Search administration in TFS for Collection Attach/Detach operations


Collection detach / attach operations will not require any additional management operation from Search configuration side if it's done on the same TFS release instance. There are however few management operations that you need to aware of for more complex scenarios such as collection migration to a new TFS instance, collection re-attach to an upgraded TFS instance, etc. This post lists out these scenarios and the corresponding actions are expected to be taken by the TFS Administrator.

Collection Detach

Prior to collection detach, you need to uninstall the Search extension(s) from the collection if the detach is done for any of the following purpose –

  • It is part of a planned activity to migrate this collection to another TFS instance.
  • It is part of a planned activity to re-attach this collection post the TFS instance upgrade, and the TFS upgrade release requires a Search re-indexing. [Refer section below for “TFS Releases which require Search re-indexing”]
  • The collection is no longer required and you wish to clean up all collection data from the TFS instance (including Search index data associated with that Collection). This would help reclaim the disk space occupied by the Search index.

Refer the post here on how to clean uninstall the Search extension(s).

You need *not* uninstall the Search extension(s) from the collection if it’s done for any of the following purpose –

  • The collection is temporarily detached and will be attached back to the same TFS instance. Avoiding Uninstall and Reinstall of the Search extension(s) in such scenario will save on the re-indexing cost.
  • The collection is temporarily detached and will be attached back to the same TFS instance post upgrade, and the TFS upgrade release does *not* require a Search re-indexing. [Refer section below for “TFS Releases which require Search re-indexing”]

Collection Attach

Collection attach does not auto-trigger any re-indexing. However, re-indexing would be required in following scenario(s):

  • Collection was migrated to another TFS instance.
  • Collection was earlier detached from a TFS instance. The TFS instance is now upgraded to a release which requires Search re-indexing. [Refer section below for “TFS Releases which require Search re-indexing”]
  • Search extension(s) were not installed earlier for this collection. Now you wish to enable Search for this collection post attach.

In all of the above 3 scenarios, you need to manually install search extensions (Code, Work Item, WIKI) from the Local Gallery (http://{Server}/tfs/_gallery).

Collection attach does not require re-indexing in the following scenario(s):

  • The collection was just temporarily detached and has now been attached back to the same TFS instance.
  • The collection was just temporarily detached and has now been attached back to the same TFS instance post upgrade, and the TFS upgrade release does *not* require a Search re-indexing. [Refer section below for “TFS Releases which require Search re-indexing”]

TFS Releases which require Search re-indexing

Following are the TFS release(s) which requires Search re-indexing when upgraded to from an earlier version:

  • TFS 2018 Update 2 (requires ES upgrade to version 5.4.1)

[Note: Search feature in TFS was introduced first in TFS 2017 RTM]

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