Planning for a successful Team Foundation Server 2012 and Project Sever 2010 integration

by GaryG 20. May 2013 19:03

Planning for a successful integration (Must know)

We will examine what's needed to ensure that your integration is successful. We'll cover the prerequisites and the planning needed to begin, scenarios for test or production environments, and different types of synchronization that are possible.

Getting ready

Using Team Foundation Server Extensions for Project Server, project managers can make Project Server to access real time project status and resource availability of teams who work in Team Foundation Server. Following the successful configuration of the two server products, the synchronization engine maintains scheduling data and resource usage in the mapped Project Server enterprise project plan and Team Foundation Server team project.

How to do it...

There are a few pieces of information we need to collect and a few configuration tasks we'll need to make sure have been completed properly.

Here is an installation and configuration requirement checklist to make sure that we are ready to begin:

Installation and configuration requirement checklist


Sever names for each server involved: Project Server 2010 and Team Foundation Server 2012.


Service account names and login information: You'll want this information handy throughout the tasks in this book. See the Active Directory – Highly recommended for production installations section at the end of this chapter.


Visual Studio 2012 must be installed on the same machine that will be used to configure the integration of the two server products, and on any machine you will use to configure the integration. This does not need to be on one of the server machines.


Project Server 2010 must be updated to SP1. This product's installation and initial configuration will need to be verified operationally (not covered in this book).


Project Professional 2010, or Project Professional 2007 SP2 with the KB980209 hotfix (, or Project Professional 2007 with SP3 installed on your administration machine.


The SharePoint web application for the instance of Project Web Access or PWA (Project Web App) must be set to Classic Mode Authentication. You will not be able to register it if the authentication is set to Claims Based Authentication.


Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2012 will need to be installed on each application-tier server that hosts Team Foundation Server and that will participate in synchronizing data with Project Server. This product's installation and initial configuration will need to be verified operationally (not covered in this book).


Team Foundation Server Extensions for Project Server will be needed later on during the installation. For now, just locate the Team Foundation Server 2012 DVD.



Now that the common pre-configuration items are out of the way, we can move on with the planning.

How it works...

At the core of this integration are the work items in Team Foundation Server which synchronize with the Tasks in Microsoft Project plans in Project Server. Using this integration, project managers and software development teams can use whichever tools that work best for them, and share information transparently.

The integration and all products involved in it are scalable from installations of a few users to several thousands. You can easily scale this integration out by using multiple Project Web Access servers mapped to a multi server, that is, TFS deployment. We'll cover the specifics of the integration in a later section, but this is a good spot for an overview diagram.  

There's more...

We have a few final points to keep in mind, and some valuable tips to make your installations go smoothly. This will not be a complicated integration if we follow the given advice.

A time saver for your test installations

We all know it can take a serious amount of time to build your own testing and demonstration virtual machines. This is especially tough when you are just going to use it for a test installation or a pitch to technical management. Although the following VM link provided by Microsoft is one revision older than the one discussed here, it is much quicker to upgrade this one than to do a fresh installation. For more information, see the following page on the Microsoft website:

You weren't planning a test environment? Now would also be a good time to plan a test system in your deployment schedule. It will not only help you to have an environment to test out configuration changes but will also be a good safety measure to ensure all your mapping is correct before you deploy to a production environment.

Active Directory – Highly recommended for production installations

Active Directory is technically not required, however it is highly recommended that you deploy Active Directory in your network. It will help with synchronization of the user accounts, groups, and services within Team Foundation Server and Project Server. Otherwise you'll be doing this manually between the two environments. If you haven't deployed Active Directory yet, but are planning to deploy it, now would be a good time to begin that.

SharePoint Authentication Mode

We mentioned this in the previous checklist, but it bears repeating here. The authentication that is assigned to the SharePoint web application for the instance of PWA must be set to Classic Mode Authentication. You will not be able to register the instance of PWA if the authentication is set to Claims Based Authentication.


