Brian Keller

Director of ALM Evangelism for Microsoft

March, 2010

  • Brian Keller

    Now Available: Visual Studio 2010 Release Candidate Virtual Machines with Sample Data and Hands-on-Labs


    June 28 2010 Update: The RC bits expire June 30, 2010, making the original post below obsolete. I have posted a new virtual machine and hands-on-labs based on RTM bits. To download the latest virtual machine please click here.

    Back in December we posted a set of virtual machines pre-configured with Visual Studio 2010 Beta 2, Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010 Beta 2, and 7 hands-on-labs. I am pleased to announce that today we are shipping an updated set of virtual machines using the Visual Studio 2010 Release Candidate bits, a brand new sample application, and 9 hands-on-labs.

    This VM includes everything you need to learn and/or deliver demonstrations of many of my favorite application lifecycle management (ALM) capabilities in Visual Studio 2010. This VM is available in the virtualization platform of your choice (Hyper-V, Virtual PC 2007 SP1, and Windows [7] Virtual PC). Hyper-V is highly recommended because of the performance benefits and snapshotting capabilities.

    Tailspin Toys
    The sample application we are using in this virtual machine is a simple ASP.NET MVC 2 storefront called Tailspin Toys. Tailspin Toys sells model airplanes and relies on the application lifecycle management capabilities of Visual Studio 2010 to help them build, test, and maintain their storefront.


    Hands-on-Labs / Demo Scripts
    The 9 hands-on-labs / demo scripts which accompany this virtual machine cover several of the core capabilities of conducting application lifecycle management with Visual Studio 2010. Each document can be used by an individual in a hands-on-lab capacity, to learn how to perform a given set of tasks, or used by a presenter to deliver a demonstration or classroom-style training.

    Software quality:

    • Authoring and Running Manual Tests using Microsoft Test Manager 2010
    • Introduction to Test Case Management with Microsoft Test Manager 2010
    • Introduction to Coded UI Tests with Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate
    • Debugging with IntelliTrace using Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate

    Software architecture:

    • Code Discovery using the architecture tools in Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate
    • Understanding Class Coupling with Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate
    • Using the Architecture Explore in Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate to Analyze Your Code

    Software Configuration Management:

    • Planning your Projects with Team Foundation Server 2010
    • Branching and Merging Visualization with Team Foundation Server 2010

    Note that this VM does not include Visual Studio Lab Management 2010 capabilities, but you can download a separate VHD to work with that capability.

    These labs can be downloaded here. They will also be making their way into the March refresh of the Visual Studio 2010 Training Kit.

    How to use this virtual machine:
    For your convenience, the same virtual machine has been ported to three different virtualization platforms. For instructions on how to use this virtual machine, please download “
    Working with the Visual Studio 2010 Virtual Machine.docx.” This guidance will help you get started with the virtual machine using the virtualization technology of your choice (Hyper-V, Virtual PC 2007, or Windows [7] Virtual PC). It also includes the username and password for this virtual machine.

    This image will effectively stop working on June 30, 2010 when the Visual Studio 2010 RC stops working. We will provide an RTM-based set of virtual machines and labs before then. You will also receive Windows activation messages while using this VM – this is because of the way Windows Server 2008 trial behaves and is to be expected, so you can ignore / cancel these activation dialogs when prompted. If you want to get rid of these activation warnings you can activate the image using your own product key (e.g. from your MSDN Subscription). You may want to do the same for the copy of Office which is installed, since it will be limited to 25 launches.

    Downloading the virtual machine:
    I suggest using a download manager for these files since they are very large. My download manager of choice is Free Download Manager. You can use your own favorite download manager, but you may need to adapt the instructions below as appropriate.

    1. Download and install Free Download Manager. This utility provides:
      • Auto-resume support for interrupted downloads.
      • Multiple simultaneous download streams for (usually) a much faster download experience.
      • As the name implies, it's completely free.
    2. Select the appropriate URL’s depending on your preferred virtualization platform and copy (CTRL+C) them to your clipboard.

