Steve Lange @ Work

Steve Lange's thoughts on application lifecycle management, Visual Studio, and Team Foundation Server

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Visual Studio & TFS 2013 Update 4 (CTP 1) is Available

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    floppy disksDidn’t we just release Update 3? 

    Brian Harry explains the awesome details of this CTP on his blog post, but below are my highlights.

    As you’ll see, this update (as of now) is more substantial for TFS:

    • Pull Requests for Git in TFS – This was released to VSO a little bit back, but it’s coming to TFS.
    • Area Path Search – We added this into Web Access to make it easier to search larger area path hierarchies
    • Full-Screen View - As it sounds, a larger (more content) view for backlogs and boards.
    • Work item charting – trend charts – Now you can show trends (up to a year) on your work items, not just “current state” stuff.  The initial charts added are Stacked Area, Area, and Line.

    A couple items for the VS IDE:

    • C++: Visual Studio now scans or rescans a solution and then updates the database much more quickly for large solutions, making updates more responsive.
    • C++: Collect and analyze GPU usage data for Windows applications by using the Performance and Diagnostics hub.

    For a full list of stuff included in this CTP, be sure to check out the Visual Studio 2013 Update 4 KB article.

    Keep in mind that this is just a CTP, so use caution if you decide to go nuts and use it in production.  As more CTP’s come out, you may find additional functionality getting shoved in, so keep an eye out!

    You can download the Update 4 CTP 1 here.

    Enjoy!

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Upcoming Visual Studio Webinars Series

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    TestHouse and Comparex are running a webinar series in September covering some core topics of the Visual Studio Family.  Take a look below and be sure to register!

    Visual Studio provides testing tools that help you adopt testing practices such as manual, automated, exploratory, and load testing. Testers can be more productive planning, executing and tracking tests, both with the web-based test management tool or the rich experience provided by MTM.

    We are running a series of webinars covering some of these key functionalities within Visual Studio 2013.
    Explore MTM (for Test Management), Coded UI (for Automation) and Web Performance Testing (for Performance Testing).

    Join us now for an opportunity to hear and ask questions to our certified Visual Studio Speakers.
    We will present/demo the capabilities of VS2013.

    (click on the event title to register)

    September 4th, 2014 – A Guide to Using  MTM within Visual Studio 2013

    • Create & Execute test plans
    • Data Driving
    • Exploratory Testing and more...

    September 23rd, 2014 - Automated Testing Using VS2013 Coded UI

    • Creating basic Coded UI tests
    • Data Driving
    • Using action recording and more...

    September 30th, 2014:  An Overview of Web Performance Testing Using VS2013

    • Recording, running & editing web tests
    • Validation& Extracting rules
    • Other web tests and more...

    Testhouse Comparex

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    QuickHit Video – Getting Started with Visual Studio Online

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    I just posted a new video in the series (is it a series yet if there are only two?): QuickHit Video -  Getting Started with Visual Studio Online

    It’s actually a re-post of a FlashCast video I did earlier in the summer, with a few annotations to catch you up on updates as well.

    Getting Started with Visual Studio Online

    Hope you enjoy it!  As always, please let me know if there are any topics you’d like to learn more about!

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Send Email to a Team Room with VSO Service Hooks and Zapier

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    If you haven’t read up on some of the great work the VSO team is doing around Service Hooks, you should do so now.  It’s a great, easily-consumable, extensible way to integrate VSO with other tools you may use.  Service Hooks can also make VSO even easier to leverage in your organization.

    In this post, I’m going to address a question I get from time to time: “The Team Rooms are great.  Can I send an email to VSO and have it show up in a Team Room?”  With a service hook, sure!

    To do this, I’m going to use Zapier, a free service that allows you to build triggered actions between systems (called “zaps”).  They just so happen to have a service hook into VSO, and an email parsing service that they provide themselves (they give you an email address to use, and it parses emails received at that address to perform in subsequent actions).

    Here’s what I did:

    I head over to Zapier and sign up for an account.  They have several plans, including a free one.

    I select to create a new Zap

    image

    When asked to choose a trigger or action, I select the Zapier Email Parser

    image

    Note that it ask me to also set up a parser mailbox at http://parser.zapier.com.  I went over there real quick and set one up:

    image

    After creating a parser account, I set up a parser mailbox (this is effectively an email address that captures and parses email messages).

    You’ll get an screen like this, with an email address for you to send to.

    image

    Send an email to the cryptic email address on  your screen, and soon after it will capture the email and take you through the remaining steps to set up a mailbox parser.  This will allow you to later customize the display of the email message in the VSO Team Room.

    Once that’s done, on the page where you’re setting up your “Zap”, select “New Email” as the action under the “Zapier Email Parser”.

    On the right side (“..Do This.”), select Visual Studio Online, and “Send Team Room Message” as the corresponding action.  Your “Zap” should look like this:

    image

    I click the “Continue” button, which takes me to step 2, where I’m asked to connect to my Zapier Email Parser account, which I do.  I click “Test this Account” verify.

    image

    After clicking “Continue” again, I’m taken to step 3, where I specify my VSO account.

    image

    I select the account I want to use, authenticate to it and authorize Zapier to access it.  I can also give it a friendly name.  When I’m done, it looks like this (in my example), after testing it.

    image

    I click “Continue” again, and am taken to step 4 where I specify triggers for the email parser.  I simply choose the mailbox that I set up earlier.

    image

    Note that I can add custom filters if I want.  For this example (all I’m using this mailbox for is VSO Team Room messages), I’m not.

    I click “Continue” to go to step 5.  On this step, I specify the Team Room that I want my emails to be pushed into (in my case, I choose “Awesome Calculator Team Room”), and set up the message that will be posted (based on the fields that you set up when you created  your Zapier Email Parser mailbox.  Here’s what mine looks like:

    image

    Lastly, I click “Continue” one more time to go to step 6.  This step lets me test my Zap.

    image

    Let’s test it!  I click on the “Test Zapier Email Parser trigger” and choose the sample data set to use (it will be the content from the test email you sent earlier to set up your mailbox). 

    image

    I head over to the VSO Team Room.  And voila! There it is!

    image

    That’s really it!  Now any time someone sends an email to that garbled email address set up via the Zapier Email Parser, the email will be parsed and posted to the Team Room. 

    A couple suggestions:

    • Keep the email somewhat cryptic so no outsiders can guess it (the Parser will let you customize it).
    • Use a Welcome Page on your VSO project site to tell team members what the address is.

    Now to be fair, there are other services that can help you respond to email events – the one depicted here was simply a straightforward one for me to figure out.  This is a simple example – I’d love to hear what extra fun people are having with service hooks.

    Hope this helps!

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    VSO is Happy to See You! Project Welcome Pages

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    The August 18th news article on the Visual Studio site announced a fun new addition to VSO: Project Welcome pages.

    Think of Welcome pages as documentation, a greeting, or basic contextual information for the Team Project.  You can use a Welcome pages for things like:

    • Describing the purpose/business value of the project.
    • Basic tips and tricks for navigating the VSO project.
    • Project-specific nomenclature or acronyms
    • Project sponsors or contacts
    • You get the idea.. whatever!

