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  • Blog Post: VS ALM Rangers Branching Guidance–Shared Code and Dependency Management

    As we begin planning the next release of the branching guidance, a top priority is to address how to manage shared code dependencies (the Dependency Repository / Shared Code issue). The newly release Build Customization Guide (now available for download from Codeplex) begins to address this issue, primarily...
  • 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: Renaming a branch with shelvesets

    Caution: Renaming branches in TFS 2010 is a very bad idea unless you follow a very specific set of steps: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/chandrur/archive/2010/06/09/renaming-branches-in-tfs-2010.aspx . In TFS 2010, Unshelve will follow pending renames but it will not follow renames committed between when the...
  • 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: 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: Branching for Agile Development

    I was recently asked a question based on the following presentation from Google: How Google Speeds Up The Chrome Release Cycle (Slideshow) The main part of the article that interests me is the following: "Anthony LaForge, the technical program manager at Google overseeing Chrome development, created...
  • Blog Post: New article on Ranger’s Branching in upcoming MSDN Magazine.

    After a few years hiatus, i am returning to the world of *published author*. My next article will be published in the February 2011 issue of MSDN Magazine ( http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/default.aspx ) The topic will be *Visual Studio ALM Rangers Branching Guidance for Team Foundation Server...
  • 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: Question on the Basic Branching Model

    Question from customer: “I am very new to this branching  concept and try to understand.  I am not able understand the difference between the Single release vs. single team branching. Can someone help in knowing the difference.” Response: I like to think of branching for development separately...
  • 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: German version of Rangers Branching Guidance 2010–released

    In October, the VS ALM Rangers posted the Branching Guidance - German version   thanks to Boris Wehrle , Thorsten Dralle , and Sven Hubert .
  • 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: Spanish version of Rangers Branching Guidance 2010–released

    In October, the VS ALM Rangers posted the Branching Guidance - Spanish version   thanks to Francisco Fagas , a VS ALM MVP. Francisco also translated the Visual Studio 2010 Quick Reference Guidance – Spanish version ).
  • 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: 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: VSTS Ranger Branching Guidance – A Question on Separate Branches for each Change Request

    Question from TFS Branching Guide 2.0 on Codeplex: “I am creating a new branch for each 'Change Request' that comes from the client - I love the idea of isolating the code this way. Do I have to create a new build definition for each, or am I missing something really straight forward? It seems like overkill...
  • Blog Post: Mature Branching Plan – A Question on Branch Hierarchy

    Question: I have a request from a customer regarding the Branching/Merging Model in TFS 2010. The customer has the following branch model: Main->Rel. A -> Rel. B ->Rel. C -> Rel. D. Today (TFS 2008) it is practical impossible to Merge D->Main without going through back to C...
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