+1(408)705-4666 Have TeamExpand Call You Leave a Message

"I really like the way you can access your work items from within Outlook. I like the way you can bring up the full work item forms, make edits, and save immediately to TFS. It was great to create new meeting requests or mail messages from the work items."

Lori Lamkin
Product Unit Manager for Team Foundation Server at Microsoft

"These types of products are important to the industry."

Joel Semeniuk
CEO and co-founder of ImagiNET Resources Corp.

"I know of a good number of companies that will love having something like this - getting their timesheet management into TFS (so it can be reported on, especially) will make life a lot easier for them."

James Manning
Software Design Engineer for Visual Studio project at Microsoft

"I like the idea of being able to link work items to e-mails and meetings. I also like that it provides non-technical information workers the option of working with TFS in a more familiar environment. Congratulations to TeamExpand on the release!"

Jason Barile
Principal Test Manager for Visual Studio Team Foundation Server at Microsoft

"TX Chrono, by TeamExpand, allows users to easily track how they are spending their time, store that information in TFS, and make it available for reporting in the warehouse."

Brian Harry
Product Unit Manager for Team Foundation Server at Microsoft

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TFS Timesheet


TFS Plugin for Eclipse Now Supports New Languages

April 7th, 2011

Non-Visual Studio developers who want to use Team Foundation Server have been able to do so with the TFS plugin for Eclipse, which is now called Team Explorer Everywhere. This is a cross-platform command-line client that enables to leverage the robust development features of Team Foundation Server in the Eclipse environment.

This TFS plugin was upgraded with Service Pack 1, the beta version of which was released in November, 2010. Recently another update for this TFS plugin was released. It is a language pack for Team Explorer Everywhere 2010 SP1 that includes Japanese, French, and German languages that can be added to the English TEE deployment. After installing this new language pack, Team Explorer will use the appropriate language based on the operating system locale.

The TFS development team is going to add more languages to the TFS plugin for Eclipse in the future. This time, however, a slightly different model is used to deliver TFS localization for Non-Visual Studio developers. Instead of adding all nine languages that TFS supports, they have now only added four that are most commonly used and will add more based on the feedback and demand from users.

The new feature of TFS plugin enables Eclipse developers to continue using Team Foundation Server in the preferred language, which is sure to attract more enthusiasts eager to leverage this tool in their everyday work.

Posted in VSTS Development, Best practices, TFS Customization | No Comments »

TFS Development: Service Pack 1 Beta

December 8th, 2010

On December, 7, Microsoft released VS/TFS 2010 Service Pack 1 Beta for its subscribers. The service pack will be available to general public on December, 9. Visual Studio 2010 SP1 was compiled based on the feedback from TFS developers. It includes some very nice features for TFS development, management, integration, and support:

Local help viewer.
A new local viewer is a client application that offers productivity features such as an expandable table of contents, and better platform support, including Windows 7-specific MFC APIs that support Direct2D and Windows animation.

Silverlight 4 tools
. The tools for Silverlight 4 application development and testing are now included along with Silverlight 3 support.

Unit testing on .NET 3.5. The Service Pack supports unit testing on the actual .NET 3.5 Framework (in VS Studio 2010 you can only run unit tests on .NET 4.0).

IntelliTrace for 64-bit and SharePoint
. IntelliTrace is the new debugging technology that allows you to move forward and backwards through a debug session. It now supports a couple of important scenarios: you can use IntelliTrace with your 64-bit and SharePoint projects.

Performance Wizard for Silverlight
. TFS developers can now profile Silverlight code to tune their application performance. There is a number of higher level profiling abstractions included to make it easier to understand where the application is really spending the time.

VB Compiler runtime switch. This switch will enable TFS developers to target their applications and libraries at platforms where the full Visual Basic Runtime hasn’t traditionally been available.

The Service Pack is going to improve TFS development experience by addressing some of the most requested features that TFS developers have been waiting for the past 8 months.