    The implementation of these pages is surprisingly simple.  Pages are really just Markdown files (.md) which are checked in/committed to the root of your project.  The default page is named “readme.md”.  For example, in my “Awesome Calculator” project, I checked in a “readme.md”:

    image

    Now if I got to my project’s homepage, I see a “Welcome” tab.  If I click on that, I get to any/all of my Welcome pages:

    image

    Adding additional Welcome pages is simple as well.  Just check in/commit more markdown files! 

    image

    My new markdown file, “The Truth.md”, then renders like this:

    image

    If you’re not familiar with markdown, don’t fear.  It’s a simple and fast markup.  VSO utilizes of GitHub Flavored Markdown, a common convention already used in some open source version control systems, based on then “marked” open source library. You can use virtually any editor (they are just text files) to work on your markdown files, including VIsual Studio, MarkdownPad, and others.

    For additional details, please read Martin Woodward’s post on the Visual Studio ALM blog.

    Enjoy!

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    First QuickHit video – MSDN Azure Benefits

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    This year I’m going to start making some video recordings of the more commonly requested topics I hear from customers.  Many of these topics are relatively introductory (100/200 level) – the frequency of which I’m asked to discuss these topics leads me to believe that maybe building a small library/playlist of videos covering these topics will be useful.

    So over the next few months, I’m going to try and crank out some easy-to-digest, but helpful, videos covering various ALM/Visual Studio/TFS/VSO topics.  If you have any specific topics to suggest, I’m all ears as well!

    Here is my first one – it’s a short video (<3 minutes) that talks about Azure Benefits for MSDN Subscribers. 

    QuickHit Video – MSDN Azure Benefits

    Enjoy!

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Visual Studio 2013 Update 3 RTM is available!

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    VisualStudio-LogoToday (August 4th) the Update 3 for Visual Studio 2013 was released!  (Download link)

    So what’s in this thing? I’ll let you read about all the details (including links and videos) on the official notice on the Visual Studio website, but here are the highlights:

    • CodeLens – Now supports Git repositories (more)
    • CodeMaps – Color-coding for links, drag & drop binaries
    • IDE – You can choose to enable/disable the ALL CAPS menu bars
    • Testing – You can now customize test plans and test suites, new security options
    • Release Management – Desired State Configuration (DSC) support, updated change summary screen.

    There are plenty others, so check out the news page for the full list (or reference this KB article)!

    Lastly, some additional products have been updated/made available as of this drop:

    Enjoy!

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Upcoming Leadership Events: Azure, Agility, and Automation

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    Our partner, Northwest Cadence, has been hard at work to build some great new content focused on effective software delivery in the Enterprise.

    Intrigued? Steven Borg gives a sneak peek into Continuous Delivery with Azure, Automation, and Agility (video)

    Here is the full abstract:

    Join Steven Borg and Cheryl Hammond as they deliver a Leadership Roundtable breakfast event with exclusive content designed to help leaders take a practical approach to reaching continuous delivery. Steve and Cheryl are recognized industry experts in enterprise agility and lean/agile transformations. What does that have to do with Continuous Delivery with Azure, Agility, and Automation, you ask? Plenty! Enterprise agility is much more than self-organizing teams and delivering code in short increments. It is also about putting the right technical foundations in place to support those teams for an ever faster delivery cadence.

    This 3-hour Leadership Roundtable will be interactive and fun! Join Steve and Cheryl as they cover Azure, Agility, and Automation –tie them all together – and sheds light on the next steps you can take to deliver code faster.

    AzureAzure: Azure plays an important role in modern continuous delivery practices, as it supports extremely rapid development cycles, near-infinite scaling, and dramatically reduced up-front costs. DevOps and DevTest become accessible to mere mortals when Azure infrastructure and platforms are used. Not only that, but Staging and Production environment management becomes trivial, allowing new releases to be tested in a near clone of the production environment prior to release.
    Agility: Agility is enabled through leadership, and creates the right mindset and processes that support rapid delivery of value.
    AutomationAutomation: Automation is key to delivering at the speed of market. It not only removes human error and speeds work, it can actually transform the team. Once key processes are automated, teams behavior changes. Since small units of functionality can now be delivered quickly, teams begin to shift their thinking and actions in subtle ways that reinforce agility and more frequent deliveries. They even start to decompose requirements more granularly so they can be released in smaller chunks!

    At the end of this Roundtable event, you will leave with a clear understanding of why Azure, Agility, and Automation are key to enterprise agility. You will also have a plan around how to take the next steps with your team.

    Schedule (for any updates, be sure to visit the Northwest Cadence events page):

    Date Location (click to register)
    Sept 3, 9AM-12PM Bellevue, WA
    Sept 8, 9AM-12PM Eagan, MN
    Sept 9, 9AM-12PM Tempe, AZ
    Sept 10, 9AM-12PM Denver, CO
    Sept 11, 9AM-12PM Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept 11, 9AM-12PM Portland, OR
    Sept 16, 9AM-12PM Irvine, CA
    Sept 17, 9AM-12PM San Diego, CA
    Sept 18, 9AM-12PM Palo Alto, CA

    If you have any questions, please contact Rick Flath: rick.flath@nwcadence.com

    I hope to see you at one of these events!

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Microsoft Test Case Management – Handling Test Steps with Multiple Expected Results

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    I’ve been asked by a few customers about this topic in the past week, so I thought I’d generalize my response into this post.  I hope others will find this helpful as well!

    Sometimes when building a test case in Microsoft Test Manager or Web Access, you will have a test step with more than one expected result.  Perhaps you need to verify several fields on a form, or that multiple things happen as a result of your action. 

    If you encounter this scenario from time to time, you can handle it a couple different ways.

    Using this very generic example (you may or may not recognize this test case from my previous blog post):

    clip_image002

    Note that step 2 has two expected results.

    Single-step, multiple expected results, single pass/fail

    As-is, you can run this test case without issue. The small challenge with this is handling a failure with one expected result and a pass with another. Is the step a pass or fail? Chances are you want to fail the step so it’s recorded, but note somehow that one result did pass. To accommodate this, you would fail the step but capture a comment:

    clip_image003

    The secondary challenge with this is reporting. Since I told the tool that this was a failure, any reporting I do will show it as a failure, ignoring the fact that one result did pass.

    Single-action step, multiple expected results, individual pass/fail

    As an alternative, the tool will let you mimic multiple expected results by adding an additional step, but without an action. For example:

    clip_image005

    Now when you execute this, you can mark individual expected results as pass/fail:

    clip_image006

    This will make it easier to interrogate test results to see exactly where the failure occurred. Additionally, if you use Microsoft Test Manager, it has the ability to create an action recording to let you fast-forward through specific steps in subsequent test runs. Breaking up the results into individual steps will make this recording/playback experience more accurate.

    Thanks for reading!

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    FREE Imaginet ALM Webinars: June through Dec 2014

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    clip_image001Here is an updated listing of upcoming ALM webinars from our partner Imaginet.  They’re FREE, so you might as well check them out!

