Steve Lange @ Work

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

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Querying the TFS Database to Check TFS Usage

    • 4 Comments

    Why would you want to know how many users are actually using Team Foundation Server?  Well, for starters:

    • You want to make sure that each user in your environment using TFS is properly licensed with a TFS CAL (Client Access License). 
    • You want to show management just how popular TFS is in your environment.
    • You want to request additional hardware for TFS, and want to show current usage capacity.

    But, what if your users are spread out all over the world, so you can’t just send a simple email asking, “Hey, are you using TFS?”

    One relatively straightforward way is to ask your TFS server’s database.  TFS logs activity in a database ‘TfsActivityLogging’, specifically in a table ‘tbl_Command’.

    NOTE:  It’s not supported to go directly against the database, so take note of 2 things:

    1. Be very careful!
    2. Be clear that this isn’t supported.  This process works, but only in the absence of a supported way to query TFS usage.  Just because I work for Microsoft, doesn’t mean you can get official support from MS on this.

    All that out of the way, the simple way to do this is to use Excel:

    Open Excel.

    Go to the Data tab and select ‘From Other Sources’ in the ‘Get External Data’ group, and select ‘From SQL Server’.

    image

    The Data Connection Wizard will open.  Follow steps to connect to the SQL Server that’s used by TFS, selecting the ‘TfsActivityLogging’ database and the contained ‘tbl_Command’ table.

    image

    Enter the SQL Server name that TFS uses.  For the below, my SQL server is at ‘tfsrtm08’.

    image

    Select the ‘TfsActivityLogging’ database, then select the ‘tbl_Command’ table. Click Next.

    image

    Click Finish.

    Select how you’d like to import the table’s data.  For this example, I’m choosing ‘PivotTable Report’.

    image

    Now you’re ready to get the data you want:

    Listing All Users Who Have Touched TFS

    In the ‘PivotTable Field List’ panel on the right, select the ‘IdentityName’ field.  Your spreadsheet should look something like this:

    image

    If you just want a list of users that have touched TFS, then you’re done (in my example, I really only have 2 accounts, and one is the TFSSERVICE account that actually runs TFS).

    However, if you want a little extra information about your users’ activities, you can do a couple extra things.

    List Users and Their Relative Activity Levels

    Add the ‘ExecutionCount’ field to the ‘Values’ section of the PivotTable, and you’ll see the number of commands each user has run against TFS (some minor, like gets, and other major, like changing ACL’s):

    image

    List Users and Their Specific Activity Levels

    Add first the ‘ExecutionCount’ field to the ‘Values’ section of the PivotTable, then add the ‘Command’ field to the ‘Row Labels’ section:

    image

    (Again, remember that some of these commands are less significant than others, but still indicate user activity.)

    List Users and Their Clients

    Add the ‘UserAgent’ field to the ‘Row Labels’ section of the PivotTable:

    image

    List Users and Their Last Activity Time

    Add ‘IdentityName’ to the ‘Row Labels’ section of the PivotTable and ‘StartTime’ to the ‘Values’ section.  Then click ‘Count of StartTime’ (in the Values section) and select ‘Value Field Settings’.  Change the ‘Summarize the value field by’ value to ‘Max’.

    image

    Click ‘Number Format’ and set the format to ‘Date’.  Click OK.  You’ll now see the last activity date for each user.

    image 

    I hope this helps!

    Other Tip:

    • You’ll probably see (like in my example) the built-in accounts and their activities (i.e. TFSSERVICE, perhaps TFSBUILD as well).  You may want to filter those ones out from your report.
    • I’ve heard conflicting reports about how much data the ‘tbl_Commands’ table retains (some say just the preceding week).  In my example, I queried the ‘Min’ start times for logged activities and went back over 5 months.  Just something to think about:  Your mileage may vary greatly.  (Apparently a clean-up job is supposed to run periodically which trims this table.)
  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Data-Driven Tests in Team System Using Excel as the Data Source

    • 3 Comments

    There is some documentation to explain this already, but below is a step-by-step that shows how to use an Excel spreadsheet as a Data Source for both unit and web tests.

