Jenkins tfs plugin
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README.md

Team Foundation Server plugin for Jenkins

Copyright © Erik Ramfelt, Olivier Dagenais, CloudBees, Inc. and others. Licensed under MIT Licence.

Summary

This plugin integrates Team Foundation Version Control (also known as TFVC) and Git to Jenkins by connecting to Team Foundation Server (TFS) and Visual Studio Team Services (Team Services). It also lets you trigger a release in Visual Studio Team Services, through a post-build step in Jenkins.

Quick links

What can you do with it?

That depends on which version control system you use in TFS/Team Services:

Team Foundation Version Control

Allows you to use a TFVC repository as an SCM in Jenkins jobs. At the moment, this plugin supports:

  • Retrieving read-only copies of files and folders from a TFVC repository.
  • Polling a TFVC repository to automatically start builds when there are changes.
  • Links from the Jenkins change sets to the TFVC repository web interface. (Also known as a repository browser)
  • Creating a label in the TFVC repository

The plugin will automatically create a workspace in TFS/Team Services and map a work folder (in the Jenkins workspace) to it.

Git

The TFS plug-in for Jenkins adds some features to better integrate with Git repositories hosted in TFS/Team Services:

  • A push trigger, to request builds of specific commits in Git repositories without needing to schedule SCM polling
    • Instead of adding the Build when a change is pushed to TFS/Team Services trigger to every job, you can also check the checkbox next to Enable Push Trigger for all jobs in the Jenkins global configuration. Individual jobs can still opt-out of this global opt-in by enabling the Poll SCM trigger and checking its Ignore post-commit hooks checkbox.
  • A build step that adds a "build pending" status to the associated pull request and/or commit in TFS/Team Services
    • Instead of adding the Set build pending status in TFS/Team Services build step to every job, you can also check the checkbox next to Enable Team Status for all jobs in the Jenkins global configuration.
  • A post-build action that add a "build completed" status to the associated pull request and/or commit in TFS/Team Services
    • Instead of adding the Set build completion status in TFS/Team Services post-build action to every job, you can also check the checkboxbox next to Enable Team Status for all jobs in the Jenkins global configuration.
  • A link to (and summary information about) the associated TFS/Team Services build that triggered the Jenkins build.
  • A link to (and summary information about) the associated TFS/Team Services pull request that triggered the Jenkins build.
    • Links to associated TFS/Team Services work items.
    • Associated TFS/Team Services work items link back to the Jenkins build.

There are two possibilities to trigger a build with SCM Changeset:

Supported versions

The following sub-sections list the various versions of software that were tested and are thus supported. The plugin might work with other versions, they just haven't been tested.

Team Foundation Server (TFS) / Visual Studio Team Services (Team Services)

The following table indicates compatibility and support for versions of TFS and Team Services.

Version Supported by the TFS plugin? Mainstream Support End Date
Visual Studio Team Services n/a
Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2017 2022/01/11
Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2015 2020/10/13
Microsoft Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2013 2019/04/09
Microsoft Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2012 2018/01/09
Microsoft Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010 ⚠️ 2015/07/14
Microsoft Visual Studio Team System 2008 Team Foundation Server ⚠️ 2013/04/09
Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Team Foundation Server ⚠️ 2011/07/12

Whereas for Trigger release in TFS/Team Services post build action, only following table is supported:

Version Supported by the TFS plugin? Mainstream Support End Date
Visual Studio Team Services n/a
[Team Foundation Server "15" RC1] n/a

Operating Systems

The plugin has been tested against the following operating systems and versions, with the latest updates as of 2015/08/27.

Name Version
Windows Server 2012 R2
Mac OS X Yosemite 10.10.5
Ubuntu Linux Server 14.04 LTS

Jenkins

The plugin is built against Jenkins version 1.580 and that's the version integration tests are run against.

Configuration

Requirements

4.0.0 and later (New!)

Ever since release 4.0.0, a command-line client or tool is no longer necessary as all the interaction with TFS or Team Services is done using the TFS SDK for Java. The native libraries needed by the SDK are automatically copied to a sub-directory under the agent user's home folder.

