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: