I've Got The Power! (Tools)

“It’s gettin, it's gettin' kinda hectic!“

The Team Foundation Server Team have just released version 1.2 of the Team Foundation Power Tools. In this release there are two new command line tools for developers and three new non-command line tools. In addition there are some bug fixes to previous releases and it adds support for windows Vista.

If you have already installed the Power Tools (previously called Power Toys) then here is the new functionality:   

Command Line Tools:

  • Workspace Command (tfpt.exe) - Use the workspace command for additional workspace operations not supported in the currently shipping Team Foundation Server command line (tf.exe).
  • Treeclean Command (tfpt.exe) - Use the treeclean command to see and optionally delete files in the current directory and all subdirectories that are not under version control.

Non-command Line Tools

  • Process Template Editor - A tool to provide UI for authoring work item types and some of the associated Process Template components. 
  • Check-in Policy Pack - A set of 4 handy check-in policies to address needs customers have expressed.

1. Changeset Comments Policy – Requires users to provide check-in comments

2. Custom Path Policy – Scopes other policies to specific folders or file types.

3. Forbidden Patterns Policy – prevents check in of files with forbidden filename patterns

4. Work Item Query Policy – Specify work item query whose results will be the only legal work items for a check in to be associated with

  • Build Test Tools Task - A tool that allows running unit tests by simply specifying the DLLs or even specifying a file name pattern in TfsBuild.proj, instead of using .vsmdi files to specify tests to run.

The Process Template Editor is now integrated into Visual Studio (available under the Team menu) and among other things provides a graphical designer for Work Item States and Transitions.  Please note that the Process Template Editor requires the Domain-Specific Language Tools for Visual Studio 2005 Redistributable Components to be installed. 

You can locate the Team Foundation Power Tools V1.2 release here and you can get help on the forums for these tools here.



Is this the first time you've encountered the Power Tools?

The Team Foundation Power Tools provide extra functionality for Team Foundation Server. They are not supported by Microsoft but assistance is available through the TFPT Forum

Command Line Tools available:

tfpt annotate  - Display line-by-line change information for a file

tfpt bind  - Convert VSS-bound solutions into TFS-bound solutions

tfpt getcs - Get only the changes in a particular changeset

tfpt history - Show the history of an item

tfpt online - Pend adds, edits, deletes to writable files

tfpt query - Query for work items

tfpt review - Review (diff/view) workspace changes

tfpt rollback - Pend changes to roll back a changeset

tfpt treediff - Diff two trees, displaying differences and similarities

tfpt treeclean - Delete files that are not under version control

tfpt unshelve - Unshelve into workspace with pending changes

tfpt uu - Undo changes to unchanged files in the workspace

tfpt workitem - Create, update, or view work items

tfpt workspace - Update a workspace


A quick look at the highlights:

Annotate - Command Line or GUI

Right click on a file in Source Control Explorer and select “Annotate”.  This is a very useful tool to allow you to see which changeset last altered a specific line in that file.

TreeDiff - Command Line or GUI

Right Click on a folder tree in Source Control Explorer and select "Compare...".

Compare your local working folders to the server, two local folders or two server folders. Particularly useful to see what has changed between 2 branches

Unshelve - Merge shelvesets into a Workspace (tfpt unshelve)

The standard TFS unshelve operation does not allow shelved changes and local changes to be merged together. Tfpt unshelve allows this to occur under certain circumstances.

Rollback (tfpt rollback)

Rollback the changes made by a specific changeset. Not all changes can be rolled back but the tool will work in most scenarios. The user will be able to review the changes that the tool makes before checking them in.

Online (tfpt Online)

If you unexpectedly find yourself working offline but need make some changes to a local workspace then you can use the tfpt online tool. Manually remove the read-only flag from files you wish to edit or delete (you must not rename files while offline!). Once back online you can run the tfpt online tool, which will scan the directory structure for files that have been added, edited, and deleted. The TFPT online tool pends changes on these files.

See Buck Hodge's Blog posting for more details on the online tool and information on how to include/exclude certain file types and folders

UU (Undo Unchanged)

The TFPT UU tool removes pending edits from files which have not actually been edited.

This is useful in the event that you check out more files than you actually required. You can back out your edits on the files you did not alter by running the TFPT UU tool. The tool compares hashes of the files in the local workspace to hashes the server has to determine whether or not the file has actually been edited.

Further details on the Power Tools can be found at Buck Hodge's Blog posting and Brian Harry's Blog posting



Comments (2)

  1. Today the Team Foundation Server team announced the release of version 1.2 of Team Foundation Power Tools

  2. Rich blogged a couple days ago about version 1.2 of the Team Foundation Server Power Tools . I've just

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