      ###Select This Section and Copy It (CTRL+C) For VS2010 RC Hyper-V - Do Not Include This Line### with the Visual Studio 2010 RC Virtual Machine.docx
      ###End - Do Not Include This Row In Your Selection###

      ###Select This Section and Copy It (CTRL+C) For VS2010 RC Windows [7] Virtual PC - Do Not Include This Line### with the Visual Studio 2010 RC Virtual Machine.docx
      ###End - Do Not Include This Row In Your Selection###

      ###Select This Section and Copy It (CTRL+C) For VS2010 RC Virtual PC 2007 SP1 - Do Not Include This Line### with the Visual Studio 2010 RC Virtual Machine.docx
      ###End - Do Not Include This Row In Your Selection###   
    3. Launch the user interface for Free Download Manager (either from the Start Menu or via the system tray icon if FDM is already running).
    4. Click File -> Import -> Import List of URLs from Clipboard.
    5. When prompted for a download group, accept the default and click OK.
    6. You are now free to minimize Free Download Manager while the files download. By default, they will be saved to c:\downloads.
      Note: It may take up to 24 hours from when this post is published for the files to become available in your region as they replicate across our CDN. You can easily select all files within Free Download Manager and select “Start Download” if they fail the first time.

    The download details pages contain more information on each of these releases.

    Download details pages:

    Visual Studio 2010 RC (Hyper-V)

    Visual Studio 2010 RC (Windows [7] Virtual PC)

    Visual Studio 2010 RC (Virtual PC 2007 SP1)

    You can also download and install all of the Release Candidate software for yourself by downloading the installers from here.

    Happy downloading! Please send feedback / questions to

  • Brian Keller

    A different way of presenting the Visual Studio 2010 testing tools


    This post is about the Visual Studio 2010 testing tools. I promise. But first, a bit of back story… skip to “Testing with Visual Studio 2010” if you don’t care about the back story. Go on, I don’t mind.

    Over the last year or so I’ve been struggling to come up with a great way of describing the new software testing paradigms we are enabling with Visual Studio 2010. In my day job as a technical evangelist I get to interact with a wide range of audiences, each with a different set of interests in Visual Studio 2010 as a solution for software testing. A manual tester, a software developer, a project manager, and a CIO are all going to have their own preconceptions about testing tools, and will bring along their own expectations and questions when consuming the content I deliver.

    Our software testing story with Visual Studio 2010 is very rich. Case in point, I contributed about 300 pages to a new book on Professional Application Lifecycle Management with Visual Studio 2010, and truth be told I could have written another 1000 pages if I had the time. How do you condense all of that material into a presentation format that is (usually) delivered in 30-, 60-, or 90-minute chunks?

    My original solution to addressing these varying demands was to have an arsenal of PowerPoint presentations that I could open up depending on the situation. Sometimes, especially when visiting customers in the field, I would only learn about the makeup of my audience a few minutes before the presentation. I would just grab the right set of slides and start presenting. But this approach can be unwieldy, and requires that I maintain (and be able to present on a moment’s notice) multiple PowerPoint presentations. And as much as I love PowerPoint, it tends to create a rigid, linear approach towards delivering presentations that can be boring for both the audience and the presenter. There had to be a better way…

    I had seen a few presentations delivered at MIX which were presented completely with Microsoft Deep Zoom. The presenters could zoom in and out, pan around, and tell their entire story all without the “context reset” of changing slides. This was perfect! But how do I create one of these? I borrowed some time with Nishant Kothary, a colleague of mine on the MIX team who pioneered the Website Named Desire Deep Zoom that he used to present with at MIX. Nishant was very helpful in describing how you can generate Deep Zoom with Microsoft Expression, but there were some limitations in the approach that I would have to code around – including the ability to embed videos in the Deep Zoom composition, which I decided was critical for showing off testing with Visual Studio 2010.

