VS 2010 and TFS with Office 2003

John Avatar

You have installed Visual Studio 2010 and found out that the TFS Office Add-In is no longer working because you only a have Office 2003 and TFS requires Office 2007 or newer. Your company is not rolling to Office 2010 for another six months, what do you do?

Don’t Panic, there is a Work Around!

You can install VS 2008 Team Explorer side by side with VS 2010 and then follow the steps below to enable the 2008 TFS Office Add-Ins for Excel and Project.

Steps to Install Visual Studio

You can install either VS 2010 or VS 2008 in either order.

Note: Install order does not matter since the installer always makes sure the newer TFS Office Add-In is registered.

Install order is important VS for service packs and updates:

· Install VS 2008 with Team Explorer

· Install VS 2008 SP1

· Install the 2008 Forward Compatibility Update

Steps to disable VS 2010 TFS Office Add-In and enable VS 2008 Add-In.

Steps to disable VS 2010 Add-In and enable VS 2008 Add-In. These steps are common for both Excel and Project Add-In, as we register TfsOfficeAdd-In.dll as both Excel and Project Add-In.

1. From an admin command prompt, change directories to:

Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 10.0\Common7\IDE\PrivateAssemblies

2. Unregister the 2010 version of the add-in by running the following command:

regsvr32 /u TFSOfficeAdd-in.dll

3. From an admin command prompt, change directories to:

Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 9\Common7\IDE\PrivateAssemblies

4. Register 2008 version of the add-in by running the following command:

regsvr32 TFSOfficeAdd-in.dll

What to Expect in this Configuration?

· Office Integration is still disabled when using Visual Studio 2010 so work must begin within Excel and Project or from Visual Studio 2008.

· Excel with the 2008 Add-In only has the ability to import flat queries and not tree queries.

· Project with the 2008 Add-In will not round trip the hierarchy or dependency link types.

· If you do a repair or update to Team Explorer, you may have to go through these steps again as the installer will default to newest version of the TFS Office Add-Ins.

What else am I missing with not having Office 2007 and Office 2010?

There is a lot of value to TFS user when Excel and Project 2007 and 2010.

The 2010 TFS Excel Add-In supports tree tables for managing work breakdown or to use the agile workbooks, formula and format persistence for tables that you can display with the most recent data from TFS, and new ribbon capabilities for easy navigation to TFS work items through web access.

The 2010 TFS Project Add-In supports round tripping of the hierarchy and dependency links, parent assignment values are automatically set to zero units to avoid double counting of work, ribbon support similar to Excel, transactional undo and support for Project 2010 date text formats.

Once you are ready to upgrade to Office 2007 or 2010 and begin using cool new VS 2010 Office Integration features, reverse the above steps to disable the VS 2008 Add-in and enable the VS 2010 Add-in, then install a newer version of Office; that’s it!

Comments (3)
  1. Dave says:

    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!  

  2. Amir Tohidi says:

    Hi John

    Thanks for posting this. I am a little suprised by this post as I recently asked on the TFS forums about integrating with Office 2003 and was told that it is not possible (the link is http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/tfsprerelease/thread/7395e0df-5bf8-455e-9c0b-ab391e3a0156 however the page is no longer visible!)

    We are about to roll out TFS 2008 and my company has no plans at all for upgraing Office 2003.

    How thoroughly has this workaround been tested or applied within Microsoft or Customers?

    What I am trying to understand is whether this is a hack with potential future issues, or whether it will become Officially part of the TFS 2010 documentation.  


  3. Levendusky says:

    Great post.  Thank you.  My client has a comprehensive software request process so this 10 minute work around solved the immediate problem.

Comments are closed.

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