3.2.0 and earlier

Versions 3.2.0 and earlier of the plugin required a command line tool to be installed on the build agents to retrieve source code from the TFVC repository.

  1. Install either Microsoft Visual Studio or Microsoft Team Explorer Everywhere Command-Line Client (CLC) on the build agents
  2. Add tf.exe (Visual Studio) OR one of tf.cmd or tf (TEE CLC) to the PATH of the build agents' user(s).

Global configuration

To make use of the Git integration with TFS/Team Services and/or to use automatic credentials configuration with the TFVC SCM, it is necessary to first configure your team project collection(s). Follow these instructions for each team project collection (most organizations will only have one).

  1. Add credentials:
    1. Select Jenkins > Credentials
    2. Select Add domain
      1. In the Domain Name field, enter the host's friendly name, such as fabrikam-fiber-inc
      2. In the Description field, you can enter some notes, such as who maintains the server, etc.
      3. Next to Specification, select Add > Hostname
        1. In the Include field, enter the Fully-Qualified Domain Name (FQDN), such as fabrikam-fiber-inc.visualstudio.com
      4. Click OK
    3. Select Add Credentials
      1. For the Kind field, select Username with password
      2. For the Scope field, select Global (Jenkins, nodes, items, all child items, etc)
      3. See the User name and password section below for the values of the Username and Password; a Personal Access Token (PAT) is strongly recommended. If the credentials will be used for TFVC, select All scopes, otherwise select the following Authorized Scopes:
        1. Code (read)
        2. Code (status)
        3. Work items (read and write)
      4. You can use the Description field to record details about the PAT, such as its intended collection, the selected authorization scopes and expiration date. For example: fabrikam-fiber-inc, code read+status, wit read+write, expires 2017-08-05
      5. Click OK
  2. Add the collection URL and associate it with the right credentials:
    1. Select Jenkins > Manage Jenkins > Configure System
    2. Scroll to TFS/Team Services and click Add
      1. If using Team Services, the value of the Collection URL field should omit /DefaultCollection.
      2. Select the associated Credentials value created earlier.
      3. Click Test Connection.
    3. Click Save

Automatic integration

To avoid having to configure every job to enable integration features, you can check the checkbox next to either or both of:

  • Enable Push Trigger for all jobs
  • Enable Team Status for all jobs

Automatic Integration

Advanced

In some environments, the "home" directory is mounted over a network and shared between many computers, including Jenkins servers and their associated build nodes, which eventually leads to corruption of the configuration directory used for TFVC workspaces. If you have such an environment, check the box next to Store TFVC configuration in computer-specific folders to use a sub-directory for each computer. ⚠️ WARNING ⚠️ Turning this on is equivalent to setting the TEE_PROFILE_DIRECTORY environment variable and thus any manual operations performed using the Command-Line Client (CLC) will need to be performed with the TEE_PROFILE_DIRECTORY environment variable set accordingly.

Job configuration

Team Foundation Version Control

If your source code is in a TFVC repository, this section is for you.

SCM configuration

Field Description
Collection URL The URL to the Team Project Collection. If you added your team project collection(s) in the global configuration, the field will show you a list to pick from. Examples: https://tfs02.codeplex.com, https://fabrikam-fiber-inc.visualstudio.com, http://tfs:8080/tfs/DefaultCollection
Project path The Team Project and path to retrieve from the server. The project path must start with $/, and contain any sub path that exists in the project repository. Example: $/Fabrikam-Fiber-TFVC/AuthSample-dev
Credentials If you added your team project collection(s) in the global configuration, select Automatic and the credentials will be looked up automatically, otherwise you can select Manual and configure the User name and User password fields.
Manual > User name The name of the user that will be connecting to TFS/Team Services to query history, checkout files, etc. See User name and password below for a full description.
Manual > User password The password, alternate password or personal access token associated with the user. See User name and password below for more details.
Use update If this option is checked, then the workspace will not be deleted and re-created at the start of each build, making the build faster, but this causes the artifacts from the previous build to remain when a new build starts.
Local workfolder The name of the local work folder. The specified folder will contain the files retrieved from the repository. Default is ., ie the files will be downloaded into the Hudson workspace folder.
Workspace name The name of the workspace that Jenkins should use when creating and deleting workspaces on the server. The workspace name supports three macros; ${JOB_NAME} is replaced by the job name, ${USER_NAME} is replaced by the user name Jenkins is running as and ${NODE_NAME} is replaced by the name of the node. Default workspace name is Hudson-${JOB_NAME}-${NODE_NAME}.
Cloaked paths A collection of server paths to cloak to exclude from the workspace and from the build trigger. Multiple entries must be placed onto separate lines.
Repository browser Select Microsoft Team Foundation Server/Visual Studio Team Services to turn on links inside Jenkins jobs (in the Changes page) back to TFS/Team Services, for easier traceability. If the TFS server is reached by users through a different URL than that provided in Collection URL, such as the Fully-Qualified Domain Name (FQDN), provide a value for the URL sub-field.

Git

If your source code is in a Git repository located on a TFS/Team Services server, this section is for you.

⚠️ Make sure you first followed the instructions in the Global configuration section and added your team project collection(s), associated with credentials. ⚠️

Git configuration

If you didn't have the Git plug-in for Jenkins already, installing the TFS plug-in for Jenkins should have brought it on as a dependency.

  1. Use the Git Source Code Management and add the URL to your Git repository in TFS/Team Services, omitting the /DefaultCollection if you are using Team Services.
  2. If you haven't done so already, follow the instructions in the "User name and password" section to generate a Personal Access Token, and then add a "Credentials" entry as specified in the "Global configuration" section. You should then be able to select it in the Credentials field.
  3. To be able to build the merge commits created for pull requests in TFS/Team Services, click the Advanced... button
    1. In the Name field, enter origin (or some unique name if you already have other repositories)
    2. In the Refspec field, enter +refs/heads/*:refs/remotes/origin/* +refs/pull/*:refs/remotes/origin-pull/* (replacing "origin" as necessary)
  4. If you haven't already enabled the Push Trigger for all jobs, scroll down to Build Triggers and you can check the Build when a change is pushed to TFS/Team Services checkbox.
  5. If you haven't already enabled Team Status for all jobs, scroll down to Build, select Add build step > Set build pending status in TFS/Team Services, moving it first in the list of steps, to notify TFS/Team Services as early as possible that a Jenkins build has been started.
  6. Add other build steps, as necessary.
  7. If you haven't already enabled Team Status for all jobs, scroll down to Post-build Actions, select Add post-build action > Set build completion status in TFS/Team Services.
  8. If you would like to collect results for publication in TFS/Team Services, scroll down to Post-build Actions, select Add post-build action > Collect results for TFS/Team Services and then add one or more results to collect.
  9. If the Jenkins job will be used to validate pull requests in TFS/Team Services and you would like to add links from the associated work items back to the Jenkins build, select Add post-build action > Add link to associated work items in TFS/Team Services.

User name and password

Team Foundation Server (on-premises)

For [on-premises] Team Foundation Server, the User name can be specified in two ways:

  1. EXAMPLE-DOMAIN\user
  2. user@domain.example.com

Visual Studio Team Services (Team Services, previously known as Visual Studio Online)

For Team Services, there are also two options:

  1. Personal access tokens (recommended)
    1. In Team Services, click your name in the top right corner and select Security.
    2. In the Personal access tokens area, select Add.
    3. Describe the token (use something like "Jenkins server at jenkins.example.com"), select an expiry timeframe, double-check the Team Services account the token will be valid for and, if the user account will be used for TFVC, select All scopes otherwise you can select smaller scopes based on what features you will need.
    4. Click [Create Token] and copy the generated personal access token to the clipboard.
    5. Back to Jenkins, enter the e-mail address associated with your Team Services account as the User name and the generated personal access token as the User password.
  2. Alternate credentials
    1. In Team Services, click your name in the top right corner and select Security.
    2. In the Alternate credentials area, select Enable alternate authentication credentials.
    3. Enter a secondary user name and password, then click [Save].
    4. Back to Jenkins, re-enter those credentials in the User name and User password fields.

