The Physical Internet

Recently I read the book called Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet by Andrew Blum. If you’ve ever wondered how your computer connects to other computers around the world, this book is a must read. I consider this essential reading for any engineer responsible for delivering online services or networks. Once you’ve…

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TFS: Enable Team Project Portal script

If you don’t have SharePoint configured at the time that you upgrade your Team Foundation Server or when you attach a new TPC, then one of the things that you might be left with is this: The Team Project is working fine The SharePoint site is working fine But they’re not linked or associated with…

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TFS Administration Tool 2.3 (2013) Released

As I did after the last major TFS release, the TFS Administration Tool has been updated to depend upon the TFS 2013 Object Model. You no-longer need Team Explorer 2012 installed to use the tool. It can be installed on machines running either the stand-alone object model (https://aka.ms/TFSOM2013), TFS 2013 or Visual Studio 2013. This…

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What does a well maintained Team Foundation Server look like?

After spending some time out in the field looking at customer’s TFS environments and more recently looking at some of Microsoft’s internal on-premises TFS deployments, I realised that some environments are configured and better maintained than others. Some of the general concepts and the very TFS-specific configurations are talked about in Part 5 of my…

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Five years at Microsoft and a new job

Recently, I completed 5 years of service at Microsoft. The company makes a big deal of anniversaries that fall on the 5-year milestones with increasingly larger "optical crystal" monuments. As part of my anniversary, I also imported another tradition back to my local branch office from my time in Redmond. The tradition says that on…

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New book: Professional Team Foundation Server 2012

I’m very pleased to announce that our new book Professional Team Foundation Server 2012 is now available! It’s an update to the 2010 edition that reflects all the great new features and changes introduced in Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2012. For example, there are whole new chapters on Managing Teams, Agile Planning Tools and…

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TFS2012: New tools for TFS Administrators

This is a brand new feature in TFS 2012 that hasn’t really been documented or talked about yet. If you’re a TFS administrator and you browse to this address on your server, you will see a new web-based administration interface for some things inside of TFS: http://your-server:8080/tfs/_oi/ Activity Log The first page that we see,…


TFS, Load Balancers, Idle Timeout settings and TCP Keep-Alives

Since TFS 2010, it has been possible to have multiple Application Tier servers configured in a load-balanced configuration. If you use something like a F5 BIG-IP LTM device, then the default Idle Timeout settings for the TCP Profile can cause problems. (But don’t despair, read the whole post). Here’s the scenario: Between the TFS ASP.NET…


TFS: How to Customize Work Item Types

Team Foundation Server has allowed you to modify your Work Item Type Definitions since the first version of TFS. (Side note: this is not the case with the Team Foundation Service, but the team hopes to enable that at some point in the future. At the moment, limiting the customization allows them to innovate the…

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TFS2012: IntelliSense for customizing Work Item Types using XML

Team Foundation Server allows you to modify the Work Item Type definitions. You can use a graphical interface like the Process Editor included in the Team Foundation Server Power Tool, or you can edit the raw XML. For making changes across many work item types, I prefer to edit the raw XML in Visual Studio,…