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 Integration with Project Server. There’s also new content on the new Team Explorer interface, the Code Review tools, Local Workspaces and the updated Testing and Lab Management features. Throughout the book, we also talk about how to use the cloud hosted Team Foundation Service and talk about some of how the TFS internals have changed to support the service.

We hope that you enjoy this book as much as the previous one and we look forward to reading your reviews.

Book cover for: Professional Team Foundation Server 2012

ISBN: 9781118314098

You can buy the book in the following ways:

And you can preview some of the book before you buy:

Preview the book before you buy

Table of Contents

The book is broken up into five sections and its written in a way that you can either read the whole thing cover-to-cover or jump in to a particular part or chapter that interests you. My personal favourite chapters are the ones in Part V – Administration, since I wrote most of them. Smile

Part I – Getting Started

1 – Introducing Team Foundation Server 2012

2 – Planning a Deployment

3 – Installation and Configuration

4 – Connecting to Team Foundation Server

Part II – Version Control

5 – Overview of Version Control

6 – Using Team Foundation Version Control

7 – Ensuring Code Quality

8 – Migration from Legacy Version Control Systems

9 – Branching and Merging

10 – Common Version Control Scenarios

Part III – Project Management

11 – Introducing Work-Item Tracking

12 – Customizing Process Templates

13 – Managing Teams and Agile Planning Tools

14 – Reporting and SharePoint Dashboards

15 – Integration with Project Server

Part IV – Team Foundation Build

16 – Overview of Build Automation

17 – Using Team Foundation Build

18 – Customizing the Build Process

Part V – Administration

19 – Introduction to Team Foundation Server Administration

20 – Scalability and High Availability

21 – Disaster Recovery

22 – Security and Privileges

23 – Monitoring Server Health and Performance

24 – Testing and Lab Management

25 – Upgrading Team Foundation Server

26 – Working with Geographically Distributed Teams

27 – Extending Team Foundation Server


With Ed joining Microsoft since the last book, that completes the set – all four authors work for Microsoft:

  • Ed Blankenship is the Microsoft Program Manager for the Lab Management scenarios for Team Foundation Server and the Visual Studio ALM product family. He was voted as Microsoft MVP of the Year for Visual Studio ALM & Team Foundation Server before joining Microsoft.
  • Martin Woodward is currently the Program Manager for the Microsoft Visual Studio Team Foundation Server Cross-Platform Tools Team. Before joining Microsoft, he was voted Team System MVP of the Year, and has spoken about Team Foundation Server at events internationally.
  • Grant Holliday is a Senior Premier Field Engineer for Microsoft in Australia. Prior to this role, he spent three years in Redmond, Washington as a program manager in the Visual Studio Team Foundation Server product group.
  • Brian Keller is a Principal Technical Evangelist for Microsoft specializing in Visual Studio and application lifecycle management. He has presented at conferences all over the world and has managed several early adopter programs for emerging Microsoft technologies.

This time around we also had long-time TFS/ALM MVP Steve St. Jean contributing on some of the book as well as being a Technical Editor and checking all our facts.

Q & A

When people find out that I’ve written a book, there’s a few questions that often come up.

How much money do you make from the book?

A colleague wrote a book many years ago and he set my expectations right from the start. He used to say: “You don’t make a lot of money by writing a book – especially technical books”. Personally, the royalties are a nice surprise when they come, but I’m not headed for early retirement with them. Smile 

There’s really two ways that authors get paid for their contributions:

  • Advance – This is a fixed sum, negotiated with the publisher before you sign a contract. Usually its paid in instalments, as you complete different milestones in the process. 50% draft, final draft, etc.
  • Royalties – This is a how much you will get for each sale of the book. There is not a single percentage and it varies depending on whether the book was sold in the USA, e-book, translation, etc.

For a more complete explanation of how it all works, check out Charles Petzold’s article on Book Royalties and Advances.

Then there’s the non-direct value – you get to say “I wrote the book” on your business card, which is instant credibility and opens up more opportunities.

You work for Microsoft – what do they think about you writing a book?

Microsoft has a Moonlighting policy which covers things like writing a book and building apps. Essentially, each of the authors had to seek approval from their manager before they could work on the book. The policy also has rules that say you can’t use any Microsoft resources and the work is not allowed to impact your daytime work duties.

Since the subject of the book is a Microsoft product and it helps educate people on how to use it, there was never going to be much resistance to the idea.

What’s the process for writing a book?

The Wiley author site has more information on the Life of a book, but in short the process is:

Proposal > Contract > Draft writing > Editors > Tech Editors > Author Review > Proofs > Printing

How long did it take you?

Writing a book takes a lot of time and it requires a lot of concentration. It took me a little while to settle into a rhythm, but eventually my style ended up as intense focus weekends every few weeks:

  • Monday-Thursday: Start researching content for the chapter. Put all the links in a OneNote notebook. Do the hands on labs, etc. Basically immerse myself in the subject of that chapter and come up with a logical flow of sub-headings
  • Thursday night: Spend a few hours at home and take all the screenshots that I could possibly use.
  • Friday night, Saturday all day: Take my laptop to a local coffee shop without an Internet connection. Then just write, write, write. Fill out all the paragraphs for the sub-headings, put in all the screenshots and get the word count up to where it should be.
  • Sunday: Depending on where the word count was at, Sunday was usually spent reviewing and tidying up the formatting and getting it ready to submit. My goal was to upload the draft by Sunday night, since all our chapters were due on Mondays.

What is the most annoying part of writing a book?

Screenshots. We had it easy for the 2010 edition – the product was RTM, so nothing was changing. With the 2012 edition, we were writing the book before the product was released. That meant that every time the UI changed between Beta/RC/RTM/Update 1, we had to go back to check and update our screenshots.


To finish off, writing these books has been very personally rewarding experience. I saw it as a way of capturing 4-5 years worth of accumulated knowledge and experience and getting it down on paper so that others can learn from it. And hey, never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that I would see my name in Russian on the front of a book.

Comments (8)
  1. Martin Woodward says:

    Wow – I'd not seen that Russian version before. I'm going to order a copy of it just so it will look cool on my bookshelf :-)   Pleasure working with you on this book Grant.

  2. Everton says:

    Hi Grant,

    I bought now the kindle version of your book, it's because if I was wait to arrive on a brazilian bookstore, I wouldn't buy so soon.

    I'm planning a strategy to manage the lifecycle of our product, and I hope this book can help me in this task.

    Thank you.

  3. Jeroen Vos says:

    Hi Grant, the 2010 version was a great help with the TFS 2010 Certification. There are now three different exams for the 2012 version (Split roughly between Testing, Administration, and ALM). I'm going to get this book anyway, but are there any other books you can recommend to get me covered for the Testing side? This book seems more focussed on Administration and project management.

  4. @Jeroen – It's great that you're considering certification. This book will certainly help you for the 70-496 Administration exam and parts of the other exams.

    You should grab a copy of the Professional Application Lifecycle Management 2012 book ( which covers all of the ALM toolset, rather than just TFS.

  5. Daniel Oliveira says:

    I bought my 2012 version. Now I've got to start Reading it.

    The 2010 version is definitely the best book about TFS I've read.

  6. Mark Eckeard says:


    Would this book most of the express version as well?  



  7. @Mark – Yes, for Team Foundation Server Express – you would just ignore the chapters that relate to reporting, etc. The installation and administration process is the same for Express as it is for any other edition.

  8. tfs_cesar1 says:

    Is there a TFS 2013 book in the works?  If so, when will it be out?

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