Sunday, December 2, 2012 #

My collection of favourite TFS utilities

So, you’re in charge of your company or team’s Team Foundation Server.  Wish it was easier to manage, administer, extend?  Well, here are a few utilities that I highly recommend looking at.

I’ve recently had need to rebuild my laptop and upgrade my local TFS environment to TFS 2012 Update 1.  This gave me cause to enumerate some of the utilities I like to have on hand.

One of the reasons I love to use TFS on projects is that it’s basically a complete ALM toolkit.  Everything from Task Management, Version Control, Build Management, Test Management, Metrics and Reporting are all there ‘in the box’.  However, no matter how complete a product set it, there are always ways to make it better.  Here are a list of utilities and libraries that are pretty generally useful.  this is not intended to be an exhaustive list of TFS extensions but rather a set that I recommend you look at.  There are many more out there that may be applicable in one scenario or another.  This set of tools should work with TFS 2012 or 2010 if you grab the right version.

Most of these tools (and more) are available from the Visual Studio Gallery or CodePlex.

General

TFS Power Tools – This is ‘the’ collection of utilities and extensions delivered by the Product Group.  Highly recommended from here are the Best Practice Analyzer for ensuring your TFS implementation is healthy and the Team Foundation Server Backups to ensure your TFS databases are backed up correctly.

TFS Administrators Toolkit – helps make updates to work item types and reports across many team projects.  Also provides visibility of disk usage by finding large files in version control or test attachments to assist in managing storage utilization.

Version Control

Git-TF - a set of cross-platform, command line tools that facilitate sharing of changes between TFS and Git. These tools allow a developer to use a local Git repository, and configure it to share changes with a TFS server.  Great for all Git lovers who must integrate into a TFS repository.

Testing

TFS 2012 Tester Power Tool – A utility for bulk copying test cases which assists in an approach for managing test cases across multiple releases.  A little plug that this utility was written and maintained by Anna Russo of Imaginet where I also work.

Test Scribe - A documentation power tool designed to construct documents directly from the TFS for test plan and test run artifacts for the purpose of discussion, reporting etc.

Reporting

Community TFS Report Extensions - a single repository of SQL Server Reporting Services report for Team Foundation 2010 (and above).  Check out the Test Plan Status report by Imaginet’s Steve St. Jean.  Very valuable for your test managers.

Builds

TFS Build Manager – A great utility if you are build manager over a complex build environment with many TFS build definitions.

Community TFS Build Extensions – contains many custom build activities.  Current release binaries are for TFS 2010 but many of the activities can be recompiled for use with TFS 2012.

While compiling this list, I was surprised by the number of TFS utilities and extensions I no longer use/need in TFS 2012 because of the great work by the TFS team addressing many gaps since the 2010 release.

Are there any utilities you depend on that I’ve missed?  I’d love to hear about them in the comments!

Posted On Sunday, December 2, 2012 5:52 PM | Comments (3)