21 December 2010

My First Published Windows Phone 7 Apps

Like many other developers out there (there’s over 18,000 registered developers so far) I decided to take a try at writing some applications for Microsoft’s new Windows Phone 7.  I decided to create two simple applications (to start with) – one for free and the other to (try to) sell for $0.99 (USD).  The details for each application is included below.  But first, a few lessons learned.

Lessons Learned

“Twas the Night Before Christmas”

For my first free published application, I decided to take the near-200 year old poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas”, also known as “Twas the Night Before Christmas” and make it available for reading as an off-line Windows Phone 7 application.  With Christmas Eve fast approaching, it seemed like a simple choice :-)

This application allowed me to make use of the Windows Phone Browser Control as well as the Pivot Control.  Probably the biggest challenge with this application was getting the Browser Control to properly read the embedded HTML and image files.  As it turns out, you have to copy the files to Isolated Storage (this only needs to be performed once) before the browser control can directly access them.

Once you install and run the application, you have the option of reading the Introduction, the actual Story, and the Credits (i.e. copyright notice).  Here are a few screen shots:


Read the full application details and/or download the application here.


For my first “non-free” application, I decided to port an application I had originally written for Windows Mobile 6.0 – SafetyTip.  Although the user interface code did not directly port (not even close :-), the underlying business logic ported just fine – since it was c# code.

This application is not just another tip calculator but rather calculates what I like to call “visually verifiable” tips.  In other words, it will generate a tip that, when added to the original amount, will total up to an amount that can be visually verified by looking at it.  For example, one of the methods available for selection is “Palindrome”.  This method ensures the "cents" digits are the reverse of the first two "dollar" digits.  For example, in the screen shots below, you can see that the tip calculated for $100 using this method (at 15%) is 15.51.  Add this to the total for $115.51.  Note how the "cents" digits, ".51" is the reverse of the first two "dollars" digits, "15".  If you get your credit/debit card statement and these sets of digits are not reversed, then you know you should probably check into what's going on.

This application provided me the opportunity to work with the Silverlight for Windows Phone Toolkit.  I utilized the ListPicker control from the toolkit to list the various tip calculation methods (there are a total of four).  Working with this toolkit is simple and there are various examples to learn from.

Here are a few screen shots of the application:


Read the full application details and/or download the application here.

What’s Next?

Like many other software alchemists out there, I have a running list of ideas that I hope to convert to Windows Phone applications in the relatively near future.  Given the simplicity of the Windows Phone 7 platform, I just might stand a chance!

16 December 2010

ALM Summit Videos Available On-line

If you were not able to attend the ALM Summit this year, the session videos are now available on-line.  You can view the session video links here as well as in the table below.  Currently, the videos are available only in streaming format for on-line viewing.  It is hoped that off-line (i.e. downloadable) versions will be made available in the near future.


Session Title


Day 1

Ken Schwaber (scrum.org)

Keynote: Scrum: The 3rd Decade

The inventor of Scrum describes his collaboration with Microsoft to create the Professional Scrum Developer training for VS 2010 customers.

Watch video

David West (Forrester)

The State of ALM: An Industry View

Dave is full of insights and data about the state of agile adoption in the industry and Microsoft’s emerging leadership.  He is hilariously entertaining.   This is a must watch.

Watch video

Jamie Cool

Heterogeneous ALM Environments

Any customer who questions whether we are serious about 1st-class Java support in TFS should watch Jamie demo Team Explorer Everywhere.  He flips between Linux and Windows and demonstrates gated check-in catching errors in Java development on a mixed technology project.

Watch video

Tony Scott

Keynote: CIO Perspectives on Innovation

Watch video

John Szurek (Clear Channel)

Using Failure to Pave the Path for Success

Watch video

Drew Fletcher

Managing Change: Scenario-Focused Engineering

Watch video

Cameron Skinner

Agile Transformation of a Microsoft Product Team

This no-demo, almost slide-free talk will remove any doubts that Microsoft is serious about applying agile practices internally.  Cameron describes his experiences running three product teams and leading them through agile transformation.  As you can see below, he got the top scores of any speaker.

Watch video

Day 2

Brian Harry

Keynote: From Individual to Team to Organization

Brian describes the evolution of Microsoft into from non-player into ALM leader and hints at our future roadmap.

Watch video

Amit Chopra

Making Continuous Delivery a Reality From Product Backlog to Virtual Environments

Watch video

Stephanie Cuthbertson

Successful Software Project Management Styles

Steph does a great talk on the top ten lessons learned in our own development and use of TFS. 

Watch video

Karel Deman (Avanade)

Increasing Revenue Opportunities With Automated Development Tools

Watch video

Mario Cardinal (Urban Turtle)

Extending the ALM Platform

Watch video

Grant Holliday

Synchronizing and Migrating ALM Environments

This talk is for customers who are looking for TFS to interoperate with their other ALM servers.  Grant is very clear about the decisions to make, their rationale and possibilities.

Watch video

Jim Newkirk

Values: Exploring the Why Behind What We Do

Watch video

Mary Czerwinski

Toward the Future of Collaborative Development

Watch video

Day 3

Sam Guckenheimer

Keynote: The Agile Consensus

I contrast the beliefs of the 20th Century with the Consensus emerging in the ‘10’s around modern engineering practices.  I jump over the transitional decade to show how far we’ve come.  This is a talk for “Hybrid Agile” customers wondering about how to make agile practices work in their contexts.

