The one where I explain where I’ve been for 3 months…

So...I haven't exactly been blogging lately. This is (mostly) a "no news is good news thing" - what have I been up to?

  • Finishing up a feature crew that delivered an improved TFS setup experience, support for upgrading from Whidbey (VS 2005), enhanced support for SharePoint, and other setup- and deployment-related features (you'll see these in Orcas Beta 2 - unfortunately, we just couldn't get all that we wanted done in time for Beta 1).
  • Building/Buying a new house.
  • Selling our current townhouse.

The last two are long, long stories in their own right - something to save for another day or my personal blog unless popular demand indicates otherwise.

In my last post, I described our SharePoint changes in some detail. I'll outline some of the other feature work we did around the same time (and since), and 'open the floor' for questions, comments, and/or feedback on that.

  • Upgrade: Starting with Beta 2, TFS's setup will have the ability to upgrade from various existing versions to Orcas.
    • Note, this is not EVERY possible server that could exist, but it should include virtually every 'supported' configuration out there, including scenarios where you've used one of our Whitepapers to move SharePoint off of the AT, enable SQL clustering or mirroring on your DT, or upgraded your Whidbey TFS to use WSS 3.0. You should not have to upgrade from Whidbey RTM to SP1 before upgrading to Orcas, for example (though upgrading to SP1 is strongly recommended in the meantime).
    • When I say "should", well, that's one reason Beta 2 is so interesting to us. We've tested a lot of scenarios on a lot of configurations, but we really need/want to see customers trying upgrade with Beta 2 to validate the work and find any scenarios or edge cases that we've missed. 
    • Finally, note that "Upgrade" is a very specific scenario - upgrade of TFS itself. If you also want to upgrade WSS from 2 to 3, that's a separate operation. If you want to move from single- to dual-server, or from standard SQL to clustered or mirrored, those are other, separate operations.
  • More deployment flexibility: This is sort of a bucket for a variety of improvements, mostly based on feedback on our requirements for Whidbey.
    • SharePoint flexibility - see the previous post for more details.
    • TFS's website can now run as Network Service.
      • While I don't recommend this as a security Best Practice, some organizations either don't allow domain accounts dedicated for services, or have restrictive policies/procedures around creating and maintaining them. If your TFS server does not have other potentially vulnerable services running as Network Service on it, this may be an attractive option.
      • Note that who SQL, SQL RS, and WSS run as are still subject to the requirements and recommendations of those components, so you may not be totally out of the woods on service accounts.
  • Compatibility/Side-by-Side: You may already know this, but 'major' versions of Visual Studio are expected to operate 'side by side' with each other on the same machine; and Visual Studio (the client) does not "upgrade" from one version to another (for the side-by-side reason among others).
    • The story is a bit different for Team Foundation Server. We don't expect the Orcas version of TFS to run "side by side" with the Whidbey version of the server (and it just plain wouldn't work for both versions to share a data tier). However, with a few notable exceptions, either version of the client (Whidbey and Orcas) can talk to either version of the server, and the clients can be installed side-by-side as described above.
    • The Version Control Proxy should support the full compatibility mix (and has had a fair amount of testing to demonstrate this) - that is, either version of the proxy can be between any combination of Orcas/Whidbey clients/servers. There is at least one change to the format of the Proxy config file, however, so be careful about just copy/pasting your Proxy config file if you're doing an 'in place' upgrade of the proxy (uninstall the old proxy, install the new proxy).
    • Team Build's version should match the TFS version. There's at least some capability if you keep a Whidbey Team Build server paired to an Orcas TFS, but I'm told it's limited.

Wow, that's a lot to catch up on (and I'm sure I'm forgetting something). If you're interested in these areas and have questions or feedback, please send them my (or our) way.

I'll try to do better as we hear more Beta1 feedback and prepare for Beta2; and now that those little details about buying, selling, and moving between houses are over and done with, I should have a few more cycles to blog with :).


Take me out; out of darkness, out of doubt

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