Welcome to the Developer Support Team Foundation Server (TFS) BLOG!
As the name and caption of this BLOG suggest, we are the global team here at Microsoft responsible for supporting Team Foundation Server. We are located in the US, England, Australia, Japan, India, Germany, Sweden, France, and quite a few other countries and regions. Together we provide support for all facets of Team Foundation Server to customers who contact us via phone or over the web. Got a problem or “how to” issue with TFS and call Microsoft? You’ll most likely be speaking with US! <g>
This BLOG was designed to let us convey some of the things we’ve run into and learned while supporting this diverse and wonderful product. We hope to post items that are helpful to you in working with and troubleshooting your own TF server deployment of course, but we are not limited to that exclusively. With any luck we will have an assortment of TFS-related posts… all of which you will enjoy.
To get started, do you know about Team Foundation Server Best Practices Analyzer? If you’ve downloaded and installed the TFS Power Tools recently then you already have it! Quoting from the power tools download page…
The Team Foundation Server Best Practices Analyzer (Team Foundation Server BPA) is a diagnostic tool that performs the following functions:
- Gathers configuration information from a Team Foundation Server deployment
- Performs specific tests on the Team Foundation Server deployment
- Analyzes the collected information according to specific rules and reports the findings as information, warning, or error messages
- Provides links to articles to resolve warning and error messages
You can use the Team Foundation Server BPA in either a pre-installation or a production Team Foundation Server environment. You can use the Team Foundation Server BPA to perform the following tasks:
- Proactively verify that the Team Foundation Server configuration is set according to recommended best practices
- Determine configurations that differ from default, recommended, or required settings
- Identify the source of problems in an unhealthy Team Foundation Server deployment
The reason I bring it up in our initial post is because the TFS BPA is one of our primary troubleshooting tools here at Microsoft TFS CSS (that’s “Customer Service & Support”… soooo many TLA’s <g>). In fact, we recently made it mandatory to have a TFS BPA scan from our customers in our support cases. It provides a lot of valuable information that is often helpful in troubleshooting (if not flat-out resolving) many issues. What many people may not know or just don’t notice about the TFS BPA however, is that it not only produces diagnostic reports but in many cases it also provides you with ways to resolve any problems it encounters. To date we have included in the BPA help file over 90 items from our internal issue tracking systems where we keep a log of technical issues and their solutions. So next time you run the BPA and it detects an issue, see if you have a link under the item which reads “Tell me more about this issue and how to resolve it”. If you do, chances are that following this link to the BPA help file could save you a phone call to us. 🙂