Watch video

Ido Eshed (IDF)

Requirements Management: A Smooth Transition

Watch video

Vinod Malhotra

Testing in an Agile World

Watch video

Jon Bach (Quardev)

The Marriage of Exploratory Testing and Agile Development

Watch video

David Starr (Pluralsight)

Professional Scrum Developer Practices

Watch video

David Green (TaskTop)

Connecting Developer Workflow: Mylyn and the Task-Focused Interface

Watch video

Ken Schwaber, David Starr, Sam Guckenheimer, Peter Provost, Eric Willeke

ALM Summit Panel Discussion

Watch video

08 December 2010

Visual Studio 2010/TFS 2010 SP1 Beta

The Visual Studio 2010/TFS 2010 SP1 Beta has been released to MSDN Subscribers.  The SP1 Beta will be released to the general public this Thursday.  The SP1 Beta does come with a “Go Live” license which basically means it can be installed in a production environment and an upgrade path to the final release version will be supported.

There are several new features included in this service pack beta (some of which were previously available as a separate download) as well as quite a few bug fixes.  Some of the new features include:

  • Local Help Viewer
  • Silverlight 4 Tools
  • Unit Testing on .NET 3.5 (yeah!)
  • Intellitrace for 64-bit and SharePoint
  • Performance Wizard for Silverlight
  • VB Compiler runtime switch (/vbruntime)

For the full details, including download links, see Brian Harry’s post here.

20 November 2010

Free Microsoft Press eBooks

If you’re looking for a set of free eBooks (PDF and XPS formats) to catch up on some light reading, you might want to check these out:

16 November 2010

Visual Studio 2010 Feature Pack 2

Not too long ago, Brian Harry posted that Feature Pack 2 was imminent.  As of yesterday, Visual Studio 2010 Feature Pack 2 is available for download (here).

This feature pack is cumulative in that it will also install the features previously available in Feature Pack 1.  The highlights of Feature Pack 2 include:

Testing features:

  • Use Microsoft Test Manager to capture and playback action recordings for Silverlight 4 applications.
  • Create coded UI tests for Silverlight 4 applications with Visual Studio 2010 Premium or Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate.
  • Edit coded UI tests using a graphical editor with Visual Studio 2010 Premium or Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate.
  • Use action recordings to fast forward through manual tests that need to support Mozilla Firefox 3.5 and 3.6.
  • Run coded UI tests for web applications using Mozilla Firefox 3.5 and 3.6 with Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Premium or Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate.

Code visualization and modeling features (requires Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate):

  • Use the Generate Code command to generate skeleton code from elements on UML class diagrams. You can use the default transformations, or you can write custom transformations to translate UML types into code.
  • Create UML class diagrams from existing code.
  • Explore the organization and relationships in C, C++, and ASP.NET projects by generating dependency graphs.
  • Import elements from UML sequence diagrams, class diagrams, and use case diagrams as XMI 2.1 files that are exported from other modeling tools.
  • Create links and view links from work items to model elements.
  • Create layer diagrams from C or C++ code and validate dependencies.
  • Write code to modify layer diagrams and to validate code against layer diagrams.

NOTE: Visual Studio 2010 Feature Pack 2 requires that the hotfix, KB2403277, be installed prior to installing the Feature Pack.  For details about what’s included in this hotfix, check out this link.

Related Links:

  • Download the Visual Studio Feature Pack 2 here (MSDN subscribers only).
  • Read Brian’s post here.
  • Wondering what a Feature Pack is, check out this post.

15 November 2010

Talks and Slides

Over the past few weeks, I’ve given six talks (on three subjects) at three different conferences.  Although the slide decks are pretty much the same between conferences, I thought I’d go ahead and post links to them all here in case anyone is looking for them.

Tulsa TechFest, November 2010

Tyson Development Conference, October 2010

Heartland Developer Conference, September 2010

09 November 2010

Testing Tool Enhancements Coming

Brian Harry has blogged about the forthcoming Feature Pack 2.  If you make use of Coded UI Tests and/or Microsoft Test Runner, then you will be interested in this Feature Pack.  This Feature Pack, once released, will contain the following features:

  • The ability to test Silverlight 4.0 applications (currently, browser-hosted applications only – out-of-browser applications will be supported in the future).
  • Playback of recorded tests in Firefox.  You still have to record the test scripts using Internet Explorer (v7.0 or later), however, you can play them back in either browser.
  • Coded UI Test Editor.  This new editor will allow you to manage certain aspects of your coded UI tests easier than before.

To get the full details, read Brian’s post here.

20 October 2010

“Context Menu” Patch for Visual Studio 2010

If you have been using Visual Studio 2010 for any time at all then you’ve no doubt been annoyed by scrolling context menus.  This issue arises when you right-click an item within the Solution Explorer and, although there is plenty of screen real estate, the context menu forces you to scroll through the menu items.

A set of hotfixes has been released to mostly resolve this issue.  I say “mostly” because if your screen resolution is set fairly low and/or you have a lot of Visual Studio add-ins/extensions installed, then the context menu still may not be fully expanded when displayed.

