Publish your extension to a local TFS Update 2 server

2016-06-01

With the availability of extensions for TFS I've been looking for an easy way to publish extensions and their updates to the local marketplace. While I'm sure that Microsoft will at some point integrate the two, for now you need to manually sync the extensions between the VSTS Marketplace and your local TFS Marketplace.

Turns out that the tools used to publish to the VSTS Marketplace work for the TFS one as well. to publish an extension you do need to pass in the service url manually and this took a little bit of fiddling to figure out what to put in there. Turns out that it takes the server root,

C:\t>tfx extension publish --root . --manifest-globs vss-extension.json 
    --service-url http://jessehouwing:8080/tfs --proxy http://localhost:8888
Checking if this extension is already published
It isn't, create a new extension.
Waiting for server to validate extension package...

=== Completed operation: publish extension ===
 - Packaging: C:\t\jessehouwing.jessehouwing-vsts-variable-tasks-0.0.0.vsix
 - Publishing: success
 - Sharing: not shared (use --share-with to share)

If your server isn't configured with Basic Authentication enabled, you can use the Fiddler hack to authenticate over NTLM. As you can see by the --proxy option int he command above, that's what I'm doing at the moment.

It should be relatively easy to build a PowerShell script that uses the --json option to list all extensions on the local TFS Marketplace and then check the online marketplace for a newer version to automatically sync extensions which have already been installed. Stick that in a Build Definition on a Schedule and your local marketplace will always be up to date with the latest versions. That's something for a future blogpost.
 

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