Monday, October 20, 2008

Back To Future - Short File Names in TFS

Today I got reminded of something that I wanted to write about quite a while ago (when TFS 2005 was all the rage).

If you have legacy projects, chances are you have some DOS-style 8.3 file names. Not that there’s anything wrong with that... However, you might hit a problem when you start putting these files into TFS. That is, if you have certain file (say parameters.xml) under source control, and have another file with short file name (i.e. parame~1.xml) under the same folder – then you have a problem, since TFS 2005 will become confused when you get files from that folder (that’s how I know about these SF names – in my case there was a file and a subfolder with the same short name). There is wonderfully explicit knowledge base support article (KB 947649) on the topic.

Interesting fact that I did not know before today is that in TFS 2008 you will not have that problem anymore, since you will not be able to add SFN files. However, the data that already is in the repository can still exhibit the weird behavior.

Now, you are going to say that the scenario described above is extremely rare occasion. Yes, it is and this is a good news. But if you have some legacy DOS 8.3 file names stored up in VSS, conversion from VSS to TFS 2008 will not work now, since the short file names are not supported anymore. There is workaround for that described in another wonderfully explicit knowledge base support article (KB 951195).

And finally, there is a whole lot of useful (if a little bit outdated) information on Microsoft Support [make a note to check there often for 2008 stuff].

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