Steve Lange @ Work

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

August, 2010

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Double Whammy! MSDN Event on Entity Framework 4 Presented by a Long-lost Friend


    Rob Bagby’s back in town, people!  Although only temporary, he’s armed with some exciting stuff around Entity Framework 4.  Come find him in a city near you (schedule below).

    MSDN Events Presents: Entity Framework 4

    You are not going to want to miss this half-day event where Rob Bagby will be illustrating how to take advantage of the Entity Framework 4 in your applications.  The event will be split across 3 sections and will be demo-driven.


    Part I: Modeling, Mapping and Relationships

    In part I, Rob will start with an overview of Entity Framework 4.  He will then delve into modeling and mapping with the EF.  He will cover how you can create a “conceptual” or “application-centric” model within the framework to meet the needs of your application.  He will also cover relationships in the Entity Framework, including the new Foreign Key relationships in Entity Framework 4.


    Part II: Querying the Model

    In part II, Rob will provide an overview of your querying options in the Entity Framework.  He will discuss your querying options in Entity Framework 4, including the following:

    • Entity SQL – What, how and why you might choose to use it
    • Query Builder Methods – What they are
    • LINQ to Entities – LINQ to Entities Overview; Method-Based Syntax vs. Query-Based Syntax
    • Stored Procedures – Read and Write
    • Views, Defining Queries – Composable items


    Part III: Updating the model and Real-world functionality (given time)

    In Part III, Rob will discuss working with Object Services to track changes and perform persistence.  This section will include a discussion of the new templates in Entity Framework 4 aimed at working in disconnected environments: the POCO template and the Self-Tracking Entities template.  Given time, Rob will illustrate how the EF supports functionality that real-world applications require such as concurrency, validation and transactions.


    Event ID

    Event Title

    Event Status

    Location City

    Event Start Date/Time



    MSDN Events Presents: Entity Framework 4



    14-Sep-2010 01:00 PM


    MSDN Events Presents: Entity Framework 4



    16-Sep-2010 01:00 PM


    MSDN Events Presents: Entity Framework 4



    20-Sep-2010 01:00 PM


    MSDN Events Presents: Entity Framework 4


    Los Angeles

    21-Sep-2010 01:00 PM


    MSDN Events Presents: Entity Framework 4


    San Francisco

    22-Sep-2010 01:00 PM

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Lab Management is now Available


    X163488202_3D_LeftYou’ve been waiting for it for months.  You’ve been wondering how much it will cost.  Wait no more!

    VS Lab Management is now available via MSDN.  So if you have Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate with MSDN or Visual Studio Test Professional 2010 with MSDN, you can use the Visual Studio 2010 Lab Management 2010 Deployment Guide on MSDN Subscriber Downloads to set up Lab Management.

    See “Getting Started with Lab Management” for more details, but here’s a quick blurb on Lab Management:

    Microsoft’s Visual Studio Lab Management solution extends the existing Visual Studio Application Lifecycle Management platform to enable integrated Hyper-V based virtual machine management. Lab Management automates complex build-deploy-test workflows to optimize the build process, decrease risk and accelerate your time to market. Organizations can reduce development and testing costs associated with setup, tear down and restoration of virtual environments to a known state. Lab Management streamlines the collaboration between development, QA and operations to help organizations achieve a higher ROI and realize the benefits of Microsoft’s entire ALM solution. Lab Management enables testers to file rich bugs with links to environment snapshots, which enable developers to quickly debug complex environments.

    If you wish to evaluate Lab Management, you can download the trial (available here) or a fully-configured Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V based virtual machine (available here).

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    August 2010 - Steve’s Monthly Developer Tools Newsletter (First Installment!)


    [UPDATE – To allow comments and better tracking, I’m going to be publishing my newsletter as a regular blog post instead of a static page.]

    imageIt happens often:  I meet with a customer who asks a terrific question which makes me think, “Man, I have a lot of other customers who’d love to know about that as well!”

    So I’ve decided to (try and) put together a monthly newsletter which provides announcements, tips, event notices, and other information that I think will interest you.  (And yes, I’m open to ideas/topics as well!)

    Earlier today, I posted my first installment for August 2010.  As I post more, I’ll maintain an archive as well, I’ll be tagging my newsletter posts as well so you can see an archive.  While I will be posting these newsletters online, I will (and already have!) sent notifications to some of you.  If you’d like to be notified of new newsletters, send me an email or fill out the contact form and let me know.  (Yep, opt in.  I don’t want to just spam.)

    I hope to publish at the beginning of each month, detailing news from the past month and covering upcoming items for the next month.

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Introducing Visual Studio LightSwitch!


    Formerly code-named “KittyHawk”, LightSwitch was announced today at VSLive!..

    Without going into details (because a great introduction is on Jason Zander’s blog), just know that LightSwitch is probably the simplest way to creating business applications for the desktop and the cloud.  It automates the more time-consuming procedures of building applications, such as data sources, screen designs, and data validation.

