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XMetaL Community Forum General XMetaL Discussion Integration with Team Foundation Server?

  • mpanhuijsen

    Integration with Team Foundation Server?

    Participants 12
    Replies 13
    Last Activity 13 years, 3 months ago

    Hello everybody,

    Does someone know if there is a way to integrate XMetaL Author Enterprise with Microsoft's Team Foundation Server source control system? The datasheet for XMAE mentions “integration with source control systems” but offers few specifics.

    Specifically, I would like XMetaL to check out a topic as soon as I open it for editing, and to let me check it in or undo the checkout from XMetaL.

    Thanks for your help,

    Mathijs Panhuijsen
    Technical Writer
    SDL Tridion

    Reply

    Derek Read

    Reply to: Integration with Team Foundation Server?

    I have not tried this, but I understand Team Foundation Server has a “Power Tools” download:
    http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/teamsystem/bb980963.aspx

    That is supposed to provide you with access to check-in/out functionality from within Windows Explorer. The same functionality should then be available within XMetaL Author's Resource Manager on the Desktop tab (which displays what is essentially a miniaturized and modified copy of Windows Explorer). That might be good enough to cover what you're asking for.

    There are no plans at this time for JustSystems to offer an integration with TFS, though that does not mean we would not contemplate creating one in the future given enough demand. In most cases the vendor of the CMS system takes on this task, though in a few cases we have done this work (the Documentum and IBM IICE integrations are maintained by us).

    TFS is really a source control system and not a “CMS”. We have traditionally partnered with companies offering CMS capabilities because, I believe, we think they better suit our clients' needs.

    We are working on a list of CMS systems that our products integrate with as well as systems that integrate with our products (a longer list). I expect that to be posted on the main website when it is ready.

    Reply

    mpanhuijsen

    Reply to: Integration with Team Foundation Server?

    I indeed have those Power Tools installed and can check in and check out in the way you describe.
    But the problem is that I work with DITA maps and topics, which means that I first open a ditamap, then double-click nodes in that ditamap to open a topic (a pretty standard use case, I'd say). When I open topics in that manner, I don't have an opportunity to check out the topic before I start editing it.

    Instead, I need to switch to Windows Explorer or Visual Studio, check out the topic there, then resume editing in XMetal (which thankfully does not require me to close and re-open the topic). This is not a very smooth way of working.

    For those experiencing the same problem, one solution/workaround is to use Subversion in combination with TFS. This allows you to edit files without explicitly checking them out. Only when you commit your changes does Subversion/TFS actually perform a checkout. The drawback of this approach is that multiple users can modify the same file independently, which may cause merge conflicts.

    Reply

    Faros65

    Reply to: Integration with Team Foundation Server?

    Two years later, the thread is back again:

    I'm currently using the evaluation version (Version#: 6.0.2.070) under Windows 7 64-bit. I do have the Power Tools 2011 installed and have them integrated in the Windows Explorer. However, at the moment they are not shown in the XMetaL Desktop explorer.

    How can I activate the context menu item there?
    (This would be enough integration for me)

    Thanks in advance
    Michael

    Reply

    gcrews

    Reply to: Integration with Team Foundation Server?

    You have to be within a folder that is mapped in tfs. You might have to right click a file a second time before the Team foundation server submenu shows up as well.

    Reply

    Faros65

    Reply to: Integration with Team Foundation Server?

    You have to be within a folder that is mapped in tfs. You might have to right click a file a second time before the Team foundation server submenu shows up as well.

    Sorry, no. I have changed directories, clicked numerous times and even restarted my machine, but it does not work. Find attached the context menus of the same XML file from the Windows Explorer and the XMetaL Desktop Explorer. While I could perfectly well live without the Dreamweaver link :-), I sorely miss the TFS sub-menu.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks in advance
    Michael

    Reply

    gcrews

    Reply to: Integration with Team Foundation Server?

    My guess is it’s a 64-bit and 32-bit issue.

    Check out http://stackoverflow.com/questions/857564/svn-commands-does-not-appear-in-context-menu

    “On a side note. If you use a 32-bit tool like Total Commander in a 64-bit OS, and you want context menu extensions in both Explorer and Total Commander, you will actually have to install both the 32-bit and 64-bit version of Tortoise.“

    Probably much the same issue with TFS and XMetaL.

    Reply

    Faros65

    Reply to: Integration with Team Foundation Server?

    My guess is it’s a 64-bit and 32-bit issue.

