TFS Version Control support in Orcas

Who isn't interested in the new features of Orcas. I really am and especially all the features of TFS. Brian Harry posted a couple of months ago a great blog about all the new features. Since the latest CTP of Orcas you can check it out yourself.

In this blog I explain the new features of Version Control within Orcas.

  • Destroy- The version control destroy operation provides administrators with the ability to remove files and folders from the version control system. The destroyed files and folders cannot be recovered once they are destroyed. Destroy allows administrators to achieve SQL server disk space usage goals without constantly needing to add more disks to the data tier machine. Destroy also facilitates removing versioned file contents that must be permanently removed from the system for any other reason.

    The TFS team extended the TF command and added an instruction destroy. This command can only be run by an administrator.


  • Annotate - Annotate is a feature that allows developers to inspect a source code file and see at line-by-line level of detail who last changed each section of code. It brings together changeset data with difference technology to enable developers to quickly learn change history inside a source file.

    This option is already a part of Microsoft TFS PowerToys which you can use in your TFS today.

  • Folder Diff - Team Foundation Server now supports compare operations on folders, whereby the contents of the folder are recursively compared to identify files that differ. Folder diff can compare local folders to local folders, local folders to server folders, and server folders to server folders. It’s a great way of identifying differences between branches, files that you’ve changed locally, and files that have changed between two points in time.

    Update: Is also included in the Microsoft TFS PowerToys. This is not the same product as in TFS Power Toys. Check the Folder Difference blog of Tan Phan about the exact differences. Through out April 2007, he'll be posting details about the new feature Folder Difference currently in the Visual Studio Orcas.

  • Get Latest on Checkout - As an optional setting on a team project or on an individual basis, you can have Team Foundation Server always download the latest version of a file when you check it out. This helps ensure that you don’t have to merge your changes with somebody else’s when you check the file back in.

    This feature is implemented because lots and lots of people requested it. There are still good reasons why the Team didn't include this in the first place. I won't discuss it here, but just read it at all the great forums about this topic.


  • Performance improvements – A variety of Version Control performance enhancements that will improve virtually all aspects of version control performance.  The gains for smaller servers/projects (< 10,000 files) will be modest.  The gains for larger projects (particularly where the file count approaches 100,000’s) will be substantial.

  • Scale improvements – Fixed out of memory problems on the server when operating on more than a few hundred thousand files at a time.

The biggest changes to Version Control are on the improvements part, which you can't see in your IDE, but you can measure it. I didn't expect rocket since in Orcas, but it should have been nice. Maybe Microsoft gave us so much every time, you expect to get much improvements every time.


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