Solving random 404 errors while editing release definition environments on TFS 2015

Dealing with too many environments

Getting straight to the point, remote chances are that you may be using way too much environments on a single release. Normally, this would never happen, as the usual route is to have dev, qa, staging, and production environments at most. And because of that, they never thought this could possibly become an issue.

When you edit a release, a web api call is made to check the current user’s permission to access each one of them. If this method happens to fail, you won’t be able to access the context menu options for each environment (such as variables or deployment conditions). Click here to read more.


How to find everyone (and their groups) on TFS 2015

All the groups

Sometimes it’s difficult to know who is in which TFS group. The groups keep getting bigger, some people change from one department to another, a group gets created for a particular set of special permissions, and so on, and so forth. Be it for auditing or just to keep things tidy and organized, knowing who is in which group can be a tiresome task by navigating group by group.

The query

For all that matters, let’s say [Tfs_Configuration] is our TFS 2015 configuration database. With this, you can get group membership recursively until you figure out who is in which group. Please note that this may not be the best/fastest way to do it, as I didn’t worry too much about optimization. Click here to read more.

.NET Core RC 2, TFS, and you in a pickle. “Failed to make the following project runnable” – Access Denied

Can’t touch this

This is basically an issue which is likely to happen (AFAIK) if you’re currently using Server Workspaces in TFS. Due to the size of the solutions and projects I’m working in, changing to a local workspace feels a lot slower. Now, I’ve recently switched some of my projects to .NET Core, and building one of them has yielded the offending error:

Failed to make the following project runnable: aaa.bbb.ccc (.NETFramework,Version=v4.5) reason: Access to the path ‘g:\xxx\yyy\zzz\bin\Release\net45\uvw.dll’ is denied.

This is caused by the fact that those files are marked as “read-only”, which is the default for files in source control that are not checked out. Click here to read more.

Your identity just got OWNED, or “How to figure out OwnerId, CommitterId, and why isn’t the committer always the owner”

The identity trinity: tbl_Changeset, tbl_VCIdentityMap and Constants

First of all, please note that this post applies to TFS2013. Earlier or later versions may have a different structure, leaving this deprecated or invalid for you.

Now, I’m posting this just out of awareness, because I had to look around a lot before I figured out how some of the tables of the project collection database are related. Usually we’d see these kinds of relationships denoted by foreign keys and whatnot, and I don’t exactly know the reason this isn’t the case here. Must’ve a motive.

Not many people will find use in this, but it may be very important if you’re customizing TFS or migrating it. Or just for any shadowy reason you might have. Click here to read more.

Same yet different. Getting information from a TFS Request (WebAccess JSON)

This is the third part of a series on how to implement a validation plugin using ITeamFoundationRequestFilter.

You can go to the first part by clicking the link below:

In this post I’ll explain how to handle work item create/update requests from WebAccess.

What’s in the request again ?

Last time we figured out what Visual Studio requests to TFS in order to create/update Work Items. With this information, we’ve created a simple validator which prevents a specific user from creating work items. It may work wonders when the request is being sent to the ClientService.asmx service as VS does, but unfortunately this kind of operation is not centralized, so if you try to create the work item through WebAccess, your validation just won’t work.

Keeping that in mind, we’re going to inspect WebAccess to figure out how does it creates/updates work items. It’s actually easier than before because we can see the request in the browser itself: Click here to read more.

Different yet the same. Getting information from a TFS Request (Soap XML)

This is the second part of a series on how to implement a validation plugin using ITeamFoundationRequestFilter.

You can go to the first part by clicking the link below:

In this post I’ll explain how to intercept a work item creation request and prevent the operation from executing.

What’s in the request ?

After creating a simple plugin using an ITeamFoundationRequestFilter implementation, you are now able to intercept requests to TFS.

I recommend using a software such as Fiddler to capture requests and observe what they’re like. In our case, we’re going to investigate what goes on when we create a WorkItem on Visual Studio and on Web Access. I’ll also be using Fiddler since it’s well known and easy to use. Click here to read more.

Like water through a sieve. Word on how to implement ITeamFoundationRequestFilter

How this came up – The problem with Work Item Process Editor 

If you’ve worked a fair time with TFS you know it surely has its pitfalls and issues. One thing that upset me a lot before is validating work items. You never know what kinds of requirements people can come up with, and with such a limited interface there isn’t much you can do. Click here to read more.