    First, let’s set the stage.  I’m going to use a solution containing a class library and a web site. 

    imageSolution 

    The class library has a single class with a single method that simply returns a “hello”-type greeting. 

    namespace SimpleLibrary
    {
        public class Class1
        {
            public string GetGreeting(string name)
            {
                return "Hello, " + name;
            }
        }
    }
    For my VB friends out there:
    Namespace SimpleLibrary
        Public Class Class1
            Public Function GetGreeting(ByVal name As String) As String
                Return "Hello, " & name
            End Function
        End Class
    End Namespace

    Unit Testing

    So now I’m going to create a unit test to exercise the “GetGreeting” method.  (As always, tests go into a Test project.  I’m calling mine “TestStuff”.)

    image

    Here’s my straightforward unit test:

    [TestMethod()]
    public void GetGreetingTest()
    {
       Class1 target = new Class1();
       string name = "Steve";
       string expected = "Hello, " + name;
       string actual;
       actual = target.GetGreeting(name);
       Assert.AreEqual(expected, actual);
    }

    In VB:

    <TestMethod()> _
    Public Sub GetGreetingTest()
       Dim target As Class1 = New Class1
       Dim name As String = "Steve"
       Dim expected As String = "Hello, " & name
       Dim actual As String
       actual = target.GetGreeting(name)
       Assert.AreEqual(expected, actual)
    End Sub

    I’ll run it once to make sure it builds, runs, and passes:

    image

    I have an Excel file with the following content in Sheet1:

    image

    Nothing fancy, but I reserve the right to over-simplify for demo purposes.  :)

    To create a data-driven unit test that uses this Excel spreadsheet, I basically follow the steps you’d find on MSDN, with the main difference being in how I wire up my data source.

    I click on the ellipsis in the Data Connection String property for my unit test.

    image

    Follow these steps to set up the Excel spreadsheet as a test data source for a unit test.

    • In the New Test Data Source Wizard dialog, select “Database”. 
    • Click “New Connection”.
    • In the “Choose Data Source” dialog, slect “Microsoft ODBC Data Source” and click “Continue”.  (For additional details about connection strings & data sources, check this out.)
      image
    • In “Connection Properties”, select the “Use connection string” radio button, then click “Build”.
    • Choose if you want to use a File Data Source or a Machine Data Source.  For this post, I’m using a Machine Data Source
    • Select the “Machine Data Source” tab, select “Excel Files” and click Ok
    • Browse to and select your Excel file.
      image
    • Click “Test Connection” to make sure everything’s golden.
      image
    • Click Ok to close “Connection Properties”
    • Click Next
    • You should see the worksheets listed in the available tables for this data source.
      image
    • In my example, I’ll select “Sheet1$”
    • Click “Finish”
    • You should get a message asking if you want to copy your data file into the project and add as a deployment item.  Click Yes.
      image
    • You should now see the appropriate values in Data Connection String and Data Table Name properties, as well as your Excel file listed as a deployment item:
      image 
    • Now I return to my unit test, note that it’s properly decorated, and make a change to the “name” variable assignment to reference my data source (accessible via TestContext):
      [DataSource("System.Data.Odbc", "Dsn=Excel Files; 
      dbq=|DataDirectory|\\ExcelTestData.xlsx;defaultdir=C:\\TestData; 
      driverid=1046;maxbuffersize=2048;pagetimeout=5", "Sheet1$", 
      DataAccessMethod.Sequential), 
      DeploymentItem("TestStuff\\ExcelTestData.xlsx"), TestMethod()]
              public void GetGreetingTest()
              {
                  Class1 target = new Class1();
                  string name = TestContext.DataRow["FirstName"].ToString();
                  string expected = "Hello, " + name;
                  string actual;
                  actual = target.GetGreeting(name);
                  Assert.AreEqual(expected, actual);
              }
    Again, in VB:
    <DataSource("System.Data.Odbc", "Dsn=Excel Files;
    dbq=|DataDirectory|\ExcelTestData.xlsx;defaultdir=C:\TestData;
    driverid=1046;maxbuffersize=2048;pagetimeout=5", "Sheet1$", 
    DataAccessMethod.Sequential)> 
    <DeploymentItem("TestStuff\ExcelTestData.xlsx")> <TestMethod()> _
        Public Sub GetGreetingTest()
            Dim target As Class1 = New Class1
            Dim name As String = TestContext.DataRow("FirstName").ToString()
            Dim expected As String = "Hello, " + name
            Dim actual As String
            actual = target.GetGreeting(name)
            Assert.AreEqual(expected, actual)
        End Sub
    • Now, running the unit test shows me that it ran a pass for each row in my sheet
      image

    Yippee!