For the download links, see this post.

30 September 2010

OTSUG–A Look at Visual Studio 2010 Testing Tools

Last night, Russ Wagner and I met with the Omaha Team System User Group to present on “Creating Quality Software: A Look at Visual Studio 2010 Testing Tools”.  Once again, Farm Credit Services of America hosted the event and provided pizza for the attendees.

Here’s the description of the talk we gave:

Visual Studio 2010 provides application lifecycle management (ALM) tools that enable teams to create quality software.  In this presentation, Jeff Bramwell and Russ Wagner will demonstrate the new testing features of Visual Studio 2010 including Microsoft Test Manager, Test Runner, Coded UI Tests, Load Testing capabilities, and more.  If you've never had a chance to see some of the new testing features in Visual Studio 2010, or if you simply have questions regarding the use of the testing tools, this meeting is for you.

If you’re interested in the PowerPoint slides, you can download them here

OTSUG LogoFor more information about the Omaha Team System User Group:

Microsoft SQL Server 2008 SP2 Released

Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Service Pack 2 is now available for download.

What’s included in this service pack:

  • SQL Server Utility. After you apply SP2, an instance of the SQL Server 2008 Database Engine can be enrolled with a utility control point as a managed instance of SQL Server. For more information, see Overview of SQL Server Utility in SQL Server 2008 R2 Books Online.

  • Data-tier Application (DAC). Instances of the SQL Server 2008 Database Engine support all DAC operations after SP2 has been applied. You can deploy, upgrade, register, extract, and delete DACs. SP2 does not upgrade the SQL Server 2008 client tools to support DACs. You must use the SQL Server 2008 R2 client tools, such as SQL Server Management Studio, to perform DAC operations. A data-tier application is an entity that contains all of the database objects and instance objects used by an application. A DAC provides a single unit for authoring, deploying, and managing the data-tier objects. For more information, see Designing and Implementing Data-tier Applications.

  • Reporting Services in SharePoint Integrated Mode. SQL Server 2008 SP2 provides updates for Reporting Services SharePoint integration. SQL Server 2008 SP2 report servers can integrate with SharePoint 2010 products. SQL Server 2008 SP2 also provides a new add-in for SharePoint 2007 products. The new add-in supports the integration of SharePoint 2007 products with SQL Server 2008 R2 report servers.  For more information see the “What’s New in SharePoint Integration and SQL Server 2008 Service Pack 2 (SP2)” section in What's New (Reporting Services).

The full details of this service pack are available in the Microsoft SQL Server 2008 SP2 Release Notes.

Here are the various download links:

13 September 2010

Visual Studio 2010 Testing Tools Round Up

Yesterday, I co-presented a session covering some of the testing tools available in Visual Studio 2010.  Overall, the talk seemed to go very well.  In fact, the majority of the feedback responses were highly positive.  However, there was one negative comment – “This talk really was about Team Foundation Server.  Without this expensive application, the information provided is useless.

This comment was, no doubt, formulated based on a statement I had made near the start of my talk.  I pointed out that Microsoft Test Manager relied on Team Foundation Server (TFS) and that it could not be utilized without it.  In hindsight, I should have clearly pointed out that the remaining test tools found within the various SKUs of Visual Studio 2010 are not reliant on TFS to be functional.  Also, although it wasn’t directly relevant to the topic at hand, I should have pointed out that TFS is now included with Visual Studio Ultimate/Test Professional (w/MSDN) – thereby possibly addressing the “…expensive application…” portion of the above statement.

To address some of the confusion around the various testing tools available within the various Visual Studio 2010 SKUs, I’ve create the following graphic (note: each of the SKUs listed below are assumed to have a corresponding MSDN subscription):


For full comparison of Visual Studio features, click here

If you’re not familiar with all of these testing features found in Visual Studio 2010, check out the links below for more details.

  • Lab Management REQUIRES TFS – Lab Management lets you manage a collection of virtual machines, templates, and virtual environments for your Team Foundation team project. You can use these environments to develop, test, or run your application.  Many of the Lab Management features can be integrated into your automated builds as well.
  • Microsoft Test Manager - REQUIRES TFS – this is a brand new product with Visual Studio 2010 providing the following capabilities:
    • Create Test Plans
    • Create/Manage Test Suites
    • Create/Manage Test Configurations (e.g. Operating System, Web Browser, etc.)
    • Create/Manage Test Cases
    • Manual Testing – with the ability to record test actions
    • “Fast Forward” capabilities – the ability to automatically run through a selected set of manual test steps that have been previously recorded.
    • Lots more
  • Basic Unit Tests – Unit tests give developers and testers a quick way to look for logic errors in the methods of classes in Visual C#, Visual Basic, and Visual C++ projects.  TFS is not required for unit tests to operate in Visual Studio.  However, if you have TFS, the results can be published for later review.
  • Database Unit Tests – You can use database unit tests to establish a baseline state for your database and then to verify any subsequent changes that you make to database objects.  NOTE: In Visual Studio 2010 Professional, you can run database unit tests but you cannot create or modify tests in the designer.
  • Generic Unit Tests - A generic test typically wraps an automated test or tool that was previously created outside the Visual Studio Team System framework. Using generic tests, therefore, is a means for taking advantage of an existing test infrastructure.
  • Ordered Tests - An ordered test contains other tests (e.g. unit, web, generic, manual, and ordered tests, but not load tests) that are meant to be run in a specified order.
  • Coded UI Tests - You can use Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate or Visual Studio 2010 Premium to create automated tests of the user interface (UI) known as coded UI tests.
  • Load Tests - You use a load test to encapsulate non-manual tests, that is, unit, Web, generic, ordered tests, and then run them simultaneously by using virtual users. Running these tests under load generates test results, including performance and other counters, in tables and in graphs.
  • Web Performance Tests - Web tests consist of an ordered series of HTTP Requests that you record in a browser session using Microsoft Internet Explorer. You can also create a coded Web test, in which you can add more advanced features, such as flow control.
  • Test Impact Analysis - By using Test Impact Analysis during code development, you can identify the methods in a test project that have been affected by code changes in your managed code solution.
  • Code Coverage - You can use the code coverage feature of Visual Studio Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) to determine what proportion of your project's code is actually being tested using unit tests.