    I fear so too. The also missing 7-ZIP and Tortoise sub-menus (both are 64-bit applications on my machine) are another hint. Unfortunately there seems to be no 32-bit version of the TFS tools.

    Any plans for XMetal 7? Other ideas?

    Thanks
    Michael

    Reply

    gcrews

    Reply to: Integration with Team Foundation Server?

    I think the tfs power tools msi installer is for 64 and 32 bit. I have windows 32 bit and it’s installed just fine.  Perhaps there is some way to trick the installer and run it in 32bit context so it installs the 32 bit  components as well?

    Reply

    Derek Read

    Reply to: Integration with Team Foundation Server?

    There are no specific plans to help with this with our 7.0 release. However, I will raise this with development. We would probably not target a fix specifically for TFS but instead try to see if we can work around the following general Windows 7 limitation…

    [quote=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_features_removed_in_Windows_7]It is not possible to run the 32-bit version of Windows Explorer as a file manager or as the shell in 64-bit editions of Windows 7.
    64-bit editions of Windows Vista and Windows XP allowed executing the 32-bit shell/Windows Explorer and making it the default for compatibility with shell extensions. As a result, all 32-bit shell extensions are incompatible with 64-bit versions of Windows 7.

    So it sounds like there is likely to be no workaround if you wish to use the Desktop tab.

    The only thing I can think of would be to add a custom tab using script that embeds Shell.Explorer (which is Internet Explorer) and ask it to open a folder (instead of a website). This might give you an alternative (non-32-bit-shell) to browse with. Such a script might look something like this at its simplest:

    //XMetaL Script Language JScript:
    ResourceManager.AddTab("Explorer","Shell.Explorer");
    var myExplorer = ResourceManager.ControlInTab("Explorer");
    myExplorer.Navigate("C:\");
    ResourceManager.SelectTab("Explorer");

    //You might also remove other tabs to save some screen real estate...
    ResourceManager.RemoveTab("Assets");
    ResourceManager.RemoveTab("Desktop");

    The best event macro to put that code into would probably be On_Application_Open_Complete.
    That code affects the current session of XMetaL only (the UI is reset the next time you start the product) so you can simply paste that into an open document to test it to see if it might work without having to create an MCR file.

    Reply

    Derek Read

    Reply to: Integration with Team Foundation Server?

    Sort of getting off track here I think, because you say you have the 64-bit version of the TFS tools installed. I think the best possible option would be to locate a 32-bit version of those tools instead. Then if they don't work in the 64-bit Windows Explorer (external to XMetaL) you would use the following workaround to launch 32-bit Windows Explorer when you need to work with TFS outside of XMetaL (if that is something you would need to do).

    Microsoft is aware of this issue (presumably they have had enough complaints from users of various 32-bit shell extensions). They have documented a workaround here:
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/895561

    Note: That contradicts the Wikipedia article I linked to previously. It says this allows you to launch the 32-bit version of Windows Explorer.

    Or you could just not worry about any of this (seems like more headache than benefit to me) and just open files from Windows Explorer directly by dragging and dropping them onto XMetaL Author's titlebar, or by double clicking them (provided you have XML files associated with XMetaL), or by right clicking and selecting “Open in XMetaL”.

    Reply

    Faros65

    Reply to: Integration with Team Foundation Server?

    Getting closer (I think), but still no success:

    When pasting your code into a blank, well-formed document, I get the following error message:

    Run-Time Error
    Line 2, column 0
    Description: Object doesn't support this property or method

    An “Explorer” tab is created, but it is totally empty. The two other tabs are not removed.
    On retrying, the error message switches to:

    Run-Time Error
    Line 1, Column 0
    Description: Error: unable to add tab

    (I guess because the tab already exists; I'm no developer.) Anyway: Thanks for your great support!

    Greetings
    Michael

    Reply

    Derek Read

    Reply to: Integration with Team Foundation Server?

    Not sure why it would fail and give that error.
    I would try restarting XMetaL and then paste the first 5 lines or all 9 lines again.

    If earlier lines in this script fail then the later lines will not run (which is why the other tabs would not be removed).

    Pasting this multiple times will result in your second error as I did not put any error checking (“try…catch”) code in there. Ultimately this would only ever be run once inside On_Application_Open_Complete and so there would be no need for that.

    Reply

    Faros65

    Reply to: Integration with Team Foundation Server?

    Same result after a complete restart and with only pasting 5 lines.
    Could it possibly interfere with some other application?

    Thanks for your unswerving support.
    Michael

    Reply

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