Friday, July 31, 2009

TFS 2008 : Permissions for Creating Team Projects

I recently finished my Team Foundation build and am quite pleased with it. With Team Foundation Server being new to me, I ran into a few issues with permissions.

The Team Foundation server I built will be managing my team's code as well as two other teams once everyone has moved over.

That being said, I need to give out permissions for the managers of each group so they can create team projects for their teams.

Let's get started

Permissions for this are somewhat complicated in that they have to be given in three different locations for the user(s) to be able to create Team Projects and all of the other services associated with one.

We'll start off with the TFS permissions.

By default, the service account has permissions to perform these actions so you should be logged in as that account.

Head to your Team Explorer in Visual Studio and connect to your Team Foundation Server. Right-click your server name, go to Team Foundation Server Settings, and select Group Membership. From within here you should see a group titled Team Foundation Administrators. Double-click this group and add your user/group to it and you're done with the TFS part.

*NOTE* To keep the Administrators group from becoming cluttered with usernames and group names, I created a TFS group for Administrators ( for instance) and simply added that group to Team Foundation Administrators.

Next up we'll tackle SQL Reporting Services permissions.

For this one you want to go to your SQL Reporting Services page (mine was http://servername/Reports ).

Once there, click the Properties tab. Click New Role Assignment on the page that loads. From here, enter the active directory username or group name you want to have permissions to create team projects in TFS and assign them at least the Content Manager role. Once you're done, click OK and you're done with the permissions for SQL Reporting Services.

Finally, Windows SharePoint Services permissions.

Head to your central administration site (Start -> Administrative Tools -> SharePoint 3.0 Central Administration). Once there, click the Operations tab at the top left. On that page, select Update farm administrators's group (it's under the Security Configuration group). From here, click New to add a new user (the button also has a drop down function so if you get that, click Add User). On the AddUser: Central Administration page, type in the username or groupname and add them to the Farm Administrators [Full Control] group.

There you have it. You should now be good to add as many Team Projects as you desire.

A closing thought: I would recommend that the majority of this be done through active directory groups. It makes usermanagement much easier. If someone quits or it let go, all you have to do is remove their account from the group in active directory and it takes care of everything in Sharepoint, TFS, and SQL Reporting services instead of having to manually go in and remove the person from every location.

On a side note, I'm going to get some lunch...

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Upgrading TFS 2008 Workgroup to TFS 2008 Standard

About a month ago I was assigned the task of learning how to build and maintain a team foundation server. To avoid the costs of purchasing licenses for a software we were only testing for a production environment, we decided to use our MSDNAA copy for our test. Incidentally, the version MSDNAA distributes to schools is the workgroup edition.
After the build was completed, I decided that Microsoft's Visual Studio Team Foundation Server would do everything (and more) that we needed. Due to legal restrictions, I couldn't/shouldn't use the MSDNAA license for a production environment. Additionally, the workgroup license for TFS only supports five users, hardly enough for my team's purposes.
Naturally I wanted to avoid have to reinstall Team Foundation Server since simply inserting the new license key would be the easiest thing to do, if the software supported it. I searched around the web for a bit and found a Microsoft article on upgrading from workgroup to standard, but it was for TFS 2005. None-the-less, it was worth a shot. Coicidentally, it was not too far off. Here's how I upgraded my copy and a problem I ran into in the process.

This method DIDN'T work (Microsoft's suggestion)

If you go into your Programs and Features (if you're using Server 2003 go to Add or Remove Programs) on your server that TFS is isntalled on, double click the uninstaller for Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 Team Foundation Server - ENU(assuming your copy is English). On the window that comes up you should see an option at the bottom to upgrade to Team Foundation Server. Check that radio button and enter the new license key you have and click Next. You should see a window that says upgrade was successful.

The problem I had with this method was that when I checked the radio button, the license key text boxes remained greyed out. When I clicked Next, hoping to see a place to input the new license key, I was met with a screen that said my upgrade was successful, though it wasn't.

This method DID work

Insert/mount your Team Foundation Server disk/image and run the installer. It should give you options to repair, uninstall, or upgrade. In my case, the upgrade option automatically showed the license key for my disk. I selected that option, clicked Next, and my edition was upgraded to TFS standard.


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Installing Visual Studio 2008 Service Pack 1

Recently, I realized that a few of our developement servers were running Visual Studio 2008 with the beta of SP1. One would assume that the installation of a service pack wouldn't be too difficult but since they already had the beta of service pack 1 installed, the installation of SP1 became a bit more complicated.

If you download the service pack installation file from Microsoft and run it, you get an error saying that you need to run the Service Pack Preparation Tool before being able to install. Head to the Microsoft website and download the removal tool.
In my case, I ran the SP prep tool and received yet another error. It said that it need some files on the installation disk for Visual Studio 2008 Shell (integrated mode) - ENU. The ticket here is that we don't have a disk for that and to my knowledge, there isn't one. Microsoft has a download for it but it's an executable that doesn't extract an iso. I searched around for a solution to the problem and found a site that said to simply uninstall VS 2008 Shell (listed in Programs and Features as Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 Shell...). I performed said action and the prep tool ran fine with no errors.
After running the prep tool, I stimply ran the installer for the service pack with yet again no errors.
The install did, however, take about two hours (ugh).

There you have it.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Server Administration : Firewalls

Hello again all,

The majority of the servers that I manage have to communicate with many other servers I manage for various reasons. Inevitably, I have many firewall blocking issues. Despite my age, I still have trouble remembering all of those commonly used ports and what they are for. That being said, this post will list all of the Windows default firewall ports used for the various software sources. Yes these are all readily available at other sites. This is simply a central collection.
I will update this post when I have more blocks come up.
Post comments if you would like to have a particular port added to the list.











SQL Server Management Studio (remote connect)


Terminal Services


VMWare Server Administration


VMWare Server Administration (Secure)


Let me know in the comments section if there are any ports you would like added to this list.