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Understanding Offline Support in Team Foundation Version Control

Visual Studio 2008

Microsoft Visual Studio Team System 2008 supports working offline. You can work on version-controlled solutions when you are not connected to a Team Foundation server, and then when the server becomes available again, you can check in your changes to version control. For more information, see How to: Work Offline when the Server is Unavailable.

Team Foundation offline support is server-based. Once a solution makes an unsuccessful attempt to connect to the server, and the server is then marked offline, all subsequent connection attempts by other solutions bound to that server will be unsuccessful also. Even if Team Foundation Server becomes available again, the disconnected state of the server and solutions persists until a solution bound to Team Foundation Server is explicitly taken back online. For detailed instructions on how to bring a disconnected solution back online, see How to: Work Offline when the Server is Unavailable.

Team Foundation Server checks for connection status when a solution is opened. Failure to connect to the server during other version control operations within Visual Studio Team System 2008 does not affect the connection status of the solution. Visual Studio Team System 2008 stores the connection status of each solution locally, in the solution's .suo file. Connection status is also stored in the Windows Registry of the computer for the Team Foundation Server to which each solution is bound.

The following describes two scenarios under which a Visual Studio Team System 2008 solution will change from online to offline mode:

  • Both the solution and server are marked online when Visual Studio tries to connect to Team Foundation Server, but connection to the server fails.

    • This causes both the solution and Team Foundation Server to be marked offline. A Visual Studio Team System 2008 message box appears that indicates that Team Foundation Server is unavailable and the solution will be opened offline. A message that indicates that the connection to the server failed and the solution is offline is displayed in the Output window of Visual Studio Team System 2008.

  • The solution is marked online when the attempt to connect to Team Foundation Server is made, but the server is already marked offline.

    • The solution is marked offline. A message that indicates that the solution is offline and the server is unavailable is displayed in the Visual Studio Team System 2008 Output window. However, no message box appears.

You may prefer the offline or online status of a local solution be independent of the other solutions bound to Team Foundation Server. You can elect to configure Visual Studio Team System 2008 to determine offline or online status on a per-solution basis. See How to: Configure Offline Support in Team Foundation to be Solution-based.

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