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Visual Studio Customization with Visual Studio SDK

November 16th, 2010

Developers can utilize a rich set of Visual Studio customization tools with the new Visual Studio SDK that enables to create TFS add-ins, TFS plugins, and other Visual Studio extensions. The Visual Studio SDK is a set of tools and documentation to create new features that are integrated into Visual Studio. Here are some tips on how you can utilize this SDK for Visual Studio customization:

    • Add commands, windows, and other features to the integrated development environment (IDE)
    • Extend the Visual Studio editor using a set of extension templates
    • Enable support for a new language
    • Extend data designer functionality to external data sources
    • Add your own project templates
    • Integrate custom source control
    • Customize the VS debugger or create your own
    • Create and manage test suites

The Visual Studio 2010 SDK includes project templates that enable to create tool windows, menu commands, isolated shell projects, and editor extensions. The editor extensions include text adornments, colorizers, and margins. Visual Studio customization enables to create tasks to build and debug extensions. This SDK also provides shortcuts to online documentation, samples, and other resources on the Start menu

The SDK provides Visual Studio customization using C#, Visual Basic, or C++ languages. Developers can package their extension and share it on the Visual Studio Gallery. Once you share your extension, anyone with Visual Studio 2010 Beta 1 will be able to see it and download it through the Extension Manager.

Posted in VSTS Development, Visual Studio Add-ins | No Comments »

VSTS Development: ALM Testing Feature Pack is Available

November 15th, 2010

Visual Studio ALM Feature Pack 2 has become available for download today, November, 15. This is a Testing Feature Pack that adds new functionality to VSTS development. It can be downloaded by VS Ultimate, VS Premium, and VS Test Professional customers with MSDN subscriptions. This Feature Pack focuses on enhancing testing capabilities in VS Application Lifecycle Management products. The new features for VSTS Development are:

Ability to Test Silverlight Applications

Now you can test Silverlight applications. There is support both for Coded UI tests and for record and playback in Microsoft Test Runner. You are able to record the execution of your Silverlight apps and gather rich bug data: action logs, video, environment info, etc. So far, Silverlight testing has supported only deployments for Silverlight 4.0 applications in Internet Explorer.

Run Tests Across Multiple Browsers

With a new Feature Pack, you can play back the recorded Web applications not only in Internet Explorer, but in Mozilla Firefox 3.5 and 3.6 as well. This applies to both Coded UI tests created with Visual Studio and automation recordings created with Microsoft Test Professional. This feature will enable you to create a set of tests once and use them on both Explorer and Firefox to make sure your changes don’t break applications across multiple browsers.

Managing Coded UI Test is Now Easier

The new coded UI test editor makes tweaking and customizing your recorded tests much easier. Using the Coded UI Test Editor, you can locate, view, and edit your test methods, UI actions and their associated controls in the UI control map.

With Feature Pack 2, the great new VSTS development features have been made available, especially around testing, code visualization and modeling. Feature Packs are compiled on the basis of the feedback received from VSTS developers; therefore they can be really helpful to all Visual Studio users.

Posted in VSTS Development, Microsoft | No Comments »

TFS plugin for Eclipse: Team Explorer Everywhere 2010 SP1 Beta

November 4th, 2010

If you are a non-Windows developer and are using TFS, then you will be happy to learn that Team Explorer Everywhere (a TFS plugin for Eclipse) Beta for SP1 was released last week. This TFS plugin ensures that developers working with Team Foundation Server in the Eclipse and cross platform worlds enjoy as many benefits as their colleagues, when creating applications in Visual Studio. The main highlights of this TFS plugin release are:

Full Support for Localization

A major engineering effort was undertaken to prepare the product so that it could be translated into other languages. After the final release of this TFS plugin, the TFS development team promises to make Japanese, French and German language packs available for download.

Gated Check-in Support

With the new version of TFS plugin for Eclipse, developers finally get the full experience of gated check-ins. When you check-in code affected by a gated build definition, you get a prompt as to what you would like to do. Assuming you request a gated build, the changes will be shelved and a build will be submitted on your behalf. When the build is completed, you will be notified right inside of Eclipse.

Rich Editing of Work Item Descriptions

In the new process templates that come with TFS 2010 you can use HTML fields to provide a rich text field to enter information about a work item. The New TFS plugin features a rich HTML editing control for editing work items in Eclipse 3.5.

The other enhancements of Team Explorer Everywhere 2010 SP1 Beta include:

    • Support for creating Private Builds
    • Support for Work Item Custom Controls
    • Support for Apple Keychain and Gnome Key Ring to store local TFS credentials
    • Support for Internal Merge in Eclipse
    • Enhancements on “Synchronization perspective” interface
    • Enhancements on Shelve interface.

If you are not a .NET developer and still hesitate to start using TFS, don’t wait any longer. With the new release of TFS plugin for Eclipse, a long list of new features and improvements has been added to make your experience with TFS a great one.

Posted in VSTS Development | No Comments »

Integration with TFS: Integration Platform and Integration Tools

October 18th, 2010

If you are interested in integration with TFS, you might be wondering about the difference between the TFS Integration Platform and the TFS Integration Tools. I will try to explain how they differ to get a deeper insight into the integration with TFS.

The TFS Integration Platform
represents the re-usable and extensible framework, which allows developing TFS integration tools. To get a better idea, you can think of it as the software development kit that can be used as the platform to build third-party tools that support integration with TFS.

The TFS Integration Tools
are a suite of tools, built on top of the TFS Integration Platform. These tools enable integration between external systems and Team Foundation Server. The TFS Integrations Tools represent the official software product. The August 2010 release includes the following features:

    • Adapter to Team Foundation Server 2010
    • Adapter to Team Foundation Server 2008
    • Adapter to Rational ClearCase
    • Adapter to Rational ClearQuest
    • Out of the box adapter for File system based version control migrations
    • Updated documentation, guidance and case studies
    • Updated User Interface to configure and run integrations
    • Synchronization monitoring tools and reports

If you plan to develop your own adapters, providers or other tools that will enable integration with TFS, you should do more research about the TFS Integration Platform. In case you are looking for a tool that supports integration with TFS, which you can install, configure, and instantly use, without further coding, you should get more information about the TFS Integration Tools.

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TFS Add-ins: New Power Tools. Part 2

October 5th, 2010

In my previous post, I told you about the first portion of the new TFS add-ins. Today, I continue to overview the TFS Power Tools September release, so here comes the second portion of descriptions and screenshots, covering such TFS Tools, as the Check-in Policy Pack, the Process Template Editor, and the Team Explorer Enhancements.

Custom Check-in Policy Pack

Team Foundation Server 2010 comes with four check-in policies out of the box: Builds, Code Analysis, Testing Policy, and Work Items. This TFS add-in provides an additional set of four custom check-in policies to enforce constraints whenever files are checked into source control:

    Changeset Comments Policy requires users to enter check-in comments in the pending changes window.
    Custom Path Policy allows you to scope other check-in policies to specific folders or file types, you can control when other check-in policies are applied.
    Forbidden Patterns Policy prevents users from checking in files with the filenames that contain forbidden characters.
    Work Item Query Policy allows you to specify a work item query, the results of which will be the only legal work items for a check-in to be associated with.

TFS Add in: Custom Check-in Policies

Process Template Editor

A TFS add-in to the Tools menu, the Process Editor provides a GUI for editing Team Foundation Server process templates. It features support for defining link types; for work item type categories; for query folders; for new work item form controls: label, link labels, new links control; for adding build and lab template settings; for editing permissions on source control, build, lab, queries/query folders.

This TFS add-in also provides a GUI for viewing the values assigned to all fields defined in a project collection. By the way, when releasing the Process Template Editor 2010, the TFS team fixed 158 bugs!

TFS Add in: Process Templated Editor

Team Explorer Enhancements

This updated TFS add-in provides additional Visual Studio menu options and functions to optimize working with source control. The tool now provides the ability to search for files and folders in Source Control Explorer by status or wild card. You can label files and folders in Source Control Explorer. The new functionality also includes opening folders using Windows Explorer.

And that is not all about TFS Power Tools 2010, so, obviously, I will proceed with the overview of new TFS add-ins in my next posts.

Posted in VSTS Development, Visual Studio Add-ins | No Comments »

TFS Add-ins: New Power Tools. Part 1

October 4th, 2010

As promised, I keep on telling about the TFS Power Tools, useful TFS add-ins developed by Microsoft to enhance the Visual Studio working environment. With this post I start an overview of September 2010 TFS Power Tools release with screenshots and short descriptions.