10 September 2010

HDC 2010–In the Books

For the past three days, the Heartland Developers Conference has been in full swing.  The first day was comprised entirely of hands-on classes (eight choices all together) while the remaining two days consisted of 45 sessions, 4 keynotes, and 2 receptions/after parties.  All this for a steal at $250 (plus a little extra if you signed up for any of the 1st day classes)!  Needless to say, Joe Olsen has once again put on a great conference.

I attended several sessions over the past couple of days and there was some great information to be consumed presented by some great speakers.  My personal favorite, other than my own session of course Smile, was the Windows Phone 7 “Deep Dive” session by Jeff Brand.

Russ Wagner and I had the privilege to present on “Generating Quality Software: A Look at Visual Studio 2010 Testing Tools”.  Overall, the session seemed to go very well – especially since we were in the final time slot for the conference (just prior to the closing keynote and giveaways!).  We were constrained to 45 minutes so we had to pack a lot of information into a short amount of time.  Due to the time constraints, we decided to try something a little different… We utilized a second projector to display the PowerPoint slides on while we demonstrated various features on the main screen.  This allowed us to focus on the demonstrations while still allowing the audience to review the various feature highlights contained within the slide deck.

If you missed our session and would like a chance to see it, we will be presenting an extended version of today’s session at the next Omaha Team System User Group meeting (where we’re not constrained to 45 minutes).  You can also view the session’s slide deck here.

For all those who traveled for the conference, have a safe trip home and we hope to see you again next year!

09 September 2010

TFS Power Tools–September 2010 Release

The latest release of the Team Foundation Server 2010 Power Tools are now available for download:

There are several new features in this release of the tools, including:

  • Admin Console Backup/Restore Wizard – you can now quickly and easily setup a backup schedule from within the Team Foundation Server Administration Console.
  • View With – this feature adds a new context menu item, View With…, to the Source Control Explorer (SCE) window in Visual Studio 2010 giving you the ability to view a file, directly from the SCE, using a non-default application (e.g. Notepad, etc.).  You can also change the default application for a given file extension.
  • Clone Build Definition – this feature provides the ability to right-click a build definition and create a copy of it.  This will be a nice time saver for anyone who has to create multiple but similar builds.
  • Copy Work Item Shortcut – this is a new context menu item for the results of a work item search.  This allows you to easily copy one or more work item hyperlinks to the Windows clipboard which can then be pasted into an e-mail message, etc.
  • TFPT Branches – a new “branches” command has been added to the TFPT command line utility.  This command mimics similar branching functionality available in Visual Studio 2010 today providing command line access.

You can get the full details on Brian Harry’s blog, here.

20 August 2010

Visual Studio 2010 Lab Management – Released!

The final update for Visual Studio 2010 Lab Management has been released (click here for the download).  This update contains fixes and updates to the Lab Management functionality to improve performance, stability, usability and diagnostic information.

Here’s a list of major fixes for Lab Management included in this update:

  • Improves performance for Lab Management Workflow Wizard.
  • Improves performance for running automated test cases on Network Isolated Lab environments.
  • Fixes an issue in which a Test Controller service account that is the same as a Lab Service account causes issues with environment capabilities.
  • There is a new Expression Encoder 4.0 based Video Diagnostic data adapter to collect video recording when you perform tests. This diagnostic adapter replaces the Windows Media Encoder base video diagnostic adapter. This functionality is also available as a separate update.  For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base: 2160831

However, there is more than just Lab Management updates and fixes in this update.  There are numerous fixes for Team Foundation Server and the Visual Studio Team Explorer 2010 client as well.  Click here to see a list of other fixes included with this update.

If you run the update on your development machine (applies to Visual Studio 2010 Professional and Ultimate only), you should see the update (KB983578) referenced in the Visual Studio 2010 About dialog – for example:

Visual Studio 2010 About Dialog

This update applies to the following:

  • TFS 2010 Application Tier servers
  • TFS 2010 build machines
  • Client machines (i.e. machines running Microsoft Test Manager and/or Visual Studio 2010)
  • Test Controller Machines
  • Lab Virtual Machines (VMs)

For more information, check out these links:

18 August 2010

LightSwitch Beta 1 – Released

A couple of weeks ago, Microsoft announced Visual Studio LightSwitch – a new addition to the Visual Studio family of products.  Today, Microsoft made LightSwitch Beta 1 available on the MSDN subscribers downloads site (look under New Downloads->Visual Studio 2010).  The beta will be made available to the public on Monday, August 23rd, on the LightSwitch Developer Center.

Check out these links for more information:

TFS 2010 Backup Power Tool – Coming Soon

As with any software system that stores its data within a database, you need to have a sound backup/restore process to protect your data.  Team Foundation Server is no different.  Considering the number and types of artifacts stored within TFS, every TFS installation should have a sound backup strategy.  This sounds easy enough, but if you’ve ever read the MSDN documentation, “Backing Up and Restoring Your Deployment”, then you know there are numerous steps involved with creating a backup strategy for your TFS installation.  If you’re in a small shop, then you may not have dedicated database administrators who are comfortable following these steps ensuring the databases are backed up.

Today, Brian Harry posted a blog entry (here) announcing a new power tool, to be included with the next release of the Team Foundation Power Tools, that allows you to easily implement a backup strategy for your TFS installation.  The entire process is wizard driven allowing you to quickly and easily setup a backup strategy and schedule.  You do not need to understand all the ins-and-outs of the underlying database backup jobs.

Creating a backup strategy is only half the equation.  The new power tool will also allow you to easily restore your backed up databases in one of two ways: 1) By team project collection (TPC) or 2) the entire set of TFS databases.

There is no release date set as of yet but it is expected to be released within the next couple of months.

You can read the full post here.

05 August 2010

Lab Management to RTM – and other News

Visual Studio 2010 Lab ManagementIf you’ve been following VSLive this week, there were some exciting announcements regarding Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Lab Management yesterday.  Including:

  1. RTW: Lab Management is now scheduled to RTW by the end of August.  This is great news if you have been waiting for the final release version before implementing Lab Management.
  2. Updates: In relation to the above, a set of updates will be released that will update your TFS 2010 server, Test Professional client, and your build/lab agents.  This set of updates not only include the Lab Management updates but all TFS improvements that have been made since its release several months ago.
  3. Licensing: Finally, what may be possibly the biggest/best announcement, is the price… Originally, Microsoft was considering charging a per-processor license for the lab agents.  However, after various feedback, they decided that would complicate licensing too much.  Therefore, they have decided to make the lab agents available (i.e. included) with TFS 2010 as well as Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate with MSDN and Visual Studio 2010 Test Professional with MSDN.

If you’ve been waiting for the final release of Lab Management, then your wait is almost over.  If you’ve been on the fence about Lab Management because of the potential cost of the agents, then your problem has been solved.

Read more:

03 August 2010

Visual Studio LightSwitch Announced

Today, Microsoft announced a new Visual Studio product, LightSwitch, scheduled for Beta 1 release on August 23rd.

“Microsoft Visual Studio LightSwitch Beta helps you solve specific business needs by enabling you to quickly create professional-quality business applications, regardless of your development skills. LightSwitch is a new addition to the Visual Studio family.”

You can loosely relate the idea of LightSwitch to that of Microsoft Access – but better.  LightSwitch will allow you to perform data mash-ups from various data sources (e.g. Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft SQL Azure, SharePoint, WCF RIA Services, etc.) and present the resulting data on (skinnable) professional looking screens that get generated automatically by LightSwitch.

If you need to modify the application above and beyond what gets generated for you, you can use Visual Basic or C# to customize the code to your needs.

Once everything is to your liking, you can deploy the application to the desktop or a browser (support for cloud deployment will be available post beta 1).  The beauty of LightSwitch is that you don’t have to worry about the deployment platform while you’re building the application.  And, since LightSwitch generates Silverlight-based applications (running on the .NET Framework 4.0), it supports multiple browsers and/or operating systems.

This will be an exciting product to watch over the next few months!

For more information, check out these links:

13 July 2010

Visual Studio 2010 Quick Reference Guidance now in Spanish

Francisco Fagas, Microsoft Most Valuable professional (MVP) and Visual Studio ALM Ranger, has localized the Visual Studio 2010 Quick Reference Guidance for the Spanish communities. Find the latest bits in both English and Spanish here, whereby you need to select “View All Downloads” to see the “Spanish - Quick Reference Guidance” download package.

Check out this post to see a list of other languages that will be available for various guidance in the near future.

Also, check out this post for a list of all guidance provided by the Visual Studio ALM Rangers.

PDC 2010

Just announced, there will be a Professional Developers Conference (PDC) this year after all.  And, for the first time, it will be on Microsoft’s campus in Redmond.

The PDC has always provided direct access to the people behind the technologies, but this year we’re upping the ante by providing access to the places, too. For the first time ever, our most influential customers will converge on the Microsoft Campus in Redmond for the PDC, this October 28 – 29, 2010. We’re opening the doors to our buildings and labs, and providing unprecedented access to Microsoft’s leaders and engineering teams on their home turf.

Registration for the conference is now open.

29 June 2010

Visual Studio 2010 VM and Hands-on-Labs

Brian Keller recently posted the availability of the new Visual Studio 2010 RTM Virtual Machine with Sample Data and Hands-on-Labs.

