25 September 2013

TFVC vs. TF-Git – A Quick Survey

I’ve been giving a lot of thought lately about whether it would make sense for our application development teams to make the move to Team Foundation Git (TF-Git) as the primary version control choice within TFS. We are still using TFS 2010 as our primary TFS instance today although we have several projects in Team Foundation Service (TFService) as part of a pilot.  As we make preparations to move to TFS 2013 (we have not yet decided if we’ll host TFS 2013 on premises or if we’ll make exclusive use of the TFService) we are putting some thought into whether or not we should make the leap to TF-Git.

There are plenty of pros and cons regardless of which option is chosen.  For example, TF-Git is very well suited for disconnected scenarios and also provides amazing support for branching and merging code.  On the other hand, TFVC provides the common “check out/check in” workflow that so many of us are used to today.  It also provides the ability to place exclusive locks on files that are notoriously difficult to merge such as XML files (e.g. workflow, SSIS packages, etc.).

While it’s easy enough for me to solicit the opinions of my co-workers, I’d also like to get your opinions.  To make this as easy as it can be, I’ve created a simple survey with six questions (see screenshot below).

So, please take a moment and take the survey.

Click to Take Survey

We will keep the survey open for about two weeks.  Once the results have been collected, I will share them on this blog.

UPDATE: The final survey results have been posted here.

24 September 2013

200GB Option for SkyDrive

If you’ve been waiting for the option to buy more than 100GB of storage on SkyDrive, your wait is over.  You can now buy an extra 200GB of storage space for $100/year. As you can see in the screenshot below, the space you purchase is added on to whatever you already have (in the Total Space column).

The current price per GB is $0.50/year vs. ~$0.60 per GB/year for Google Drive.  Not a huge difference but a little less.  Though Google Drive makes up for part of this by providing the first 15GB free (vs. 7GB for SkyDrive).


Also, if you buy one of the new Surface 2 devices, you will get 200GB of SkyDrive storage free for two years.

19 September 2013

TFS 2013 Power Tools Released

As of today, you can download the just-released Team Foundation Server 2013 Power Tools (compatible with TFS 2013 RC). If you’re not familiar with the TFS Power Tools, and you spend any amount of time working with TFS on a day-to-day basis, I highly recommend you check these out.
This release is comprised of four separate downloads:
Navigate to the above links to get more details on each of the available tools.

16 September 2013

Removing the Barrier to Entry for Windows Phone Development

Until recently, if you wanted to develop for Windows Phone, and actually run your apps on your phone (as opposed to the emulator) you had to register for a $99 (USD) Windows Phone developer account.  This cost has always been a substantial barrier to entry for many would-be (Windows Phone) developers.  That is, until recently.

Recently, two things have changed to make this much better.

First, the $99 registration amount has been changed to $19 (annually).  This price is much more reasonable for most people (though free, it could be argued, would be even more reasonable :-).  The $19 price was originally a temporary promotion but, according to a tweet from Todd Brix (General Manager of Windows Phone Apps and Store Team), Microsoft is keeping the price at $19.


Second, Microsoft made a change that I hadn’t noticed until recently.  Originally (before ~August 6th), you couldn’t deploy apps under development to your phone unless you had registered for a Windows Phone developer account (back to the $99/year cost again). Now Microsoft has made a change that allows any Windows Phone developer to push up to two apps to a single phone with no cost. If you do have a Windows Phone developer account, you can push up to 10 apps to as many as three phones.

Combining these changes along with Microsoft’s outstanding development tools give developers practically no reason not to developer for Windows Phone.

11 September 2013

Visual Studio 2013 RC Released

logo_visualstudio_100x100_1This post is a couple of days behind but I thought I’d go ahead and put out a few links to help spread the word a little more :-). 
As of September 9th, Visual Studio 2013 RC (Release Candidate) was made available for download on the Visual Studio web site.  This is a “go live” release which means you can run Visual Studio 2013 RC in a production environment and there will be a supported upgrade path to Visual Studio 2013 RTM.
Visual Studio 2013 is expected to RTM along with Windows 8.1 GA (General Availability) which is slated for October “18th”.
To get an idea of what’s included in the latest version of Visual Studio, check out these posts:
The following software is now available for download (here):
Visual Studio 2013 RC
  • Visual Studio Ultimate 2013 RC
  • Visual Studio Premium 2013 RC
  • Visual Studio Professional 2013 RC
  • Visual Studio Test Professional 2013 RC
  • Team Foundation Server 2013 RC
Visual Studio Express 2013 RC
  • Visual Studio Express 2013 RC for Web
  • Visual Studio Express 2013 RC for Windows Desktop
  • Visual Studio Team Foundation Server Express 2013 RC
Additional Software
  • Team Explorer
  • Team Explorer Everywhere for TFS
  • .NET Framework 4.5.1
  • Agents for Visual Studio 2013
  • IntelliTrace Collector for Visual Studio
  • Feedback Client for TFS
  • Remote Tools for Visual Studio 2013
  • Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2013
  • Visual Studio Shell
  • Visual Studio SDK
  • Multibyte MFC Library for Visual Studio 2013 RC
  • Modeling SDK for Microsoft Visual Studio 2013 RC
  • Microsoft Build Tools RC
Note that Visual Studio 2013 RC is not compatible with Windows 8.1 Preview.  You will need to install Windows 8.1 RTM for use with Visual Studio 2013 RC.
If you run into issues, have questions, or ideas, you can submit/ask them here:

Straight to Desktop in Windows 8.1

If you find you spend more time in the Desktop than you do the Start Screen then you may want to consider setting the desktop as the default start mode for your PC.
To configure your PC to go to the desktop when you logon or close all apps on a screen, follow these steps:
1. From the Start screen, start typing “Taskbar” and select the “Taskbar and Navigation” option from the list.  This will display the Taskbar and Navigation properties dialog.
2. Click on the Navigation tab.
3. Check the “When I sign in or close all apps on a screen…” checkbox.  This option instructs Windows to take you directly to the desktop when you sign in or if you close all apps on a screen.
4. If you would like an experience that is somewhat Windows 7-like when you click on the Start button (or press the Windows hardware button), i.e. display the Apps view instead of the Start screen, then check the “Show the Apps view automatically…” checkbox.
5. Click OK.
Check out the other options in this properties dialog for other features that you might find useful.

TFS Build Manager for VS 2013 Updated

screenshotToday, the Community TFS Build Extensions on CodePlex released an update to the Community TFS Build Manager VS2013 add-in. If you spend any time at all managing multiple build definitions, build results, and/or build servers, then you need to give this add-in a try.
Updates & fixes include:
  • NEW - Search and replace workspace mappings
  • NEW - Filter Build Definitions via text
  • NEW - Access build logs in web access
  • NEW - Build Duration and Agent Name columns
  • NEW - Friendly Trigger Names
  • NEW - Easily queue high priority builds
  • NEW - Clone to Project
  • FIX - Case insensitive comparisons when changing drop location of existing builds
  • FIX - Invalid Project Reference issue
  • FIX - Only change & save the new process template only if it's a different one
  • FIX - UI typo in Change Drop Location screen
The current feature set include:
  • View and sort Builds and Build Definitions across multiple Build Controllers and Team Projects
  • Bulk operations on Build Definitions
    • Change Build Templates
    • Queue
    • Enable
    • Disable
    • Delete
    • Edit
    • Set Retention Policies
    • Change Drop Location 
    • Change Build Controller
    • Change Build Triggers
  • Clone Build Definitions (includes workspace mapping translation)
  • Create a DGML image of your Builds and Controllers
  • Bulk operations on Builds
    • Delete
    • Set Build Quality
    • Open Drop Folders
    • Retain Indefinitely
    • Stop/Cancel
A standalone Windows Application is also available as part of the Community TFS Build Extensions CodePlex project.
Download the Community TFS Build Manager for Visual Studio 2013 here.