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.NET: the TFS / Visual Studio mix: connecting from VS2008 to TFS2010 and CodePlex

Posted by jpluimers on 2010/08/11

Lately, CodePlex is in the progress of [WayBackmigrating from TFS2008 to TFS2010 (they [Archive.ishave done TFS05…TFS01 and TFS07; TFS06 and TFS08…TFS10 still need to be done).

When your projects have been migrated (or you are going to use TFS2010 yourself), and you use VS2008 (or VS2005 – which I have not tested yet), you need to perform some updates and configuration changes to connect to the new TFS2010 servers.

So this post is about connecting from VS2008 to TFS2010 on CodePlex.
The tips will also work when connecting to a regular TFS2010 server: the connection URL is slightly different.

Below you will find some upgrade tips, including some error messages you may get and the resolutions I have used.
There are also some links to downloads and other tips I found while searching to get the CodePlex TFS2010 connection working from my VS2008 VM.

Required installs (in addition to VS2008)

First of all, you have to install Team Explorer.

Then you need to upgrade your VS2008 to SP1 using either the VS2008 SP1 installer (direct download) or the VS2008 SP1 ISO image (direct download).

Note that you have to install SP1 after you installed the VSTS2008 Team Explorer (direct download).
If you install SP1, followed by Team Explorer, you will need to re-apply SP1 again.

Note that CodePlex already had TFS2008 SP1 in use, and if you have TFS2008 SP1, you need to have the VS2008/Team Explorer combo on SP1 as well.

Finally you need to install the VSTS2008 SP1 Forward Compatibility Update for TFS2010 Installer (docx and direct download).
(For VS2005, you will need the VSTS2005 equivalent)


The splash screen of Visual Studio won’t tell you if you have an SP installed.

To check which version or SP of Visual Studio you have installed, start Visual Studio, then look in the Help | About box for the build number.
Then verify that build number against second table in this StackOverflow question: if it is 9.0.30729.1 SP1, then you have SP1 installed.

To check if you have the Forward Compatibility Pack installed, use this trick:
Look in the Help | About box.
The list of “Installed products” is too narrow to see the very wide product titles, but it has a “Copy Info” button next to it.
Press that button, then paste the info into notepad, then search for this string (or even simpler: “KB974558”)
“Update for Microsoft Visual Studio Team System 2008 Development Edition – ENU (KB974558)   KB974558”.
If it is not there, then you don’t have the Forward Compatibility Pack installed.

Error messages you can get

Both below error messages have to do with the installation.
I bumped into both on different systems. (Now you know why I wrote this blog article <g>).

Note that you read different posts (like this) to change registry settings to get around the errors.
Don’t; get your installation order right, and the errors magically disappear.

The first error message is this:

Microsoft Visual Studio
Microsoft Visual Studio
TF31002: Unable to connect to this Team Foundation Server: mytfsserver.
Team Foundation Server Url: http://mytfsserver:8080.

Possible reasons for failure include:

– The Team Foundation Server name, port number or protocol is incorrect.
– The Team Foundation Server is offline.
– Password is expired or incorrect.

For further information, contact the Team Foundation Server administrator.
OK   Help

This has to do with your installation order. Michael Levy explains it nicely. It means you have installed Team Explorer after you installed SP1.
Re-apply SP1, rinse, repeat.

The second error is this:

Microsoft Visual Studio
Microsoft Visual Studio
TF30335: The server name cannot contain the characters ‘/’ or ‘:’, or start with ‘http://&#8217; or ‘https://&#8217;. If the server name is an IPv6 address, it can contain the character ‘:’ only if the full name is enclosed by square brackets.
OK   Help

This means you forgot to install the Forward Compatibility Update.
Rinse, repeat :-)

Connecting to TFS2010 on CodePlex

Before connecting to CodePlex, you will have to find your CodePlex server URL.
The [Archive.isCodePlex TFS wiki page is currently a bit “empty”, but there are a few wiki pages having more content:

This is how you find the URL:

  1. Go to your project page on CodePlex
  2. Click on “Source code” in the button bar
    (shortcut steps 1 and 2 by clicking on a URL like this:
  3. Click on “”Visual Studio Team Explorer” in the “Source Control Setup” pane
  4. Observe the pane that pops up like this:

A TFS URL is built like this:

So given the above picture, this will be the path:

This should get you going.
For connecting to a regular TFS2010 server, the URL is slightly different.
It will look like this:


One final note: if you are an admin for your project, then you need to [Archive.isupdate the TFS source control bindings.


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