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  • Blog Post: VS ALM Rangers Branching Guidance - Ideas for the next release.

    I think most would agree that the Rangers Team has already done a fantastic job with the Rangers Branching Guidance. This is not meant to be a self-serving comment, since the current branching guidance is the result of the hard work of many others in addition to myself. For the past couple of years I...
  • Blog Post: Isolating and Integrating Parallel Feature Teams working on Separate Overlapping Releases

    Customer scenario: How should I isolate (and integrate) changes when working with: 3 parallel efforts (two parallel development efforts, working on separate releases of the product and production support) Production(version 2.0) with the need to issue hotfixes on then current production version Development...
  • Blog Post: How do I create bug fixes for EVERY version of a product EVER released

    A customer asks the following question: “ We are building factory machine. New machines are usually delivered with the current stable software version. We don't do regular updates because our customers prefer stability over new features. After reading the Rangers Branching Guide I have some questions...
  • Blog Post: Where do I fix a production defect?

    Question from a customer of the Rangers Branching Guidance ( http://tfsbranchingguideiii.codeplex.com ) “My company has a major release every 3 months.  In between major releases we have monthly maintenance releases. (Similar to the "Advanced Branching Plan") Our monthly release usually...
  • Blog Post: My source and target files are different, but merge tells me there are no changes to merge

    When TFS does a merge, it bases the merge on prior merge history, not on the actual contents of the source and target files. There are many reasons why this is necessary, some of which will become apparent by reading this post. For example, a merge may result in a conflict (changes made to both the source...
  • Blog Post: Project Dependencies will break with branching if not done properly

    In the February 2011 issue of MSDN Magazine, I wrote an article on Shared Code (or code dependencies as some call it). Often I see a common problem with relative references to dependent assemblies or projects. If relative references are not created properly for a solution that is branched, the relative...
  • Blog Post: Read my article on Branching and Merging in the latest edition of MSDN Magazine (Feb 2011)

    Read the latest issue: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/gg602477.aspx Co-authored with Willy-Peter Schaub. Now that the article is published, I will go into more detail on this topic. Space limitations in the article prevented being as detailed as I would have liked.
  • Blog Post: What is a Cherry Pick Merge, and why do you recommend against them?

    When you merge in TFS 2010, you have two choices: Merge al l changes up to a specified version, which can be one of the following: Latest Version Date Label Changeset Workspace Version Or, merge Selected Changesets, where you select one or more changesets from a list of changesets that are in the source...
  • Blog Post: Branching–Sprint is Done, Some Features Are Not

    Download the latest VS ALM Rangers Branching Guidance Here: http://tfsbranchingguideiii.codeplex.com/   Background – I keep getting this question: I have a quick question for you on branching in Scrum and feature management.  My client is using Scrum and if we look at the branching structure...
  • Blog Post: Branching for Scrum

    This article presents a perspective on Source Control Management (SCM) using Team Foundation Server (TFS) with Scrum projects. Although I start with a short overview of Scrum to lay the foundation for the concepts, the essence of this article is to present TFS Branching Concepts for Scrum projects, large...
  • Blog Post: Parallel Feature Teams working on multiple releases in development. Monthly releases to production.

    I recently received a question from a customer who is dealing with the need to support multiple feature teams working on multiple releases in development. They asked how to structure branching to support this environment. Background: My company is, for all practical purposes, a dot com. We have a single...
  • Blog Post: Basic Branch Plan–Where to fix a bug in my release?

    Question from Customer: In the single team branch, once a release is done and if a bug is reported are we supposed to fix the bug in the Main branch and forward integrate back to the DEV branch Response: Separating Development from Release, bug fixing a shipped release is a Release question, not a question...
  • Blog Post: Nested Branch Issue following upgrade from TFS 2008 to TFS 2010

    One of my customers upgraded a Team Project from TFS 2008 to TFS 2010. As you probably know, the concept of first-class branches was introduced for the first time in TFS 2010. Along with this, there is a new restriction against having nested branches in TFS 2010. During the upgrade process, TFS attempts...
  • Blog Post: Supporting Multiple Feature Teams, Multiple Development Cycles and Multiple Releases in an agile way

      In answer to the following question: “Are you advising that we wait until the build on Main is stable and all dependent systems are ready before we attempt to deploy anything?  This makes a hard-to-hit-target nearly impossible to hit (we have multiple teams, so it is already complex as it...
  • Blog Post: Why I caution against Cherry Picking (changeset-based merging)

      Recently I was asked a question: “If you discourage changeset-based (or cherry-picking) merging, then why does TFS support it?  To me it feels like TFS is not fully supporting it because the merge engine isn't robust enough yet to support it, yet they know the feature is important. ...
  • Blog Post: Announcing Visual Studio Team Foundation Server Ranger Branching Guide 2010

    Project Description The purpose of this project is to build some insightful and practical guidance around branching and merging with Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010. The new release focuses on Hands on Labs and includes lots of lessons learned from the community Q&A. Visual Studio Team...
  • Blog Post: VS 2010 Visualizing Branches

    VS 2010 Beta1 does an amazing job visualizing branch hierarchies and tracking changesets. Here is the Mature Branch Plan Hierarchy: Here is the view from Source Control Explorer, showing the arrangements of folders and branches.  Now that branches are first-class objects in TFS 2010 it is easy to...
  • Blog Post: Choosing the Right Source Control Branching and Merging Strategy

    A key message the VSTS Rangers are trying to communicate in the VSTS Rangers Branching Guide 2.0 ( http://tfsbranchingguideii.codeplex.com/ ) is that different companies have different needs and requirements for parallel development or release support (servicing). This is why we presented a progression...
  • Blog Post: Branching Guidance – Branching for Development

    I recently had a series of email exchanges with a person who was trying to advise his customer on a branching plan. As part of this exchange I offered the following discussion on Branching for Development. I often like to separate the discussion of the development branch plan and the release branch plan...
  • Blog Post: VSTS Ranger Branching Guidance – Question on Automated Merges

    Question: “I recognise the need to FI from MAIN to each DEV/CR branch on a regular basis, is there a way to automate this to run on check-in or every night perhanps? I've looked into this and keep reading about CI - but I can't find any practical demonstrations of how this might be achieved.” My Response...
  • Blog Post: Mature Branching Plan – Branching for Feature Development

    Within a Team Project, everything starts with the MAIN branch. This is a consistent theme with all our guidance ( http://tfsbranchingguideii.codeplex.com/ ). The question becomes, when do you need to create one or more branches for development? My answer would be that one goal of a good branch plan is...
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