26 March 2007

Microsoft Acquires TeamPlain!

The buzz of the day in the land of TFS has to be the story of Microsoft acquiring TeamPlain!  Brian Harry has posted the details but the two main points that stick out is that:

  1. TeamPlain will become Microsoft Visual Studio Team System Web Access (sometime around the "Orcas" release).
  2. It is available immediately as a free download for anyone who owns Team Foundation Server.

The focus of TeamPlain is on TFS work items, however, there is also some built-in version control capabilities, SharePoint integration, Reporting Services integration, and some build support (in a future release).

If you currently have users using the Team Explorer client solely for work item tracking, then you should probably at least give TeamPlain a look.

VSTS Guidance Updated

The Patternes and Practices Visual Studio Team System Guidance site has been updated to include a few new items, including:
Here's a list of what else is also available at this site:
The purpose of the Patternes and Practices Visual Studio Team System Guidance project is to build some insightful and practical guidance around using Microsoft Visual Studio Team System. It's a collaborative effort between patterns & practices, Team System team members, and industry experts.

07 March 2007

VS 2005 SP 1 Update for Windows Vista Released

If you've been developing on Windows Vista using Visual Studio 2005 then you've no doubt become all too familiar with the warning dialog that pops up every time you start Visual Studio (assuming you haven't disabled it). This dialog lets you know that your version of Visual Studio may not work as excepted while developing on Vista and that you should install the Visual Studio 2005 Service Pack 1 Update for Windows Vista.

Since the release of Visual Studio 2005 Service Pack 1, this update was available only as a beta release. Microsoft has now released the non-beta version of this update which can be downloaded here.

Check out the following links if you're curious about what issues exist with Visual Studio 2005 and Windows Vista:

03 March 2007

Outlook Add-In for Team Foundation Server

I came across a (free!) add-in a while back that provides integration of TFS Work Items with Microsoft Outlook 2003.  This add-in provides the following features:

  • Create work items directly from e-mail messages.
  • Submit and edit work items.
  • Execute stored queries.
  • Find work items by ID.
  • Export stored query results.
  • Send work item data and query results by e-mail.
  • Does not require Team Explorer to be installed (although you still need to maintain the required end-user CALs).
  • If you have business owners, testers, quality assurance users, etc. that would like to be able to create and/or manage work items within TFS without having to install Team Explorer (or some other 3rd party interface) then check out this add-in.  It's definitely worth a look.

    The current version supports only Microsoft Outlook 2003 but a version for Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 is in the works and planned to be released soon.

    Read more about it here and/or download the add-in here.

    02 March 2007

    New Orcas Features

    Eric Lee has a nice post on some of the new features found in the current Orcas release. There is some really nice stuff coming out with Orcas, especially in the area of Team Foundation Server. Some of these features include:
    • Code Metrics - view various metrics about your source code.
    • Annotation View for Files under Version Control - lets you see who changed what & when?
    • Team Foundation Server Build Definition Editor - quit messing around in all that XML!
    • Build Retention Policy - automatically remove build files from your drop location.
    • Continuous Builds - finally! :-)
    • Build Queues - lets you queue up builds.
    • Folder Differencing - allows you to compare everything within folders.
    • Runtime Control of a Performance Session - control your performance session as it runs.
    • Query View in Performance Reports - construct queries to sort through your performance data.
    • Integration with Work Item Tracking - right-click to directly create a work item within the Performance Explorer.
    • Performance Report Comparison - compares two performance files.

    These improvements alone make for a nice upgrade (in my opinion) but these don't even include the new advancements made in the new .NET Framework.

    Scott Guthrie has also posted on some of the new web development features found in the current Orcas release. Looks like some really nice features for richer HTML/CSS development, better data querying (via LINQ), etc.. Take a look at Scott's presentation slidedeck for more information.

    The Orcas VPCs can be downloaded from here: