Team Foundation Server 2013 Power Tools Released
Best Practices Analyzer, command-line tool among new functionality.
Microsoft has released a set of Power Tools for Team Foundation Server 2013.
Power Tools are important to many developers as a way to extend a product’s functionality. TFS, which is Visual Studio’s collaboration tool, comes as part of Visual Studio 2013. VS 2013 is currently at Release Candidate stage.
Some of the key tools in this version include a Best Practices Analyzer; check-in policies; Process Template Editor; and command-line tool.
The Best Practices Analyzer has a number of uses. It ensures that TFS is configured properly, finds problems in “unhealthy” deployments, takes a snapshot of a deployment’s configuration, and tracks data usage for the previous two weeks.
Power Tools adds several new check-in policies to TFS 2013. They include the ability to scope other policies to specific folders or file types; prevent users from checking in files with forbidden filename patterns; and specify a work item query whose results will be the only legal work items for a check-in to be associated with.
The Process Template Editor is a Visual Studio add-in under the Tools menu. It’s a GUI for customizing work items like field, workflow and the form, and process templates.
The command line, tfpt.exe, has additional version control commands, work item tracking and team project manipulation. The command tfpt.exe /? brings up a list of support commands. The MSDN page describing the power tools has a complete list.
Keith Ward is the editor in chief of Virtualization & Cloud Review. Follow him on Twitter @VirtReviewKeith.