TF215097: An error occurred while initializing a build for build definition \project name\build definition name

Issue: TF215097 An error occurred while initializing a build for build definition \projectname\build definition name: Cannot create unknown type ‘{clr-namespace:BuildActivitiesLib.Activities;assembly=BuildActivities}Checkout’.

Solution: We have developed lot of custom build activities and usually upgrade them with our Team Foundation Server upgrades every major release. We recently upgraded to TFS 2013 and as part of build upgrade we have rebuild all the activities with latest version of Visual Studio, TFS Assemblies and .Net framework version. All the build controllers were pointing to TFS 2013 compatible custom activity binaries.

We started getting above error on a particular build server which is still running on Team Foundation Server 2012 build services. This server is not upgraded to latest version of TFS build due to the operating system limitation and we didn’t go for OS upgrade because TFS 2013 supports TFS 2012 build services.

But, looks like the custom build activity assemblies should match with Team Foundation Build Services version and not with the Team Foundation Server. We are able to resolve the issue with TFS 2012 build controller by changing custom assemblies path to point to TFS 2012 compatible libraries path.

TF400018: The local version table for the local workspace could not be opened.

Issue: TF400018 The local version table for the local workspace workspacename;username could not be opened. The workspace version table contains an unknown schema version.

Solution: This error usually occurs due to workspace getting corrupted especially when Local workspaces are configured. This error doesn’t allow you to view the source control explorer. To resolve this and to re-use the same workspace, you have to rename the $tf hidden folder which will be created at the root of your local workspace mapped folder.

Copy files in TFS Build

Team Foundation Build workflow provides Copy Directory activity to copy the folder content but its doesn’t have an activity to copy the files. If you need to copy  files as part of the build process then you have below options.

  • Write a custom activity for copying files
  • use Invoke Process activity to call the xcopy or robocopy commandline tools

In this post, I will show the steps to copy a file using Invoke Process activity and xcopy command.

First, you need to drag and drop the InvokeProcess activity from toolbox to the workflow template.


This activity contains below properties.


FileName (String): FileName of the process that you want to start.
Arguments (String): Command-line arguments that you want to pass to the process.
EnvironmentVariables (IDictionary<TKey, TValue><String,String>): Additional environment variables and their values.
OutputEncoding (Encoding): Encoding that is used to read the output and error streams. Default value will work for scenerios.
WorkingDirectory (String): You can specify the working directory (WorkingDirectory) in which you want to run the process.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Result(Int32): Returns the ExitCode from the process.

For the copy file activity, here are the sample values for above properties.


Additionally, Inside the InvokeProcess activity you need to add two activities to display the standard output and error output from your process
WriteBuildMessage activity: This activity should be added under Standard Output, and its property should be set to stdOutput.
WriteBuildError activity: This should be added under Handle Standard Output, and its property should be set to errOutput.


TFS 2013 update 2 released

Microsoft has announced the release of Team Foundation Server 2013 update 2 at Build conference this week. There was no updates released for Team Foundation Server in Update 1 and it was completely focused Visual Studio updates, so this time update 2 has lot of new features and bug fixes for Team Foundation Server.

This update either ships improvements or adds new features in below areas.

  • Work Item Tagging
  • Backlog Management
  • Release Management
  • Git
  • Web-based  Test Case Management
  • CodeLens

The installer files for Team Foundation Server 2013 update 2 are available here.

You can also find the KB article here.

Go download and try out the new features nowSmile

Visual Studio 2013 Update 1 Released

Visual Studio 2013 Update 1 is released recently. It’s a small update focused mainly on fixes and improving the experience with old versions of IE (prior to IE 10).

You can download the update at below location.

Visual Studio 2013 Update 1 :

Release Management 2013 for Visual Studio 2013 Update 1 :

KB Article for Visual Studio 2013 Update 1:

There is no update 1 to Team Foundation Server 2013 is released.

Visual Studio 2013 Queue Build dialog bug

We have recently upgraded our TFS Instance to Team Foundation Server 2013. I have installed Visual Studio 2013 client on my machine to connect to TFS 2013.

I came across an issue when trying to change the build parameter values in Visual Studio 2013 Queue Build dialog. The entire parameters tab was showing blank.


Its a bug in Visual Studio 2013 and Team Explorer 2013 and there is a fix available for this issue. The patch for this issue can be downloaded from here.

No exports were found that match the constraint error in Visual Studio

I came across this error when trying to open any files in Visual Studio Solution Explorer. Visual Studio 2013 was working fine for me earlier.

No exports were found that match the constraint: Contract Name Microsoft.VisualStudio.Utilities.IContentTypeRegistryService RequiredTypeIdentity Microsoft.VisualStudio.Utilities.IContentTypeRegistryService


I resolved this issue by deleting the Visual Studio Component Model Cache folder at this specific location for Visual Studio 2013.


If you facing same issue with Visual Studio 2012 then the relevant location is:


Testing Mobile Applications using Perfecto Mobile’s MobileCloud V2 is shipped

Visual Studio ALM Rangers has shipped the second revision of Testing Mobile Applications guidance which focuses on mobile devices testing using Perfecto Mobile’s unique cloud based solution to enable quality assurance using powerful ScriptOne automation capabilities.


This release delivers an Overview Poster and an e-book.

ALM Rangers who contributed to this project:

Anil Chandra Lingam, Anisha Pindoria, Bijan Javidi, Bipin Puthiyaveetil, Brian Blackman, Dan Marzolini, Esteban Garcia, Hassan Fadili, Mathew Aniyan, Oliver Hilgers, Ranjit Gupta, Svetlana Kostinsky, Tom Lindeman.

Please go ahead and download this guidance from the codeplex site here and let the team know your valuable feedback.

TF400534 – Team Foundation Server installation error

I came across below error when trying to install the Team Foundation Server 2013.

Error : TF400534 : Package (tfs_sharePointExtensionsCore_x86) caching failed with the following status : 0×80070001.
Error : TF400166 : Package caching failed. Check individual package cache errors for more information.
Error : Installation failed. Check individual package installation errors for more information.


This error is often caused by corrupt installation file. You need to download the setup file again and try to re-install.

ALM Rangers practical TFS Reporting Guidance V1 shipped

ALM Rangers team has shipped V1 version of TFS Reporting Guidance. This guidance is focuses on providing practical guidance and sample solution to create valuable reports for Visual Studio Online and on-premise TFS installations. Below two e-books are published as part of this project.

  1. VS Online & OData
  2. Data Warehouse


ALM Rangers team members who volunteered their valuable family time for development of this project:

Anisha Pindoria,Gordon Beeming, Grant Holliday, Hamid Shahid, Hakan Eskici, Jeff Levinson, Jesse Houwing, Jim Szubryt, Justin Marks, Mattias Sköld, Patricia Wagner, Prasanna Ramkumar,Priyanka Janardhan, Ted Malone

Please go ahead and download this guidance from the codeplex site here and let the team know your valuable feedback.