Brian Keller

Director of ALM Evangelism for Microsoft

July, 2007

  • Brian Keller

    Visual Studio Team System sessions from TechEd 2007 available online!

    This year at TechEd 2007 in Orlando there were over a dozen breakout sessions covering various aspects of developing software with Visual Studio Team System. Due to the popularity of these sessions we have now posted the recordings and PowerPoint decks online for everyone to access, even if you didn't make it to TechEd this year. You can watch all of the sessions here. Enjoy!
  • Brian Keller

    Upcoming MSDN Webcast: Overview of the Visual Studio Team Foundation Server - Project Server 2007 Connector


     **Updated 7/31: Fixed registration URL.

    If you are interested in the recently released connector which integrates Team Foundation Server 2005 and Project Server 2007 then you don't want to miss this upcoming Webcast. Follow the link to register:

    MSDN Webcast: Overview of the Visual Studio Team Foundation Server - Project Server 2007 Connector
    Monday, September 17, 2007 11:00 AM Pacific Time (US & Canada)

    This Webcast will be delivered by Lenny Fenster who works for Microsoft Consulting Services and authored the connector, so you couldn't ask for a better presenter! I also filmed a Channel 9 interview with Lenny yesterday which I hope to have up soon. I'll post an update on my blog when it's avaialble.

  • Brian Keller

    Survey: Which databases should Visual Studio Team Edition for Database Professionals support?


    The team who builds Visual Studio Team Edition for Database Professionals is collecting input on which 3rd-party (non-Microsoft) database providers they should be partnering with for future releases. Microsoft SQL Server 2000 and SQL Server 2005 are the two databases supported in the current release, but the team is investing in infrastructure which would allow partners to build support for non-Microsoft databases as well.

    If you would like to provide your input please take 5-10 minutes to respond to this brief survey:

    Your feedback is very important and will be used directly by the product planning teams. Even if you don't use Visual Studio Team Edition for Database Professionals today, but you are interested in the functionality it provides for database change management, please consider taking this survey or forwarding it on to a colleague.

  • Brian Keller

    Update to Guidance: Configuring WSS 3.0 with Team Foundation Server 2005


    I have updated my older blog post to reflect the fact that the guidance for configuring Team Foundation Server 2005 to work with WSS 3.0 is now published as an "official" TechNote on MSDN. This took a bit longer than we expected when we posted the release candidate of the guidance a few months back, but I believe it was worth the wait since it allowed us to incorporate feedback from several people in the community who followed these procedures and sent in suggestions for improving the guidance.

    To access the updated guidance visit the Visual Studio Team System TechNotes site and look for TN1501 and TN1502. Additionally, if you have already followed this guidance, there is no need to make any changes. The updates were primarily cosmetic with some added text for specific error conditions you might encounter depending on your configuration.

  • Brian Keller

    New Case Study: Top Image Systems


    We just published a new case study which showcases how a software team in Israel, Top Image Systems (TIS), decided to move from IBM ClearCase onto Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Team Foundation Server. The problems they faced with their existing ClearCase solution are pretty common complaints I have heard from several customers. Here's an excerpt from the case study:

    TIS also had issues with maintenance on ClearCase. “Maintaining the product is very complicated, and because of that it is necessary to hire technical people with very specialized skills,” Shalev says. “That isn’t easy. On the other hand, many developers are familiar with Microsoft environments.”

    TIS faced a decision: whether to continue with ClearCase or migrate to an entirely new environment. “We realized that upgrading to the new version of ClearCase would be very expensive,” admits Shalev. “We knew that we had to switch to an entirely new product.”

    To read more about why TIS chose Visual Studio 2005 Team Foundation Server and the benefits it brought to their software development processes see the full case study.

  • Brian Keller

    New Case Study: VSTS enables CMMI Certification


    We have just published a new case study which helps to underscore how Visual Studio Team System can assist organizations who are seeking CMMI appraisal. This is a great example of how the integrated data warehouse, artifact linking, reporting, and other capabilities of Team Foundation Server allows for clear traceability, auditing, and ultimately better quality assurance across the entire software development lifecycle.


    SCI (Service Corporation International)

    Personal Services Company Improves Software Life Cycle, Attains Coveted Rating

    Service Corporation International (SCI) is North America’s leading provider of funeral and cemetery services. To support regulatory compliance, company leaders wanted to increase the degree of rigor in SCI’s software development methodologies. The team lacked tools to support its processes, so SCI deployed Microsoft® Visual Studio® Team System. Process guidance built into Visual Studio Team System helped SCI improve the overall software development life cycle and achieve a Capability Maturity Model® Integration level 2 appraisal in only six months. By using the advanced life-cycle tools, process guidance, and rich collaboration features available in Visual Studio Team System, programmers and others can continuously improve processes, enhance communication, and increase collaboration, project visibility, accountability, and control.

  • Brian Keller

    DBPro Success Story on TheServerSide.NET


    Ted Malone just sent me a link to an article he was interviewed for about his team's experience adopting Visual Studio 2005 Team Edition for Database Professionals. I love this quote:

    "Malone said this major initiative would have taken 18 to 24 months to develop using a traditional development process and tools. Visual Studio 2005 Team Edition for Database Professionals enabled a release of the new product in only 12 months."

    Shaving 6-12 months off of a release cycle - now that's productivity! You can catch the full article here.

  • Brian Keller

    My paragliding trip


    This past weekend I went paragliding with my brother, his girlfriend, and some other friends of ours. It was the first time for all of us, but I guarantee that it won't be my last! It was a truly amazing trip. I was surprised to discover that I wasn't scared whatsoever. Instead it was a very serene experience just soaring over the treetops listening to nothing but the wind. While our flights were each only about 5-10 minutes long, it is possible to experience flights that last hours if you get the right wind and thermal conditions. After my trip I was on eBay looking into buying my own glider... I've got the bug!

    I also made a video of the experience. My flight starts around 6:30. I have to say that I love the version of Windows Movie Maker which is included with Windows Vista. With XP, a project of this size and complexity would have easily crashed. It looks like they fixed the stability issues and have also put in a lot of nice fit-and-finish features when building this version. I also tried MSN Soapbox for the first time and the experience there was really nice also. The first time I uploaded my video there was an unknown error during the encoding process, but I tried again and it worked just fine.

    Brian's Paragliding Trip

    If you are interested in paragliding in Washington be sure to check out They are excellent hosts and trainers who will provide you with a great introduction to the sport.

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