Insight

Insight from Agora Consultants

Team Foundation Server Project Server Integration

In March 2011 Microsoft announced the Team Foundation Server – Project Server Integration Pack.  This feature will allow Team Foundation Server and Project Server to exchange information bi-directionally.

Overview

In this article I will highlight a few scenarios that our clients find themselves in and explain the difference in each.  Specifically I will highlight:

  1. Team Foundation Server with no Project Server
  2. Team Foundation Server with Project Server - No Integration Pack
  3. Team Foundation Server with Project Server - Integration Pack

Team Foundation Server with no Project Server

In this scenario the developers are using Visual Studio and Team Foundation Server.  Lead Developers are creating tasks based on the Requirements or User Stories that have been created by the Business Analyst or Project Manager.

The Project Manager is using Project Professional to maintain the project plan but keeps the plan as a .mpp file either on their computer or the network.

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In this scenario the following things typically happen:

  • Lead Developers create tasks and assign them to Developers
  • Developers update the actual and remaining time on the task
  • Project Managers must open the project plan and refresh the data from TFS to get the task updates.
  • Project Managers must publish the project plan to get updates to TFS.
  • Project Managers must save reports or Gantt charts to HTML or PDF and manually copy the files to a web server in order for other stakeholders to see project status.

Team Foundation Server with Project Server – No Integration Pack

This scenario is similar to the one above except that there are no .mpp project files.  All project information is stored on Project Server.  In addition, the Project Managers now have all the benefits of Project Server including enterprise resource planning and project dashboards.

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In this scenario the following things typically happen:

  • Lead Developers create tasks and assign them to Developers
  • Developers update the actual and remaining time on the task
  • Project Managers must open the project plan and refresh the data from TFS to get the task updates.
  • Project Managers must publish the project plan to get updates to TFS.
  • Project Managers publish the plan back to Project Server.  At this point project stakeholders can see all reports and Gantt charts via Project Web Access.

Team Foundation Server with Project Server – Integration Pack

As above, all project information is stored in Project Server.  With the Integration Pack installed whenever there is an update in either Team Foundation Server or Project Server the information is passed to the other server.

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In this scenario the following things typically happen:

  • Lead Developers create tasks and assign them to Developers
  • Developers update the actual and remaining time on the task
  • Project Managers must open the project plan.  Updates from TFS already exist in the plan.
  • Project Managers publish the plan back to Project Server. At this point project stakeholders can see all reports and Gantt charts via Project Web Access.  Additionally, changes are automatically pushed to Team Foundation Server.

Other Considerations

In order to use Team Foundation Server or Project Server users need appropriate licenses.  For TFS this typically means a Visual Studio Pro or Ultimate with MSDN.  Project Server users need a Project Server Client Access License.

In order to use the TFS <-> PS Integration the organization must own at least one copy of Visual Studio Ultimate.  You only need one Ultimate license regardless of the number of users that will take advantage of the connector.


 
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