    LightSwitch is available as a standalone Visual Studio product, and will be integrated into Visual Studio in the future.

    Take a peek!

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Steve's Development Tools Newsletter - August 2010


    This is my first of hopefully many newsletters I want to create for you, my customers.  I receive a lot of email each week from you asking very specific, and valuable questions.  It’s my hope that a newsletter like this will help me communicate important announcements, tips/tricks, and other items to help you and your team ultimately be more successful!  Whenever I post a new newsletter, I will send email notifications to those of you who would like to be contacted.  If you don’t want to receive email notifications, just let me know!

    I plan to create a newsletter at the beginning of each month, highlighting notable items from the previous month and what to look for in the coming month.


    Visual Studio LightSwitch – An incredibly simple way to create business applications for the desktop and the cloud.  Formerly-named “KittyHawk”, LightSwitch removes a lot of the tedium of creating applications, such as data sources, screen building, and validation.

    Visual Studio Scrum 1.0 Template is Released – This is a Microsoft-developed Scrum template for Team Foundation Server 2010.  It enacts Scrum in a lightweight, flexible manner.  And it’s free!  Accentient will be doing a 2-part webcast to introduce you to this new template. 

    Upcoming Events & Training - For a comprehensive listing of upcoming events and webcasts in your area, including development tools, MSDN, and TechNet, visit the Got Team System website.  You can subscribe to RSS feeds, or simply bookmark your area’s landing page.  This site covers the entire Western United States.  Quick links:  Denver, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City

    Visual Studio 2010 Accelerated Learning Program – [DENVER] Think of it as a boot camp for Visual Studio and .NET 4.0, with Microsoft certification as the end goal.  Registration is open now, and the course starts on September 18th.

    2-Day Remote Training Course on Testing 2010 – Provided by Northwest Cadence, enroll today!  By the end of the course:  Testers should be able to start testing software with Microsoft Test Manager and TFS. Test Managers will have enough knowledge to manage testing activities with MTM and TFS. All participants should understand the workflow between developers and testers and understand the benefits of MTM and TFS. In addition, all participants will understand the reports generated by TFS relating to quality and be able to report on application quality on the Cube.

    I’m looking for ideas for events this Fall!  (Read more below)

    Other Things to Know

    Patch for Upgrading to TFS 2010

    If you are preparing to upgrade to TFS 2010, please read this Microsoft Support article first!  It discusses an issue with the upgrade process in 2010 which could create the following conditions:

    • Labels that were created before the upgrade are missing files or folders. Labels might be completely empty.
    • The Merge wizard in Visual Studio does not display all valid merge targets for a given source path/branch.
    • During merging, merge candidates are shown for changes that were already merged before the upgrade

    Read the entire article to see if you may need the patch.  This patch as been placed on the MSDN Code Gallery here.


    QuickAnswers is a section where I plan to provide brief answers or bits of knowledge based on conversations with you, my customers, over the past month or so.  Who knows, maybe one will apply to you?

    • Lab Management does not run on Azure.  It’s designed to leverage virtualization on your hardware in your environment.
    • Team Web Access (TFS browser client) is included with TFS 2010.  It’s installed automatically.  The work item-only client is shoved into the full web client, and is enabled (or stripped down to) based on the user’s permissions.
    • How do you pronounce Azure
    • Yes, you can run TFS on a non-Server OS like Windows 7, but you lose SharePoint and Reporting Services.  And it’s not a good idea if for more than just a few people.  I run TFS 2010 on my Win7 machine at home, but hey, it’s only me using it.
    • If you need to use a partner, but don’t know which one to contact, ping me first.  Each partner in your area has slightly different areas of focus.  Contact me and I can help align the right resource for you.
    • In a test case (in Test Manager, or MTM), parameter values are only in the test case, and aren’t data driven from external data sources.  Once you automate a test case (into a Coded UI Test), you can elect to either continue using the test case’s parameter values, or wire it up to an external data source (such as a CSV, XML, or database table).  This holds true for any automated test in Visual Studio (Coded UI, Web Performance, or Unit).
    • Try TestScribe.  TestScribe is a free utility which cranks out a nice Word document representing your test plan. 

    Thoughts on July

    Thanks to all of you who attended “The Full Testing Experience” event series in Denver or Phoenix.  The feedback was very positive, with a lot of interest in doing an even deeper dive into the Microsoft testing tools in a future event.  We’re looking into it, so stay tuned!

    On the topic of events, I’d love to hear what events you’d like to see roll through your town.  July and August are big planning months for my team, so now is a good time to speak up if you have a topic in mind!

    If you didn’t know, the VS ALM Rangers is a team at Microsoft dedicated to advancing adoption and capabilities of our ALM tools.  I’ve been on that team for almost 4 years now, and it’s incredibly rewarding (I was a contributor to the Requirements Management Guidance on CodePlex).  More on the Rangers here, including my brief profile.

    Thanks for reading!  Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any needs around Microsoft’s development tools.

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