Steve Lange @ Work

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

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    TFS 2008 Feature List is Finalized

    • 0 Comments

    Brian Harry's posted the final feature list for TFS 2008 (f.k.a "Orcas"):  http://blogs.msdn.com/bharry/archive/2007/08/08/final-tfs-2008-feature-list.aspx

    A few of my favorites:

    • SharePoint 2007 support
    • SQL 2008 support
    • Simpler installation
    • Native CI support
    • NET object model for the build server
    • Incremental builds & gets
    • Get latest on checkout
  • Steve Lange @ Work

    New version of TeamPlain.. I mean TFS Web Access, is available!

    • 1 Comments

    Details on Brian Harry's blog:  http://blogs.msdn.com/bharry/archive/2007/07/30/team-system-web-access-power-tool-available.aspx

    You can download it HERE.

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    It's like sheep in the cattle line..

    • 1 Comments

    I mentioned this once before as a major pet peeve of mine.  Why is it so hard for people to figure out how the security line works at the airport?

    Again, I'm completely sympathetic if you haven't flown in the past say, 5 years.  But if you have, you should know by now that shoes come off, laptops out, all metal removed, and the whole 3-1-1 thing for traveling with liquids.

    To keep from flipping my lid when waiting in line, I've started ranking other travelers on a numeric scale based on their level of efficiency and awareness.  If you're a traveler, I urge you to create your own, or use mine (below) as a baseline.  (And to be fair, I only apply these rankings to those travelers who look like they should have a clue as to what they're doing - not the 80-year old man who's never seen a jet plane before.)

    Ranks go from 1-5 (5 being the best you can be):

    Rank At the Front of the Line.. What I'm Thinking..
    1 You just walk through the metal detector.  No waiting to be waived through, with your bag in hand, on your cell phone.  You complain about the speed of the line (and the TSA agents) while you're trying to get your act together. You deserve to be pulled out of line, frisked, and then lectured on the rules of travel long enough that you miss your flight.  You simply have no idea what you're doing.
    2 You toss your bag on the conveyer belt, and walk through the metal detector, on your cell phone.  You wonder why you have to go back through and are annoyed that you need to hang up the phone. You're so caught up in your more-important-than-anyone-else's day that you can't be bothered to take our your laptop or remember your phone is made of metal.  Obviously the rules don't apply to you.  Back of the line!
    3 You get everything out and in a bin, except for maybe your watch.. Maybe you don't remove your shoes (because at one point they wouldn't set of the metal detectors - you have to do it now, no matter what). Well, you goofed, but but at least you're not rude about it.  You simply forgot.  A couple of people will roll their eyes at you and sigh heavily, but you're soon forgotten once in the terminal.
    4 You know how the process works, so you do everything you're supposed to (plastic bag, shoes, laptop, jacket, etc.) when you get to the front. I have nothing really to complain about.  You know the rules of the road and you kept to the status quo of moving through security.  Good job!  Next time if you're ever late for a flight, you can have a spot in line right behind me. ;)
    5 Exactly like #4, except you have everything ready to go before you reach the front of the line.  Drop your stuff in a bin and you're on your way. Not only are you knowledgeable, but you're courteous as well.  By having everything ready to go ahead of time, you waste absolutely no time whatsoever.  You can go in front of me if you're running late.

    If nothing else, this helps pass the time when traveling the country.  And if this helps just one person (ideally in front of me next time) move up in their personal rankings, then all this typing is worth it.

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    What if the "Internet crashed"?

    • 0 Comments

    Well, it finally happened..!


    Breaking News: All Online Data Lost After Internet Crash

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Release dates for Visual Studio 2008 ("Orcas"), SQL 2008, & Server 2008 Announced

    • 0 Comments

    Drum roll, please!.....

    The official launch date for these products will be February 27th, 2008, in Los Angeles.  Other launch events around the world will follow.

    http://blogs.msdn.com/cbowen/archive/2007/07/10/vs2008-sql-2008-and-windows-server-2008-launch-date-announced.aspx

    To get an idea of what will be included in the VS 2008 release, check out the Future Releases page.

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    New geography for me..

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    As of the beginning of July, I'm in a new role.  Actually, the role is the same, but the geography is changing.  I'm now the Developer Technology Specialist for our Desert Mountain and Pacwest districts.  Taking over my role in Southern California is William Salazar (wsalazar@microsoft.com).

