Joe Sango's Blog

Friday, September 30, 2005

VSTSUG First Session

The first official (worldwide maybe?) VSTS user group has had its first session!! Thanks to all you who came to the inaugural Melbourne VSTS user group tonight. After initial introductions, the discussions we had covered off quite a few topics including general VSTS information, MSDN pricing structure with VSTS and David Lemphers, our local Microsoft evangelist, gave everyone a run through of the new Proxy Server functionality that was released in Team Foundation Server Beta 3. Dave also had some goodies to give out at the end of the night so big thanks go to you sir! All in all, a good first session.

We got some good ideas for specific content to present at our next session and I thank everyone again for their input. I will post up details on my blog and on the VSTSUG website about our next meeting for all who are interested.

Looking forward to seeing you all again and maybe some new faces at the next meeting. J

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Single TFS Install Up and Running

I have finally had a second or five to sit down again and get TFS running on a single virtual machine. I am glad to report that it is all up and running and with the VS2005 IDE and Team Explorer running on my laptop, it runs like a dream baby yeahhh….The only hurdles I had were the permission issues that I spoke of in my earlier post with the TFSSERVICE user and the TFSREPORTS logins. I did end up putting them into the local admin group on the virtual machine and hey presto, no more tears. Still not convinced that its good practice but at this stage, I will take this win and carry on. Future “gotta look at” I guess…..

So now I got single and duel server install covered which is great timing actually, with the Melbourne VSTS user group later today at 5.30pm. If anyone is having dramas with installation, we can go through the process and try and see if we can group diagnose common problems.

I am looking forward to catching up with everyone and talking up everything VSTS and whatever else we end up chattin’ about!

See ya there….

Tuesday, September 27, 2005


There are a lot of dev teams currently out there (big and small) that use VSS as part of their projects. If you are in one of those teams and are interested in (eventually) moving to VS 2005 and Team System, check out these from Akash. He is the source control converters for TFS man at MS. A bunch of great posts on using the VSS converter with Beta 3.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Beta 3: A win and a loss...

Finally had a chance yesterday to sit down and install TFS Beta 3 along with SQL CTP Sep and TS RC. I can definitely say there is a significant improvement to the once painful install process that the earlier CTP’s and Beta’s put us through. The documentation is very clear and easy to follow and it keeps the guess work down to an all time minimum. The new health check feature is a great addition and can potentially pick up any dependency problems before they happen.

Saying that though, my attempt at a single server TFS install was a bit of a flop. L

The main issue I was having came about after I had “successfully” installed TFS on the one virtual machine. At project creation stage, it was falling over when it was time to create the project portal. The error message was clearly stating that my login did not have appropriate access to create WSS sites and that I should be granted access from the Sharepoint Admin. My TFSSETUP user was an admin through and through so I narrowed it down to a permission issue with the TFSSERVICE account, as that is the app pool identity that WSS uses to do its thing.

David has posted a possible work around for the situation here but I am fairly sure that making the service account part of the admin group was one of the first things I tried.

These sorts of WSS security dramas haunted me with beta 2 on a single server install and it looks like they are back!! WSS not playing nicely when installed on a domain controller and such.

The “User Account Required for TFS Setup” section in the install guide mentions:
This account must be an administrator on Team Foundation Server computers.
TFSSERVICE - This account should not be an administrator on Team Foundation Server computers.
TFSREPORTS - This account should not be an administrator on Team Foundation Server computers.

The only way (so far) to get it up and running seems to be to do so. Dave is looking deeper into the whole account permission config issue and I will be joining him.

So anyway, after much hair pulling and much religious questioning, I decided to go my trusty duel server installation and it worked an absolute treat. My two virtual machines are configured the same as my Beta 2 install and it runs really well. Not a stack trace in sight. Yet…J.

Along with getting the single server experience chugging along, I’m hoping to get stuck in to Beta 3 in the next couple of nights so there should be plenty of talking points come (Shameless Plug J) Thursday, 5.30pm at the inaugural Melbourne VSTSUG session!

Also remember to check out the VSTS forums if you have any issues, questions, etc, on all things Team System. There is a bunch of stuff on TFS installation and configuration (Beta 2 and some Beta 3).