This virtual machine (VM) includes Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate, Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010, and a sample application along with sample data which supports 9 hands-on-labs. This VM includes everything you need to learn and/or deliver demonstrations of many of my favorite application lifecycle management (ALM) capabilities in Visual Studio 2010. This VM is available in the virtualization platform of your choice (Hyper-V, Virtual PC 2007 SP1, and Windows [7] Virtual PC).

This is a great download for anyone wanting to learn more about TFS, experiment with new features, or even for giving presentations.

Check out Brian’s post for the full details.

26 June 2010

Visual Studio 2010 Architecture Tooling Guidance

The Visual Studio ALM Rangers have just released the Visual Studio 2010 Architecture Tooling Guidance.  Here is the description of the guidance:

Practical guidance for Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate, focused on modeling tools. This release includes common usage scenarios, hands on labs and lessons learned from community discussions. The scenarios include understanding and reverse engineering an existing solution or starting a new solution from scratch. These are both common challenges that any dev lead or architect faces. The intent is not to give you an in-depth tour of the product features, but to present you with examples that show how these tools can support you in real world scenarios, and to provide you with practical guidance and checklists. This guidance is focused on practical ways of effectively using Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate and other tools to create a new or revised design as part of application lifecycle management (ALM).

The Rangers involved with this project are: Alan Wills (MSFT), Bijan Javidi (MSFT), Christof Sprenger (MSFT), Clemens Reijnen (MVP), Clementino de Mendonca (MVP), Edward Bakker (MVP), Francisco Xavier Fagas AlbarracĂ­n (MVP), Marcel de Vries (MVP), Michael Lehman (MSFT), Randy Miller (MSFT), Tiago Pascoal (MVP), Willy-Peter Schaub (MSFT), Suhail Dutta (MSFT), David Trowbridge (MSFT), Hassan Fadili (MVP), Mathias Olausson (MVP), Rob Steel (MSFT) and Shawn Cicoria (MSFT).

There are three separate packages available for download, including:

  • Common Questions and Scenarios --> Start here
  • Common Questions and Scenarios Visual Studio Extension Guidance Package (forthcoming)
  • Hands-On-Labs (HOLs), including:
    • New Solution Scenario (HOL)
    • Reverse Engineering Scenario (HOL)
    • Extensibility Extensions (HOL)
    • Extensibility Layer Diagrams (HOL)
    • Reusable Architecture (HOL)
    • Validating an Architecture (HOL)

For more information, visit the Architecture Tooling Guidance site.

18 June 2010

WCF Load Test (Beta) for Visual Studio 2010

The Visual Studio ALM Rangers have released an update to the WCF Load Test Tool.  Apart from some bug fixes, the main difference is that this version integrates with Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate Edition.  After this release, the Rangers plan to convert the code to the .NET Framework 4.0, so future releases will only work with Visual Studio 2010 or later.

If you’re not familiar with the WCF Load Test Tool, here’s a quick description:

This tool takes a WCF trace file and a WCF client proxy, or a WCF interface contract, and generates a unit test that replays the same sequence of calls found in the trace file. The code generated is easily modifiable so that data variation can be introduced for the purpose of doing performance testing.

Please post your feedback on the Codeplex Discussions tab.

You can download the release here.

15 June 2010

Removing “Stuck” TFS 2008 Build Controllers

When migrating from Team Foundation Server 2008 to Team Foundation Server 2010 the TFS 2008 build controllers are included.  Even if you’ve setup and configured new build controllers for TFS 2010, you will still see the old (TFS 2008) build controllers in the Manage Build Controllers dialog (note: to display the Manage Build Controllers dialog, expand a team project’s node in Team Explorer, right-click on the Builds node, and select Manage Build Controllers).

In the screen shot below, you can see the Default Build Controller for TFS 2010 at the top along with ten build agents below (spread across five build machines).  At the bottom, there are two build controllers left over from TFS 2008.  Note that the Status is set to “Offline”.  If you no longer need the old (TFS 2008) build controllers, you can select them and click on the Remove button.  In most cases, this works as expected – the build controllers go bye-bye.

Manage Build Controllers

In some cases, you might get a dialog like this:

Can't Delete Build Controller

This dialog is telling you that one or more builds were in a Queued state when TFS 2008 was migrated to TFS 2010.  Since it thinks a build is active/queued, it will not allow you to delete the old build controller.

So, how do you get rid of the build controller?  All you have to do is locate the offending builds (left over from TFS 2008) and cancel them.  Sounds simple, right?  The problem is that there is no built-in mechanism for viewing a list of all queued builds across all build agents for a build controller.  So, you have a couple of choices:

  1. Go through the builds for each of your team projects one-by-one looking for queued builds.  This approach is simple enough if you have only a few team projects.  But what if you have dozens or hundreds?
  2. Locate the queued builds by querying the TFS transactional database.  This option does require at least “Read” access to the Team Project Collection (TPC) database.

