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Tech Tips, Tricks & Trivia

by 'Anil' Radhakrishna
An architect's notes, experiments, discoveries and annotated bookmarks.

Search from over a hundred HOW TO articles, Tips and Tricks


TFS - Questions & Answers

* What is a Workspace?
It is a mapping between a computer and TFS for the purposes of version control

* When files are checked in, they are...
all tracked as part of the same changeset and that changeset has a number

* What is the Product Backlog?
List of all desires and requirements for the product

* What is the Sprint Backlog?
List of Product Backlog Items or User Stories for the sprint plus the tasks to be performed

* If you are not currently connected to TFS via a network, what is required to perform a version control Undo on a file?
A local workspace

* If you have a Local workspace, what do you need to prevent someone from modifying a file in TFS?
A check-in lock

* What does the Scrum Board do?
Helps you to visualize and manage the state of the project during a sprint

* What does a Branch help you do?
Simultaneously work on different versions of a code base.This helps in feature development isolation.

* What does a Merge do?
It moves changes between two related branches in source control

* What does a Rolling Build do?
Accumulates check-in until prior Build completes

* What does a Gated Check-in Build do?
Shelves your changes and builds them before checking your code in to TFS. Gated Check-in accepts check-ins only if the submitted changes merge & build successfully

* What are Shelvesets and what are they used for?
Shelvesets refer to temporary check-ins. Shelvesets are used for:
- Code Reviews
- Gated Check-in Builds
- My Work’s Suspend & Resume
- Sharing your work with someone else
- Backing up your work

* What does the Build Controller do?
Manages and assigns work to the build agents, coordinates Builds for Team Project Collection (TPC)

* What does a Build Agent do?
Receives instructions from the controller and executes the build including the compilation of code. There can be one or more per Controller

* Do Controllers and Agents have to be on the same box?
No

* What is a drop directory?
The location where the outputs of an automated build are copied after the build completes

* If you're using 3rd party build activities as part of an automated build, how do you tell the build script where they are?
Add them to version control and then edit the properties for the Controller to point at that folder

* Where are build scripts stored?
In TFS version control in the BuildProcessTemplates directory

* What is the typical relationship between a requirement (aka. User Story or Product Backlog Item) and a Task?
Tasks are the things that need to be done to complete the requirement

* What tool do you need for in order to perform most TFS administrative tasks that are NOT related to permissions and how to you get to this tool?
Team Foundation Server Administration Console via the Start menu on the TFS machine

* What does the TFS Proxy Server do?
It's a caching server to help speed up version control access for geographically distributed teams

* In order to back up TFS, what do you need to do?
Back up the SQL Server databases for TFS and back up the Reporting Services Encryption Key.

* Under the surface, what describes the details of a Work Item?
The Work Item Type Definition (WITD). The WITD is a configurable XML document.

* What are the ways that you can edit a Work Item?
Visual Studio using Team Explorer
Excel
3rd party tools
A web browser
Microsoft Project

* Why would you customize a Work Item Type Definition?
You want a different work item status workflow
You need an addition work item status
You need a new field
You want a different layout for the work item fields in the editor

* Before customizing a Work Item Type Definition (WITD), what should you do?
Ensure that the original WITD is under version control in case you make a mistake

* On a new Team Project, what are the two out-of-the-box ways to get a copy of a Work Item Type Definition (WITD)?
Process Template Manager and witadmin.exe's exportwitd command

Reference - Pluralsight course ALM with TFS 2012 Fundamentals by Benjamin Day

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