A server based product cannot be mentioned completely without a discussion of backup. Do not begin any production installation or upgrade of any product mentioned here without involving a prior backup of all systems. Special attention should be paid to the backup of the Team Foundation Server system. If done improperly, the backup will put your TFS installation into an unusable state after a restore operation, and the worse part will be you won't know this until you start using it again. Please review Microsoft's current recommendation about using marked transactions in your backup strategy Understanding Backing Up Team Foundation Server
document is available at:



About this Except:

Portions of this excerpt were re-published by the author(me).  The full book is available for purchase here  Note that some content may be different (pictures, charts, etc) as I'm trying to format this post for the web.

Here come the excerpts!

by GaryG 6. May 2013 17:28

I know I mentioned it already, but these will be fairly long posts and I’m hunting for excepts that would make good entries.  I’m sure my regular readers will help me out if I put something out that doesn’t read well Winking smile



Book Giveaway Contest for Team Foundation Server 2012 and Project Server 2010 Integration How-to

by GaryG 20. April 2013 22:17

My publishers are sponsoring a book giveaway contest.  So, here it is:  Come up with a good reason you’d like a free copy of my book (philanthropic project, etc.)  I will pick the best one out of the set (totally subjective I know) and the publisher will send you a copy of the book.  Fairly simple right ?  So either post a comment or send me email referencing this and that will be your entry.  Here is a link to my book on their site:

Good Luck!



Book Release!

by GaryG 15. April 2013 15:49

In case everyone is wondering why I’ve been light on the blogging lately, this is it.  Just got done with publishing my first book with Packt Publishing.  It is titled Team Foundation Server 2012 and Project Server 2010 Integration How-to, and is available on Amazon here:

The publisher also wanted me to share this link but it really will just bring you to their site for an ebook only ordering page.  I’ll post some excepts from the book here as well as some cool info the the MVP 2013 Global Summit.

What’s new in Visual Studio 2012 / Team Foundation Server 2012 for PM’s and PO’s

by GaryG 4. March 2012 02:25

Just got back from the 2012 Microsoft MVP Global Summit in WA.  While the Windows 8 Consumer Preview got most of the media attention, as an MVP in ALM my attention was on what Microsoft was doing with Team Foundation Server 11 and Visual Studio 11.  Some of what we learned on future direction was covered under strict NDA, but we are allowed “released” info, which in this case is the VS 11 / TFS 11 beta.  So as always, your mileage may vary a little since I’m basing this off the beta.


There is a lot to be excited about for all the roles in an organization in the new releases.  Developers and Testers will be especially pleased, but I wanted to cover some the new items that Project Managers and Product Owners will be particularly excited about.  Though certainly a developer centric toolset, Microsoft is starting to realize that getting world class software products out the door requires more than just well equipped developers, and they want Visual Studio to be at the core of it.

First the Upgrade

A quick note here on the Upgrade.  I upgraded one of my combination TFS2010/VS2010 virtual machines right in the Summit (figured I could get some help that way if anything popped up Smile).  My only surprise here was I needed to fully uninstall TFS before continuing.  This is one of the reasons you always need to have a solid machine and DB backup before attempting this.  I would have figured the upgrade wizard could have handled this, and a roll-back if it failed, but its just something to keep in mind.  If you are working on a scaled out TFS installation, you will need to touch each server.  I’d never recommend running out and upgrading a production TFS instance on a beta release but it is encouraging that Microsoft will be supporting that upgrade path right through to RTM release though.    I’ll cover more details of the upgrade process in another post.

Deeper into Agile

One encouraging theme I picked up on while at Microsoft was an definite embracing of Agile and Scrum specifically.  Anyone who has used TFS for any length of time knows you can configure it for almost any process, however who wants to spend the time doing this for each team you work with.  If you are one of the many organizations jumping on the Agile/Scrum bandwagon (if you aren’t you should ask why) you’ll be very happy with this release.  The Visual Studio team has put out upgraded Scrum, Agile, and CMMI Process Templates (final names not decided, but in beta its Microsoft Visual Studio Scrum 2.0 – Preview 3, for the new Scrum one and MSF for Agile Software Development 6.0 – Preview 3).  If you are starting out with a new Team Project you’ll get to dive right into the new stuff, but as in the last release, if you are working with a 2010 project you’ll need to do some import / export work in the Process Template Editor.  The good news is though you can continue with your existing template until you are ready. I’ll cover the template upgrade process in a later post.