    Enhance Productivity with Distributed Version Control Using Git and Visual Studio 2013

    Register

    Microsoft’s release of Team Foundation 2013 enables you to work locally with a Git (distributed version control) repository and then “sync up” with a central TFS repository. In this session, we will discuss and demonstrate how this new integration works and the advantages that it will provide for your teams. Get best of both distributed version control system (DVCS) and Team Foundation Server with the TFS-Git integration. Come join us for this free webcast!

    Date

    June 26, 2014 12:00 PM

     

    Deliver Higher Quality Software with Automated Coded UI Testing

    Register

    In this webinar, Imaginet will demonstrate how to record tests run against various types of application user interfaces using Microsoft Visual Studio's Coded UI Tests and how to replay them at any time. Additionally, we will explore how to embed validations, either simple or elaborate, to ensure your application is producing the correct results. Learn how to improve the quality of your applications by having a repeatable set of Microsoft Coded UI Tests available to ensure defects don’t go unnoticed!

    Date

    July 17, 2014 12:00 PM CST

     

    Discover the Top Business Benefits of Application Lifecycle Management (ALM)

    Register

    Why should your business focus on Application Lifecycle Management? What benefits will you see to your overall business? How does ALM impact your bottom line? Come attend this free webinar to discover all the answers!

    Date

    July 24, 2014 12:00 PM CST

     

    How to Get Control Over Your Portfolio of Projects with Agile and TFS

    Register

    Scrum and agile management methodologies focus on iterative planning, development and release. This session will demonstrate how agile planning, management, and tracking are streamlined with Visual Studio 2013. In addition, this session will review and demonstrate the new Enterprise Agile Management capabilities, which enable larger organizations to effectively manage their Agile projects across all their teams. Come join us for this free webcast!

    Date

    August 7, 2014 12:00 PM CST

     

    How to Improve Your Software Deployments with Release Management and TFS 2013

    Register

    As teams try to meet the demand for a more rapid release cadence, one of the biggest pain points they are hitting is managing the releases and creating reliable, repeatable automated deployment. In addition, it is increasingly hard to manage the number of simultaneously in-flight releases. With Team Foundation Server (TFS) 2103, Microsoft now provides new release tooling to help you manage your in-flight releases. In this session, Imaginet will explore and demonstrate this new release management capabilities that will greatly improve your team’s release management experience.

    Date

    August 21, 2014 12:00 PM CST

     

    Enhance Productivity with Distributed Version Control Using Git and Visual Studio 2013

    Register

    Microsoft’s release of Team Foundation 2013 enables you to work locally with a Git (distributed version control) repository and then “sync up” with a central TFS repository. In this session, we will discuss and demonstrate how this new integration works and the advantages that it will provide for your teams. Get best of both distributed version control system (DVCS) and Team Foundation Server with the TFS-Git integration. Come join us for this free webcast!

    Date

    September 4, 2014 12:00 PM CST

     

    Enterprise UX: Project Success with User Experience Design

    Register

    Find out why User Experience Design is the most important process that your development practice needs to adopt to stay ahead of the game. We will identify the fundamentals of UX and explain how you can succeed on your next project.

    Date

    September 18, 2014 12:00 PM CST

     

    Discover the Top Business Benefits of Application Lifecycle Management (ALM)

    Register

    Why should your business focus on Application Lifecycle Management? What benefits will you see to your overall business? How does ALM impact your bottom line? Come attend this free webinar to discover all the answers!

    Date

    October 2, 2014 12:00 PM CST

     

    Discover How the Kanban Method Can Kick Start a Culture of Continuous Improvement for Your Organization

    Register

    Kanban was originally created as a scheduling system to help manufacturing organizations determine what to produce, when to produce it, and how much to produce. Although this may not sound like software development, these lean principles can be successfully applied to development teams to improve the delivery of value through better visibility and limits on work in process. This webinar will provide an overview of the Kanban method, including the history and motivation, the core principles and practices, and how these apply to efficiency and process improvement in software development.

    Date

    October 16, 2014 12:00 PM CST

     

    How To Manage Your Test Labs Without The Headaches

    Register

    Several years ago, Microsoft released a bold new feature to support management of virtual test environments. "Lab Management" provided the ability to easily spin up test environments, perform automated build and deployments, run automated tests, and collect diagnostic data. Unfortunately, many teams were discouraged by the infrastructure requirements. With the newest version of Visual Studio and standard environments, even small teams or groups who can't use Microsoft's Hyper-V can still benefit from lab management. This session will demonstrate how to configure your existing environments for many of the same compelling features formerly available only with Hyper-V. Come join us for this free webinar!

    Date

    October 30, 2014 12:00 PM CST

     

    Deliver Higher Quality Software with Automated Coded UI Testing

    Register

    In this webinar, Imaginet will demonstrate how to record tests run against various types of application user interfaces using Microsoft Visual Studio's Coded UI Tests and how to replay them at any time. Additionally, we will explore how to embed validations, either simple or elaborate, to ensure your application is producing the correct results. Learn how to improve the quality of your applications by having a repeatable set of Microsoft Coded UI Tests available to ensure defects don’t go unnoticed!

    Date

    November 13, 2014 12:00 PM CST

     

    Enhance Productivity with Distributed Version Control Using Git and Visual Studio 2013

    Register

    Microsoft’s newest release of Team Foundation 2013 enables you to work locally with a Git (distributed version control) repository and then “sync up” with a central TFS repository. In this session, we will discuss and demonstrate how this new integration works and the advantages that it will provide for your teams. Get best of both distributed version control system (DVCS) and Team Foundation Server with the TFS-Git integration. Come join us for this free webcast!

    Date

    November 20, 2014 12:00 PM CST

     

    Enterprise UX: Project Success with User Experience Design

    Register

    Find out why User Experience Design is the most important process that your development practice needs to adopt to stay ahead of the game. We will identify the fundamentals of UX and explain how you can succeed on your next project.

    Date

    December 4, 2014 12:00 PM CST

     

    Discover How the Kanban Method Can Kick Start a Culture of Continuous Improvement for Your Organization

    Register

    Kanban was originally created as a scheduling system to help manufacturing organizations determine what to produce, when to produce it, and how much to produce. Although this may not sound like software development, these lean principles can be successfully applied to development teams to improve the delivery of value through better visibility and limits on work in process. This webinar will provide an overview of the Kanban method, including the history and motivation, the core principles and practices, and how these apply to efficiency and process improvement in software development.

    Date

    December 18, 2014 12:00 PM CST

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Microsoft Test Manager – Working Across Projects: Adding an Existing Test Case vs.Cloning/Copying

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    You’ve probably noticed that for the most part, managing multiple test plans and test cases are more convenient when they’re part of the same Team Project in TFS/VSO.  For one thing, area paths and iteration paths just work much more cleanly.

    If you’re working across multiple Team Projects, though, the story changes slightly.  Things can still work just fine, but you need to be even more aware of the differences between working with existing test cases, and copying them.

    Let’s look at the differences.

    Using an Existing Test Case (by reference)

    When adding test cases that exist in another TFS/VSO Project entirely (not just another test plan in the same project), you are basically creating a reference back to the main test case, not a copy. That is, you can’t modify the area or iteration fields to represent the target project. Because it is a reference, when the test case is opened it is opened as it resides in the source test plan/project. You can’t modify the area or iteration fields because they are scoped to the project in which the test case resides.

