 standards but it’s a very nice one. It has a handful of nice new features (like IIS Express support and support for the Project Server Feature Pack) and hundreds of bug fixes. You can read my Beta post here to get a feel for what’s in SP1.
We’ve put together a list of all of the changes that have gone into SP1 and organized it a little bit in order to help you make sense of it. Later today, you should find them here.
TFS Project Server Integration Feature Pack
Integration between Project Server and Team Foundation Server is a considerable advancement for organizations that want to bridge the collaboration gap between the Project Management Office and software development teams. It enables teams to work together more effectively by:
- Providing up to date insight into portfolio execution, alignment with strategic objectives, and resource utilization of software development projects by leveraging the quantitative data stored in different systems.
- Automating the exchange and sharing of project information across teams and improving coordination between teams using disparate methodologies, like waterfall and agile, via common data and agreed upon metrics.
- Enabling development and project management teams to use familiar tools to collaborate and communicate project timeline and progress such as Microsoft Visual Studio, Project, and SharePoint.
To learn more about the TFS and Project Server integration capabilities, read my earlier post on the Beta release: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/bharry/archive/2010/12/07/portfolio-management-tfs-lt-gt-project-server-integration-in-beta.aspx
Improvements since the Beta include:
- The Team Foundation Server and Project Server Integration Feature Pack is now available in every language that Visual Studio ships in: Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Japanese, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Korean and English.
- Key documentation new topics and updates:
- Updating an existing installation with Service Pack 1 RTM
- Complete Field Mapping Reference
- What to do you when you change your deployment (e.g. move/split a TPC, Upgrade from Project Server 2007 to Project Server 2010)
- How to remove a component (e.g. team project, project plan, PWA) from synchronization
- Updated Known issues and troubleshooting topic
- A bunch of bug fixes including a set based on Beta feedback
I don’t generally include bug fixes in the first version of a new feature (because not that many people will even notice that the bug was there in the first place ). However, I thought I’d show a hand full of the more significant improvements since the Beta.
- In the Beta version, the integration matched identities based on their display name. This caused a synchronization problem when display names had commas in their names because a comma is a special character in Project Server and replaced by a semi-colon. In the RTM version, the integration matches identities first by display name and then by account names.
- A number of fixes based on customer feedback including:
- Allowing mapping between Project Server and TFS when the TFS URL has a period in it
- All the administration commands (except for RegisterPWA/UnregisterPWA) only need the “Administer Project Server integration” permission
- Project manager does not need TFS Contributor permissions on all mapped team projects, just the team project mapped to the open enterprise project
- Project manager can change the State field (if it is mapped) from the project plan
- When the project manager creates a hierarchy in the project plan and publishes to Project Server, the work values are not set for parent tasks so that the TFS reports do not double-count work.
- In the Beta version, it was required that TFS remaining work and completed work fields are part of the mapping. In the RTM version, this restriction is removed so that a team could choose that doesn’t track work hours can still provide task progress information.
- The synchronization engine can automatically adjust to changes like: a team project deletion, an enterprise project name changes, the TFS ServerID changes, backup and restore of Project Server.
- The Project Server-TFS administrator can run a command to adjust to changes like: PWA upgrade from 2007 to 2010, PWA instance changes location.
- A user that is part of the Team Foundation Server Administration Console Users group will not see duplicate work items created in the project plan
- When a project manager creates new tasks and publishes the enterprise project to Project Server, the synchronization will now automatically send the work item ID from TFS for the project manager to approve. Previously, the work item had to be changed before the work item ID is sent back up.
- Several changes to enable more flexibility in the field mappings between Project Server and TFS. Administrators can now map many resource-related fields to flow between TFS and Project Server and many task-related fields to flow just from Project Server to TFS.
- The GetSyncMessages command which can be used for monitoring the synchronization can now be piped into an .csv and pulled into Excel for readability
- In the Beta version, a Project Manager using MS Project will see the Team ribbon (intended for teams without Project Server but using MS Project to view and change TFS work items). To avoid any confusion, the Team ribbon is not shown when there is a project plan on Project Server mapped to TFS using the Project Server-TFS administration commands.
We now have 31 internal projects live on the TFS/Project Server connector and a number of TAP customers/Beta adopters. The feedback has been very positive on both the features and the robustness. As people report significant issues, we’ll fix them quickly and get out updates to make sure it keeps working well for you.
We encourage you to use our TFS and Project Server integration forum to get quick responses to any questions you have. You’ll be able to call our technical support to get help with any production issues you have. If you do call technical support, please let the representative know that you’re using Team Foundation Server.
As always, we love to hear your feedback!