Team Foundation Server 2017 Update 1 RC2

Last Update: 2/13/2017

Release Date: February 13, 2017

Today, we are happy to announce the release of Team Foundation Server 2017 Update 1 RC2. This new release includes our most recent feature innovations and improvements. This is a go-live release and you can install it in a production environment. You can find requirement information on the Team Foundation Server Requirements and Compatibility page.

Download: Team Foundation Server 2017 Update 1 RC2

To learn more about other related downloads, see the Downloads page.

What's New in RC2:

What's New in TFS 2017 Update 1

Known Issues


What's New

More personal experiences

Personalized account home page

With this release, it is super easy for you to access artifacts that are most important for you. The redesigned account page has a personalized experience that shows the Projects, Favorites, Work, and Pull Requests you care about. This makes it a great way to start your day. You can go to one place and quickly find everything you need to do and care about. See Account hub pages for more information.

default compare

Your project gets an identity

There is now one place to get an overview of your project. The new project page makes it easy to view and edit the project description, view and add members, and check up on the latest activity. It is even easier to get started with a new project and leverage all the built-in DevOps functionality of TFS.

Version Control Improvements

New in RC2: Branch policy improvements

In the Policies section, the required and optional policies are now grouped into sections, clarifying exactly which policies are required in order to complete a PR. Required reviewers are also summarized in the required section, and will only be marked as passing when all required reviewers have approved.

policies

For users that need to bypass policies (and have the required permissions), a new experience will be shown on the Complete dialog. Any policies that are not met will be shown in a warning message, and a new explicit option to opt-in to override policies will be presented. Checking the override option will enable the Override & Complete action, which will complete the PR, overriding any failing policies.

bypass

New in RC2: Discussion control toolbar

Markdown is a powerful tool when adding comments to pull requests, but it can be hard to remember the syntax. To make this easier, we’ve added a toolbar to the discussion control that will insert the appropriate Markdown syntax to add common formatting. Headings, boldface, italics, links, code, and lists can all be added using the new toolbar controls, and features like @ and # mentions can be entered using the toolbar as well. Keyboard shortcuts are available for boldface (CTRL + B), italics (CTRL + I), and creating links (CTRL + K).

discussion toolbar

New in RC2: Repo admin permission changes

For Git repos, we’ve divided the Administer permission into several more granular permissions. This gives you more flexibility to decide who can perform what actions. For instance, you may allow anyone in your account to create new repositories, but disallow them from deleting repos or adding new users to a repo. The new permissions are:

  • Administer: add/remove users and permissions
  • Create: create a new repo
  • Delete: delete a repo
  • Rename: rename a repo
  • Edit policies: configure branch policies
  • Remove others’ locks: remove branch locks set by another user

These permissions can be applied to all repositories in a project or to individual repositories.

New in RC2: PR comment improvements

To help users better identify the new comments in their PR, we’ve added some additional decoration to the new replies in existing discussion threads. Comments in the files view will also highlight threads that have new comments.

PR comments

New in RC2: View PRs for a commit

You can now view all associated pull requests for a commit on the commit details page. From the image below, you can see that:

  • In the associated pull request drop-down, there are two pull requests associated with this commit.
  • Pull request #2 brought this commit to master.
  • The same commit was brought into branch 4 via pull request #1.

PR in commits

Import repository

Customers can now import a Git repository from GitHub, BitBucket, GitLab, or other locations. You can import into either a new or an existing empty repository. For more information, see Import a Git repo.

Add .gitignore during repo creation

While creating a new Git repository, customers can now add and associate a .gitignore file with their repository. A .gitignore file specifies files that Git should ignore while performing a commit.

The dialog allows users to select one of the many available .gitignore templates.

gitignore

Cherry-pick and revert

We’ve added two new features that make it easier to port or back out changes from the web portal: Cherry-pick and Revert.

Use the cherry-pick command to port changes in a pull request to multiple branches. A typical use case is when a bug needs to be hotfixed, but should also be fixed in the mainline. Once you’ve created your pull request that contains the fix to the hotfix branch, you can easily cherry-pick the same fix into the master branch. See Copy changes with cherry-pick for more information.