Checkout by label (New since version 3.2.0)

The plugin now supports checking out from a specific label or any valid versionspec. Here's how to configure a job to do that:

ℹ️ Polling the server doesn't make sense when you want to build for a specific label because polling is not [currently] label-aware and could queue a build every polling interval. ℹ️

  1. Turn off SCM polling by making sure the Poll SCM checkbox is cleared (unchecked).
  2. Tick the This build is parameterised checkbox
    1. Add a String Parameter
    2. Set its Name to VERSION_SPEC
    3. Set its Description to the following:
    Enter a valid version spec to use when checking out.
    Labels are prefixed with "L" and changesets are prefixed with "C".
    See the following for a versionspec reference: https://www.visualstudio.com/docs/tfvc/use-team-foundation-version-control-commands#use-a-versionspec-argument-to-specify-affected-versions-of-items
    Examples: "LFoo", "C42"
    
  3. Save the job.

Now, the next time you want to queue a build, you will need to provide a value for the VERSION_SPEC parameter. The build will then perform a checkout of the source as of the specified VERSION_SPEC.

Proxy server support (New since version 4.1.0)

In the event Jenkins is deployed on a network with no direct access to other networks (such as the internet), the TFS plugin now supports connecting through proxy servers.

ℹ️ Support for proxy servers requiring authentication was added in version 5.1.0. ℹ️

Follow the instructions at JenkinsBehindProxy to configure Jenkins' use of a proxy server, which the TFS plugin also uses.

Integration with TFS/Team Services (New since version 5.0.0)

There are some steps to perform in both Jenkins and in TFS/Team Services to activate the integration. This section assumes you have already configured one or more team project collections, as described in the Global configuration section above and then configured the Jenkins jobs as described in the Git section above.

Trigger builds when code is pushed to a Git repository in TFS/Team Services

  1. Go to the team project's Administration and then select Service Hooks
  2. Select the + button
  3. Select Jenkins and click Next
  4. Select Code pushed, configure the Filters and click Next
  5. You can now configure which action will be performed. The choices are Trigger generic build and Trigger Git build. Once you select the action, its Settings must be configured
    1. Enter the URL to your Jenkins server. (hint: it's the destination when you click the Jenkins logo in the top left)
    2. Enter your User name
    3. For the User API token, click on your user name in Jenkins (in the top-right corner), then Configure and finally click the Show API Token...* button. Copy & paste the token back in TFS/Team Services
    4. Once valid credentials have been provided, more fields will become available. If you selected Trigger generic build, keep going with these fields
      1. The Build field should now be configurable as a drop-down list
      2. Add any additional parameters, if any
    5. Click Test, inspect the results of the test and click Close
    6. If the test was successful, click Finish

Trigger builds when a pull request is created or updated in TFS/Team Services

  1. Go to the team project's Administration and then select Service Hooks
  2. Select the + button
  3. Select Jenkins and click Next
  4. Select one of Code pushed or Pull request merge commit created, configure the Filters and click Next
  5. The only action available is Trigger generic build, its Settings must be configured
    1. Enter the URL to your Jenkins server. (hint: it's the destination when you click the Jenkins logo in the top left)
    2. Enter your User name
    3. For the User API token, click on your user name in Jenkins (in the top-right corner), then Configure and finally click the Show API Token...* button. Copy & paste the token back in TFS/Team Services
    4. Once valid credentials have been provided, more fields will become available
    5. The Build field should now be configurable as a drop-down list
    6. Add any additional parameters, if any
    7. Click Test, inspect the results of the test and click Close
    8. If the test was successful, click Finish

Build environment variables

The plugin will set the following environment variables for the build, after a checkout:

  • TFS_WORKSPACE - The name of the workspace.
  • TFS_WORKFOLDER - The full path to the working folder.
  • TFS_PROJECTPATH - The TFVC project path that is mapped to the workspace.
  • TFS_SERVERURL - The URL to the Team Project Collection.
  • TFS_USERNAME - The user name that is used to connect to TFS/Team Services.
  • TFS_CHANGESET - The change set number that is checked out in the workspace

Trigger release in TFS/Team Services

MSDN documentation

Overview

Once you have configured Continuous Integration (CI) with Jenkins to be able to build with every code checkin/commit, the next step toward automating your DevOps pipeline is to be able to deploy automatically by setting up the Continuous Deployment (CD) pipeline.

