Saturday, 25 August 2012

Learn TFS basic (Team Foundation Server) /What is Team Foundation Server?

What is Team Foundation Server?

With Visual Studio Team System (VSTS), Microsoft has made accessible an integrated set of tools, used by associate of the development team. Each associate play one or multiple roles. One can vary easily imagine roles of Business Analyst, Project Manager, Technology Solution Architect, Developer, tester and Release Manger. These roles use different tools which go with them. For example Developers over the years have used Visual Studio to create code and Project Managers use MS Project for creating, monitoring and controlling a project. All the tools utilize by diverse roles work on the same data which makes them integrated. These tools also need to access some services for managing the data. The data gathering and the general services are provided by a server component of VSTS which is called Team Foundation Server.

Team Foundation Server (TFS)
TFS is the spirit of VSTS. It drives the required data and provides required services to the diverse client applications. It let all the associate members to collaborate with each other. It is a server which includes some of the most excellent software technologies created by Microsoft like ASP.NET 2.0, Windows SharePoint Services, SQL Server 2005 etc.

Logical Architecture
TFS is a multilayered server. It is divided in the layers of Data Layer and Application Layer.

The data layer and the application layer can be on the same machine if the number of customers is less than 20.
Data layer is implemented in SQL Server 2005. When TFS is installed it generates quantity of database and tables for maintaining the data of the users, work items, source control and other resources. Being implemented on SQL Server 2005, data layer provides outstanding scalability and performance.
Application layer is implemented through set of services which are existing over the network. Most of them are configured as webservices which makes them possible to be right to use even over the Internet.

Physical Architecture
It is possible to generate single tier architecture for installations which do not require high scalability. It is suggested that for any non-trivial installation the data layer and the application layer should be on different servers to gather the scalability and reliability requirements. For meeting the requirements of teams which are geographically spread and coupled through internet, TFS provides the capability to use proxy to accomplish the requirements of remote users. Although proxy will be caching the source code, main source control where changes are allowed to be stored is where the main installation of TFS is. It is also recommended to have a separate build server since the build activity is very highly CPU rigorous. Keeping the main TFS and build server on same machine with frequent builds may hinder the act of TFS badly.

The main set of services offered by TFS is to improve group effort between multiple users.

Source Code Control (SCC)
SCC is the major contributor to Software Configuration Management. SCC in TFS includes normal version control, Branching, Merging, Shelving and Unshelving etc. TFS preserve the source control in SQL Server 2005. By default it allows multiple check-outs. We can set locks in such a way that either the locked files cannot be checked out or if they are checked out they cannot be checked in. TFS also supports check-in policies which make it mandatory on the team members to accomplish certain actions when they are checking in some source code.
SCC also works as a point of junction between the team project and the technological solution. Team project allows for architecture, association, watch and control of the project. The technological solution does not involve itself with project management or versioning etc. Every unit of source code to be generated is tagged with a work item. Work item store the management data about the technological unit. Storage and management of work items is done through SCC.
Project Portal
For every panel project TFS make a SharePoint portal site. This site contains sections for Process guidance, Reports and documents. It provides appropriate authorization to provider, person who reads and visitors. Through the process guidance we can learn about the process template that is selected for the project. Various reports provide the physical condition and growth of the project. Clients can have a come across at the reports even across the Internet for status monitoring.
Work Item Tracking
Work items are tagged collected data on behalf of some abstract entities like task, bug, Quality of Service Requirement etc. We need to monitor status of each of these entities. At the same time each work item and entity pair will belong to a user at any given moment. The user will work upon the entity like task or bug and then either set the status of the work item to close or re-assign it to some other user for further work on the entity. TFS keeps track of status of each work item and the user who owns that work item at that time.
Build Automation
 Each developer executes the application in his / her workspace on the local machine. After execution the code is checked in the source code control. The checked in code has to be built to ensure its interoperability with code created at other time, maybe, by some other developers. This build process should be carried out once in a while to ensure truthfulness of all the checked in code. TFS allows creation of build at pre-determined time using a component called Team Build. Team build schedules the build script created using MS-Build to be executed at the predetermined time.
Reporting
TFS uses a separate data store to generate reports. There are number of predefined reports as per the process template which is fashioned by default. TFS uses SQL SERVER 2005 Reporting Service to create these reports. Each report indicates either of status of the project, quality of the software which progress of the project. These reports are based upon work items, source code, test results and builds. The status and progress of each is originally stored in the normalized tables in the database. TFS creates the non-normalized way in in the data warehouse for the use of creating reports. Reports Data Warehouse object model let developers to create custom reports in the form of .rdl files using report designer. These reports can also be made accessible through the reports site.
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