    Consider this example:

    I have two projects: Project A and Project B. I created a test plan in Project A called “Master Test Plan”, and inside that plan created a test case named “Test Case from Master Test Plan in Project A” (just to make it easy to reference). It has an ID of 13.

    clip_image002

    In Project B, I create a test plan named “Project B Test Plan”. In this plan, I want to reference the test case from Project A. So I select “Add existing” from the toolbar, and query VSO for the test case.

    clip_image003

    I select the test case and click “Add test cases”, which adds it to my plan in Project B, as seen below:

    clip_image005

    If I open the test case, I am only able to set the iteration path (and the area path for that matter) to a value that is within the scope of the plan which we referenced.

    clip_image006

    Because we are referencing the test case, any changes made here will be reflected back in the Master Test Plan in Project A. This is because we are working with a single instance of the test case, we’re just referencing it from a different location.

    Copying a Test Case across Projects

    If you wish to have a discrete copy of a test case, test cases, or test suites across projects (to a test plan that resides in a different project), you can perform a “clone” across projects via the command line (tcm.exe).

    The TCM tool contains various options to control what gets copied, and new values to set (i.e. area and iteration). (It can also be used to run automated tests)

    For this example, I’ll copy/clone my test cases (in the root test suite) of Project A to a newly-created project, Project C (in which I have a test plane named “Project C Test Plan”). Since this is a basic example, all that exists is that single test case.

    Here is the command line I will run:

    tcm suites /clone

    /collection:https://<myVSO>.visualstudio.com/DefaultCollection

    /teamproject:”Project A”

    /suiteid:1

    /destinationteamproject:”Project C”

    /destinationsuiteid:3

    /overridefield:”IterationPath”=”Project C\Release 1\Sprint 1”

    /overridefield:”Area Path”=”Project C”

    When I execute this for the current scenario, I’m telling the tool to copy the test suite (with ID: 1, the root test suite in my “Master Test Plan”) from Project A to Project C (to the suite with ID: 3, the root test suite in Project C’s test plan (named “Project C Test Plan”)). I’m also instructing to the tool to set the Iteration Path of the copied test cases to “Project C\Release 1\Sprint 1”, and the Area Path to “Project C”.

    After running this, if I look at my test plan in Project C, I see this:

    clip_image008

    I can see the copied test suite (“Master Test Plan”), and the test case it contains. If I open that test case, note the new values of Area and Iteration:

    clip_image010

    Also note the new ID (14) as a sign that this is an actual copy of the original test case (ID 13).

    Because I’ve actually made a copy of this test case (not a reference, as in the first scenario), any changes I make to this test case will NOT affect the original from Project A. To illustrate this, I modified the title of the test case in (Project C) to reflect that it has been changed in Project C. Compare that change (top) with the original test case back in Project A (bottom):

    clip_image012

    clip_image014

    To help with reference, the command line tool created a link between the two so users can see where the test case came from, and gain context as to why it’s there.

    clip_image016

    Additional notes

    Thanks for reading!

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Panels vs. Context: A Tale of Two Visual Studios and a Practical Explanation of the Value of CodeLens

    • 13 Comments

    If you have Visual Studio 2013 Ultimate, you know CodeLens is amazing.  If you don’t know what CodeLens is, I hope this helps.  I have a lot of customers who ask me about CodeLens, what it is, and how valuable I think it is for an organization.  Here’s my response.

    It’s really a tale of two Visual Studios, if you think about.

    A Visual Studio Full of Panels

    Let’s say you’re looking at a code file, specifically a method.  Your Visual Studio environment may look like this:

    image

    I’m looking at the second Create method (the one that takes a Customer).  If I want to know where this method may be referenced, I can “Find All References”, either by selecting it from the context menu, or using Shift + F12. Now I have this:

    image

    Great!  Now, if I decide to change this code, will it will work?  Will my tests still work?  In order for me to figure that out, I need open my Test Explorer window.

    image

    Which gives me a slightly more cluttered VS environment:

    image

    (Now I can see my tests, but I still need to try and identify which tests actually exercise my method.)

    Another great point of context to have is knowing if I’m looking at the latest version of my code.  I’d hate to make changes to an out-of-date version and grant myself a merge condition.  So next I need to see the history of the file.

    image

    Cluttering my environment even more (because I don’t want to take my eyes of my code, I need to snap it somewhere else), I get this:

    image

    Okay, time out. 

    Yes, this looks pretty cluttered, but I can organize my panels better, right?  I can move some panels to a second monitor if I want, right?  Right on both counts.  By doing so, I can get a multi-faceted view of the code I’m looking at.  However, what if I start looking at another method, or another file?  The “context” of those other panels don’t follow what I’m doing.  Therefore, if I open the EmployeesController.cs file, my “views” are out of sync!

    image

    That’s not fun.

    A Visual Studio Full of Context

    So all of the above illustrates two main benefits of something like CodeLens.  CodeLens inserts easy, powerful, at-a-glance context for the code your looking at.  If it’s not turned on, do so in Options:

    image

    While you’re there, look at all the information it’s going to give you!

    Once you’ve enabled CodeLens, let’s reset to the top of our scenario and see what we have:

    image

    Notice an “overlay” line of text above each method.  That’s CodeLens in action. Each piece of information is called a CodeLens Indicator, and provides specific contextual information about the code you’re looking at.  Let’s look more closely.

    image

    References

    image

    References shows you exactly that – references to this method of code.  Click on that indicator and you can see and do some terrific things:

    image

    It shows you the references to this method, where those references are, and even allows you to display those references on a Code Map:

    image

    Tests

    image

    As you can imagine, this shows you tests for this method.  This is extremely helpful in understanding the viability of a code change.  This indicator lets you view the tests for this method, interrogate them, as well as run them.

    image

    As an example, if I double-click the failing test, it will open the test for me.  In that file, CodeLens will inform me of the error:

    image

    Dramatic pause: This CodeLens indicator is tremendously valuable in a TDD (Test Driven Development). Imagine sitting your test file and code file side-by-side, turning on “Run Tests After Build”, and using the CodeLens indicator to get immediate feedback about your progress.

    Authors

    image

    This indicator gives you very similar information as the next one, but list the authors of this method for at-a-glance context.  Note that the latest author is the one noted in the CodeLens overlay.  Clicking on this indicator provides several options, which I’ll explain in the next section.

    image

    Changes

    image

    The Changes indicator tells you information about the history of the file at it exists in TFS, specifically Changesets.  First, the overlay tells you how many recent changes there are to this method in the current working branch.  Second, if you click on the indicator you’ll see there are several valuable actions you can take right from that context:

    image

    What are we looking at?

    • Recent check-in history of the file, including Changeset ID, Branch, Changeset comments, Changeset author, and Date/time.
    • Status of my file compared to history (notice the blue “Local Version” tag telling me that my code is 1 version behind current).
    • Branch icons tell me where each change came from (current/parent/child/peer branch, farther branch, or merge from parent/child/unrelated (baseless)).

    Right-clicking on a version of the file gives you additional options:

    image

    • I can compare my working/local version against the selected version
    • I can open the full details of the Changeset
    • I can track the Changeset visually
    • I can get a specific version of the file
    • I can even email the author of that version of the file
    • (Not shown) If I’m using Lync, I can also collaborate with the author via IM, video, etc.

