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Jeremy Jameson - Founder and Principal



Upgrading TFS 2005/2008 Project Sites to TFS 2010, Part 1 - Agile Dashboard Features


In one of last week's posts, I provided details on upgrading from Team Foundation Server 2008 to TFS 2010, including some information about updating your TFS project sites. I also provided a reference to the following MSDN article for more information:

Updating an Upgraded Team Project to Access New Features

By following the above MSDN documentation, I successfully added a Product Backlog workbook as well as an Iteration Backlog workbook. [Note that I used Hakan Eskici's script to automate the rather tedious process of updating the work item types to support the workbook queries -- for example to add the Story Points field to Scenario work items.]

Logically, my next step was to add the new TFS 2010 dashboard functionality to my existing project sites.

The steps to do this are documented in the following MSDN article (which is part of the documentation set referenced above):

Adding Dashboards and Reports to Upgraded Team Projects

However, there's a problem with the steps described in this article...

...they simply don't work.

Here is the XML input file that I used with the File.BatchNewTeamProject command:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<Project xmlns="ProjectCreationSettingsFileSchema.xsd">
  <ProjectSiteTitle>Adventure Works</ProjectSiteTitle>
  <ProjectSiteDescription>This team project was created based on the 'MSF for Agile Software Development - v4.2' process template, but subsequently upgraded for TFS 2010.</ProjectSiteDescription>
  <ProcessTemplateName>MSF for Agile Software Development v5.0</ProcessTemplateName>

You must run the File.BatchNewTeamProject command directly on the TFS/SharePoint Server (which means you must have previously installed Team Explorer or Visual Studio on the server) -- not from a remote client with Visual Studio.

If you attempt to run it from a remote client, you'll get an error that suggests you specified an invalid value for the SharePoint Web application (i.e. the <ProjectSiteWebApplication> element). Apparently, this command ultimately invokes the SharePoint object model and therefore cannot find the SharePoint Web application if you try to run it remotely.

After running the command on the TFS/SharePoint Server with the above input file, I noticed that it didn't run for very long (i.e. the word "Ready" appeared almost immediately in the status bar in Visual Studio). Looking at the corresponding AdventureWorks.log file, I discovered the following:

Exception Message: TF30270: The following team project site cannot be created because it already exists: AdventureWorks. Either specify another location for the team project site, or specify a different name for the team project.

Well, yeah, of course the team project site already exists -- that's why I'm trying to upgrade it with the new TFS 2010 features! Isn't that why I specified the following in my input file?


That's when I noticed justbail's comment on the above MSDN article, in which he -- or she -- suggested the workaround is to simply create a new project site by specifying a different site URL (which essentially means you have your "legacy" project site with content such as shared documents and list items, and a new project site with your project dashboards). While that alternative might be acceptable for some people, it definitely left me feeling a little queasy.

Since I was essentially blocked at that point, I decided to try running the command again, after making the following change to my input file:


I noticed that the process ran for considerably longer (i.e. it took several seconds before the word "Ready" appeared in the status bar) so I was really hoping -- okay, actually expecting -- to see some dashboards when I browsed to my project site...

...but, no, they weren't there after all.

I looked at the log file again and, sure enough, a bunch of activity actually took place. However, while the log file indicated success ("Team Project Batch Creation succeeded"), there definitely were no dashboards to be found on my upgraded project site.

At that point, I decided to take a different approach altogether.