Sprints, Backlog Management, Burndowns, Task Boards and Teams

These sets of features should get you excited if you run software development projects.  Sure we had some of these in TFS2010, but you had to work with a combination of Work Item configuration and some spreadsheets (Iteration Backlog, Product Planning) that were shipped originally with the old Agile template and had some serious bugs in them. 

Now all of this functionality is in the core product and fully accessible from the new Team Web Access web site and Visual Studio, with drag and drop support.  What this means is if you are starting out a new Team and Team Project this wont take you hours of work like it used to.  I’ll add some screen shots of these here shortly.  If you were already using the Agile or Scrum template and customized your User Story work item you may have some adjustments to make with the new template.  Same situation if you went wild with States.  The new Template really only supports 3 of them, you’ll  need to map to these.

The Task Board is a brand new item.  If anyone has looked at VersionOne’s task board, then this one will look real familiar.  Basically it is an electronic Story Board or Kanban board for instant status on where your User Stories and supporting Tasks are at.

Also new are the support of product teams.  This allows the proper status of the Tasks as they may relate to multiple product teams.  Again this is something we can configure right in Team Web Access.


Another new tool on the horizon is the Storyboarding Power Point plug in.  This item warrants its own post, but in summary it will allow an analyst (i.e. a non-programmer) to put together an animated collection of proposed product screens quickly to avoid the dreaded “that’s not what I wanted” statement.

I’ll be adding to this post as I get more screen shots and the rest of my notes together from the MVP summit.

Team Portals in TFS for Areas ?

by garyg 17. January 2012 22:24

The Team Portals in TFS 2010 were a huge bonus for any PM or Scrum Master looking to point stakeholders and teams to one spot for critical project communication and documentation.  The Team Portals are designed at a Team Project level. The problem you quickly run into with the Team Portals however if you further divide your Team Projects up by Areas for each solution.  You could certainly customize the templates or use the API to develop a tool to do solution level portals but that may be more work than you really want to do.

If your Team Project is already created, and you really need a portal for each area, the simplest solution would be to just manually create a portal using the sam design elements (very easy), copy the reports folder to a new one for just your area (to cusomize later) and create a team query to display the common lists by area and set the lists to use these. If you need to set the burndown (if you are using an Agile process template) to just use that area you'd need to also change the default filter on SSRS reports to reflect just the area you need.

I will update this post in the future with some specific instructions for doing this.

Moving TFS 2008 to a different domain

by garyg 17. December 2011 12:02

Recently I addressed a question in a forum where a user wanted to move his TFS 2008 server out of its current domain.  In TFS 2010 this is fairly straightforward using the TFS Administration Console, but back in TF 2008 this took a little more work.  Here it is at a high level:

There are numerous prep steps moving a server from one domain to another but I'm assuming you'd have these covered already in the systems migration planning.  Theese are the TFS highlights:

  1. Back up your server. Take a thorough inventory of your TFS security settings and determine if you referenced any domain groups. You can set these to a local group for now and move them into a domain group later.
  2. Record the login credential settings of all TFS services and Application Pools. These may or may not be set to Domain group, if they are you will need to go back in after the Domain migration. Depending on how your tiers are set up this may involve checking a few servers as well.
  3. Shut down all TFS services and Application Pools and Web sites to avoid any user issues during your migration. You'll need to put the services on manual or disabled to avoid them trying to restart during the migration since a reboot will be needed to complete the domain migration.
  4. Execute your domain migration as planned.
  5. Change the identity of everything you noted with domain specific identity in step 1 to an identity in the new domain. Set all the services back to their original startup settings, and app pools & web sites back to their original states.
  6. Restart the server and check TFS access.



