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Compatibility between Team Foundation Clients and Team Foundation Server

With the addition of features in Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010, you will want to know the limitations or restrictions that occur in earlier versions of Team Explorer that connect to Team Foundation Server 2010. You can work around most limitations by installing Team Explorer 2010 in a side-by-side configuration with an earlier version of Team Explorer or by using Team Web Access.

NoteNote

In this topic, earlier versions refer to software that was made available with Team System 2008 Team Foundation Server and Visual Studio 2005 Team Foundation Server, and the current version refers to software that was made available with Team Foundation Server 2010.

In this topic, you can learn about the new features that affect forward and backward compatibility when you work with Team Explorer. Forward compatibility refers to how earlier versions of a client support the current version of Team Foundation Server, sometimes with the addition of a software update. Backward compatibility refers to how the current version of a client supports earlier versions of Team Foundation Server. A General Distribution Release (GDR) software update is available to support forward compatibility of Team Explorer.

Important noteImportant

Before you install or upgrade Team Foundation Build or Team Foundation Server, you should review the issues of compatibility between different versions of these components. For example, you cannot use a version of Team Foundation Build that is older or newer than the version of Team Foundation Server that you are using. In addition, some features of Team Foundation Build are not available or behave differently when you use a version that is older or newer than the version of Team Explorer that is running on your client computer.

In this topic

The following table summarizes the version compatibility support that is available when you connect different versions of Visual Studio, Team Explorer, and Team Foundation Server.

Clients and tools

Team Foundation Server 2010

Team System 2008 Team Foundation Server

Visual Studio 2005 Team Foundation Server

Team Explorer 2010  

Yes

Yes (1)

No

Team Explorer for Visual Studio Team System 2008 

No (2)

Yes (no change)

Yes (no change)

Team Explorer for Visual Studio Team System 2008 with SP1 and GDR

Yes (3)

Yes (no change)

Yes (no change)

Team Explorer for Visual Studio 2005 Team System 

No (2)

Yes (no change)

Yes (no change)

Team Explorer for Visual Studio 2005 Team System with SP1 and GDR

Yes (3)

Yes (no change)

Yes (no change)

Team Web Access for Team Foundation Server 2010

Yes (4)

Not applicable

Not applicable

MSSCCI 2008

No

Yes (no change)

Yes (no change)

MSSCCI 2010

Yes (5)

Not applicable

Not applicable

Notes:

  1. If you connect the current version of Team Explorer to Team System 2008 Team Foundation Server, you can perform the same functions as if you connected an earlier version of Team Explorer to Team System 2008 Team Foundation Server. New functionality that Team System 2008 Team Foundation Server does not support is unavailable.

  2. You cannot connect to Team Foundation Server 2010 by using earlier versions of Team Explorer that do not have the GDR installed. For information about how to access the GDR for Visual Studio 2005 Team System or Visual Studio Team System 2008, see Additional Resources later in this topic.

  3. You can connect to Team Foundation Server 2010 by using an earlier version of Team Explorer with the GDR for that version, but you will encounter the following limitations:

  4. You must rebuild any work item custom controls that were built for Team Web Access for Visual Studio Team System 2008. For more information, see Team Web Access and Version Compatibility.

  5. The Microsoft Source Code Control Interface (MSSCCI) Provider 2010 power tool supports Team Foundation Server 2010. For more information, see Microsoft Source Code Control Interface (MSSCCI) Provider 2010 Power Tool.

The current version of Team Explorer installs with each product in Visual Studio 2010. You can run Team Explorer side by side with older versions of Team Explorer and Visual Studio.

To use Microsoft Test Manager and Microsoft Project or Microsoft Excel, you must install the current version of Team Explorer side by side with earlier versions of Team Explorer. For example, you can start the Office Integration Add-Ins for Excel and Project from the 2005 version, but they will have 2010 functionality when they are side by side. Similarly, you can publish test cases only when you run the two versions of Team Explorer side by side.

You must install a side-by-side update to use the earlier versions of Team Explorer with the current versions of Office Add-Ins for Team Foundation Server. For more information, see Additional Resources.

The following features in Visual Studio ALM affect version compatibility:

  • A deployment can now contain multiple installations of Team Foundation Server.

  • Team Foundation Server 2010 can host multiple team project collections. When you specify the path of a team project, you must now specify the project collection where it is stored. This affects the URL locations to project portals, Report Manager, and process guidance for a team project.

  • You can run and view new types of work item queries, direct links and tree view, only from the current version of Team Explorer or Team Web Access.

  • You can run and view work item queries that use new types of criteria, such as categories, groups, and comparison field operators only from the current version of Team Explorer or Team Web Access.

  • If you created build agents for Visual Studio Team System 2008, you cannot use them for the current release of Team Foundation Server. For more information, see Understanding a Team Foundation Build System before you deploy your build system.