    Web Testing

    You can achieve the same thing with a web test.  So I’m going to first create a simple web test that records me navigating to the website (at Default.aspx), entering a name in the text box, clicking, submit, and seeing the results.  After recording, it looks like this.

    image

    See “TxtName=Steve”?  The value is what I want to wire up to my Excel spreadsheet.  To do that:

    • Click on the “Add Data Source” toolbar button.
    • Enter a data source name (I’m using “ExcelData”)
    • Select “Database” as the data source type, and click Next
    • Go through the same steps in the Unit Testing section to set up a data connection to the Excel file.  (Note:  If you’ve already done the above, and therefore the Excel file is already in your project and a deployment item, browse to and select the copy of the Excel file that’s in your testing project.  That will save you the hassle of re-copying the file, and overwriting.)
    • You’ll now see a Data Sources node in my web test:
      image
    • Select the parameter you want to wire to the data source (in my case, TxtName), and view its properties.
    • Click the drop-down arrow in the Value property, and select the data field you want to use.
      image
    • Now save and run your web test again.  If you haven’t used any other data-driven web tests in this project, you’ll notice that there was only one pass.  That’s because your web test run configuration is set to a fixed run count (1) by default.  To make changes for each run, click “Edit run settings” and select “One run per data source row”.  To make sure all rows in data sources are always leveraged, edit your .testrunconfig file to specify as such.
      image
    • Now run it again, and you should see several passes in your test results:
      image

    That’s it in a simple nutshell!  There are other considerations to keep in mind such as concurrent access, additional deployment items, and perhaps using system DSNs, but this should get you started.

  • Steve Lange @ Work

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

    • 3 Comments

    [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

    Ordering Method Execution of a Coded UI Test

    • 3 Comments

    There’s often no discernable, consistent pattern that dictates the execution order of automated tests (Coded UI in this example, but the same applies to Unit Tests).  Some argue that it may be a good thing that there isn’t an inherent pattern for the execution of CodedUI tests (and unit tests, for that matter), as a seemingly more random pattern can uncover test dependencies which reduce the overall effective coverage of tests.  And I agree with that to an extent, but there are always cases in which control over execution order is needed.

    An easy way to accomplish test order is to use an Ordered Test. This will provide you explicit control over the execution order of your tests.

    For this example, I have a Coded UI Test class called CodedUITest1 (for more on Coded UI Tests, see the Anatomy of a Coded UI Test).  In it, I have two CodedUI Test methods:

    • CodedUITestRunFirst()
    • CodedUITestRunSecond()

    I want to order them such that they execute like:

    • CodedUITestRunSecond()
    • CodedUITestRunFirst()

    1. Add a new Ordered Test. Go to Test->New Test, and select Ordered Test.

     New test window

    2. The ordered test will open. I can move the available tests from the left list into my ordered test list on the right. I can then move the tests up/down to create the desired order.

     Ordered Test dialog

    It’s not shown in this screenshot, but there is a checkbox to allow the ordered test to continue upon a failure.

    3. Save the ordered test. I can now see the ordered test in my Test View window.

    Test View window showing new ordered test

    4. When ready, I select to run my ordered test. It will appear in the Test Results window as a single test.

    Test Results window showing ordered test

    When finished, I can double-click on the test result to see that both tests did actually run, their individual results, and their order.

    Detailed results of ordered test

    It’s a surprisingly easy yet elegant solution.  I can put pretty much any automated test into an ordered test (except for load tests).  If you have a lot of tests, coupling the use of ordered tests with other test lists can really help visually organize your test project.

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Microsoft’s Visual Studio ALM is a leader in the the Gartner Magic Quadrant

    • 3 Comments

    The brilliant minds at Gartner have positioned Microsoft in the “leader” quadrant for Application Lifecycle Management, in their June 5th, 2012 publication, “Magic Quadrant for Application Life Cycle Management” (available for 12 months following publication).

    Their evaluation was based on Visual Studio 2010 and Team Foundation Server 2010. I can’t wait to see what they think of the 2012 version once it releases!

    Magic Quadrant for Application Life Cycle Management (Gartner June 2012) 

    I’ll let you read the report (Microsoft section) for full details, but notable quotes include:

    “By virtue of its position in the market as a provider of key platforms and development tools, Microsoft acts as an overall thought leader in the ALM market”

    “Unlike all of the other tools in this Magic Quadrant, Microsoft's is the only one that tightly binds its versioning system to the rest of the ALM planning tool.”

