Trouble with TFS (VSTS Online) and Team Authoring

Postby Rob Diaz on Wed Jul 13, 2016 4:55 am

We've been using Doc to Help with the "team build" features enabled for some time and it was working well. A few months ago, this stopped working so well. Essentially, the symptom we see is that when a document is checked out via the Team tab in Doc to Help, an edit lock is placed on the file (properly), but Doc To Help does not show the lock holder by name - it shows what I presume to be the windows SSID for the user instead (screenshot attached)
DocToHelp bug.PNG
. In this state, Doc to Help allows the user to make (most) changes, but when the time comes to check this back in, it does not allow the check in, because it believes someone else holds the lock. It also does not seem to allow updates to the project file itself, so topic ID changes, table of contents updates and similar items do not properly save or check in.

If I use Visual Studio to connect to the TFS server, the lock properly shows as being held by the current user. I can then also check in the files via the Source Control Explorer in Visual Studio.

This ultimately has caused a lot of problems for us. We have about 30 projects in Doc to Help and they have all been corrupted and made virtually unusable by this issue with the Team build feature. To get around it, we've had to create new projects without the Team Build, bring all of the content in, correct links, topic IDs, etc. and then check it in and out manually via Visual Studio. Note that we cannot remove the project from the team build feature because we cannot get Doc To Help to understand that it has ownership of the lock! So this has lost us countless hours.

Is this a known issue with Doc to Help v3 (3.0.0.1217)? Are there troubleshooting steps we should attempt to get around this going forward? We are using TFS via the Visual Studio Online service, so it is always the latest version of TFS. We have seen this behavior on Windows 10 (authoring machine) and Windows Server 2008 R2 (build machine).

Thanks for any assistance you can provide.
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Re: Trouble with TFS (VSTS Online) and Team Authoring

Postby mwright123 on Tue Aug 16, 2016 4:40 am

Hi Rob, I am evaluating Doc-to-Help for my company. Did you get any response to this offline? ...We are using TFS as well.

Thank you,
Mary
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Re: Trouble with TFS (VSTS Online) and Team Authoring

Postby Rob Diaz on Tue Aug 16, 2016 7:39 am

mwright123 wrote:Hi Rob, I am evaluating Doc-to-Help for my company. Did you get any response to this offline? ...We are using TFS as well.

Thank you,
Mary

Hi Mary,

I did not get an offline reply to this. I also did not expect one since I don't have a support contract and also since it seems staff may or may not even visit these forums.

I can't tell you what to do or not to do with regards to Doc-to-Help for your company. I can tell you that I have personally been using Doc-to-Help since it was first released way back in the 90s (WexTech owned it then). I have generally been happy with it even as it moved from one owner to another (Component One, Grape City, MadCap, I think there were a few others in there, too....) I have 17 or 20 projects in Doc-to-Help at this point and all was going well until these Team authoring issues cropped up out of the blue. I've had to pull them all out of Team Build (which I was really only using to have source control access anyway). As far as I can see, there hasn't been an update to Doc-to-Help in quite some time since MadCap took it over, so I don't know if it has been sunset in favor of their other tools or not (I have emailed the sales guy who keeps trying to sell me more licenses and support contracts and also posted here on the forums without any replies). I have posted in a different thread that my solution for the specific issue I documented here was to pull the projects out of Team Build and then let Visual Studio's TFS Source Control handle checkin/checkout. It works, though it is an extra step.

I suspect a lot of that paragraph looks somewhat negative and I don't mean it to be. As I said, I have a lot of projects in Doc-to-Help. It's fairly easy to use and it generally "just works". There's a reason I've been using this product for 20 years when I could have given up on it long ago. The biggest complaints I have are related to some sloppiness in the upgrade process (leaving old templates around, not re-connecting projects to new templates, etc.) and this team authoring issue. We also had the "compile error" documented on a different thread a few weeks ago, which was a pain in the neck. If I was sure MadCap was actually supporting and enhancing this product, I'd say without a doubt that you should strongly consider it. Perhaps you, as a prospective purchaser, might get more info from them about their plans than I can as a long-time customer who isn't seen as a big money spender at this point.

Good luck, whatever you decide.
Rob
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Re: Trouble with TFS (VSTS Online) and Team Authoring

Postby mwright123 on Thu Aug 18, 2016 12:23 pm

Thank you for your feedback, Rob. BTW, have you seen this:
http://kb.madcapsoftware.com/Content/Do ... ements.htm

It doesn't seem to say that 2015 is supported. We are upgrading to TFS 2015 next month.

In your post, I noticed you mention you are always on the most recent version.

-Mary
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Re: Trouble with TFS (VSTS Online) and Team Authoring

Postby Rob Diaz on Thu Aug 18, 2016 1:40 pm

No, I hadn't seen that article. Since we use TFS Online, we don't control the version of it. That may very well explain some of the issues, if Microsoft updated the version on their hosted TFS site.
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Re: Trouble with TFS (VSTS Online) and Team Authoring

Postby mwright123 on Tue Aug 30, 2016 7:33 am

Hi Rob,

Just an update for you - I emailed with a rep from MadCap yesterday who told me that support for TFS 2015 should be in D2H's next rls. No date was given, but the rep did say it was not too far off.

HTH,
Mary
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Re: Trouble with TFS (VSTS Online) and Team Authoring

Postby mwright123 on Mon Sep 12, 2016 7:03 am

Hi Rob,

Just a heads-up that I heard back from my MadCap contact, and as it turns out, support for TFS 2015 won't be included in the next D2H release. Just a heads-up.

HTH,
Mary
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Re: Trouble with TFS (VSTS Online) and Team Authoring

Postby mwright123 on Tue Sep 13, 2016 8:34 am

Just a correction to this - MadCap let me know today that support for TFS 2015 *is* in the next release of D2H. They say it will be this week.

-Mary
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Re: Trouble with TFS (VSTS Online) and Team Authoring

Postby alemmi on Mon Apr 17, 2017 6:25 am

I have the same issue and it began after the dev team updated to TFS 2017 last week. Updating to D2H 4 did not solve the problem.

I cannot rebuild my project or make any edits in D2H. The word from Madcap is that D2H 4 does not support TFS 2017. Has anyone who has experienced this issue been able to resolve it? What did you have to do to get TFS and D2H cooperating again?
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Re: Trouble with TFS (VSTS Online) and Team Authoring

Postby alemmi on Mon Apr 17, 2017 6:37 am

Has anyone who experienced this issue been able to resolve it? What did you do to get D2H working with TFS again?

Our dev team updated to TFS 2017. I now get this exact same issue when working in D2H 4. Do I need to request a separate TFS 2013 instance for documentation or is there a way to make this work from within TFS?

Thanks!
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