Changing service accounts in TFS 2010

by garyg 15. October 2011 22:46

I get this question a lot, usually from a “pilot” project that turns into more and needs to fall under enterprise configuration guidelines. 

About half the problems I see with installs / re-configurations end up relating back to the accounts not set up properly for the tiers so please check the install guide to make sure your service accounts have the correct rights before you do this next step. Changing the accounts in TFS 2010 is relatively simple and the instructions are located here:

You can either use the GUI or the command line TFSConfig. Instructions for both are located at that MSDN link. I summarized the TFSConfig instructions here:

To use the TFSConfig utility to change the service account
  1. On the application-tier server, open a Command Prompt window and change directories to the directory that contains the TFSConfig utility.

    By default, this utility is located in Drive:\Program Files\Microsoft Team Foundation Server 2010\Tools.

  2. At the command line, type:
    TFSConfig Accounts /change /accountType:ApplicationTier
    AccountName /password:NewPassword, and then press ENTER.

TFS Integration with Sharepoint for existing TFS projects

by garyg 14. September 2011 22:21

I recently got a question on this and it seemed useful enough for a post to my blog.  They installed TFS without initially integrating with SharePoint. They had many projects that don't contain SharePoint portals. Then they integrated SharePoint with TFS and can only set up a SharePoint portal with new projects created. Is there any way to create a SharePoint portal for existing TFS projects? Are there any workarounds to achieve this goal?

The answer is yes and yes, and there are a few options to get this done:

Depending on how many you have to do there are two basic approaches that I've used. To begin you need to be in the Project Administrators group or have the View Collection-Level Information and Edit Collection-Level Information permissions set to Allow.

Manual Method, good if you just have a few. Follow the instructions one MSDN here: . Basic steps are:

1.In Team Explorer, right-click the name of the project, point to Team Project Settings, and then click Portal Settings.
2.On the Project Portal tab, select the Enable project portal check box.
3.Click Use this SharePoint site, and then click Configure URL.
4.In the Web application list, click a SharePoint Web application.
5.In Relative site path, type the relative path of an existing SharePoint site.As you type the path, it appears at the end of the value in URL.
6.In URL, click the link, verify that the path is correct, and then click OK.
7.If you want this SharePoint site to show data for this project, select the Reports and dashboards refer to data for this team project check box.
8.Click OK.

Scripting with File.BatchNewTeamProject, more complex but creates the reports as well and good if you have a bunch to do at once. I did a few hundred in fairly short order using this method. Follow the detailed steps here .

Command Log for TFS2010

by garyg 16. August 2011 22:03

It would be great is TFS had a nice Web Service to do this, logged to the event log, etc, and there is some additional logging you can turn on but I've always found this a pain. One thing you can do (especially if you know what you are looking at for commands that suspect have been run) is the tbl_command table in the Collection DB. For instance if you suspect a witadmin command has been run you can use something like this SQL query:

   1:  select * from tbl_Command with (nolock) 
   2:  where useragent LIKE 'Team Foundation (witadmin.exe%'

The usual precautions would apply here, like not running direct DB queries durring peak production times etc. but it allows you to quicly see a list of whats been run against TFS. The Command column has a record of the command that was run. When I had an issue at client of someone running unauthorized commands I was able to use this to track down the person quickly.

About the author

Gary Gauvin is a 20+ year Information Technologies industry leader, currently working as the Director of Application Lifecycle Management for CD-Adapco, a leading developer of CFD/CAE solutions. Working in both enterprise environments and small businesses, Gary enjoys bringing ROI to the organizations he works with through strategic management and getting hands-on wherever practical. Among other qualifications, Gary holds a Bachelor of Science in Information Technologies, an MBA, a PMP (Project Management Professional) certification, and PSM (Professional Scrum Master) certification.  Gary has also been recognized as a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional.

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