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Articles -> MS Project Server 2010 -> Project Server 2010 Service Pack 1 (SP1)

As a project manager, you can manage the high-level business requirements in Project Server while the development team manages task details in Visual Studio Team Foundation Server (TFS). You can define requirements and view the rollup of resources and effort, and you can view the impact on the schedule as the development team defines, estimates, and updates its detailed tasks. The synchronization engine for Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010 and Project Server maintains scheduling data and resource usage for requirements in the mapped enterprise project plan and team project.

When you use Microsoft Project to build and manage a project schedule that contains Team Foundation work items, you maintain data in two places.

By using Team Foundation Server (TFS), you are able to store and track much more data than you can with Microsoft Project. In TFS, you can store detailed descriptions of each work item, a history of changes made to the work item, information to reproduce a code defect, documents and files, and links to change sets, test cases, and other related work items.

By using Microsoft Project Professional 2010, you maintain only a subset of work item field data, as well as data that is not used or stored in TFS(Example: Phase details). i.e.Microsoft Project maintains detailed data about scheduling, including lead and lag times.

MS Project and TFS Connection and Benefits:

You can connect a Microsoft Project plan to a specific TFS project in order to access the work items defined for that project. You must be online in order to connect to the Team Foundation project, and you must make the connection in order to perform any of the following tasks:
  • Import work items from TFS to Microsoft Project
  • Add new tasks, set start dates, sequence the tasks, estimate task durations, create relationships between tasks, assign resources, in Microsoft Project
  • Publish updates back to Team Foundation Server, an action that is required in order to track progress and revise schedules
  • Retrieve data for work items listed in Microsoft Project that have been updated, specifically updates made to estimated work, completed work, and remaining work

Tips for Working in MS Project Pro 2010 bound to TFS

  1. Save the Microsoft Project plan, because it stores data that TFS cannot store
  2. Refresh the project plan as soon as you open it, and refresh it periodically while you work. Otherwise, you can encounter conflicts in which the data in the plan no longer matches data in Team Foundation Server
  3. Use the Team Foundation Gantt view to schedule work in your team project in order to view TFS fields. This It is the default view when you first open work items in Microsoft Project
  4. Use the Team Foundation Task Sheet view to simplify the task of entering data and publishing work items to Team Foundation Server. This view contains the set of all Team Foundation fields that you can view or modify in Microsoft Project
  5. Assign only one resource to a task. Microsoft Project supports allocation of more than one resource to a task, but Team Foundation Server does not. If you must assign more than one resource to a task, divide the task into subtasks and assign one resource to each subtask
  6. Set the Publish and Refresh field to Yes only for those tasks and items in the Microsoft Project plan that you want to track in Team Foundation Server
  7. Publish your changes to TFS when you make changes to tasks that are set to Publish and Refresh in order to minimize data conflicts

Create links between tasks:

You can schedule tasks to be in sequence or create subtasks using Microsoft Project and have these relationships stored in TFS. You can also create additional relationships between work items to support your project tracking efforts. You can accomplish this by using the following tools:
  • Use native Microsoft Project tools to sequence tasks or establish tasks and subtask dependencies. When you publish the plan, Team Foundation creates predecessor-successor and parent-child links between the work items. These links are stored both in the project plan and TFS.
  • Use the Team menu Links and Attachments feature to create other types of links between tasks. For example, you can create a related link between two or more tasks and have that relationship stored in TFS.


The following is applicable to TFS Administrator:

To protect date-calculated fields from being overwritten, Team Foundation sets the Start Date and Finish Date fields to publish-only. This is accomplished by specifying the PublishOnly="true" for these specific fields in the project mapping file.

These settings allow team members to update their Remaining Work and Complete Work fields in Team Foundation, refresh the project plan with their values, and then allow Microsoft Project to calculate the Finish Date as needed.

Related Links:

Download: Microsoft® Team Foundation Server® 2010 and Microsoft Project Server® 2010 Integration Hyper-V Virtual Machine

Using MS Project with Team Foundation Server

Portfolio Management: TFS & Project Server Integration

Step by Step: Work Item Tracking in TFS and MS Project

MS Project Fields Mapping with MS Team Foundation Server

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