    This is a heck of a lot easier way to understand the churn or velocity of this code.

    Incoming Changes

    image

    The Incoming Changes indicator was added in 2013 Update 2, and gives you a heads up about changes occurring in other branches by other developers.  Clicking on it gives you information like:

    image

    Selecting the Changeset gives you the same options as the Authors and Changes indicators.

    This indicator has a strong moral for anyone who’s ever been burned by having to merge a bunch of stuff as part of a forward or reverse integration exercise:  If you see an incoming change, check in first!

    Work Items (Bugs, Work Items, Code Reviews)

    image

    I’m lumping these last indicators together because they are effectively filtered views of the same larger content: work items.  Each of these indicators give you information about work items linked to the code in TFS.

    image

    image

    Knowing if/when there were code reviews performed, tasks or bugs linked, etc., provides fantastic insight about how the code came to be.  It answers the “how” and “why” of the code’s current incarnation.

     

    A couple final notes:

    • The indicators are cached so they don’t put unnecessary load on your machine.  As such they are scheduled to refresh at specific intervals.  If you don’t want to wait, you can refresh the indicators yourself by right-clicking the indicators and choosing “Refresh CodeLens Team Indicators”

    image

    • There is an additional CodeLens indicator in the Visual Studio Gallery – the Code Health Indicator. It gives method maintainability numbers so you can see how your changes are affecting the overall maintainability of your code.
    • You can dock the CodeLens indicators as well – just know that if they dock, they act like other panels and will be static.  This means you’ll have to refresh them manually (this probably applies most to the References indicator).
    • If you want to adjust the font colors and sizes (perhaps to save screen real estate), you can do so in Tools –> Options –> Fonts and Colors.  Choose “Show settings for” and set it to “CodeLens”.

     

    I hope you find this helpful!

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Jump in the Deep End with Visual Studio "14" CTP

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    3399096196_cf820fdb84On Soma’s blog, today he announced the availability of the first CTP for Visual Studio “14”, the next major release of Visual Studio.

    Early?  Yep!  Still kinda exciting?  Definitely!

    Please note that is a very early build, and is by no means meant to be used in production.  It’s more simply a way to get feedback from the community.  It is English-only, and not officially supported.

    Soma noted that this next big release of Visual Studio “will most likely be available sometime in 2015, with a more complete preview release and final naming available later this year.  Given that this is a very early build, please install in a test environment with no earlier versions of Visual Studio installed.”

    That said, there are some cool capabilities packed into this CTP:

    You can download the CTP from here.  Oh, also be sure to read the release notes containing information about the new features and known issues in the CTP.

    And please, please, provide feedback! (That’s the purpose of this CTP release anyway)

    Submit bugs through Connect, suggestions on UserVoice and quick thoughts via Send-a-Smile in the Visual Studio IDE.

    Enjoy!

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Heads up: DEVintersection is in Vegas this November!

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    If Your Passion Is Keeping Pace with Technology
    Take Your Experience to the Next Level!

    This fast growing conference in its second year is a collaboration between Microsoft, .NET Rocks, SQLskills and NextGen Conferences. Together, we created the next generation of conferences that will meet the expectations of developers and IT professionals alike. The intersection of tools and technologies today create a need for a conference that allows you to go in-depth with experts on the technologies you’re using today but also cross over and hear what's happening with other technologies and how they affect you; keeping you on the cutting edge.

    Last time this conference came around, you said we didn't give you enough notice to get the cost approved by your company.  Well, now you have plenty of time. Especially those of you in SoCal, if you go to one paid conference a year, this should be it.

    DEVintersection - Nov 10-13 2014 Las Vegas

    Everyone you want to see will be speaking here :

    • Scott Guthrie
    • Steve Guggenhimer
    • Scott Hanselman
    • John Papa
    • Michele Bustamante
    • Richard Campbell
    • Dan Wahlin
    • Paul Sheriff
    • Mark Minasi
    • Billy Hollis
    • Juval Lowy

    And many more. If you are a .Net Developer in the western US, this is really an event you don't want to miss!

    You can find out more and register here: http://devintersection.com/ 

    If you use the code SoCal at registration, you will get an additional $50 off of your registration.

    And remember.. this is not just DEV, its also: SharePoint, Office 365, ASP.net, Visual Studio, Azure, SQL too.

    Follow DEVintersection on Twitter, as well.

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Already here: Visual Studio 2013 Update 3 CTP 1

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    Yep!  Fresh on the heels of the RTM of VS 2013 Update 2 (I just finished delivering “What’s New” presentations on Update 2 a couple weeks ago), the first CTP for Update 3 is available!  CTP 1 means it’s early, and may not be completely production-ready.  But heck, it’s at least worth checking out!

    Mary Jo Foley mentioned some of the key targets for Update 3; but check out this KB article for the full run-down of features.

    VisualStudio-Logo

    Here is the short list of my favorites:

    • You can use Windows PowerShell or the Windows PowerShell Desired State Configuration (DSC) feature to deploy and manage configuration data. Additionally, you can deploy to the following environments without having to set up Microsoft Deployment Agent:
      • Windows Azure environments
      • On-premise environments (Standard environments)
    • CodeLens authors and changes indicators are now available for Git repositories.
    • You can drag binaries from the Windows file explorer to a code map, and then start exploring binaries by using Code Map.
    • You can skip straight to the details of performance events that are exported from Application Insights to IntelliTrace.

    My absolute favorite piece is the added flexibility to customize test plans and test suite artifacts.  Full details here.

    Enjoy!

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Visual Studio Online: Migrating from TFS on-premise

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    We’ve been providing means to migrate your data from VSO to an in-premise TFS, but not the other way around.  Until now!

    We just announced a new integration service from OpsHub that allows you to migrate your data from your on-premise Team Foundation Server implementation to Visual Studio online.  Full details can be found here, in the Visual Studio Gallery.

    From http://visualstudiogallery.msdn.microsoft.com/28a90a17-d00c-4660-b7ae-42d58315ccf2

    While you’re at it, take a look at the other capabilities that OpsHub offers.  They have an amazing line-up of ALM systems that they can integrate with their Integration Manager solution.

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Visual Studio 2013 Update 2 is Here!

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    Yep, it’s here (maybe the timing had something to do with //Build?)!

    I’ll let you get all the tasty details via the official post, but here are my personal top highlights (and if you’re using VSO, you may have seen some of these already):

    Work Item Tagging updates

    Work Item Tagging allows users to further organize and categorize work items without having to do any customization (like custom fields/values, or custom queries).

    For this update, we’ve rounded out this functionality by allowing you to now:

    • View and edit tags from within Visual Studio/Team Explorer
    • View and edit tags from within Excel
    • Include tags in Work Item queries

    New CodeLens Indicator: “Incoming Changes”

    A new indicator for CodeLens shows code changes taking place to related code in another branch.  This provides a great “heads up” to the developer that some merging may be just around the corner.

    Git Improvements

    The list is impressive!

