Thursday, February 27, 2014

Introducing TfsManager Some PowerShell cmdlets to work with Tfs

TfsManager is a project hosted on github by me.  The idea came about this project when I was fiddling around with Team Foundation Server Object Model.  Using the .dlls that are provided as part of Visual Studio installation or Team Explorer, you can pretty much do anything with TFS using code.  I wanted to explore what I can do with that Object Model.  At first sight these PowerShell cmdlets don’t seem to solve a significant problem that can’t be solved with traditional GUI or TF.exe.  But let’s hold on to that thought for a while.  Let’s get started.

github url:

You can fork it, submit issues and pull requests.  I will be happy to work with you. 

Install the PowerShell module by using this single command. 

(new-object Net.WebClient).DownloadString("") | iex

This will copy .dll file into your Modules folder under a directory called TfsManager.Cmdlets.


Note: There is no help file included right now so traditional help cmdlets won’t return any examples.

1. Get all the cmdlets available for this module.

PS C:\> get-command -module TfsManager.cmdlets


2. Get all the Tfs Server Url configured on your machine.

PS C:\>Get-TfsServer


Note: I apologize for some whitening on the output as I had to hide some sensitive information.

If you have just one Tfs Server then it will return a String object and if you have more than one then it will return array of string.

3. Get all the Team Project Collection for a particular Tfs Server. 

PS C:\> Get-TfsProjectCollection -ServerUri (get-TfsServer)[0]

From (2) you can see I am referencing the first Tfs Server which is the VisualStudio hosted version of Tfs.  If your credentials aren’t cached then it will ask you to first connect to it using a Microsoft Account.  After you provide your credentials you will see your Tfs Project Collections.


Alright. Here comes why these cmdlets are of interest. Because they provide you the full .Net object work inside PowerShell.  Let’s get the returned Project Collection into a variable $col and do a get-member.


Ah ! See all the methods and properties you can get to.  But I know you are not happy with this.  Let’s do something more.  So if you have worked with Tf.exe then you might know that Tf.exe commands work if you provide TeamProjectcollectionUri or if you are currently on a path that is mapped to your project folder.  I am going to navigate to a project folder locally inside PowerShell and then try to run some cmdlets.

3. Get mapped workspace for a particular path

PS C:\Your Mapped Folder Path>Get-TfsWorkspace


Aha! It returns a .Net object of Type Workspace.  Let’s do Get-Member on the workspace and see if you are impressed or not.  There are more methods and properties that I can’t show in the screenshot below.  You can do all the interesting stuff with just Get-TfsWorkspace command. You can get reference to objects returned by these cmdlets and write your own script to do some work. 


Actually this project TfsManager is a by product of something I am working with managing Tfs Builds. I will share that project some time later.  But talking of Builds let find out if there is something for us in these cmdlets.

4. Get all the BuildDefinitions associated with the currently mapped folder or a project.

PS C:\Your Mapped Folder Path>Get-TfsBuildDefinition

Warning: This will enumerate all the properties of a BuildDefinition  and it will clutter your output. 

Again Get-Member to the rescue.  After getting a reference to our build definition we perform the following methods on that BuildDefinition.  For shorthand do Get-TfsBuildDefinition | Select Name


Alright one last command before I conclude this post.

5. Get all the builds for a particular mapped path

PS C:\Your Mapped Folder Path>Get-TfsBuild

This command will first get the Team Project and find all the builds. Again be careful it will enumerate all the properties for the object IBuildDetail.  So a Get-Member again to see all the methods.


To see just the important information you can do the following command.


Sometimes if you have lots of builds older than certain date or meet certain criteria and want to just delete them then you can do that easily in a script.

6.  Ok I couldn’t resist this one.  Not very useful but you can still play with it. For a particular path you can get PendingChanges too.

Get-TfsPendingChanges | select localitem

So that’s about it for now.  I have lots of hypothetical scenarios coming in my mind that I can do with these cmdlets but I want to hear from you on what do you think about this project and what are the bugs and issues. 

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