VSTSUG Numbers

If anyone is interested in coming along to this Thursday's meeting and haven't already let me know, could you please tell me or register here by Tuesday 27th September so I can finalise numbers for catering.

Much appreciated.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

It's here!

The wait is over..........

Go and get it!!

Thursday, September 22, 2005

TF Beta 3 signed and sealed!!

Cool!! Team Foundation Beta 3 has officially been signed off and should appear in MSDN in a couple of days. Check out this post by Buck and this one by Jeff. Great work guys.

I was hoping to get a good chance to install and test run the RC1 and B3 before the VSTS user group next Thursday. Looks like I will…J

While I am on the topic, is there any particular part of Team System that anyone wants to see run at the user group? I wasn’t thinking to run any sort of particular demo at session one but there might be something someone wants to see now with the funky latest release coming out. Don’t be shy to let me know.

VSTS User Group Reminder

Just a quick reminder for the people of Melbourne (or anyone who is floating around ;) ), that the first Team System user group meeting is next Thursday, 29th September starting at 5.30pm. Go to our website for more details.

If you are interested in coming along and joining our community, please let me know by either registering at the website or you can send me an email directly. Quite a few people have expressed interest already and I just need a good guesstimate on numbers so I can organise eats and drinks.

Thanks everyone. Hope to see you there. J

1 week to go!

Team Foundation Source Control by Proxy

I have been catching up on quite a few webcasts over the last couple of nights and just before, I was watching Rick LaPlante on one of the Channel 9 vids talking about VSTS and how his rather large team of devs were actually using the product for 9 months (at that point). I know that’s fairly common knowledge now but he was also explaining how the guys optimised the proxy communication used for the Team Foundation source control that all the geographically disbursed VSTS teams were simultaneously using, so much so, that it was outperforming SourceSafe by some huge number (400%) at certain times and given the nature of the communication.

“That’s really impressive! I wouldn’t mind hearing more about that”, I said to myself (there was nobody around at the time) and wouldn’t you know it, I see this neat little post come through from Buck Hodges that gives a bit more insight into the experience. I’m sure you didn’t intend to read my mind Buck! :P

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

VSTS Beta 2 Installation Redux.

With TFS beta 3 a sniff away now, I thought I would give a quick recap and offer a few hints for a successful beta 2 installation procedure.
I recently deployed another fresh install of TFS beta 2, Sql Server 2005 and VS 2005 Team Suite beta 2 over a duel server config (instead of the popular single machine deployment). Some folk are still having a bit of trouble here and there with their installs and they might come across similar problems with beta 3 so what a good time to share!

First and foremost, go and grab the install guide (if you haven't already got it :P).
Walkthroughs for both single and duel machine installs are covered. It’s a good, straight forward guide so follow it close.

This is the specific config I used with relatively no headaches.

2 clean vpc’s both with Windows 2003 Server SP1 with latest security updates installed.

Data Tier

  • DNS (Domain Controller)
  • Active Directory
  • IIS 6
  • SQL Server 2005
  • TFS (Data Tier Only)

App Tier and Client Tier

  • IIS 6
  • WSS 2.0 SP1
  • TFS (App Tier Only)
  • Word 2003
  • Excel 2003
  • Project Pro 2003
  • Team Suite Beta 2

Now, as you may or may not have read around the VSTS community blogs and forums, installing the DC and Active Directory first on the Data Tier before installing IIS, will save you a great deal of certain heart ache down the track. So install the AD/DNS server role BEFORE the App server role!!
Another “gotchya” area seems to be the setup of domain user account’s required for TFS. Specifically the setup account (domain\TFSSETUP) used to install TFS. Make sure that it's part of the domain admin group in AD and the admin group locally on both tiers.
A lot of setup errors also come from SQL Reporting Services issues so be sure to check that out.
That’s the data tier.

Now, first thing you should do when you start the app/client tier is add it to the domain you created and check you have connectivity between the boxes. If you copy over VPC images to create separate machines, be wary of the fact that both machines will have the same unique ID (SID) and will not talk to each other. Further explanation and fix here and another here.