    • Use the Annotate feature (aka blame) with Git
    • Amend recent local commits using Visual Studio (similar to the command line: “git amend”), as long as the commits have not yet been pushed to the TFS repository
    • Push to or pull from a selected remote repository in Team Explorer without having to use the command line
    • Roll back a commit to undo a check-in more easily
    • Monitor or cancel long-running Git operations
    • Use Ant or Maven on the build controller to build Java code managed in a Git repository (requires Team Explorer Everywhere (TEE) Update 1)

    Web-based Test Case Management: Exporting Artifacts and Shared Parameters

    We’ve added new capabilities to the “Test” area of TFS Web Access, allowing you to:

    • Export test plans, suites, and cases into HTML format.
    • Sharing of test case parameters

    There are several other notable improvements, including:

    • Configurable Cumulative Flow Diagram  start dates (on Kanban boards)
    • Updated team home page in TFS Web Access
    • Work Item Charting: Home Page Pinning and Color Customization
    In addition to the official post, check out this KB article for a full list of changes.

    Enjoy!

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Event: ALM Symposium in San Diego, April 30th 2014

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    ALM Symposium

    An All Day Event to Train, Inspire & Connect Teams!

    Microsoft and Northwest Cadence are extremely excited to be partnering together to host the upcoming ALM Symposium in La Jolla, CA! This is a great time to be in the world of software development, and this event will show you why!

    San Diego is the perfect place to be for software engineering. Home of wireless communication technology, bioinformatics, defense technology and investing, San Diego is an epicenter of innovation and creativity. But so often, delivery challenges tend to inhibit the flow of software delivery. Challenges like enabling communication across globally distributed teams, long project backlogs, conflicting priorities, unresolvable bugs and redundant manual efforts can all get in the way of what we enjoy best –delivering innovative technological solutions built on software.

    The good news is that these challenges have been solved! Microsoft’s ALM Solutions are enabling the world’s leading organizations to reduce their project backlogs, respond to business requests more accurately and deliver higher quality applications faster than ever before. Some of the most complex organizations in the world with thousands of team members, strict regulations and ever-pressing deadlines are able to achieve true agility while maintaining the highest levels of quality and security. By attending this event, which will have a special emphasis on improving quality across every part of an application’s lifecycle, you’ll learn how all of the various teams, from project managers, to business analysts, to developers, to testers, to release engineers and operations teams, can come together to streamline and improve your software delivery processes and tools utilization.

    We’re going to have fun! It’s going to be informative and exciting! The raffle prizes are awesome! And we’re looking forward to meeting you there!

    So REGISTER NOW!

    AGENDA

    • 8:30am Welcome Time with Coffee & Refreshments
    • 9:00am Keynote Session
    • 9:30am Demonstration of ALM in Action & End-to-End Project Management, Requirements Management, Development, Build, Deploy, Test
    • 10:30am Audience Activity, Customer Testimonies & Q/A Panel
    • 11:30am Break for Complimentary Lunch
    • 12:15pm Breakout Sessions
      • Breakout 1 - IT Leaders, Project Managers, Business Analysts
      • Breakout 2 - Testers & QA Professionals
      • Breakout 3 – Developers
      • Breakout 4 – Release Managers & DevOps
    • 4:00pm Evaluation Submissions and Raffle Giveaways

    Registration is free, but space is limited.

    REGISTRATION

    Wednesday, April 30th

    Hyatt Regency La Jolla

    3777 La Jolla Village Drive

    San Diego, CA 92122

    Space is limited.

    REGISTER HERE!

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Denver Event: Professional Scrum Development with Visual Studio

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    Professional Scrum Development with Visual Studio

    Delivered by Accentient

    When: Friday, 11 April 2014 from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM (MDT)

    Where:

    Microsoft
    7595 Technology Way
    Suite 400
    Denver, Colorado 80237

    Registration: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/professional-scrum-development-with-visual-studio-tickets-10727705857

    Scrum is the #1 framework chosen by Agile software development teams. Visual Studio is a leader in Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) tools. The combination of the two is just awesome, and so is the value potential for you and your software development team.
    Join Professional Scrum Trainers Richard Hundhausen and Charles Bradley as they explain why Scrum works and show how Visual Studio can implement it.

    Whether you are an executive, manager, or business-decision maker looking for a new way to manage the ROI of your IT investments and value delivery, or a seasoned Scrum practitioner or Visual Studio expert, this full day event will provide some measure of value to you. Be sure to ask us your hard questions as we show you ways to deliver business value in the form of working software while reducing risk and waste.

    Specifically, we will cover these topics:

    • Why Scrum works
    • Scrum in a nutshell
    • Getting started with Scrum
    • How Visual Studio supports Scrum
    • Setting up a Scrum team project
    • Planning and managing work in Visual Studio

    Complimentary lunch will be provided.

    Be sure to attend and see if your current or next project might benefit from leveraging Scrum, Visual Studio, or any of the principles or practices that we discuss. Contact Richard with any questions.

    Register here: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/professional-scrum-development-with-visual-studio-tickets-10727705857

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Webcasts: MSDN, Meet Azure. Activate your Benefits

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    Active Your MSDN Azure Benefit

    I want to make sure you are aware of the below benefit and how you can enter into a drawing for one Acer ICONIA W510-1422 Windows 8 Hybrid Tablet!

    clip_image002Enter for your chance to win an Acer ICONIA Windows 8 Hybrid Tablet!

    How?

    Join one of the three Azure DevTest webcasts listed below and your name will automatically be entered into the drawing.

    One winner will be announced June 6th, 2014. Drawing and announcement administered by Northwest Cadence. Prize sponsored by Microsoft.

    Did you realize you, personally, have up to $150 of free credit monthly to spend on Windows Azure for anything you want! Can’t wait for IT to give you a test environment? Go get one now in Azure. Want to test out the latest Microsoft software? Spin up a free machine today! Want to host a blog to share your brilliant development skills with the world? Host one on your own Azure infrastructure today.

    The bottom line is that you have credit to spend on Azure. The $150 monthly credit is “use it or lose it”, but you get a new $150 credit each month. What does $150 buy in Azure? If you have an MSDN subscription, each month you get enough money to run a virtual machine in the cloud for the entire month. You read that right… You can run your own cloud VM 24x7 as long as you have an MSDN subscription.

    Getting started is easy! Simply visit here and click on “activate”. Once logged in with your Microsoft ID (aka Live ID), you can explore your new account portal here.

    It’s that easy!  But if you get stuck, visit this blog post for the full scoop.

    Now, use it!

    If you’re not going to host your own server, I recommend using your benefits to create your own test environment. To learn more, check out the Azure DevTest webcast that Northwest Cadence is hosting on the following dates:

    Everyone who attends one of the three webcasts above will be eligible to enter into a drawing for one Acer ICONIA W510-1422 Windows 8 Hybrid Tablet!

    Creating a DevTest sandbox on Azure takes literally just minutes. Drive a configuration-as-code strategy, automate infrastructure, and most importantly, start turning around lightning-fast feedback between developers, testers, and operations to make your code production-ready faster (and better) than ever before.

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Visual Studio Online (VSO): Owning Multiple VSO Accounts

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    NOTE: This is not official guidance, nor may it be even officially a supported “feature” in the near future (my guess is that it’s not a directly intended capability.  It’s simply a short-term workaround that assisted a few of my customers that I thought I’d share.