    So I posed the problem to a local software firm – SharpLogic Software – that I knew had a lot of experience with Microsoft Silverlight. Two weeks later, we had built a prototype of a Deep Zoom presentation showcasing software testing with Visual Studio 2010. Over the last few months we have been iterating on the design, adding features, and going through the usual legal hurdles. What follows is the result of this effort… this has forever changed the way I think about delivering presentations. I hope you enjoy it. Note that SharpLogic has even spun off a new business, SpeakFlow, where you can create your own such presentations.

    Testing with Visual Studio 2010

    This Deep Zoom is designed to help presenters tell the story of software testing with Visual Studio 2010. This includes concepts such as manual testing, actionable bugs, “no more no repro,” lab management, the build-deploy-test workflow, rich reporting, and more!

    This presentation is based on Microsoft Deep Zoom and is designed to provide the following benefits over traditional linear presentations:

    · Go deep, or stay high-level: Depending on what your audience craves you can either focus on a high-level story or drill deep into product demonstrations.

    · Context retention: In between each “deep zoom” you can always remind your audience of the bigger picture by bouncing back to the high-level context view.

    · Inline videos: Each concept includes product demonstrations which can be used to supplement your storytelling experience.



    To get started, visit:

    Or you can run it locally by extracting the offline version (127MB).

    The offline version is nice when your Internet connection might be slow, since the videos can take some time to load.

    Some tips:

    • Videos will “remember” your location if you navigate away from them. This is by design. But if you want to refresh the location of all videos (e.g. just before you go on stage) just press CTRL+F5.
    • Videos don’t have any audio. I might add some later, but this is designed first and foremost as a presentation aid.
    • You can use the space bar to pause/play a video. This can be helpful to control the pace of the video to match your narration.
    • You can use your mouse’s scroll wheel to zoom in and out. You can also use the up and down arrow keys. (sometimes I even prefer the arrow keys even when I have a scroll wheel – practice it for a few minutes and see what you like best)
    • You can use the left-and-right arrow keys to move through the workflow panels.
    • I like to set expectations with an audience when I use this presentation that I won’t be showing live demos. Something like, “I want to assure you all of these demos are real (they are) and you can perform them using the Visual Studio 2010 release candidate that you can download today. But I’m using videos here simply as a storytelling aid and because we don’t have a lot of time, since some of the scenarios cut across several different roles and various points in the software development lifecycle.” Of course if you have the time and inclination, you can also break away from the Deep Zoom and drop into a live demo or two to augment the story. For a beta 2 VHD with sample data and demo scripts, click here.

    Videos in this Deep Zoom are based on beta 2, but the concepts are fundamentally identical to RTM. As time permits I’ll update the videos for RTM.

    I hope you enjoy it!

  • Brian Keller

    My March/April 2010 speaking dates


    4 weeks, 7 countries, 25+ sessions, 1 suitcase…

    It’s a long time to be on the road, but I’ll be doing what I love – talking about what’s new in Visual Studio 2010 for application lifecycle management. Here’s my schedule so far. If you live in or near any of these places you should come on out! You can follow the links in the table below for event registration.

    Johannesburg, South Africa March 23, 2010 DevDays 2010
    Cape Town, South Africa March 25, 2010 DevDays 2010
    The Hague, The Netherlands March 30-31, 2010 DevDays 2010
    Antwerp, Belgium March 31-April 1, 2010 TechDays 2010
    Basel, Switzerland April 6-7, 2010 TechDays 2010
    Copenhagen, Denmark April 9, 2010 ALM Day 2010
    Dublin, Ireland April 12, 2010 Visual Studio 2010 Launch
    Belfast, Ireland April 13, 2010 Visual Studio 2010 Launch
    London, England April 14-16, 2010 Customer meetings

    At every event I will be talking about software testing with Visual Studio 2010. At a few venues I’ll also be talking about some of the other ALM capabilities of Visual Studio 2010 (TFS, architecture, debugging, Team Build, etc.). The only thing I love more than talking about this stuff is meeting people who are interested in using it. I hope to see you there!

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