  • Build definitions for the current version use Windows Workflow. When you upgrade, you use the build upgrade template to upgrade your existing build definitions. For more information, see Define Your Build Process.

  • Only the current version of Team Foundation Build supports gated check-in and shelveset builds. For more information, see Define a Gated Check-In Build Process to Validate Changes.

You can perform a subset of project management tasks only if you connect the current version of Team Explorer to Team Foundation Server 2010. For administrative, project, and test-case management, the use of the current version of Team Explorer is recommended in a side-by-side configuration. The following table summarizes the tasks that require the current version of Team Explorer. You can also use the current version of Team Explorer to administer Team System 2008 Team Foundation Server.

Tasks

Related topics

Create a team project. You create a team project by using the New Team Project Wizard. To access the New Team Project Wizard, Team Explorer must be installed on your computer. Team Explorer is an add-in to Visual Studio and can be installed from any Visual Studio 2010 product. 

Depending on the resources that you will configure for your team project, you must set elevated permissions for the team project collection and for the servers that host SharePoint Products and SQL Server Reporting Services. Also, you must run Visual Studio as an administrator if you provision the project with a SharePoint site.

Quick Start Guide to Launching a Team Project

Create a Team Project

Upload and delete process templates. You manage process templates by using the Process Template Manager in Team Explorer.

Managing Process Templates

Import, export, and manage work item tracking objects. By using the witadmin command-line utility, you can create, delete, import, and export categories, global lists, types of links, types of work items, and work item fields. You manage these objects for a project collection or a specific team project.

witAdmin: Administering Objects for Tracking Work Items

Import the Microsoft Project field mapping file. You can customize how data is published and refreshed if you modify the project mapping file.

TFSFieldMapping

Modify the attributes of work item fields. You can use several new attributes to synchronize person name fields with Active Directory or to modify the reporting attributes of a field.

Managing Work Item Fields [witadmin]

Enable synchronization of a person name field. You can update the name of a team member in Active Directory and have that change automatically updated in the corresponding work item fields.

What's New in Tracking Work Items

The following table summarizes the client-side tasks that are available only if the current version of Team Explorer is connected to Team Foundation Server 2010.

Tasks

Related topics

Generate a list of linked work items. You can view a list of work items that illustrates dependencies by using the direct links or tree view query types.

View and Modify Work Items in a Tree View

View and Modify Work Items in a Direct Links View

Generate a list of work items that use new query criteria. You can run queries that are based on a comparison of another field, membership in a group, or categories.

Query Fields, Operators, Values, and Variables

Specify Query Filter Criteria

Create and manage dependent and hierarchical links between work items. You can create, modify, and delete links between work items. You can create multiple links at a time and change link relationships by using the current version of Team Explorer, Team Web Access, Microsoft Excel, or Microsoft Project.

Create or Delete Relationships Between Work Items

Configure Work Items in a Tree List in Office Excel

Sequence or Subordinate Tasks in Office Project

Display custom controls in work item forms. You can add controls in work item forms. You can view the following controls only from the current version of Team Explorer or Team Web Access:

  • Link filter: Control the set of link types that can be used to link types of work items. Also, you can specify the default column fields that appear for links in a work item form.

  • Hyperlink label: Attach a hyperlink to informational text or to a field label.

  • Standalone label: Provide informational text that is not associated with any field. You can also attach a hyperlink to some or all of the text.

  • Web content: Display content that is based on a uniform resource identifier (URI) or HTML in a work item form.

The test case and shared steps types of work items depend on the test steps control and the associated test automation control. You can view but not modify these controls in the current version of Team Explorer or Team Web Access.

Specifying Work Item Form Controls

Test Case (Agile)

Create and manage build definitions. A build definition contains instructions about which code projects to compile, what action should initiate a build, what tests to run, and many other configurations. You can even use legacy MSBuild files by using the upgrade template.

Define Your Build Process

Use Legacy MSBuild Builds Using the Upgrade Template

Create and modify a build controller. Create a build controller to manage the services of one or more build agents for your team project collection or to modify an existing controller.

Create and Work with a Build Controller

Create a build agent. A build agent takes requests from the build controller and performs the build work.

Create and Work with Build Agents

You can connect the current version of Team Explorer to Team System 2008 Team Foundation Server by removing the default path that is defined for the server. If you use the current version of Team Explorer with Team System 2008 Team Foundation Server, you will be limited to using only the functionality that is available in the older version of Team Foundation Server. New functions in Team Foundation Server 2010 are not available in the user interface. For more information about new functionality, see What's New for Application Lifecycle Management in Visual Studio 2010 and What's New in Tracking Work Items.