Following step 2 above, to get a list of queued builds, run the following SQL script (using the correct collection database name):

SELECT bc.DisplayName, bq.DropLocation, bc.QueueCount, bc.Status
  FROM [Tfs_DefaultCollection].[dbo].[tbl_BuildController] bc
  JOIN [Tfs_DefaultCollection].[dbo].[tbl_BuildQueue] bq ON
bc.ControllerId = bq.ControllerId
WHERE bc.Status = 2 -- Queued
ORDER BY bc.DisplayName

This will give you a list of results including all builds currently in a “Queued” state.  For example:

DisplayName       DropLocation         QueueCount  Status
OLD-Controller1\  \\DropMachine\Proj1  3           2
OLD-Controller2\  \\DropMachine\Proj2  3           2

Using the information above, you should be able to determine which project(s) have queued builds lingering around.

Armed with this information, expand the desired team project in Team Explorer, right-click on the Builds node, and select View Builds.

View Builds

Click on the Queued tab, and if necessary, modify the filters to display all queued builds.  You should now see the queued build in the list.

Show Queued Builds

To cancel the build, simply right-click the desired build in the list and select Cancel.  If there are any remaining builds in your list, simply repeat these steps until all desired builds have been cancelled.

Cancel Build

Once the builds have been cancelled, you should be able to remove the old build controllers from the list as shown above (via the Manage Build Controllers dialog).

As an alternative to the “search-and-cancel” process above, you can also set the value of the tbl_BuildQueue.Status column to 16 – for “Cancelled” (for each of the builds to be cancelled).  This has the same effect as manually cancelling a build in the Build Explorer but it does require rights to update the data in the database.

27 May 2010

Check for Warnings/Errors Check-in Policy (2008)

A couple of weeks ago, I posted on an update for the Check for Warnings/Errors Check-in Policy for Visual Studio 2010 / TFS 2010.  This version was posted here on the Visual Studio Gallery.  Since then, I’ve received some questions about an update for the Visual Studio 2008 / TFS 2008 version of this check-in policy as the one I posted last September had an issue when checking in source code from the command line.

I have now also posted an updated version of the Check for Warnings/Errors Check-in Policy for Visual Studio 2008 / TFS 2008.  If you’re still using TFS 2008 (and I’m sure a lot of you are) then you can download the updated check-in policy here.


To add this check-in policy to your Team Project:

  1. Download and install the Check for Compilation Warnings and Errors Check-in Policy.  NOTE: Anyone checking in code will need to install the check-in policy on their local development workstations.
  2. Within the Team Explorer in Visual Studio 2008, right-click on the desired Team Project and select Team Project Settings->Source Control.

  3. Click on the Check-in Policy tab, select Check for Compilation Warnings and Error Policy and click OK.

  4. Click on the Edit button and select the level of Warnings and/or Errors to check for.

  5. Click OK and OK to close the dialog windows.

Once installed and configured, the check-in policy works like any other.  You can check the Pending Changes window for violations as seen in this screen shot:


This version of the Check for Compilation Warnings and Errors Check-in Policy supports Visual Studio 2008 and Team Foundation Server 2008.  The Visual Studio 2010 version is available here.

26 May 2010

OTSUG – Migrating to TFS 2010

Last night, Russ Wagner and I met with the Omaha Team System User Group to present on “Migrating to TFS 2010: Lessons Learned”.  Once again, Farm Credit Services of America hosted the event and provided pizza for the attendees.

Here’s the description of the talk we gave:

In this presentation, Jeff Bramwell and Russ Wagner will discuss the steps taken to upgrade to Team Foundation Server 2010.  The talk will cover up-front planning, tasks that need to be completed in the process, and how to plan for contingencies.  They will also cover various lessons learned along the way.  After the session, they will open it up for questions and answers to give attendees a chance to ask questions as well as share experiences with each other.

It was a small group but everyone came prepared with questions which made for a great and interactive discussion.  We enjoyed the opportunity to share some of the lessons we learned from our experiences while migrating from TFS 2008 to TFS 2010.  All in all, it was another great user group meeting!

If you’re interested in the PowerPoint slides, they’re available here.  For more information about the Omaha Team System User Group:

18 May 2010

TFS Administration Tool v2.0 Released

With each release of Team Foundation Server, administration gets a little easier.  The release of TFS 2010 introduces the Team Foundation Administration Console (TFS Admin Console) providing a much simpler approach to administering Team Foundation Server.  However, even the TFS Admin Console does not provide any support for managing permissions between Team Projects, SharePoint, and SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS).

That’s where the Team Foundation Server Administration Tool comes in…

Here’s the official description from the TFS Admin Tool site:

The TFS Administration Tool allows Team Foundation Server administrators to manage user permissions on all three platforms utilized by Team Foundation Server: Team Foundation Server, SharePoint, and SQL Server Reporting Services. The tool also allows administrators to easily copy user permissions among team projects and to easily identify any missing permissions on any of the three platforms.

If you manage user permissions for any number of Team Projects, this utility is a must have!

As of a few days ago, Version 2.0 of the TFS Admin Tool was released.  This release focuses on resolving several bug fixes and introduces a new feature – User Import.  The new User Import feature allows you to easily copy user permissions from one Team Project to another – very handy!

Version 2.0 supports TFS 2005, 2008, and 2010 – with some caveats.  Before installing the Team Foundation Server Administration Tool v2.0, you must have the following installed:

NOTE: Even if you have Visual Studio 2010 installed, along with the Visual Studio Team Explorer 2010 client, you will still need to have the Team System 2008 Team Explorer client (with SP1) installed.  The TFS Admin Tool is currently compiled against the TFS 2008 Object Model and therefore must have the referenced assemblies installed on the client machine.  At some point in the future, once some internal code refactoring has taken place, there will most likely be a version compiled directly against the TFS 2010 Object Model that does not require any of the TFS 2008 assemblies to be installed.

