Visual Studio 2010I 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!

Announcements

A new Visual Studio Feature Pack was recently released to MSDN subscribers.  It contains a myriad of new functionality, but a couple of the most notable include improvements to Coded UI Tests.  With this feature pack we’ve added support for Silverlight 4 applications, a graphical UIMap editor, as well as the ability to playback recorded tests in Firefox.

If you’re about ready to upgrade to TFS 2010 from either 2005 or 2008, let me know before you do!  I can make sure you have the latest and greatest bits to ensure a smooth upgrade process.

Wanting to load test WCF services?  Take a look at the latest beta of the ALM Rangers project, the WCF Load Test Tool on CodePlex.  This newest edition includes some new functionality such as DataSets support, duplex contracts, improved error reporting, and Fiddler2 trace processing.

If you’re looking for a good read, take a look at Brian Harry’s blog, most notably a recent post talking about the history and direction of TFS as an open platform.

The Denver Visual Studio .NET User Group has found a new home!  When meetings resume in January, they will convene at HBA (Home Builders Association) of Metro Denver in Centennial.  It’s just off I-25 between Arapahoe and Dry Creek, only a few exits south of the Microsoft office (address and map)

Events & Training

Build & Brew – We produced the first two rounds of the Build & Brew last week in Phoenix and Denver.  Thanks to all who attended!  For those of you in other cities, it’s going to be moving across the rest of the Western US starting in January.  Stops include San Diego, Los Angeles, Costa Mesa, Portland, Bellevue, Sunnyvale, and San Francisco.

Silverlight Firestarter – If you missed the live webcast, you can catch the video highlights on the web, including labs.  Sessions include best practices, Windows Phone 7, and a look at Silverlight 5!

Ramp Up - Trying to wrap your brain around all the stuff Microsoft is cranking out?  Get started with the basics with Ramp Up, a free, online, community-based learning program rooted at MSDN.  Simple sign in with your Live ID, click a track, and get going!

QuickAnswers

  • When you upgrade to TFS 2010, TFS automatically applies an upgrade template to your existing build definitions (or build types in 2005) so they will continue to use your TFSBuild.proj file after the upgrade.
  • (Random) What’s my favorite feature in Outlook 2010?  “Ignore”, by far!  It let’s me flag a conversation as irrelevant, putting any future messages related to that thread directed in Deleted Items.
  • Yes, you can use Premier hours and Microsoft training vouchers for development related activities!  If you have an agreement that’s expiring soon with Microsoft, check and see if there are any hours you need to use!

Final Thoughts

Happy Holidays to you and your family!  Thank you for being my customer, colleague, and friend this past year.  My job at Microsoft, while multi-faceted, is simple at its core:  To help you understand Microsoft development tools as fully as possible so that you can get the most for your investment in our software.  If you’ve seen me present to your team before, you know that I’m never short on information! 

Thank you for providing me that opportunity.  That said, enjoy the holidays with friends and family!