You can connect to any team project collection in a deployment of Team Foundation Server 2010 by using Team Explorer for Visual Studio Team System 2008 with both the SP1 and the GDR or Team Explorer for Visual Studio 2005 Team System with both the SP1 and the GDR. However, you cannot use functionality that was introduced in the current version of Team Explorer.

To connect to Team Foundation Server

  1. In Visual Studio, on the Tools menu, click Connect to Team Foundation Server.

    NoteNote

    If this option does not appear, you have not installed Team Explorer. You must install Team Explorer before you can connect to Team Foundation Server.

  2. In the Connect to Team Project dialog box, click Servers.

  3. In the Add/Remove Team Foundation Server dialog box, click Add.

  4. Perform one of the following actions, depending on the server to which you are connecting:

    • To connect from Team Explorer 2010 to Team System 2008 Team Foundation Server:

      In the Add Team Foundation Server dialog box, type the name or URL for the server.

      Add Team Foundation Server dialog box for TFS 2008

      Clear the tfs from the Path box. To connect to Team System 2008 Team Foundation Server, this box must be blank.

    • To connect from Team Explorer for Visual Studio Team System 2008 or Visual Studio 2005 Team System to Team Foundation Server 2010:

      In the Add Team Foundation Server dialog box, type the name or the URL of the server into the Name or URL of Team Foundation box.

      Add Team Foundation Server dialog box for TFS 2010

      When you type a server name, the Preview field automatically displays the URL format, as the following example shows:

      http://ServerName:Port/VirtualDirectory/CollectionName

      ServerName is the name of the server that hosts Team Foundation Server.

      Port is the port that Team Foundation Server uses; the default value is 8080. If your server uses a different port number, you must specify that port number in the URL.

      VirtualDirectory is the default path of the project collections that are stored on the server. By default, the virtual directory is tfs. This path is optional and is set by Team Foundation Server.

      CollectionName is the name of the team project collection where the team project is stored.

      The following examples show typical connection strings: http://myserver:8080/tfs/Collection1

      http://server:8080/Collection1

      NoteNote

      You can connect to the default team project collection by typing only the server name. This method is limited in that you can connect to only one project collection in Team Foundation Server.

  5. Verify that the URL is correct, click OK two times, and then click Close.

  6. In the Connect to Team Project dialog box, under Team Project, click the check box for each team project that you want to access, and then click Connect.

You can review the following tables to understand how new or existing features are supported for earlier versions of Team Explorer. You can connect an earlier version of Team Explorer to the current version of Team Foundation Server only if both the SP1 and GDR are installed. All issues that are described in the following sections apply to Team Explorer for both Visual Studio Team System 2008 and Visual Studio 2005 Team System as long as both SP1 and the GDR for each version are installed.

Project Planning and Tracking

Task

Earlier versions of Team Explorer with SP1 and the GDR

Workarounds

Connect to multiple deployments of Team Foundation Server.

You can connect to any team project in any project collection on any server that is running Team Foundation Server.

None required.

After the locations of shared documents, the project portal, and process guidance are modified, send URLs of the new locations to team members who use earlier versions of Team Explorer.

The GDR enables earlier versions of Team Explorer to automatically retrieve the location of shared documents, the project portal, and process guidance.

None required.

Microsoft Excel or Microsoft Project integration.

You can open and modify a Microsoft Project file from an earlier client, but you cannot change link relationships that are based on hierarchy and dependencies.

None required.

View new custom controls in work item forms.

You can view work item forms that contain new custom controls, but they display as missing. The location on the form where the control is missing displays as red, with the path of the missing control displayed.

To view all new work item form controls, use the current version of Team Explorer in a side-by-side configuration, or use Team Web Access.

NoteNote
The process templates for Microsoft Solutions Framework (MSF) do not contain new custom controls, except those for the test case and shared steps work item types.

To modify manual test steps in test cases and shared steps, you must use Microsoft Test Manager, regardless of the version of Team Explorer that you use.

Access the Reports node.

You can access the Reports node, which appears in the project node in Team Explorer.

None required.

Create and run work item queries that support direct links and tree views.

You can determine from the user interface which queries can be run only from a newer client. These queries appear in Team Explorer with a red X.

Red x displays on queries that cannot be run

You cannot run queries by using new query views when you use earlier versions of Team Explorer.

None required.

Create and run work item queries whose criteria access new features that are related to groups, categories, or field comparisons.

You can determine from the user interface which queries require Team Explorer 2010. These queries appear in Team Explorer with a red X.

Red x displays on queries that cannot be run

You cannot run queries by using new filter criteria when you use earlier versions of Team Explorer.

None required.

Create and organize query folders.

You can access queries that are stored in query folders. Queries are prepended with the name of the folder and subfolders where they are defined on the server, as the following illustration shows:

Query folder prepended to query in earlier clients

You cannot create query folders or set query folder permissions.

Use Team Web Access or Team Explorer 2010 in a side-by-side configuration to create query folders or to set query folder permissions.

Managing Test Cases and Publishing Test Results

Task

Team Explorer for Visual Studio Team System 2008 with SP1 and the GDR

Workarounds

Create and modify test steps and automation fields that are defined in test cases.

You can view the Test Steps Control and the Associated Automation Control in a read-only mode. This is compatible with the functionality of the current version of Team Explorer.

You can use Team Web Access to view the controls in a read-only mode.

You must use Microsoft Test Manager to modify these controls. For more information about these controls, see How to: Create a Manual Test Case.

Publish test results.

You can publish test results from Visual Studio by using the Test Result Publishing Server and from the MSTest command-line tool. You can also view test results from Visual Studio.

You can publish test results by using Team Explorer 2010 or Team Explorer for Visual Studio Team System 2008 with SP1 and the GDR.

Working with Version Control

Renaming files in Team Foundation version control can cause unexpected results when you use Team Explorer for Visual Studio Team System 2008 or earlier clients. This is particularly true if you use the rename function on a pending file when you have also created a file with that has the original name of the pending file. In this situation, by using an earlier version of Team Explorer, you can check in only one file that has a conflicting name. You cannot check in the new file that is pending. In this situation, you must undo the changes to return the client to a good state.

When you use an earlier version of Team Explorer, you can use rename without blocking other users from checking in files, and you can preserve the data integrity on the server.

The following table summarizes the version control tasks that encounter compatibility issues when you use earlier versions of Team Explorer.

Task

Earlier versions of Team Explorer with SP1 and the GDR

Workarounds

Rename a file in Team Foundation version control.

You can view, update, undo, and commit pending changes when you rename files and folders in version control.

During rename operations, you can view committed changes in both the changeset details and Source Control Explorer. Displays provide accurate messages during conflict resolution.

Use the current version of Team Explorer or Team Explorer for Visual Studio Team System 2008 with SP1 and the GDR when you use the rename function.

If you must work from an older client, always check in a file after you perform a rename operation and before you create another file that has the same name.

Check in source code that affects multiple gated build definitions.

You can submit changes that affect gated build definitions, but a confirmation dialog box will not appear. If your check-in affects multiple gated definitions, it will fail, and you will not be alerted to the failure.

You can use Build Explorer to view the status of the check-in, or you can use the Build Notifications Application. For more information, see Monitor Progress of a Running Build.

Managing Builds

Build agents that were created from Team Foundation Build for Visual Studio Team System 2008 will not work in Team Foundation Build for Team Foundation Server 2010. For more information, see the following page on the Microsoft Web site: Upgrading TFS 2008 Build Definitions to TFS 2010. You can automatically upgrade new build definitions to Team Foundation Server 2010 if you use the upgrade build process template.

The following table summarizes build management tasks that encounter compatibility issues when you use earlier versions of Team Explorer, with or without the GDR.

Task

Earlier versions of Team Explorer with SP1 and the GDR

Workarounds

Modify build controller properties.

You cannot modify build controller properties from the Build Agents Properties dialog box. The following error message appears: "Updating build agents is not supported from this client. Please use a client compatible with Team Foundation Build 2010 and try again."

Use the current version of Team Explorer in a side-by-side configuration.

Create and manage build definitions.

You can create build definitions, but you will not be able to modify them or other existing build definitions.

Use the current version of Team Explorer to modify build definitions. Alternatively, you can use a text or XML editor to modify the build process template.

Team Web Access is automatically installed and configured when you install Team Foundation Server 2010. Version compatibility is not an issue because all instances of Team Foundation Server are accessed by Team Web Access services that are hosted on that server. For information about supported Web browsers, see Managing Work Using Team Web Access.

You must rebuild any custom controls for work item forms that were built for Team Web Access for Visual Studio Team System 2008. You must rebuild these controls by using the assembly references in the current version of Team Web Access. Custom controls are usually binary compatible in the same major version. For example, you can use custom controls for the beta2 version of the 2010 release of Team Web Access without modification for the release-candidate or final version of the 2010 release of Team Web Access.

With the MSSCCI power tool, you can integrate Team Foundation version control with products that do not support integration with Team Explorer. The 2010 version of this tool supports Team Foundation Server 2010 and is compatible with the following software versions:

  • Visual Studio .NET 2003

  • Visual C++ 6 SP6

  • Visual Basic 6 SP6

  • Visual FoxPro 9 SP1

  • Microsoft Access 2003 SP2

  • SQL Server Management Studio

  • Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect 6.1

  • Sybase PowerBuilder 10.5

  • Toad for SQL Server 2.0

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