Alerts Explorer

There is a robust alerting system in TFS that allows users to self-subscribe to different types of alerts. Alerts Explorer is a TFS add-in that provides a graphical user interface to support flexible subscription of alerts based on check-in, work item change, or build completion criteria. You can subscribe to these alerts and view any of them with the Alerts Explorer.

TFS add in: TFS Alerts Explorer

Team Foundation Server Back Ups

This new TFS add-in can schedule backups for the various databases used by TFS: the configuration database; the database for each team project; the databases that Team Foundation Server uses in conjunction with SharePoint; the databases that Team Foundation Server uses in conjunction with SQL Server Reporting Services.

TFS Add in: TFS Back ups

This tool includes the Restore Wizard that provides restoring your entire deployment to new hardware, or selectively restores team projects for an earlier period of time.

Best Practices Analyzer

TFS Best Practices Analyzer is designed to diagnose TFS configuration and operation problems quickly and easily. As you know, TFS is a pretty complex installation. This TFS add-in gathers configuration information and performs specific tasks on the TFS deployment. The tool analyzes the collected information according to the specific rules and reports the results as information, warnings, or error messages. Best Practices Analyzer also features links to articles that provide information on how to resolve warnings and error messages.

TFS Add-in: TFS Best Practices Analyzer

More on the new TFS add-ins to come in my next posts!

Posted in VSTS Development, Visual Studio Add-ins | No Comments »

TFS Customization: Integration with Third Party Applications

September 29th, 2010

Team Foundation Server can be easily combined with other Microsoft software products, such as MS SharePoint, MS Project Server, Visual Studio, and Team Edition to provide a powerful automation tool for your software development needs. Still, there are some business requirements that this combination does not provide for, like adding more features for project management, billing, customer service, etc.

To make TFS even more powerful, there are synchronization solutions available on the market. Today, I’d like to share some ideas on how TFS customization can be used to integrate TFS with third party applications to cover most of your business needs. Here is an overview of application types that TFS can be integrated with.

Help Desk Applications integration helps provide your customers with an ability to get quality support services right from TFS professionals.

Source Control, Defect Tracking, Build Tools and Test Automation Tools
enable to add even more quality to your software development process.

Timesheets help you track employees’ time, billable/non-billable items, allow to submit/approve work hours through the Web browser.

Mail Clients integration enables project managers to track work items, approve timesheets, set events and alerts in a single working environment.

Integrated Development Environment Tools (such as Eclipse IDE) will maximize your programmers’ productivity.

Billing Systems integration enables accurate billing and invoicing.

Human Resources Management Systems integration allows your HR department to track employees’ payroll, work time, overtime, performance, and even recruit new employees and test them through TFS.

Accounting Systems integration enables to synchronize TFS with accounting records and transactions to automate accounting activities.

CRM/ERP Systems help use TFS to manage internal and external resources, including tangible assets, financial resources, materials, and human resources.

Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence Systems integration will help utilize quality and up-to-date data for better decision making.

There are qualified TFS consultants and TFS integration experts who can assist you with choosing and integrating Team Foundation Server with any of the above mentioned types of applications.

Posted in VSTS Development, Best practices | No Comments »

TFS Training: On TFS and VSTS Misconceptions

February 16th, 2010
by Olga Belokurskaya

I’ve recently found out an interesting thing about TFS and VSTS. There are several misconception regarding TFS and VSTS, which may result in difficulties with TFS adoption. I’m convinced, that companies that plan to adopt VSTS/TFS to manage their software development lifecycle, should have a kind of TFS training, explaining these misconceptions.

One of them is about Team Foundation Server (TFS) to be just an expensive source control repository. The other, regarding both VSTS and TFS, is saying that they are hard to adopt.

Well, as for the first misconception, it is more about what you are using TFS for. Being an Integrated Process Environment, TFS provides the space for storing and managing everything regarding development initiatives, such as project planning, task status tracking, defect tracking, time tracking, source control, etc. So, in fact, using it just for source control may be expensive. But that’s only because TFS is, a kind of, misused.

Second one, is a misunderstanding that VSTS/TFS is hard to adopt, though the difficulty is mostly about improving software development process. TFS training, in this case, might help to discover how to use this framework to improve the processes, using best practices, such as test driven development, automated builds, continuous build environment, trend information about your project plan tasks,etc.

Posted in TFS Management, VSTS Development | No Comments »

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