    Visual Studio Online by default only allows a Microsoft account to create a single VSO account.  When you create a VSO account, the system records who the owner (creator) is, and the next time that user comes back, they cannot create additional VSO accounts.

    I have customers who currently maintain several VSO accounts (for various reasons), and have done so by creating multiple Microsoft accounts, one for each VSO account.

    With the May 7th date of ending the “Early Adopter” program for VSO, I have customers in this situation asking what to do about this moving forward.

    There’s a slightly indirect, but perfectly doable way around this: a way to let a single Microsoft account “own” multiple VSO accounts.  You need two (2) Microsoft accounts (but only for VSO account creation purposes), but only two.

    For this example, I’m going to create 2 sample Microsoft accounts, one primary and one secondary (both which I’ll delete after this post – I hate stale/dummy accounts!) and show you how to create three (3) VSO accounts owned by the primary Microsoft account.

    First, I create the primary Microsoft account: SteveLangePrimary@hotmail.com

    Here’s this account’s profile page:

    image

    Note that this account neither owns any VSO accounts nor is a member of any VSO accounts.

    Using this Microsoft account, I create a new VSO account: https://stevelangeprimary.visualstudio.com/.

    Next, I sign out of Microsoft and create my secondary Microsoft account: SteveLangeSecondary@hotmail.com.

    And the resulting profile page:

    image

    Like the first account, this account neither owns any VSO accounts nor is a member of any VSO accounts.

    Using this secondary account, I create a second VSO account: https://stevelangesecondary.visualstudio.com

    Next, while still logged in as the secondary account, I go to the Users page.

    image

    Once there, I click “Add” and add the primary account (the first account I created) to this VSO account as a user, assigning a “Basic” license.

    image

    Now that the primary account is recognized as a user, I set that account to be the owner of this VSO account.  (The same below steps are described here.)

    I click on the "gear” icon at the top-right, which takes me to the Admin area.

    image

    Next, I click on the Settings tab, and for Account Owner, select my primary account from the drop-down list, and click the Save button.

    image

    NOTEWARNING: If you follow my steps to the letter, you may have the unintended consequence of removing the secondary Microsoft account’s access from all the VSO accounts.  If this is truly a “dummy” account, then it’s probably no big deal.  But if you’re using a Microsoft account you with to keep using in VSO, you’ll want to make sure you add that account as a valid member of a group in the VSO account. In this walkthrough, I added the secondary account back into the VSO as an administrator.

    So let’s see what’s happened.  Sign out, and then sign in as the primary Microsoft account.  Here’s the updated profile page for the primary account:

    image

    Notice that now this account “owns” both VSO accounts (primary and secondary).  Cool?

    Now let’s own a third VSO account.  Sign out, then back in as the secondary Microsoft account.  Here’s the secondary account’s profile page:

    image

    This should be expected now, because this account no longer owns the secondary VSO account.

    I click the link to “Create a free account now”, and create a third VSO account: https://stevelangetertiary.visualstudio.com/

    Like before, I go to the Users page, add the primary Microsoft account as a valid (Basic) user, then specify in the Administrators area that I want my primary Microsoft account to be the owner (and per the above note/warning, I add the secondary account back in). Be sure to click the “Save” button throughout!

    image

    image

    Once that’s all set, I sign out, then back in as the primary Microsoft account:

    image

    Now my primary Microsoft account owns three (3) VSO account. Sweet!

    See the pattern?

    • As a Microsoft account that doesn’t own a VSO account, create a VSO account.
    • Transfer ownership of that account to the Microsoft account you actually want to own the VSO account.
    • Sign back in as the “dummy” Microsoft account, rinse and repeat as needed.

    As an added FYI, if you have an Azure Subscription (not the same thing as Azure MSDN Benefits, by the way), you can link you Azure account to each of the VSO accounts you own, and distribute your Azure resources (users, build minutes, load testing, etc.) across each of them.

    Here’s a big disclaimer: I’m still not clear if this is intended behavior, mainly because there’s no obvious link to create additional VSO accounts while logged in as a Microsoft account that already owns one.

    Hey, but for now, this works!

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Visual Studio Online (VS) – Transitioning from Early Adopter Plans

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    Now that TFS Preview Visual Studio Online is transitioning to monetized plans, I’ve received quite a few inquiries from my customer asking what to do. These are customers who are considered “early adopters” – those who signed up for an account prior to December 13th, 2013. This gives these users access to the full set of capabilities in Visual Studio Online (VSO) for free.

    But the early adopter program/plan is expiring on May 7th, 2014 (this was extended from an original date of March 14th).

    So now what? There are all kinds of scenarios that customers have been asking about, all centering on the concern of having to start paying for something they’re already entitled to, service disruption, and even service cancellation.

    Have no fear! In this post I’m going to try and lay out how this transition is going to work, and what you can do be prepared for it. Below are questions I’ve received over the past few weeks, along with guidance to address those concerns.

    Note: This information is based on several official sources/FAQ’s. I suggest referring to these sources as well for any updated information:

    What happens on May 7th?

    First, any user that’s using their Microsoft Account (formerly Live ID) as their account in VSO (signed up prior to December 13th, 2013) that is also associated with an active MSDN subscription, shouldn’t have to do anything. Microsoft will recognize those accounts as MSDN subscribers and automatically assign the appropriate VSO license (remember that VSO access is included with MSDN!). Microsoft has already done this in most cases.

    For users that Microsoft can’t discern as MSDN subscribers, they were assigned “Early Adopter” licenses, which again, is granting them full rights to VSO until the transition date. To help avoid any interruption to your users on May 7th, you’ll want to transition those “Early Adopter” users to a “real” license before then.

    Which MSDN subscriptions include access to VSO, and what features do they get?

    Chances are you’re covered:

    MSDN Subscription

    Accessible VSO Features

    Visual Studio Ultimate with MSDN

    Visual Studio Online Advanced

    + Web Test Case Management

    Visual Studio Premium with MSDN

    Visual Studio Online Advanced

    + Web Test Case Management

    Visual Studio Test Professional with MSDN

    Visual Studio Online Advanced

    + Web Test Case Management

    Visual Studio Professional with MSDN

    Visual Studio Online Basic

    MSDN Platforms

    Visual Studio Online Advanced

    + Web Test Case Management

    Microsoft BizSpark

    Visual Studio Online Advanced

    + Web Test Case Management

    How do I reassign users to an appropriate license?

    You can verify who is assigned what license in your VSO account by connecting your VSO account (http://<accountname>.visualstudio.com) as the account owner or project collection administrator. Click on “Users” and you’ll see something like this:

    image

    In the above example (this is my VSO account), you’ll see a list of 7 users, the last one which has already been identified with my MSDN subscription. The others are assigned Early Adopter licenses, which I need to adjust to another license to avoid disruption.

    Let’s take Dave Developer for this example. If I know that he has an MSDN subscription associated with the “Sign-in Address” noted in this user list, I can select his name, click “Edit”, select “Eligible MSDN Subscriber”, then click “Save”.

    clip_image005

    Making this selection will do a couple things:

    • The next time Dave Developer signs into VSO, VSO will validate and update his license to reflect his valid MSDN subscription.
    • This will prevent a “Basic” (free) license from being assigned to him, therefor freeing up that free license for someone who doesn’t have an MSDN subscription.