VS Team Service Release Management service lets you automate your deployments so that you could deliver your apps/services easily and deliver them often. You can setup the CI and CD process all on VS Team Services. However, if you have the CI pipleine already set with Jenkins, VS Team Service has good integration points through its APIs that can let you interact with its release service from any other third-party - Jenkins in this case.

This plugin makes use these APIs that lets you trigger a release in VS Team Services or TFS, upon completion of a build in Jenkins. The plugin has a post build step - "VS Team Services Continuous Deployment".

Using the plugin

Assuming that you have already created the Release Definition and linked the Jenkins as artifact source in TFS/Team Services - Release Management, you need to follow the following steps at the Jenkins side to trigger releases automatically, upon build creation.

0. Setup Release Definition with Jenkins as artifact source This document assumes that you have already set up the RM definition that uses Jenkins artifact to deploy. This means your build/job is configured properly and archives artifacts. If not, see the following video to set up Release Definition with Jenkins build

Release Jenkins artifact

1. Add the post build action Go to the Job configuration and add the post build action - Trigger release in TFS/Team Services. Add post build action

2. Fill in the required fields Fill in the details required for this post build action. You need the following details:

  • Collection URL: e.g. https://fabfiber.visualstudio.com/**DefaultCollection** <- Note that you need the url till the collection.
  • Team project: The VS Team Services Project in which you have defined the release definition.
  • Release definition: The Release definition name that links this Jenkins job as an artifact source.

You need to now enter the credentials that lets Jenkins trigger a release with the latest completed build, on your behalf. If you are using VS Team Services, you just need to enter PAT with atleast "Release (read, write and execute)" scope. (Refer to this link to understand how to create PAT). In case you are using TFS, you need to enter the username and password.

Add post build action

3. All set. See CD in action You have now automated your deployment trigger thereby enabling continuous deployment i.e. a checkin/commit would trigger a build and that will trigger a release. Go ahead and test your setup by manually triggering a build in Jenkins or by a code checkin/commit that kicks off Jenkins build which in turn will trigger the release in VS Team Services.

FAQ

How should I set up the plugin for my CodePlex project?

  • Find out the server for your project, which is displayed in the source code page for your project at codeplex.com.
  • The user name must be suffixed with _cp and the domain is snd. If your user name is redsolo, then enter "snd\redsolo_cp" as the user name in the plugin configuration.
  • Note that the user must be a member of the project to be able to create a workspace on the CodePlex server.

That's all you need to do to start retrieving files from your project at codeplex.com.

The plugin is having problems parsing the dates that TF outputs, what can I do?

ℹ️ If you can upgrade to version 4 and up, then you can avoid a whole class of TF output parsing difficulties, otherwise, read on. ℹ️

The TF command line outputs date according to the locale and Microsofts own specification. Sometimes the outputed date can not be parsed by any of the default locale dependent parsers that the JDK includes (for some more details, see JENKINS-4184 and JENKINS-4021). This will throw an exception in the change set parsing and fail the build.

To fix this, do the following:

  • Change the locale by Windows Regional Settings to United States and English on the server and all hudson nodes. After that tf.exe should output dates in english, which can be parsed properly.
  • Start Hudson using the UnitedStates, English locale. Either set it using -Duser.language=en -Duser.country=US on the command line or check the documentation for the container that Hudson is running within.

If I have multiple artifacts linked in my Release Definition, will this plugin trigger a release?

Yes, it is supported from 1.3 version onwards.

Timeline

Future

The best way to get an idea of what will be coming in future releases is to look at the list of open pull requests.

Present

The next release will be 5.3.0. See what's been committed since 5.2.1 and the upcoming ReleaseNotes.md.

Past

Details about previous releases can be found on the Releases page.