So, download the tool and try it out.  Please provide feedback on the project site in the Discussions or Issue Tracker tabs.

14 May 2010

Check for Warnings/Errors Check-in Policy

A while back, I wrote about the Check for Warnings/Errors Check-in Policy – a custom check-in policy that I had developed for Team Foundation Server 2008.  Yesterday, I published version 2.1, updated for Team Foundation Server 2010, to the Visual Studio Gallery.  The features are the same as the TFS 2008 version with a couple of exceptions:

  1. You now have the ability to restrict the set of warnings to Code Contract warnings only.
  2. The settings for the check-in policy are now stored as TFS properties (more on this in an upcoming post).

Here are the details…


To add this check-in policy to your Team Project:

  1. Download and install the Check for Compilation Warnings and Errors Check-in Policy (see Where to Download below).  NOTE: Anyone checking in code will need to install the check-in policy on their local development workstations.
  2. Within the Team Explorer in Visual Studio 2010, right-click on the desired Team Project and select Team Project Settings->Source Control.

  3. Click on the Check-in Policy tab, select Check for Compilation Warnings and Error Policy and click OK.

  4. Click on the Edit button and select the level of Warnings and/or Errors to check for.  If you select Warnings, you can optionally restrict the set of warnings to Code Contract warnings only by checking the Code Contract Warnings Only checkbox.

  5. Click OK and OK to close the dialog windows.

Once installed and configured, the check-in policy works like any other.  You can check the Pending Changes window for violations as seen in this screen shot:


This version of the Check for Compilation Warnings and Errors Check-in Policy supports Visual Studio 2010 and Team Foundation Server 2010 only - it is not compatible with Team Foundation Server 2008.

Where to Download:

There are two options for downloading:

  1. You can download this check-in policy directly from the Visual Studio Galleryhere.
  2. From within Visual Studio 2010, you can use the Extension Manager to locate and download the check-in.  To do this:
    1. Click on Tools—>Extension Manager.
    2. Click on the Online Gallery “tab” on the left side of the Extension Manager dialog.
    3. In the Search Online Gallery field, enter “check for warnings” and press Enter.
    4. Locate the “Check for Compilation Warnings and Errors Policy” (at the time of this writing, it is the only item in the search results) and click Download.

If you have any feedback, please utilize the “Reviews” and/or “Discussions” tab on the gallery link above.

24 April 2010

TFS 2010 Power Tools Released

The first official (RTM) release of the Team Foundation Server Power Tools for Team Foundation Server 2010 have been released.  There are three separate downloads available:

TFS Power Tools April 2010 release – This is the main set of TFS Power Tools and contains the following high-level features:

  • Alerts Explorer
  • Best Practices Analyzer (BPA)
  • Custom Check-in Policy Pack
  • Process Editor
  • Team Explorer Enhancements
  • Team Foundation Power Tool (TFPT.exe)
  • Team Members
  • Windows PowerShell CmdLets
  • Windows Shell Extensions
  • Work Item Templates

TFS MSSCCI Provider 2010 release - The Team Foundation Server MSSCCI Provider enables integrated use of Team Foundation Version Control with products that do not support Team Explorer integration.

TFS Build Extension Power Tool April 2010 release - The Team Foundation Build Extensions provide the ability to execute Ant or Maven 2 builds from Team Foundation Server and publish the results of the build along with any associated JUnit test results back to Team Foundation Server.  This release is compatible with Team Foundation Server 2005, Team Foundation Server 2008 and Team Foundation Server 2010.

Click on the links above for further details and downloads.

20 April 2010

Visual Studio 2010/TFS 2010 Utility Roundup

Well, Visual Studio 2010 and Team Foundation Server 2010 have been “in the wild” for a little over a week now.  Now that the RTM versions have had a few days to settle in, I decided to do a quick survey of some of my favorite utilities to see if they have been updated to support the final release of Visual Studio 2010 and TFS 2010.  Here is the list:

If you’re looking for more utilities for Visual Studio 2010, check out the Visual Studio Gallery for Visual Studio 2010.

12 April 2010

Visual Studio 2010 Launches/RTMs!

visual-studio-2010-logo After months (years?) of anticipation, Visual Studio 2010 has finally launched/RTM’d!  If you are a MSDN subscriber, you can download the full version from the MSDN Subscribers site.  The trial editions should be available on the Microsoft Downloads site soon.

There are far too many new features in Visual Studio 2010 to be listed here.  However, here are a few links to get you started…



More to come…

23 March 2010

OTSUG - What’s New for Testing in Visual Studio 2010 and TFS 2010

Please join us on Tuesday, March 23rd as Mike Douglas presents on "What’s New for Testing in Visual Studio 2010 and TFS 2010".  As we near the launch of Visual Studio 2010 and Team Foundation Server 2010, this is a great opportunity to catch up on some of the new features being made available.

Visit Omaha Team System User Group for full meeting details.

Hope to see you there!