    Note: If a user is assigned to “Eligible MSDN Subscriber”, but actually isn’t, they won’t have access to VSO until they’re assigned a valid license.

    You’ll notice a user license breakdown in the right margin of the Users page:

    clip_image007

    This will help you track license allotment and identify if there are users that need their licenses adjusted.

    More information can be found here.

    I have a mix of MSDN subscribers and non-MSDN subscribers in my VSO account. What do I do?

    First, follow the above instructions to assign your MSDN subscribers to “Eligible MSDN Subscribers” so they can get the full benefit of VSO via their MSDN subscription.

    For your non-MSDN subscribers, you have a choice:

    • First, remember your first 5 users are free (in addition to your MSDN subscribers). If you know the 5 users you want to assign to those free “Basic” licenses, follow the same above instructions for assigning licenses and select “Basic” instead of “Eligible MSDN Subscriber”.
    • If you have more than 5 non-MSDN-subscriber users and you need to maintain their access to VSO, you’ll need to put them on a VSO plan (Basic, Professional, or Advanced, all of which can be compared here).

    What if I don’t do anything before May 7th?

    If you take no action at all, on May 7th Microsoft will convert up to 5 Early Adopter licenses to the free Basic license the next time the user signs in. Any remaining users (past the first 5) with an Early Adopter license will be blocked until the account owner, or an administrator, assigns a valid license.

    I created my VSO account using a personal Microsoft Account or one that isn’t associated with my MSDN subscription. How can I transition the VSO account to my MSDN subscription?

    This is pretty common. If you first signed up for VSO using a Microsoft account that’s not associated with your MSDN subscription (perhaps you used a personal Microsoft account, but you have an MSDN subscription through work), you’ll need to have them change the Microsoft account associated with their MSDN Subscription. More info on how to do that is here.

    If you need to (or would rather) use the Microsoft account that’s already associated with your MSDN subscription, you can add that Microsoft account as a user to VSO, then make that account the account owner. Click here for more information on how to change VSO account ownership.

    I have more users than I have licenses, so I need to buy some more. How do I do that and assign users?

    Basically, you’ll want to set up billing for your account so you can buy or upgrade VSO licenses. Click here for information on how to do that.

    Note: If you need to buy licenses (or additional services, like extra build or load testing resources), you’ll need to create a new Azure subscription. Your Windows Azure MSDN Benefit can’t be used to buy additional licenses or resources, as it’s designed for your own use only.

    Once you have billing set up and have purchased licenses, you can assign them in the same manner I mentioned earlier.

    You can also add users outside of the Users page in your VSO instance. In order to automatically assign those users licenses, they'll get the next available license that’s available, and in a certain order:

    1. Advanced
    2. Basic
    3. Professional

    It’s probably easiest to just add them through the Users page because you have better initial control over which licenses are allocated. You can't add users outside of the Users page if you don't have available licenses.

    Can users with a TFS CAL access VSO as a licensed user, or do they have to have a VSO subscription/license?

    A TFS CAL won’t grant you access to VSO (although that person certainly could consume 1 of the 5 free licenses).  Users need to either use the 5 free licenses, be MSDN subscribers, or have a VSO license.

    I created multiple VSO accounts with different Microsoft accounts? Can I consolidate?

    A Microsoft account can only create one VSO account. You’ll notice that, if signed in, you try to create a new one, you’ll simply always be redirected to your summary page with your profile, owned VSO account, and memberships to other VSO accounts.

    Yes, your Microsoft account can be added as a user to multiple VSO accounts (you can only be the owner of a single VSO account).

    Clear as mud?

    I hope this helps some, but please know that some things are still fluid – we’ll know more (hopefully before May 7th) soon, and as I find out I’ll be sure to update this post.

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Event: Las Vegas - Modern Web and App Development with Visual Studio 2013

    • 0 Comments

    image

    Connect to the cloud. Create brilliant apps. Transform your potential.

    In an age of extraordinary expectations, how can you ensure every app works flawlessly, seamlessly, and elegantly on every device, all the time?

    Lunch & Learn: Modern Web and App Development with Visual Studio 2013

    Join your local Microsoft Developer Tools team for an exclusive launch of Visual Studio 2013. See how Visual Studio 2013 helps developers blow minds and win business with state-of-the-art tooling and services designed to help you develop, test, deploy, and support service-powered apps that transform the user experience- across all Windows devices.

    Agenda

    • 9:00am – Welcome time with Breakfast
    • 9:30am – Keynote
    • 10:00am – Developing Web and Cloud Applications using VS 2013
    • 11:15am – Break – lunch
    • 11:30am – What’s New in ALM using VS 2013 and TFS2013
    • 12:45pm – Evaluations and raffle

    When, Where, Registration

    REGISTER HERE!

    Tuesday Feb. 18th 2014

    InNEVation Center

    6795 Edmond St., 3rd Floor

    Las Vegas, NV 89118

    Space is limited, please register soon!  Please let me know if you have any questions, and I hope to see you there!

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Webinar Series: How Do Enterprises Make the Cloud Work for Them?

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    Join Forrester and Microsoft for these upcoming webinars!

    Featured speaker: James Staten, Vice President and Principal Analyst at Forrester.

    Check out the below series of webinars designed to expose you with why organizations are choosing the cloud, what scenarios, and the economic benefits.

    Date

    Time

    Topic

    Registration

    Wed., January 22

    10AM

    Cloud Enterprise Storage

    Register Here

    Mon., January 27

    12:30PM

    Building Consumer Mobile Apps

    Register Here

    Wed., January 29

    11:30AM

    Building Enterprise Mobile Apps

    Register Here

    Wed., February 12

    10AM

    Cloud Services

    Register Here

    Wed., March 5

    10AM

    Taking Any App to the Cloud

    Register Here

    clip_image002James Staten

    Vice President and Principal Analyst, Forrester Research

    James serves Infrastructure & Operations and CIO Professionals, providing insights and
    best-practice use of cloud computing (IaaS, public and private clouds, cloud storage
    services and related cloud technologies and services). As the content lead for Forrester's
    Cloud Computing Playbook, he further advises IT leadership on cloud economics, cloud
    outsourcing (strategic rightsourcing), IT cloud readiness and business and developer
    engagement on cloud.

    James is the author of best-practice analysis on maturing your virtualization and cloud practices, building a cloud computing consumption strategy, and optimizing web infrastructures for blazing-fast performance.

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Webinar: The Longest Yard – Getting across the goal line when releasing to production

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    imageReleasing code to production is no mystery. Many development teams and operations managers have been doing this their own way for years. Release Management for Visual Studio 2013 offers tools to standardize this process in both the Release Pipeline Management and Release Deployment process.

    Join us to discover how Release Management for Visual Studio 2013 can help Release Managers, Operations Managers, Business Decision Makers and Developers live happily and co-exist in the DevOps world.

    WHEN: Tuesday, January 07, 2014 11:30 AM (Pacific Time)
    DURATION: 1 hour(s)

    I hope to see you online!  REGISTER HERE..

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