You can revert changes on completed PRs. Find the PR that introduced the bad change, click Revert, and follow the steps to create a PR that backs out the unwanted changes. For more information, see Undo Changes with Git.

Follow a pull request

You can now follow a pull request to stay notified of any changes via email alerts. The option to Follow is available in the context menu.

Follow PR

Restart pull request merge

Another option has been added to re-attempt the merge for a pull request where the target branch has been updated. This Restart merge option is useful when you want to verify that recent changes to the target branch haven’t created conflicts or broken your PR build.

Completion blocked on rejected pull requests

Branches that have the code review policy set will notice that the PR is unable to be completed if it is rejected by one or more reviewers. Many users expect this behavior, so we’ve changed the default behavior. For teams that want the original behavior, there is a new option in the branch policy setting page.

code review policy

Markdown in pull request description

Spice up your pull request description with Markdown. The same Markdown support you know and love in pull request comments is now available in the pull request description.

Attachments in PR discussions

You can now add attachments to your pull request comments. Attachments can be added by drag-and-drop or by browsing. For images, attachments can be added by simply pasting from the clipboard. Adding an attachment automatically updates the comment to include a Markdown reference to the new attachment.

PR attachments

Support file exclusions in the required reviewer policy

When specifying required reviewers for specific file paths, you can now exclude paths by using a “!” prefix to the path you want to exclude. For example, you can use this to exclude a docs folder from your normally required signoff.

file exclusions

Highlight the PRs that have updates

It’s now easier than ever to see the updates to your pull requests. In the PR list view, PRs with changes since you've last seen them are shown with a new updates column that shows a roll-up of the changes.

PR updated files

When you view a PR that has changes, you’ll see a similar summary message in the overview, where new pushes and comment threads are highlighted in blue. Clicking the View code updates link will navigate to the Files view, where a diff of the new changes since you last viewed the pull request is shown. This feature makes it easy to follow up on a PR where the author made changes in response to feedback.

PR summary

Branch policy for PR merge strategy

We’ve added a new branch policy that lets you define a strategy for merging pull requests for each branch. Previously, the decision to either merge or squash was chosen by each user at the time a PR was completed. If enabled, this policy will override the user’s preferences, enforcing the requirement set by the policy.

branch policy

Expose merge conflict information

If there are any files with conflicts in a pull request, the details about those conflicts will now be visible in the overview. Each conflicting file will be listed along with a short summary of the type of conflict between the source and target branches.

merge conflicts

Configurable compare branch

You can now set your compare branch to something other than the default branch. This setting will be remembered on a per-user basis. Pull requests and new branches created from the Branches page will be based off the branch you set as the compare branch. See Manage your branches for more information.

Find a file or folder

You can quickly search for a file or folder in a repository using the Code hub in your Team Services project. The result lists items from your current folder followed by files and folders across the repository.

For any Git repository, go to the path control box, and start typing to initiate a navigation search experience for the file or folder you are looking for.

find files

Search for a file or folder in commit history

Similar to the files tab, users can now search for a file or folder in a repository and see the history of commits for that file or folder. For any Git repository, go to the path control box on the History tab and start typing to initiate a history search experience for the file or folder you are looking for.

commit history)

Markdown preview button

When viewing a diff of a markdown file in a commit, push, or pull request, you can now easily toggle to see the resulting rendered view.

Confirmation for deleting repos

To prevent accidental repository deletions, you now have to type the name of the repository that you wish to delete to confirm the action.

Repo favorites

You can now favorite the repos you work with most frequently. In the repo picker, you will see tabs for All repositories and your Favorites. Click the star to add a repository to your list of Favorites.

repo favorites

Commit page improvements

We are making the user experience of the commit details page and commit history page modern and highly performant. You will be able to find and act on important information related to the commit at a bird’s-eye view.

Here is an example of the commit details page:

commit details

Here is the commit history page:

commit history

Search for commits in branches

You can now search for a commit in a specified branch or a tag by clicking on the Search in branches button on the commit details page.

commit search

You can select tags and branches in the window to view whether these branches and tags contain the particular commit.

commit search dialog

Build Improvements

Rollback build definitions

You can roll a build definition back to a previous version by going to the History tab when editing a build definition.