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Announcement: Project Server 2007 Connector for Team Foundation Server

    • 0 Comments

    Announced and released this morning.  It's been released to CodePlex, which means that source code is provided, and the connector is released "as is"..

    http://www.codeplex.com/pstfsconnector

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Silverlight - 'Nuff Said

    • 0 Comments

    Just check it out.. ever wanted to use .NET to build an awesome RIA (rich internet application) without scripting out to Flash?

    http://www.microsoft.com/silverlight

     

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Can't Move Forward Until You Know Where You Are

    • 0 Comments

    Check out Microsoft's ALM Assessment 

    From the site:

    In order to improve your development capabilities, you must first understand where you are today, then determine where you want to go; only then can you develop a solution roadmap. The ALM Assessment addresses the first point by providing you with a comprehensive ‘snap-shot’ of your development organization today. The ALM Assessment provides the following services:

    • Provides aggregate score based on multiple team members completing the assessment
    • Provides management with metrics across ten key development practice areas, including scores for sub-practices and individual questions
    • Provides aggregate ‘Peer Comparisons’ by industry, organization size and development organization size
    • Allows measurement of progress by archiving and comparing each report with previous reports
    • Uses vendor-agnostic structure to ensure the assessment provides an accurate snap-shot

     

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Want browser-based access to Team Foundation Server?

    • 1 Comments

    Today Microsoft announced that it's acquiring DevBiz, the maker's of TeamPlain (TeamPlain is web-based solution for accessing Team Foundation Server).

    Read the PressPass announcement here.

    As a result, TeamPlain is now a FREE download for exsting TFS users.

    Also, Brian Harry posted a look at the product.

     

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    VSTS Prescriptive Guidance From Patterns & Practices Team

    • 0 Comments

    Be sure to check out this post from J.D. Meier.  It contains a LOT of new information and recommendations on how to get the best bang for your buck from Visual Studio Team System.

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    VSTS For Database Professionals Among Jolt Award Winners for 2007 Announced at SD West Expo

    • 0 Comments

    I just attended the 2007 Jolt Awards at the SD West Expo in Santa Clara.

     

    In case you haven’t already seen it, Microsoft had quite a few nominations and received two “Productivity Awards” (honorable mentions), and one Jolt Award!  See below:

     

    Jolt Award Winner:

    • VSTS For Database Professionals - Database Engines and Data Tools category (Matt Nunn accepted)

    Productivity Awards:

    • Team Foundation Server – Change and Configuration Management  (winner was AccuRev)
    • IronPython – Development Environments  (winner was NetBeans IDE)

    There were other tools that won or were mentioned that complement, integrate, or support either Visual Studio or the .NET platform.

     

    For a complete list of nominees (and soon-to-be-posted winners):  http://www.joltawards.com/2007/

     

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Released: Team Foundation Power Tools V1.2

    • 0 Comments

    In case you haven't seen this yet..

    Team Foundation Server is happy to announce the release of  version 1.2 of Team Foundation Power Tools (formerly known as Power Toys).  In this release we’ve added 2 new command line tools for the developer and 3 non-command line tools.   This version includes some bug fixes to previous Power Tools, support for Vista, and adds the following new functionality:

    • Workspace Command (tfpt.exe) - Use the workspace command for additional workspace operations not supported in the currently shipping Team Foundation Server command line (tf.exe).
    • Treeclean Command (tfpt.exe) - Use the treeclean command to see and optionally delete files in the current directory and all subdirectories that are not under version control.
    • Process Template Editor - A tool to provide UI for authoring work item types and some of the associated Process Template components. 
    • Check-in Policy Pack - A set of handy check-in policies to address needs customers have expressed.
    • Build Test Tools Task - A tool that allows running unit tests by simply specifying the DLLs or even specifying a file name pattern in TfsBuild.proj, instead of using .vsmdi files to specify tests to run.

    Please note that the Process Template Editor has some additional pre-requisites, they are identified on the download page. 

    You can locate the Team Foundation Power Tools V1.2 release here and you can get help on the forums for these tools here.

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Why are all the links broken in the Team Foundation Server install guide?

    • 0 Comments

    I get asked this question a lot.  You download the latest and greatest version of the guide, open it, and you can't access any of the help items!

    TFS installation guide blocked content

    This is because the .chm file (the installation guide help file) is "blocked" for security reasons.  To resolve this, simply right-click on the file and select Properties.  You'll notice that there is an "Unblock" button at the bottom. 

    TFS Installation Guide file Properties

    Click that button, and click Ok to close the Properties dialog.  Lastly, re-open the installation guide and you should be set!

    TFS Installation Guide - fixed content

    To download the TFS installation guide, go here:  http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=40042

    The TFS install guide is quite comprehensive.  It covers walkthroughs & checklists for both single- and dual-server deployments, system requirements, security, and install guides for the Build Server, Proxy, and Team Explorer.

    Have fun!

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Tag: I guess I’m it

    • 1 Comments

    Are you kidding me?  People are using blogging, this great communications medium, to play TAG?  So let me get this straight:  I mind my own business, don't over-blog because I try to only post meaningful stuff here, and now because I've been "tagged" I need to reveal 5 things about myself.  All thanks to Grace Francisco.