The other main thing to watch out for when installing the rest of the app tier is when WSS 2.0 is installed, you have to exclude SQL Server Reporting Services from WSS management. It mentions this in the walkthrough single server deployment but not the duel server deployment section. I initially hadn’t excluded them so consequently, I was getting errors when trying to create new team projects and accessing the reports after installation was complete. Using the STSADM.EXE tool on the app tier for exclusion rectified this.
From the install guide:
STSADM.EXE -o addpath -url http://localhost/Reports -type exclusion
STSADM.EXE -o addpath -url http://localhost/ReportServer -type exclusion

All that’s left is the client tier and following the install guide for this makes it dead easy.
Hopefully with a bit of luck, you will have VSTS running smoothly without any major dramas and you will be well on your way to collaboration! Hey, I’m an optimist! ;P

If anyone is having any other significant problems during an install, feel free to drop me a line and I will help out as much as I can. Same goes for when Beta 3 lands!

Good luck all! :)

Monday, September 19, 2005

Ready for the Ready 2005 Tour?

The Ready Tour 2005 Down Under is set to kick off in a couple of months and our main MS community man has put out a call for suggestions and ideas to truly make the launch a community affair (to remember?).
Have a look at the Ready Tour 2005 blog and have your two cents. You want a karaoke themed VSTS presentation or demo? Let 'em know. How about a Biztalk Boxing Bonanza? Could happen.....

TFS Beta 3 nearly here!

Heard this morning that Team Foundation Server B3 will be released at the end of the week or early next week.
TFS B3 is intended to work with VS2005 RC, which you can get from MSDN subscriptions now, and the September CTP of SQL Server 2005. I believe it should be RC come VS2005 launch (November) and go live version early next year.

Not long now.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

More RAM for VPC good yes?

I use VPC all the time in my dev adventures and I decided to upgrade my laptop from 1 gig to 2 gig RAM to give me a little bit more of a pleasurable experience when coding, debugging, etc.
Anyhoo, I throw the two, 1 gig chips and get my machine going again in anticipation that EVERYTHING is going to be faster. My screen even looked bigger and wider!! Weird....Before I know it, the pic of my kids is staring at me on the desktop and I'm ready to go.
I fire up VPC and slide the memory allocation up to a gig on one of my dev virtual machines and hit the away you go button and low and behold, it tells me there is not enough memory on the host to start the v machine!! What the!!! I kept dropping the mem allocation and it wasn't until 350 mb that it would start. Kinda kooky as previously when I had 1 gig of RAM, I was running it at 650 MB. So long story short (sort of), I used the msinfo32 app from the command line to see what might be chewing up my memory. From the System Summary->Software Environment->Running Tasks, check out the Min and Max Working Set coloumns (values in bytes) and if anything there seems unusually high, you just may have found your leech.
I found some process that was part of an app long gone and disused and was using a ridiculous amount of memory for its set. Once I gave it the boot, VPC saw the light and realised that I did indeed have a crap load of RAM to spread around.

FYI for any gamers, 2 gig doesn't hurt your WOW experience either! Ironforge returns....goodbye Lagforge!! Ahhhhh forget it...... :P

Back in the Groove

I'm back in the swing of things now after my break on the Gold Coast with my family. First night there, had a great time catching up with the Readify guys and gals for dinner as well as some Microsofties. Good to finally put names to faces! :)
It would have been sweet to get there earlier for Tech-Ed but what can you do.

Did the whole Sea World, Movie World experience with the fam and apart from being exhausting, we actually had a great time. The only problem I had was Bruce Wayne's manor at Movie World had two bat symbols on the entrance. I tried telling Batman himself, when he made his 3.30 appearance, that surely his alter ego would not advertise the fact he was indeed the Dark Knight. All I got was a blank stare and he said "Look buddy, this isn't what I do. I play keyboards". I was going to take my gripe to the Justice League but when I saw that the Green Lantern was some skinny white guy with curly afro, I decided against it. At least the Looney Tunes gang didn't disappoint. I'm over it now. :P

Well I guess now I'm in holiday recover mode... :P