Brian Keller

Director of ALM Evangelism for Microsoft

Visual Studio 2012 Application Lifecycle Management Virtual Machine and Hands-on-Labs / Demo Scripts

Visual Studio 2012 Application Lifecycle Management Virtual Machine and Hands-on-Labs / Demo Scripts

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January 10, 2014 Update: I ran some tests again today and activation is working again! Please follow the steps in the “Working with…” document and you should be able to activate the virtual machine now (if not, please let me know). The bad news is that I still don’t know what caused the activation servers to break in the first place, but I have some open mail threads with that team and I hope to learn more about how to ensure this doesn’t happen again.
Known Issue as of Jan 6 2014: Windows Activation for the evaluation O/S that this VM is based on is currently failing for all users. This issue is under investigation. Note that activation is not required to use this VM. More details can be found here.
July 10, 2013 Update: One of our partners, eDev Technologies, has created a supplemental set of hands-on-labs which showcase inteGREAT - their requirements management solution for Team Foundation Server. More details are available here.
April 17, 2013 Update: This virtual machine and corresponding hands-on-labs / demo scripts have been upgraded to use Visual Studio 2012 Update 2. All labs were revised slightly based on Update 2, with two labs gaining new exercises which demonstrate Update 2 capabilities. Updated labs are listed in the table below.

I’m very pleased to announce the availability of the Visual Studio 2012 RTM ALM Virtual Machine along with 21 hands-on-labs / demo scripts. This includes 9 ALM scenarios which are new in Visual Studio 2012, and another 12 scenarios which were introduced in Visual Studio 2010, giving you a single virtual environment for learning about or demonstrating a wide range of ALM capabilities.

You can download and install Visual Studio 2012 (and Team Foundation Server 2012, .NET Framework 4.5, etc.). But if you would like a fast way to understand what is new for application lifecycle management in this release, this virtual machine is pre-configured with all of the necessary software and sample data for you.

Before I get into what’s included, there are a few quick limitations to disclose:

  • This is a Hyper-V virtual machine and works with Windows Server 2008 x64, Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, Windows 8 (with SLAT-capable processors) and Windows Server 2012. If you try to load this with Virtual PC it will blue screen since Virtual PC does not support 64-bit operating systems.
  • Windows is configured to set the system clock to May 16, 2012 every time you start this virtual machine. This is to support the project management hands-on-lab. If you want to work with this virtual machine beyond the specific hands-on-labs scenarios, you may need to disable the Set Date and Time task (Task Scheduler -> Task Scheduler Library -> Set Date and Time -> Right-Click -> Disable).
  • Please take a few minutes to read the Working with… document for some important instructions on properly importing and working with this virtual machine.

With the limitations out of the way, onto the fun stuff…

This virtual machine is configured with:

  • Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2
  • Microsoft Visual Studio Ultimate 2012 Update 2
  • Microsoft Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2012 Update 2
  • Microsoft SharePoint Foundation 2010
  • Microsoft Project 2010
  • Microsoft Office Professional 2010 (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook)
  • Microsoft Visio 2010
  • Sample users and data required to support hands-on-lab scripts which accompany this download and exercise 21 ALM scenarios, including 8 new capabilities from Visual Studio 2012 and 12 capabilities which were originally introduced in the Visual Studio 2010 release.


There are 21 hands-on-labs for you to take a scripted approach towards learning this content. These labs double as demo scripts in case you want to show off these features to others:

New features in Visual Studio 2012:

Labs upgraded from Visual Studio 2010:

Links to the files above are included in the download set below, so you don’t have to follow the individual links above if you plan on batch downloading all of the files in this set.

There are also DemoMates available for most of these hands-on-labs / demo scripts which you can download here. DemoMates are useful for being able to “click through” the scenarios above without needing to download and run the virtual machine.

Downloading the virtual machine and labs:
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 URL’s below and copy (CTRL+C) them to your clipboard.

###Start - Do Not Include This Line### with the Visual Studio 2012 Update 2 RTM ALM Virtual Machine.docx Project Management in Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2012.docx and Running Manual Tests using Microsoft Test Manager 2012.docx and Merging Visualization with Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2012.docx the Right Software - Generating Storyboards and Collecting Stakeholder Feedback with Visual Studio 2012.docx Discovery using the Architecture Tools in Visual Studio Ultimate 2012.docx with IntelliTrace using Visual Studio Ultimate 2012.docx Issues in Production with IntelliTrace and Visual Studio 2012.docx Testing and Other Enhancements in Microsoft Test Manager 2012.docx Management Improvements in Visual Studio 2012.docx to Coded UI Tests with Visual Studio Ultimate 2012.docx to Platform Testing with Microsoft Test Manager 2012.docx to PreEmptive Analytics.docx to Test Case Management with Microsoft Test Manager 2012.docx to Test Planning with Microsoft Test Manager 2012.docx Developers More Productive with Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2012.docx Class Coupling with Visual Studio Ultimate 2012.docx Testing, Code Coverage and Code Clone Analysis with Visual Studio 2012.docx Code Analysis with Visual Studio 2012 to Improve Code Quality.docx the Architecture Explorer in Visual Studio Ultimate 2012 to Analyze Your Code.docx to Web Performance and Load Testing with Visual Studio Ultimate 2012.docx and Debugging SharePoint 2010 Applications with Visual Studio 2012.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.
7. Expand the files and self-extracting RAR set and see the “Working with…” document for more instructions.

I hope you will enjoy this content as a way of learning how Visual Studio can help you improve your team’s overall application lifecycle management capabilities. If you have suggestions for how to improve this virtual machine and set of demos / hands-on-labs please let me know.

  • I am trying to start the Developer Preview but getting error "failed to initialize"

    Any suggestions

  • @MRoy, usually there is more to this error message. Try expanding the column. Most often it's because you don't have enough RAM available. You can edit the settings of the VM to reduce the RAM for this VM, but the less you make available the slower it will run. You might need a physical machine that has more memory available.

  • Also, the screenshots above and their accompanying descriptions are all cut off.

  • @Ami, depending on your screen resolution they might be, yes. Try viewing in the RSS feed which doesn't have the MSDN chrome on it:

  • Where did my first comment go? :)

    That was the one with all of my questions.

  • @Ami, I don't know, sorry, nothing in my moderation queue. :-( Feel free to email me:

  • I will try reposting. If that fails I'll email. I'd rather post in case other's have similar questions.

    I was wondering how much of an effort was put into the Web Access component? How powerful is it? Can it really be used to replace some of the more defect tracking systems on the market? I know that in previous versions of TFS the defect and task management features were somewhat lacking. Is Microsoft looking to move in a less developer-centric approach with this release? Will business/requirements analysts, PMs and testers still have to install VS in order to gain full access to the features of TFS or will everything be made available via the web interface?

    TFS has always been fine for developers and I see many improvements being made with each iteration. However, it's greatest strength is also it's greatest weakness -tight integration with VS. If you aren't a developer it just doesn't feel right.

    I guess that what I'm asking is, has the the Web Access component finally become a first class citizen?


  • @Ami,

    Can you clarify what you mean when you say that the previous versions were "somewhat lacking" for you? Have you tried the virtual machine posted here and opened up the web access portal? Have you tried the stakeholder feedback hands-on-lab?

    There are some features of TFS which are only surfaced in VS, but I know plenty of project managers who use the Web/Excel/Project integration and never drop into VS.

    I'd love to give you a thorough answer to your question but I need to know more about what your expectations are, and what you've already played with from the VS11 developer preview.


  • Is this VHD compatible with Virtual Box ?

  • Sorry missed the post comment about Virtual Box compatibility - works a treat

  • Hi Brian,

    VM is wonderful... It really giving us an absolute hands on for the new features of Vnext. I got an issue while working on TFS2011.

    I have a customized process template and i have installed it on virtual machine . While creating a new project i am selecting this new  process template and it throws an "SPException thrown: Message: The site template requires that the Feature {a392da98-270b-4e85-9769-04c0fde267aa} be installed in the farm or site collection.".  while creating a sharepoint site. "

    This GUID referes to the Publishing Feature in sharepoint . I am unable to find this feature in the Sahrepoint site of VM. Can you pls help me if it requires any thing else to install in VM.

  • @Guest,

    I'm glad you're enjoying the VM.

    I'm sorry I haven't seen that error before. But I do know that your process template can require that you have particular SharePoint features enabled. This is described somewhat here:

    When I searched for that particular GUID, I discovered a few hits:

    I hope that helps a bit.


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