We had a great session yesterday at the Israeli ALM User
Group. The session was about how to prepare to a TFS 2012 upgrade. We were
quite surprised with the success of the session since we weren't so sure there
will be much interest in this subject. Well, we were wrong. There was much participation from the
audience. People were asking questions and contributing from their own
experience. As you can see from the first slide we were quite sure that this is
a boring session…
We would like to summarize the main points we have raised
during this session in the post to help you prepare for your upgrade as well.
Please notice that this is not a user guide for a TFS 2012 upgrade but a post
with some points that we think can be useful to know of before you start your
upgrade. You should follow the official MSDN documents published by Microsoft.
If you haven’t notice what’s happening with
Visual Studio 2012 and with TFS in particular you need to wake up! Read some
posts from Microsoft to find out about the newest additions to the product.
Why do we need to
Upgrading TFS was always an easy process.
We do think that since 2005 until 2012 some things changed. We are using more
features, the product continuously changed and the most important thing is that
our data grows. TFS is a mission critical system. We want our upgrade to pass
smoothly. The good news is that it is still an easy process but… we need a
We recommend to do a test run of the
upgrade before doing it on your production environment. This is a good way to
check your disaster recovery procedure for TFS. If you don’t have one then this
is a good time to have. There are some ways to do it and it depends on your
environment and your infrastructure. Some use virtualization to clone their
TFS environment and to run a test upgrade on it. Choose what you think is best
for you. We recommend to get familiar with Microsoft documents about how to
move your TFS from one hardware configuration to another.
Get your customers involvement in the
upgrade process (Developers, QA Testers, Project Managers…). You would like
them to tests their clients and tools and get their feedback ASAP in case of
It is important that you map your
environment so you will list the software to upgrade and the order of doing it.
Here’s a mapping we've done for an environment we have upgraded.
Know your TFS
This is a critical part. You need the
service accounts you have used during TFS installation for the upgrade. Don’t
start the upgrade without having them. During the session we were asked a
question about it by someone that probably used the NETWORK SERVICE account
during the upgrade and was facing issues with TFS. You need 2 accounts (it can
be one if you decided on it). The account for the Application-Tier and account
for the Reports.
Upgrade your Windows and SQL Server to meet
the TFS prerequisites.
Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1
recommend to wait with the upgrade to SQL 2012 since TFS 2010 does not support
working with SQL 2012 if you will need to rollback you upgrade.
If you are running 2008 R2
Enterprise you need Cumulative Update Package
Team Foundation Server
DO THIS IN A SEPARATE PROCESS BEFORE THE UPGRADE – Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 update can
take 2 hours. You don’t want to wait for it when you are upgrading TFS.
Schedule another update before the upgrade.
Check to see if you need to upgrade to a
new version of a 3rdParty tool your team is using. Be on the safe side and
check if you are eligible to an upgrade of you need to purchase the new
9) Internal tools
Compile your internal tools and take the
needed actions to be ready:
Work item custom controls -
compile with Visual Studio 2012.
can disable them in the web form.
Internal tools – compile with
Visual Studio 2012.
Visual Studio plugins -
Install Visual Studio 2012 SDK and compile.
TFS soap notifications –
compile with Visual Studio 2012. They should work without compiling but be on
the safe side if you used API that might changed.
Build XAML and custom
actions – compile with Visual Studio 2012 and clean XAML files.
referenced assemblies are placed at Common7\IDE\Referenced Assemblies\v.20\ and
not at 4.0
A small project collection upgrade took few
minutes. A 3 years old project collection upgrade took few hours.
Stop TFS services
and perform a backup before the upgrade starts
You don’t want your users to use the system
while doing the final backup before the upgrade. Remember to stop TFS services
to disable connecting to the system.
As for the back, if you are upgrading from
2010 you can use the 2010 back up power tool. For early versions follow the
backup guide: Back Up
Team Foundation Server
Follow the instructions using the official
. It will take you through your relevant upgrade path.
You need to uninstall TFS previous version
before installing a new one. It’s OK to do so and it does not affect the
databases. After installing the new version you will run the TFS configuration
wizard and select your existing database.
You need to uninstall previous version,
install TFS 2012 and run configuration wizard for all relevant server (TFS,
Build agents, Proxy…).
It is important to review the results of
the upgrade wizard. In this case the upgrade was successful but TFS could not
associate the existing build agents. That’s ok. We had to upgrade them and
associate them manually. We had a strange behavior while associating the build
agents. It seems that we succeeded but after few seconds the coordinator and build
agents were disconnected. Looking at the logs we found out it was a memory
problem on the single server deployment we had so we have configured SQL Server
to use less memory by default and problem was solved.
Run some tests to see that your system is
working as it should. This is the time to ask your customers involvement.
Check clients and tools
That’s it. You should know that some of the following symptoms
might occur during the following days after the upgrade:
A build fails after
check-in. Developer: “It’s because of the upgrade”.
3 years old laptop works
slowly. Project Manager: “It’s because of the upgrade”.
An error while posting a
status to Facebook. QA Tester: “It’s because of the upgrade”.
You might be facing some issues after the upgrade. The most
important thing to do is relax and read the logs. J