    1. I used to sing in a barbershop quartet.  Not the whole nine yards with the ‘stache and hat, but the tunes were the same.  It was in high school, and for that age, I believe we were quite good.  We called ourselves the Talismen (a “talisman” is a good luck charm), and placed 9th nationally in a collegiate competition (and beat out the other 2 high school entries so we could call ourselves #1 in the nation).
    2. My kid is the coolest kid on the planet.  No, seriously.  I’m sure yours is great, and I know I’m biased; but I don’t care. 
    3. When it comes to sports, I’m not a fair-weather fan.  I’m no more a Colts fan now than before they won the Super Bowl.  I grew up in Northern California as a 49ers fan, and I remain one to this day.  I’ve always been a Lakers fan, not just because I live in Southern California and they historically have done well, but because I like them.
    4. I can cross one eye at a time.  Tons of people can cross their eyes, but I can cross just one.  The fun part is looking right, then moving the right eye to the left (crossing the eyes), and finally moving the left eye out to the left (to finish up looking to the left).  You can cheat this by looking right, then crossing your eyes, then looking left.  The true test is to do it as slowly as possible.
    5. My single biggest pet peeve is people not being prepared in the security line at the airport.  If you haven’t flown since 9/11, then I’ll cut you some slack.  But if you’re obviously a semi-regular traveler, you’ve got to know that you’re going to have to remove all metal from your pockets, remove your shoes, take off your jacket, take out your laptop, etc.  So why can’t you do some/all of that before you get to the front of the line?  Seriously, I put all my metal stuff (phone, keys, cell phone) in my carry-on and remove my laptop before I even get in line.  That way all I have to do is remove my shoes when I get there.  I simply can’t understand it.

    In the interest of keeping my friends my friends, I’ll end the madness with me and not tag anyone else (at least for now).

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Where's my old Borland blog?

    • 2 Comments

    I think the folks at Borland have finally removed my StarTeam blog.  With the inception of CodeGear, CG seemed to take over the blog server, and removed me. 

    I honestly haven't touched it since leaving Borland, but several former colleagues and customers have emailed me wondering if the content is still available somewhere (I had a lot of how-to's and SDK samples posted).  I honestly don't think it's archived anywhere, but I've asked the CodeGear folks via email, and will post the URL if it's still posted somewhere.

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    My 2 cents on Areas and Iterations in Team Foundation Server

    • 29 Comments

    There’s not a huge amount of best practice info out there regarding areas and iterations.  One interesting place to look at is a blog post that describes how the Visual Studio team uses them (http://blogs.msdn.com/ericlee/archive/2006/08/09/when-to-use-team-projects.aspx)

     

    So here are my 2 cents (you can see how much that's worth these days!) on Areas and Iterations. 

     

    Areas

    To me, areas are ways of tagging or organizing objects within a Team Project.  Typically, areas are used to define either logical, physical, or functional boundaries.  It’s a way to slice and dice a normally large project effort into more manageable, reportable, and easily identifiable pieces. 

     

    For example, let’s say we have a tiered web application managed in a single TFS project called “MySite”.  There are 3 major components to this app:  the web site, a web service, and a database.  If this is a decent-sized application, you might have 1,200 tasks in the system for this project.  But how do you know to which component a given task belongs?  What if I only wanted to see tasks for the web service piece?  Areas are a convenient way to handle this.  Set up areas like this:

     

    MySite

       \Web Site

       \Web Service

       \Database

     

    Now you can specify an area of assignment for each task (work item), making it easy to effectively filter what you want to look at/work on.  You can use areas in both queries and reports as well.

     

    You may optionally want to further dissect those major components to be even more specific:

     

    MySite

       \Web Site

          \Layout & Design

          \Navigation

          \Pages

             \Contact Us

             \Homepage

             \Links

       \Web Service

          \Performance

          \Security

       \Database

          \Performance

          \Security

          \Schema

     

    One final aspect of Areas to consider is security.  You can set security options on each Area node which can dictate not only who can change the areas, but also who can view or edit work items in a particular Area.

     

    Iterations

    So if you think of Areas as slicing and dicing by “space”, think of Iterations as slicing and dicing by “time”.  Iterations are like “phases” of a lifecycle, which can dissect the timeline of a project effort into more manageable time-based pieces. 

