Unable to create branch on VSTS

When we go live or move to a higher environment there are a lot of tasks to complete beyond development but one of the most important must-dos is to create a branch on the release branch folder. And this is the time when you start facing issues that you never faced before, like VSTS issues. Hopefully, if you work in a big company, you may have someone to help you with on these matters. However, it is not always the case and you have to struggle with the issues.

One of the most common ones is when you get the generic:

TF400962: There was a database update error. Please try your operation again.

…and this is a generic error, believe me, it’s true. You may do a lot of things just to get out of this situation, kinda like this:

  • Make sure the Target Branch Name is below 255 characters (As suggested here). Also make sure the whole path on the machine was also less than 255 characters.
  • Change workspaces.
  • Update Visual Studio to the latest version.
  • Restart Visual Studio.
  • Restart the machine.
  • Branch another directory (To see if the directory that needs to branch isn’t throwing the error).
  • Make sure connection to the TFS server was correct.
  • Checd that you have the correct settings in the workspace.
  • Download the directory I am trying to branch to my PC.

…and this may not be enough either. Usually this error (beyond the generic statement and kinda wild card message) could happen because of any TFS/VSTS SQL Server related issue. Checking the logs on it may give you an idea on what it is, but actually there is an easier way to fix this.

If you have a folder like Dev from which you want to make the branch, you can definitely do a branch from the folders within into the target one, something like this:

And the easiest solution would do the trick, just divide and conquer… like everything else in life!

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I am Diego Gravisaco, I live and work in US. I am originally from Argentina, but I worked and lived in several places as a .Net Tech Leader and Software Architect including Paris, France; Tampa, Florida and other places. I have been working as a Software Architect for quite some time now implementing Service-Oriented Applications and distributed systems with Microsoft Technologies using Agile practices. You can take a look at my linked in page: uy.linkedin.com/in/diegogravisaco

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