Steve Lange @ Work

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

March, 2011

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    New Invoicing Option Available for Azure Benefits on MSDN

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    azure smallAs you may know, as an MSDN subscriber you get access to Windows Azure for reviewing your application’s viability and resource requirements in the cloud (see Azure Benefits for MSDN Subscribers). 

    If you went over the allotted computing usage while using your Azure access, you previously only had the option to pay for that overage via credit card.

    Now, you have two options:  credit card or invoicing.  (And if you’re a volume license (VL) customer, you can use your VL Agreement number to server as a credit check during invoicing setup.)

    So if you haven’t already activated your MSDN Windows Azure benefit, it’s pretty easy to get started.

    Credit Card Option – Simply go to the Windows Azure Portal and follow the instructions to activate via your MSDN subscriptions page.  For a straightforward walkthrough, try this.

    Invoicing Option – Start at the Azure Invoicing information page, then complete your activation at the Windows Azure Portal.

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Steve’s Development Tools Newsletter – March 2011

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    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!

    First of all, you may (or may not) have noticed that I did to post a newsletter last month. Last month was a crazy one in terms of overall available bandwidth, and I simply didn’t get a chance to put a newsletter together.

    Announcements

    Visual Studio 2010 SP1 is now available for download! While it’s not a “big bang” impact service pack like the VS 2008 one, there are some great new capabilities that I think you will enjoy. These include things like included Silverlight 4 support, unit testing support for .NET 3.5, IIS Express, Razor support, SQL CE 4, HTML5, CSS3, Intellitrace for 64-bit and SharePoint, Web PI integration. For a full list, see this KB article.

    Team Foundation Server 2010 SP1 is also live! This release focuses primarily on fixes, which are fully listed in this KB article.

    But wait, there’s more! Also new for TFS is something a lot of people have been waiting for: the TFS Project Server Integration Feature Pack. Bridging these two products will help teams by providing a real-time insight into portfolio execution, alignment with strategic objectives, and resource utilization; Automating the exchange and sharing of project information across teams and improving coordination between teams via common metrics; and allowing development and project management teams to use familiar tools to collaborate and communicate project timeline and progress such as Microsoft Visual Studio, Project, and SharePoint.

    These updated products are currently available on the MSDN download site, and should be more publicly-available in a few days.

    Does your team do load testing? Want to do more of it? Well now you can with the Load Testing Feature Pack! This release lets users with Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate with MSDN the rights do do unlimited load testing! This enhancement now makes it incredibly easy for you to make sure your applications can handle the load necessary to scale appropriately. If you look at Brian Harry’s post on this, he calls out a valuable piece of information in that this is the fifth feature pack shipped since the 2010 release.

    If you love them, like I do, you’ll be happy to know that there’s a new release of the Team Foundation Server Power Tools available (March 2011). They’re broken into the “main power tools”, build extensions, and the MSSCCI plugin (MSCCI did not get updated, though). I’ll let you read the full details on their respective pages, but here are the highlights: Updated backup/restore power tool, improved Windows Shell extension, and the ability to manipulate build definitions from the command line.

    Team Explorer Everywhere 2010 SP1 is also available (it released last month, but since I didn’t post a newsletter..). If you’re building non-.NET apps using Eclipse (regardless of OS platform), you really, really, really need to take a look at TEE!

    Events & Training

    As mentioned in a previous post, MSDN has updated its free training courses, including new Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010 (developer-focused) tracks. Take advantage of them – they’re free!

    There is a terrific event rolling through Denver next week! The Visual Studio 2010 ALM Roadshow will be in the Denver office on March 15th, covering topics such as ALM, TFS for non-Windows development, and software quality. Hope to see you there!

    And as always, there is a regular cadence of webcasts from our my team as well as partners. Keep an eye out on the Got Team System? site for updates.

    QuickAnswers

    • Test Professional does not include the ability to author Coded UI Tests. You need Visual Studio Premium or Ultimate to do that.
    • If you’re doing schema comparisons using the Visual Studio 2010 database tools, keep in mind that in Compare Options, the list of checkboxed objects you see are objects to ignore during comparison, not include.

    Final Thoughts

    As you can see, the guys at DevDiv have been busy! I’ve also been staying busy working with Visual Studio LightSwitch, exploring how it can help me (and by extension, you!) more rapidly and easily develop LOB applications for your department or organization. It’s one of the few tools for which I’ve been able to give a compelling demo in 10 minutes! I recommend you install the beta when you get the chance and check it out for yourself!

    As always, I’m looking for suggestions from you for topics to include in future newsletters. Keep ‘em coming!

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