ALM/TFS sessions at TechEd 2010 Berlin

October 22, 2010

In less than a month I will be attending TechEd Europe in Berlin (November 8-12, 2010). I guess this must be my 6th TechEd (two times Amsterdam, two times Barcelona and now my 2nd time Berlin) and I must say that I always look forward to this conference.

In my early years I always wanted to get all the information on as many technologies as possible, but last years I really tried to focus on the ALM/TFS sessions. I don’t want to overload my agenda because I do find it interesting to also spend some time to work on things I picked up in some session instead of rushing from session to session. On the other side, this year I might have a look at some Windows Phone 7 sessions to get some phone development insights.

Of course, I also look forward to meet some people from the “Team System” product team to have some discussions on the future of ALM and Team Foundation Server. And did I mention already the usual (community) parties? If you are a Belgian TechEd attendee: don’t forget to register for the TechEd Belgian country drink.

Scheduled ALM sessions for this year:

  • Successfully Administering and Running Team Foundation Server 2010 (Neno Loje)
  • Best Practices Using Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010 (Neno Loje)
  • Software Testing with Visual Studio 2010: Part 1 of 2 (Brian Keller)
  • Software Testing with Visual Studio 2010: Part 1 of 2 (Brian Keller)
  • Software Testing with Visual Studio 2010: Making it real for YOU (Brian Keller)
  • Applied Software Testing with Visual Studio 2010 (Brian Keller)
  • The Busy Developer’s Guide to Team Foundation Server 2010 Version Control (Brian Randell)
  • TFS 2010: Install and Configure in 30 Minutes or Less (Brian Randell)
  • Understanding Branching and Merging in Team Foundation Server 2010 (Brian Randell)
  • Agile Development with Visual Studio 2010 and TFS 2010 (Aaron Bjork & Peter Provost)
  • Visual Studio ALM: Lessons Learned through Dogfooding (Aaron Bjork)
  • Application Lifecycle Management – Microsoft Project 2010 and Team Foundation Server 2010, Better Together (Aaron Bjork & Christophe Fiessinger)
  • Architecture Discovery with Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate (Peter Provost)
  • Visualization and Modeling in Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate (Peter Provost)

See you at TechEd Berlin in a few weeks!

TFS2010 Backup/Restore Tool

October 19, 2010

Despite there are some known issues with the first version of the TFS2010 Backup/Restore Tool, it has saved me already a lot of time during different TFS2010 assignments. Setting up manually a complete backup plan for all involved databases is not that straightforward for non-database-administrators. I also like the neat integration with the existing Team Foundation Administration Console.

Some other obstacles I encountered during the TFS2010 Backup configuration:

  • System Check failed in the readiness check

    TF255118: The Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) interface could not be contacted on this computer

    This failure was simply fixed by restarting the Windows Management Instrumentation service.


  • Grant Backup Plan Permissions failed in the readiness check

    Account “x” failed to create backups using path \\tfs2010\Backups 2010

    This failure had nothing to do with security or permissions, but the error was simply caused by a space in the network path. The network backup path must not contain a space!

Note that you shouldn’t backup (yet) the SharePoint databases with the TFS2010 Backup/Restore Tool.

You can download the TFS2010 Backup/Restore Tool as part of the TFS2010 Power Tools (September 2010).

TFS2010 Configuration issue in a Windows 2000 domain

October 12, 2010

I did encounter an error while configuring Team Foundation Server 2010 on a Windows Server 2008 R2 machine (64 bit) which was joined to a Windows 2000 domain.

The error came up while running the system check verification in the TFS2010 configuration wizard.

TF255435: This computer is a member of an Active Directory domain, but the domain controllers are not accessible.  Network problems might be preventing access to the domain. Verify that the network is operational, and then retry the readiness checks.  Other options include configuring Team Foundation Server specifying a local account in the custom wizard or joining the computer to a workgroup.

Note that the link will just bring you to the site and won’t help you in solving the error.

I first stumbled on this MSDN forum article, but I wasn’t really confident that this “solution” would work in my situation. The new virtual machine was setup correctly in the domain from the start and wasn’t conflicting with some other machine(s).

Digging deeper in the configuration logfile gave me this:

Exception Message: The trust relationship between this workstation and the primary domain failed.
(type SystemException)

Exception Stack Trace:    at System.Security.Principal.NTAccount.TranslateToSids(IdentityReferenceCollection sourceAccounts, Boolean& someFailed)
   at System.Security.Principal.NTAccount.Translate(IdentityReferenceCollection sourceAccounts, Type targetType, Boolean forceSuccess)
   at System.Security.Principal.NTAccount.Translate(Type targetType)
   at Microsoft.TeamFoundation.Common.UserNameUtil.GetMachineAccountName(String hostName)
   at Microsoft.TeamFoundation.Admin.VerifyDomainAccess.Verify()

Together with the fact that SIDs could not be resolved correctly on this machine when editing local groups it was clear that there was something wrong with the AD communication.

Apparently there’s a known problem with the LookupAccountName function (only on Windows Server 2008 R2 computers joined to a Windows 2000 domain) to retrieve a security identifier (SID) for a domain account.

After applying the available hotfix (KB 976494), everything was working again and the system check in the TFS2010 configuration wizard succeeded without warnings. Problem solved!

Again a confirmation for me that installing/configuring Team Foundation Server in an enterprise environment is always a challenge because there are so many different platforms involved: Active Directory, Internet Information Server, SQL Server, Reporting Services, Analysis Services, SharePoint, …