Tuesday, December 06, 2005

TFS server down - continue working in VSTS

Yesterday our TFS server (beta 3 refresh) started behaving strangely; if I checked in a file and then immediately viewed the file through 'Source Control Explorer' history, it would open the correct file (correct file name in the titlebar), but it contained MSBuild XML content insteadof the original code. This did ofcourse cause all server-side builds to fail. The project's TFS gurus are working on restoring the different TFS databases in the correct order, but this has turned out to be non-trivial. TFS seems to work fine for a while, then the problems are back.

Thus, we are not able to use TFS as of now, but I need to continue working locally on my PC. The default source control settings in VS2005 is not very useful when a connection to TFS cannot be made; it will try to check out files and then just fail, not giving any fallback options. I had to make these changes to 'Checked-in items' in the VS2005 options to be able to 1) edit files and 2) save them locally:

Note that you must clear the 'read only' attribute of a file to be able to save it. Just select the file to overwrite in the 'Save as' dialog, then use 'alt-Enter' to change the properties of the file.

The old SourceSafe 'overwrite' option popup is not available when editing and saving a file that is under source control. You need to change the TFVC options before you can edit and save the file.

The reason for trying to restore the databases is that one of the developers could not delete a test project from TFS using the TFSDeleteProject tool, and then manually deleted some records in the database. The gurus have just given up the restore activities, and are now reinstalling TFS from scratch...

The morale: don't mess with stuff that works.

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