The integration between MSProject and Team Foundation Server is available even in earlier versions of TFS.
I have worked with this integration in many of our customers with great success but…
There are organizations that needs more than a simple MSProject client, they need to have a better integration between there projects and better resources management.
The project Server Integration was a requirement for a long time, many of my customer keep asking me when it will be available, I kept using the same answer: “Soon…”.
Today I come with a different answer: “It is here!”
Brian Harry has announced that the TFS & Project Server integration is now available still in Beta but with a “Go Live” license.
Note: Some of the following Content is taken from Brian Harry’s post that you can find here
Let us start with how to install it and Licensing… (From Brian Harry’s Post)
The TFS-PS Feature Pack is included in MSDN subscriptions purchased with Visual Studio Ultimate. Specifically, in order to use the TFS-PS Feature Pack, an organization must own at least one license of VS Ultimate with MSDN. With that one license, the software can be downloaded and installed and then all users with access to either the Project Server or the TFS server that are connected can benefit from the integration. This is yet one more advantage to owning an MSDN subscription. If you go to your MSDN download center, you should find the Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010 and Project Server Integration Feature Pack as an available download.
This Feature Pack is being released in tandem with VS/TFS 2010 SP 1. It supports Team Foundation Server 2010 and Project Server 2007 and 2010. For the Project Server <-> TFS integration to fully work, there are a few components that work together:
- TFS 2010 SP1 needs to be installed on any Team Foundation Server 2010 instance that will be connected to Project Server.
- VS 2010 SP1 needs to be installed on all VS 2010/Team Explorer clients on which you will use the TFS and Microsoft Project integration (basically project manager’s machines – while we recommend SP1 for everyone, it’s only required for the MS Project integration to work fully)- As you’ve probably noticed, in other news today, we announced the availability of VS/TFS SP1 Beta.
- Team Explorer Everywhere SP1 needs to be installed on all TEE 2010 clients – A Beta of TEE SP1 is available already.
- The Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010 and Project Server Integration Feature Pack needs to be installed on any Project Server instance that will be connected to Team Foundation Server.
- You’ll definitely want to read and follow the installation and configuration instructions. Don’t forget that because it is a .chm file, after you save it to your local computer, you have to right click on it in Windows Explorer and select “Properties…”. You then need to click the “Unblock” button. If you don’t do this, you won’t be able to see the content.
- If you have people who use VS 2005 or VS 2008 along with the corresponding Team Explorer, you will want to make sure the install the “forward compatibility” patches for those versions. They’ve been out a good while. Team Explorer 2005 patch. Team Explorer 2008 patch. And if you use another IDE and the TFS MSSCCI provider, then you’ll want to make sure you install the latest version of the MSSCCI provider.
We haven’t announced a release date for SP1 or for this Feature Pack but our expectation, pending your validation, is that it will ship sometime in the first half of next year (2011). It will be possible to upgrade from this Beta to the final release easily while preserving all of your data and state.
Now I like to bring you Brian’s explanation of what you can get with this integration:
In short, TFS <-> Project Server integration is a server side synchronization/workflow tool that enables project managers who use Project Server to share up to date project status and resource availability with development teams who use Team Foundation Server whether they use formal or Agile development processes. It enables the two constituencies to work in the tools of their choice and at a granularity that is most comfortable to them. Project managers can work in fairly high level tasks using a long range plan. Developers can see the plan and decompose the high level tasks into detailed assignments in whatever fashion works best for them. As tasks are decomposed and work is completed, Project Server is updated with both resource availability and task progress. Of course, all of this ties into the standard Project Server work approval process so that the project manager maintains some control over the high level plan and changes can be deliberate rather than random. If a project manager wants to deal with all of the detail of the development team, they can configure the integration to import all task breakdown – but for projects that are very large, it’s likely to be overwhelming.
All of this great integrated data can then be rolled up across all the projects in your portfolio into high level enterprise report on progress, resource availability and more:
Let’s look at an example scenario. A project manager can start by defining a high level plan in Project/Project Server. Notice that you can control which tasks are published to Team Foundation Server (not all tasks in a project are development tasks – even though we developers like to think that’s all that matters :)).
The development team lead can then use TFS tools – Team Explorer, Team Web Access, Excel, the Agile Workbook, etc to break down the high level requirements/tasks into the development team’s work – tasks, user stories, etc. This first screenshot is a query run in Team Explorer to show that the Requirements entered in Project Server automatically flowed into TFS, the second shows using Excel to do decomposition and the third shows using the Agile workbooks.
Once the development lead saves the work breakdown, the project manager will get notified of updates and can use Project Web Access to view task and resource rollup. Notice, the project manager is not seeing the individual tasks but rather a rollup that includes resource utilization so they can do overall resource planning.
And those rolled up detailed tasks are viewed by the project manager as multiple people working on the same high level task.
Of course, if the project manager want a detailed view, all tasks can be marked for publishing between Project Server and TFS and you can get a fully detailed project plan.
If you’d like to learn more there’s a great TechEd presentation/demo done just a couple of weeks ago here: http://www.msteched.com/2010/Europe/OFS201