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Team System and Team Build Version Compatibility FAQ

Visual Studio 2008

Rather than upgrade all Visual Studio products immediately, you might decide to upgrade incrementally from Visual Studio Team System 2005 to Visual Studio Team System 2008. Use this topic to help answer questions that might come up when you work with a mix of Visual Studio Team System product versions and how this mix can affect build functionality.

Grant Holliday has created a table that shows Team Build compatibility, among other information, for Team System 2008 and Team System 2005. For details, see the blog entry: VSTS 2005 / 2008 Compatibility Matrix.

Some highlights:

  • Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2008 will work only with Team Foundation Build 2008. If you upgrade your build server to use Team Foundation Build 2008, you must also upgrade to Team Foundation Server 2008. For more information, see Version Compatibility for Team Foundation Build.
  • Team Explorer 2005 is not fully compatible with Team Foundation Server 2008 Build. You must use Team Explorer 2008 to access the full set of Team Foundation Server 2008 features. For more information, see Version Compatibility for Team Explorer.

Side-by-Side Installations of Visual Studio and Team Build Compatibility

You can install the Visual Studio 2005 and Visual Studio 2008 integrated development environments on the same computer. Team Explorer 2005 and Team Explorer 2008 can both be used to access projects on Team Foundation Server 2005 and Team Foundation Server 2008. However, to use all the features that are available with Team Foundation Server 2008, including many build features, you must use Team Explorer 2008. For more information, see Version Compatibility for Team Explorer.

Yes, if you implement an unsupported workaround; however, we strongly recommend that you upgrade to Team Foundation Server 2008 to build Visual Studio 2008 applications.

If you try to use Team Foundation Build 2005 to build Visual Studio 2008 applications, you will see the following error:

Solution file error MSB5014: File format version is not recognized. MSBuild can only read solution files between versions 7.0 and 9.0, inclusive.

This error occurs because Team Foundation Build 2005 can only see the version of msbuild.exe found in the 2.0 .NET Framework directory, instead of the 3.5 .NET Framework directory.

To correct this error
  1. We strongly recommend that you upgrade to Team Foundation Server 2008.

    -or-

  2. Implement the unsupported workaround found on Mitch Denny's blog: Building .NET 3.5 Applications with Team Build 2005.

    Cc984253.note(en-us,VS.90).gifNote:
    Use this workaround at your own risk.

Yes, you can build solutions created with Visual Studio 2005 with Team Foundation Build 2008. However, build definitions created using Visual Studio 2008 might not display in Visual Studio 2005. If you want all build definitions to show up in both versions of Visual Studio, all build definitions must be stored in the following location: $/<TeamProject>/TeamBuildTypes/<DefinitionName>.

If you want to be able to queue builds or create Build Types, you have to install Team Explorer 2008 in the Visual Studio 2005 IDE. Team Explorer 2008 is a free tool that can be downloaded from the Microsoft Download Center. However, starting builds will still work in Visual Studio 2005, assuming that the build queue is empty.

For more information about compatibility issues, see VSTS 2005 / 2008 Compatibility Matrix and Version Compatibility for Team Foundation Build.

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