Disable the sync and checkout of sources in a build

You can optionally disable the automatic source sync and checkout for Git. This will enable you to handle the source operations in a task or script instead of relying on the agent’s built-in behavior. All standard source-related variables like Source.Version, Source.Branch and Build.SourcesDirectory are set.

Git shallow close and git-lfs

The build agent now supports Git shallow clone and git-lfs. For more details, see https://www.visualstudio.com/en-us/docs/build/define/repository.

Task versioning for Build and Release definitions

We’re giving you control over the major version of a task that you run in your build or release. We expect this change to result in fewer unpredictable errors that were caused by automatic updates to the agent and task version. You now specify the major version of the task on the Build tab of your definition, or on the Environments tab of your release definition.

When a minor version is released (for example, 1.2 to 1.3), you get that change automatically in your build. But if a new major version is released (for example 2.0), then your build stays locked to version 1.3 until you edit the definition and manually change to the new major version. A flag in the build definition alerts you to new major versions.

Payment required for Package Management

To continue using Package Management, users will either need a Visual Studio Enterprise subscription or a Package Management license purchased in the Marketplace. You can read more about licensing Package Management in the documentation.

Package Improvements

Release views in Package Management

We've added a new feature to Package Management called release views. Release views represent a subset of package-versions in your feed that you've promoted into that release view. Creating a release view and sharing it with your package's consumers enables you to control which versions they take a dependency on. This is particularly useful in continuous integration scenarios where you're frequently publishing updated package versions, but may not want to announce or support each published version.

Look for the quick start in Web Access or check out the docs to get started.

npm in Package Management

Package Management feeds now support npm packages for Node.js and JavaScript development. In addition, npm feeds support npmjs.com as an "upstream source with caching." By enabling this option, your feed will transparently proxy and cache packages from npmjs.com (learn more here), which means that you'll only need to get a particular package@version from npmjs.com once; future requests for that package will be served directly from your TFS server. If a package is removed from npmjs.com, you'll still be able to get the cached version of it from TFS.

To get started, look for the new npm option in the Connect to feed dialog.

Cross Platform Improvements

Xcode Build task xcpretty formatting

You can now format your xcodebuild output with xcpretty. You can also publish JUnit test results to Team Services with xcodebuild. Previously, xctool had to be used as the build tool to publish test results. Now, to enable xcpretty, check Use xcpretty and uncheck Use xctool in the Advanced section of the Xcode task.

xcode build

Publish Jenkins test and code coverage results

The Jenkins Queue Job build and release task can now retrieve test and code coverage results from a Jenkins job or pipeline. This requires installation of the TFS Plugin for Jenkins 5.2.0 or later on your Jenkins server and configuring the post-build action Collect Results for TFS/Team Services. After results are retrieved from Jenkins, they can be published with the Publish Test Results or Publish Code Coverage build tasks.

Xcode 8 signing and exporting packages in the Xcode Build Task

The Xcode task now supports building your projects using Xcode 8 automatic signing. You can install the certs and provisioning profiles on the build server manually, or have the task install them by specifying the File Contents options.

Xcode signing

Xcode 8 requires specifying an export options plist when exporting an app package (IPA) from an archive (.xcarchive). The Xcode task now automatically identifies the export method if you are using Xcode 8 or Xcode 7. You can specify the export method or specify a custom plist file from the Xcode task. If you are using an Xcode version older than Xcode 7, the task falls back to using the old tool (xcrun) for creating the app package.

Xcode export

Test Improvements

New in RC2: Run tests built using Visual Studio 2017

Using the Deploy Test Agent and Run Functional Tests tasks in CI/CD pipeline, you can now install Test Agents for Visual Studio 2017 RC and run tests that were built using Visual Studio 2017.

run tests

Verify bugs from work item

You can now verify a bug by re-running the tests which identified the bug. You can invoke the Verify option from the bug work item form context menu to launch the relevant test case in the web runner. Perform your validation using the web runner and update the bug work item directly within the web runner.

verify bugs

REST client helpers for Test Step operations

Users will now be able to create, modify and delete test steps and test step attachments in Test Case work items using the helper classes we have added to the REST client (see the RestApi-Sample).