     

    So going back to the “MySite” example, say the project management team wants to split the entire project into 3 cycles, Phase 1, Phase 2, and Phase 3.  Thus, your Iterations can mirror that:

     

    \MySite

       \Phase 1

       \Phase 2

       \Phase 3

     

    These Iterations can be phases within the entire life of a project, or phases within a given release of a project.  So if “MySite” is going to have multiple releases over time, my Iterations might look lik this

     

    \MySite

       \Release 1.0

          \Phase 1

          \Phase 2

          \Phase 3

       \Release 2.0

          \Phase 1

          \Phase 2

          \Phase 3

     

    Now you have categorization options for both space and time (now if only we had a continuum..) for your project, allowing you to assign your tasks or other work items not only to the appropriate functional area (Area), but also to the phase (time cycle) of the project.

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    VSTS Database Professional Launch Events Coming Your Way!

    • 0 Comments

    Take a look to find the closest of the 23 cities hosting a launch event!

    http://www.teams-deliver.com/

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Overview of ‘Data Dude’ aka Visual Studio Team Edition for Database Professionals

    • 1 Comments

    I would like to invite you to a webcast designed specifically for our customers in the West Region.  This event, presented by William Salazar  – Microsoft will cover Microsoft Visual Studio Team System and will include technical and solution overviews. 

    Microsoft® Visual Studio® 2005 Team System is the best integrated software development platform to build the mission-critical applications that businesses depend on. It extends Visual Studio’s integrated and productive experience from the developer to the entire development team by delivering powerful new role-based tools for software architects, developers, testers and project managers. It also includes an integrated team server and customizable processes to help teams drive predictability, visibility, and control into their software development process.

    Overview of ‘Data Dude’ aka Visual Studio Team Edition for Database Professionals
    11/29/06, Wednesday, 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m., LiveMeeting
    Visual Studio Team Edition for Database Professionals delivers a market-shifting database development product designed to manage database change, improve software quality through database testing and bring the benefits of Visual Studio Team System and life cycle development to the database professional. This webcast will cover the main features of the Database Professionals product like:
    -   Schema Management
    - Controlling Database Change
    - Data Generation for Tests
    - Database Unit Testing
    - Improving Collaboration and Communication
    Presented by:  William Salazar, Microsoft
    Audience:  IT Managers and Professional Developers, DBAs, Architects and Testers
    Prerequisites:  Previous experience with Microsoft Visual Studio Tools and technologies
    Registration URL:  http://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/EventDetail.aspx?EventID=1032316244
    Event ID:  1032316244

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    TFS Deployment Across Two Non-Trusted Domains

    • 0 Comments

    There isn't a lot of documentation out there that covers deploying Team Foundation Server across two non-trusted domains.  This is not to say that TFS simply won't work this, but that there is simply not a lot of deployment documentation to support this scenario. There is an MSDN forum post (http://forums.microsoft.com/MSDN/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=177844&SiteID=1) that discusses it, but no formal guidance. 

    The below is a diagram outlines a deployment configuration that should support this scenario.  Again, it's not formal documentation, but rather a visualization of a workable scenario. 

    The full-size image is attached to this post
    The full-size image is attached to this post.

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Where can I download the TFS Workgroup edition from MSDN?

    • 0 Comments

    Login to your MSDN Subscribers area.  Go to downloads.  Expand the tree to:
    Developer Tools->Visual Studio 2005->English->Visual Studio 2005 Team Foundation Server Workgroup Edition (English)

    Now, to keep the download size somewhat manageable, you will also need to download SQL Server 2005 Standard Edition (also on MSDN).  The actual media for TFS should include this install.

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    What's this? Visual Studio Team System for Database Professionals?

    • 1 Comments

    Yep, we actually do consider database developers first-class citizens in the SDLC!

    http://msdn.microsoft.com/vstudio/teamsystem/products/dbpro/default.aspx

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    SoCal Team System Community Site

    • 0 Comments

    We've launched the SoCal Team System Community site (http://www.SoCalTeamSystem.com/).  Our goal is to provide a more centralized area for Team System-related information that's specific to Southern California.

    In the interest of time, the initial site leverages Office Live Beta (http://officelive.microsoft.com/).  We are planning to create a custom site to eventually replace it (with much more content, discussion forums, etc); but for now, you can still find general Team System information, SoCal events, and information about MS office locations.

    Enjoy!

     

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    But wait! I want the FULL version of Team Foundation Server, not a demo!

    • 0 Comments

    The Team Foundation Server bits which you can download from MSDN (find it here) represent the full product - complete functionality and connectivity.  The only difference is that there is a evaluation time limit of 180-days.  Once you obtain your product key, you can simply enter your product key and remove the time limit.

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Where can I download Team Foundation Server from MSDN?

    • 0 Comments

    ogin to your MSDN Subscribers area.  Go to downloads.  Expand the tree to:
    Developer Tools->Visual Studio 2005->English->Visual Studio 2005 Team Foundation Server Trial Edition (English)

    Now, to keep the download size somewhat manageable, you will also need to download SQL Server 2005 Standard Edition (also on MSDN).  The actual media for TFS should include this install.


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