18 March 2011

Visual Studio Setup Projects being Sunset

If you currently make use of Visual Studio Setup Projects (.vdproj), you may want to start thinking about a transition plan for the future.  As Buck Hodges stated on his blog yesterday (link), Visual Studio Setup Projects will not ship in the next release of Visual Studio.

He recommends (and I agree) looking into WiX – the same installer technology used to create the installation packages for Visual Studio and other miscellaneous Microsoft tools.  If you’re interested in looking at other options, check out the MSDN page Choosing a Windows Installer Deployment Tool.

I, for one, am not sad to see the Visual Studio Setup Projects go by the wayside.  However, I would like to see first-class support for WiX within Visual Studio.

Read the full details here.

OTSUG – What is Visual Studio ALM?

Please join us on Tuesday, March 22nd as Mike Douglas presents on “What is Visual Studio ALM?”  If you are not familiar with the various ALM features in Visual Studio 2010 and TFS 2010, this will be a great opportunity to see these features demonstrated.  You will also have the chance to ask any questions that you may have regarding the Visual Studio ALM tools.

Visit the Omaha Team System User Group web site for complete meeting details.

We hope to see you there!

08 March 2011

TFS Project Server Integration Feature Pack

The TFS Project Server Integration Feature Pack has been in beta for a few months now.  As of today, it is being released into the wild and is now ready for download from the MSDN Subscribers site.

As seen on Brian Harry’s blog post, the TFS Project Server Integration Feature Pack enables teams to work together more effectively by:

  • Providing up to date insight into portfolio execution, alignment with strategic objectives, and resource utilization of software development projects by leveraging the quantitative data stored in different systems.
  • Automating the exchange and sharing of project information across teams and improving coordination between teams using disparate methodologies, like waterfall and agile, via common data and agreed upon metrics.
  • Enabling development and project management teams to use familiar tools to collaborate and communicate project timeline and progress such as Microsoft Visual Studio, Project, and SharePoint.

More Information

You can find more information regarding this release via these links:

Download Links

  • As of today, you can download the TFS Project Server Integration Pack from the MSDN Subscribers site.

Visual Studio Load Test Feature Pack

Last August, Microsoft announced they would be including the lab agents (i.e. licenses) with TFS 2010 as well as Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate with MSDN and Visual Studio 2010 Test Professional with MSDN (link).  As of today, Microsoft has made another great licensing announcement – the Visual Studio Load Test Virtual User Feature Pack 2010.

With this feature pack, you can simulate as many virtual users as you like without the need for purchasing additional virtual user licenses.  This change only adds to the already great value provided with the Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate with MSDN subscription.

More Information

You can find more information regarding this release via these links:

Visual Studio/TFS 2010 SP1 Released

Service Pack 1 has been officially released for Visual Studio 2010 and Team Foundation Server 2010.  The download is immediately available on the MSDN Subscribers Site.  The service pack will be publicly available on the Microsoft Downloads site on March 10th, 2011.

There are several new features included with this service pack, including (but not limited to):

Visual Studio

Team Foundation Server

  • Core changes to support future Feature Packs, such as the Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010 and Project Server Integration Feature Pack.
  • Lots of bug fixes

More Information

You can find more information regarding this release via these links:

Download Links

  • As of today, you can download Service Pack 1 here
  • As of Thursday, March 10th, you can download Service Pack 1 here

04 March 2011

March 2011 Team Foundation Server Power Tools

The latest version (March 2011) of the Team Foundation Server 2010 Power Tools are now available and can be downloaded via the following links:

The primary enhancements in this release include:

  • Addressed reported issues in the Backup/Restore Power Tool (yeah!). After the initial release of the Backup/Restore Power Tool, there were several issues that made the tool questionable to use in some cases.  These issues have now been resolved (over 40 bugs fixed!).
  • Fleshed out the Windows Shell Extension for version control (double-yeah!)  The Windows shell extension for TFS version control commands has been around for a while albeit with limited functionality.  This release fills out the shell extension with practically every version control command available within the Visual Studio UI.  If you prefer working with version control from within Windows Explorer, this will be a great addition!
  • Took the first step on the path to a bunch of new TFS Build Power Tools (???)  What does this mean, exactly?  As Brian’s post points out (link below), they now have the team responsible for building the internal build tools helping out with the Power Tools.  Based on these comments, it appears they intend to make some of these tools (or some derivative) available in future Power Tools releases.  I had the pleasure of seeing some of these tool demonstrated a couple of days ago and they are simply amazing.

For the full details of this release, check out Brian’s posts, here.

03 March 2011

MVP Global Summit 2011 Comes to a Close

This year marks my third consecutive Microsoft MVP Global Summit.  Each year seems to be a little bit better than the last.  However, this year was a lot better than last year’s summit – mainly due to the timing of products and content of the sessions.  Although there was lots to see and discuss, the content is under NDA so not much can be discussed.

However, one thing is certain, working with the Visual Studio/ALM product groups is nothing short of amazing.  Having been an MVP for close to three years now (first a Team Foundation Server MVP and now a Visual Studio ALM MVP) I can’t imagine being grouped with a better bunch of people (including my fellow MVPs and the Microsoft Product Group members).

Here’s the group of Visual Studio ALM MVPs that made it to the summit this year:

2011 Visual Studio ALM MVPs

I look forward to seeing everyone again next year!