Update existing bugs from Web Runner

In addition to creating new bugs from the Web runner, now you can also update an existing bug. All the diagnostic data collected, repro steps, and links for traceability from the current session are automatically added to the existing bug.

test runner

Test case description in Web Runner

Customers often use the test case description field for capturing the prerequisites that must be met before the test case execution can start. With this update, users will now be able to view the test case description information in the Web runner by using the Show description option.

test case description

Test hub contribution point

We have added a new contribution point (“ms.vss-test-web.test-plan-pivot-tabs”) within the Test plan hub to allow developers to write extensions as a pivot tab, that appears next to the Tests and Charts tab.

contribution point

Delete test artifacts

Customers already had the ability to delete work items, except for test artifacts and any work items which are linked to test artifacts. With this update, users will now have the ability to permanently delete test artifacts—test plans, test suites, test cases, shared parameters and shared steps—both from the Test hub and the Work hub by using the Permanently delete option in the work item form context menu.

delete test artifacts menu

Favorites for Test Plans

You can now favorite the Test Plans you work with most frequently. In the Test Plans picker, you will see tabs for All your Test Plans and Favorites. Click the star icon to add a Test Plan to your list of favorites. The favorited Test Plans are accessible in the Test Plans picker and from the Favorites tab in the new account home page. You can also filter Test Plans by searching on the title field.

test plans

test favorites

Test Impact Analysis for managed automated tests

Test Impact Analysis for managed automated tests is now available via a checkbox in the 2.* preview version of the VSTest task.

test impact

If enabled, only the relevant set of managed automated tests that need to be run to validate a given code change will run. Test Impact Analysis requires the latest version of Visual Studio, and is presently supported in CI for managed automated tests.

Firefox support for Test & Feedback extension

We are happy to announce the General Availability of the Test & Feedback extension for Firefox. You can download the Firefox add-on from our marketplace site.

Note: Support for Edge browser is also in the works; stay tuned for more updates

Release Management Improvements

New in RC2: Variable groups support in Release

Variable groups are used to group your variables and their values to make them available across multiple release definitions. You can also manage security for variable groups and chose who can view, edit, and consume the variables from the variable groups in your release definitions.

Open the Library tab in the Build & Release hub and choose + Variable group in the toolbar. Find more information about variable groups here.

First, create a variable group

create variable group

Next, edit the variable group

edit variable group

Currently, variable groups can be consumed only in release definitions.

Multiple schedules in releases

Want to schedule your releases to be created more than one time in a day? You can now configure multiple scheduled triggers in a release definition.

release schedule

Inline service connections in Build and Release

With this feature, you can create service connections right in the build/release definition without having to navigate to the Services tab. This will be auto-enabled for all extensions which are defined declaratively, such as Docker, Jenkins, VMWare, and SCVMM.

Until now, release definitions could only link artifact sources from the current project. Now, you can now link build artifacts from another project as well. While linking an artifact, the project drop down will list all the projects in the account.

build artifacts

Azure resource group improvements

Currently, when using the Azure resource group task, there is no way to validate if the ARM template is syntactically correct and would be accepted by the Azure Resource Manager without actually deploying the resources. This enhancement allows a new deployment mode called Validation Only where users can find problems with the template authoring before creating actual Azure resources.

Another enhancement to the Azure resource group task is to allow either incremental or complete deployments. Currently, the task deploys the ARM templates using the Incremental mode. Incremental mode handles deployments as incremental updates to the resource group. It does not modify resources that exist in the resource group but are not specified in the template. Complete mode deletes resources that are not in your template. By default, incremental mode is used.

resource groups

Azure CLI task

The new Azure CLI task supports running Azure CLI commands on cross platform agents like Windows, Linux and Mac. The task supports both Classic and ARM subscriptions. It supports two modes of providing the script, one as a linked artifact and another as an inline script.

cli

Code Search Update

In TFS 2017 Update 1, the Code Search service includes Elasticsearch version 2.4.1. If the Code Search service is configured on a server running TFS 2017, the Code Search service will be updated as part of the TFS upgrade. If the Code Search service is configured on a remote server, then copy the content of the Search Service Package provided with the installer to the remote machine and follow the instructions in the readme file to upgrade the search service manually.

Code Insights Improvements

SonarQube MSBuild tasks

SonarQube MSBuild tasks are now available from an extension provided by SonarSource. For more details, please read SonarSource have announced their own SonarQube Team Services / TFS integration.

Administration Improvements

New notification settings experience

Notifications help you and your teams stay informed about activity in your Team Services projects. With this update, it’s now easier to manage what notifications you and your teams receive.

Users now have their own account-level experience for managing notification settings (available via the profile menu).

notification settings

This view lets users manage personal subscriptions they have created. It also shows subscriptions created by team administrators for all projects in the account.

notification profile

Learn more about managing personal notification settings.

Team Room Deprecation

With so many good solutions available that integrate well with TFS and Team Services, such as Slack and Microsoft Teams, we have made a decision to deprecate our Team Room feature from both TFS and Team Services. If you are working in Team Services, you will see a new yellow banner appear that communicates our plan. Later this year, we plan to turn off the Team Room feature completely.

There are several alternatives you can use. The Team room is used both for a notification hub as well as for chat. TFS and Team Services already integrate with many other collaboration products including Microsoft Teams, Slack, HipChat, Campfire and Flowdock. You can also use Zapier to create your own integrations, or get very granular control over the notifications that show up.

More information is available in this blog post.

With Update 1, welcome pages, the markdown widget on team dashboards, and the Definition of Done on the Kanban boards no longer support file links in their Markdown. As a workaround, you can include your file link as text in the Markdown. For more information, see Markdown guidance.

Announcing the Process Template Editor

We have released the Process Template Editor extension for Visual Studio 2017. This extension provides a convenient method for viewing and updating process templates, as well as tools for updating global lists and work item types, and viewing the attributes of work item fields. This works against TFS 2017 and TFS 2017 Update 1 servers.

Known Issues

Blocked on installing TFS 2017 Update 1 RC1

  • Issue:

    If you install the version of TFS 2017 available from https://www.visualstudio.com and then try to do an in-place upgrade to TFS 2017 Update 1 RC1, you will see a blocking message: “A different version of Team Foundation Server is already installed. Only one version may be installed at a time. All versions, including Express, support the same set of features. Continue using your current version or uninstall the current version before installing this one.”

  • Workaround:

    Uninstall TFS 2017 before installing TFS 2017 Update 1 RC1. Note that this will not have any impact on your data, which will continue to reside in your TFS databases. After uninstalling TFS 2017, simply install TFS 2017 Update 1 RC1, point the server configuration wizard at your existing configuration database, and run through the Upgrade (or Pre-Production Upgrade) configuration scenario.

TFS site is broken

  • Issue:

    If you configure TFS 2017 Update 1 RC with HTTPS bindings on a machine without IIS installed, the HTTPS bindings will not have a certificate selected. From web access or Visual Studio, you will be unable to connect to your TFS instance.

  • Workaround:

    Before configuring TFS, ensure that IIS is already installed. Instructions for various versions of Windows can be found here: https://www.iis.net/learn/install. If you have already configured TFS, select the appropriate certificate for the SSL binding using IIS Manager. See https://www.iis.net/configreference/system.applicationhost/sites/site/bindings/binding for more information on using IIS Manager to work with site bindings.

Work item forms do not render correctly

  • Issue:

    If you use a legacy custom control in your work item forms, such as the legacy multi-value control, your work item forms may fail to render.

  • Workaround:

    You will need to update to the latest version of your control. You can find the latest multi-value control for TFS 2017 Update 1 here. You will also need to disable bundling by running the following on your Configuration database: EXEC prc_SetRegistryValue @partitionId = 1, @KEY = N'#\Configuration\WebAccess\BundlingMode\', @value = N'FALSE', @identityName = NULL

Deprecated message is not showing for deprecated npm packages

  • Issue:

    If you publish an npm package and set a deprecated message, you won’t see the message.

  • Workaround:

    This is a known issue that will be fixed in a later release.

Elasticsearch bound to machine IP address

  • Issue:

    When upgrading from TFS 2017 Update 1 RC1 to Update 1 RC2, Elasticsearch if already configured, will be bound to the machine IP Address by default instead of 127.0.0.1.

  • Workaround:

    There is no workaround at this time.