If you look at the site features for a new project site created with the MSF Agile v5 template TFS 2010 (click Site Settings, then in the Site Actions section, click Manage site features), you will notice the following features are activated:

Site (Web) Features
Display Name Description Name Id
Agile Dashboards Activate if the team project does not have reporting enabled and the project was created using the MSF for Agile Software Development v5.0 process template. TfsDashboardAgileNoWh f25ef169-2fe5-4717-9ba3-7dc1ecd6e514
Agile Dashboards with Basic Reporting Activate if the team project has reporting enabled, but you do not have Excel Services enabled to render Excel reports. Activate this feature for projects created using the MSF for Agile Software Development v5.0 process template. TfsDashboardAgileWss ced2ceba-43ac-4535-946a-70605e721d37
Agile Dashboards with Excel Reporting Activate if the team project has reporting enabled and is using a supported edition of Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 or Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 with Excel Services. Activate this feature for projects created using the MSF for Agile Software Development v5.0 process template. TfsDashboardAgileMoss 0d953ee4-b77d-485b-a43c-f5fbb9367207
Team Collaboration Lists Provides team collaboration capabilities for a site by making standard lists, such as document libraries and issues, available. TeamCollab 00bfea71-4ea5-48d4-a4ad-7ea5c011abe5

Note that there are other activated features (e.g. Offline Synchronization for External Lists), but from a TFS perspective -- and the purposes of this post -- only the four features listed above are of interest.

Similarly, if you look at the corresponding site collection features (click Site Settings, then in the Site Collection Administration section, click Go to top level site settings, then click Site collection features), you will notice the following feature is activated:

Site Collection Features
Display Name Description Name Id
Visual Studio Team Foundation Server Web Part Collection Collection of web parts to display various information from a Team Foundation Server instance. TswaWebParts cce226d2-d7b9-44fb-b5be-a1ccf91cbd90

After poking around a little bit in the SharePoint feature files installed by TFS 2010 and looking at the corresponding feature assembly using Reflector, it quickly became apparent that the TFS product team approaches SharePoint development in much the same way that I do (i.e. by activating features on a site to install and configure new functionality). It's something I like to refer to as the "DR.DADA" approach to SharePoint -- as opposed to the SharePoint guidance on MSDN, which suggests using things like custom site definitions (shudder) to implement your customizations.

If you take a quick look at the feature activation code, you'll see that the dashboard features incrementally install a list of features (e.g. TeamCollab, TswaWebParts, TfsDashboardContentTypes, ...) until you get the level of functionality you desire (for example, minimal dashboard functionality or the full blown dashboards with Excel reporting -- assuming you are running Microsft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) 2007 or SharePoint Server 2010).

Based on my investigation, I decided to activate the Agile Dashboards with Excel Reporting feature on my site.

Note that you can activate the feature in a variety of ways:

Since I have a number of TFS project sites to upgrade, I chose to activate the feature using PowerShell:

Enable-SPFeature "TfsDashboardAgileMoss" -Url "http://cyclops/sites/AdventureWorks"

After the feature finished activating, I once again browsed to my project site -- and this time was quite happy to find the dashboards had been created.


Even though the dashboards have been created, you still have some work to do (assuming you want the dashboards and new TFS Web Parts to show accurate information). This is due to the fact that the Scenario work item type was renamed to User Story in MSF Agile v5, and consequently, the queries specified in some of the dashboard Web Parts and Excel reports need to be updated accordingly.

I'll cover these configuration changes in a separate post.

Note that when you create a new project site in TFS 2010 using the MSF Agile v5 template, the Burndown dashboard is set as the default page for the site.

To make the Burndown dashboard the default page for an upgraded project site:

  1. Browse to the home page of the project site (e.g. http://cyclops/sites/AdventureWorks).
  2. In the quick launch navigation on the left, under the Dashboards heading, click Burndown.
  3. On the Burndown page, select the Page tab.
  4. In the Page Actions group of the Ribbon, click Make Homepage. When prompted to set the page as the site's home page, click OK.

If you want your upgraded project site to have similar navigation to a new project site created with the MSF Agile v5 template, you can configure the quick launch navigation accordingly.

Lastly, note that if you use PowerShell to activate the dashboard feature, you can easily upgrade numerous project sites at once:

$sitesToUpgrade =

$sitesToUpgrade |
   ForEach-Object {
      Enable-SPFeature "TfsDashboardAgileMoss" -Url $_


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