    “..the company has made good strides with support for Eclipse and the ability to extend TFS with Java code.”

    This is truly a great accomplishment for our teams at Microsoft.  Congratulations to all!

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Desert Mountain Events Calendar

    • 3 Comments

    I'll be making a big effort to keep this calendar updated.  This calendar is designed to capture developer-related events in the "Desert Mountain" area.. There are several user groups which I'm sure I don't have, mainly because I'm still learning where they all are in the region.  So if you have a calendar item you want to let me know about, please do!

    Here's the calendar link:  http://dpeuswrs.calendar.live.com/calendar/Desert+Mountain/index.html

     

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Requirements Management in TFS: Part 3 (of 4): Integrations

    • 3 Comments

    In Part 2, I discussed how you can begin to manage requirements using the built-in facilities of Team Foundation Server.  While hopefully you can see how the infrastructure for a great requirements management solution already exists in TFS, the interface and client-side functionality isn't there.

    Enter Microsoft's amazing partner ecosystem.  Several technology partners have provided integrations (or at least interfaces) to help fill the requirements management gap.  If your organization needs a more requirements-specific solution for your RM practice (and you don't want to wait for Rosario), you might want to take a peek at the below partner integrations.  They are listed in no particular order, and I have pasted abstracts from each products' respective web sites along with my personal comments (based on my exposure to the tools as well as comments from my peers and customers).  Also, I'm sure there are a few others, and I'll try to add more as they are brought to my attention:

    CaliberRM by Borland Software

    Abstract: Borland® CaliberRM™ is an enterprise software requirements management tool that facilitates collaboration, impact analysis and communication, enabling software teams to deliver on key project milestones with greater accuracy and predictability. CaliberRM also helps small, large and distributed organizations ensure that applications meet end users’ needs by allowing analysts, developers, testers and other project stakeholders to capture and communicate the users' voice throughout the application lifecycle.

    About CaliberRM for Visual Studio Team System:  CaliberRM for Visual Studio Team System allows teams to manage requirements throughout the software delivery process.  By integrating Microsoft Visual Studio Team System and Borland CaliberRM, you enable the free flow of requirements between business analysts, developers, testers, and business stakeholders. Software developers are able to respond rapidly to requirements authored by analysts using CaliberRM, through traces from requirements to tests and work items such as Change Requests and Tasks.

    CaliberRM is a client-server application that focuses on requirements management.  It's server is an object-oriented database (OODB) that stores requirements artifacts as uniquely identified objects in its data store.  It supports rich-text, document generation (think mail merge on steroids), requirement hierarchies, glossaries, and traceability. 

    TeamSpec by Personify Design

    Abstract: Personify Design TeamSpec™ provides a rich project requirement management experience directly inside Microsoft Word. By making Team Foundation Server (TFS) project artifacts such as Scenarios, QOS Requirements, Risks, Issues, Bugs, Tasks, among others, first class citizens inside Microsoft Word, TeamSpec enables Application Lifecycle contributions by the Business Analyst, Project Manager, and Executive roles.

    teamspec_screenshot

    MindManager by Mindjet

    Abstract: Use MindManager to create software requirements documents and turn those requirements into work items on Microsoft Visual Studio Team System.  The requirements map then becomes a bi- directional link to the work items.

    MindManager Pro 7 enables companies and individuals to work smarter, think creatively and save time by revolutionizing the way they visually capture and manage information.

    With MindManager 7, you will:

    • Align organizational strategy and objectives by visually conveying information in a single, centralized and coherent view.
    • Empower people to accelerate business processes by enhancing strategic thinking, facilitating quicker project planning and increasing team productivity.
    • Engage and excite employees by engaging people in stimulating real-time interactions during process planning.
    • Bring better products and services to market faster by enforcing best practices and making existing plans, processes and ideas accessible.
    • Stay ahead of the competition and foster innovation by increasing team interactions during the early stages of strategic planning.
    • Win new business faster and improve business relationships by quickly capturing relevant information and improving communication with clients.

    minjet_screenshot

    RavenFlow by Raven

    Abstract: RAVEN is an automated collaborative solution for detecting requirements errors early. It enables enterprises to elicit, specify, analyze, and validate requirements. RAVEN produces functional specifications, both graphical and textual, that everyone can understand.

    RAVEN automatically generates visual models of requirements, making errors easily visible to all stakeholders. Common requirements errors, such as ambiguous, conflicting, or missing requirements, can be detected and corrected early, reducing software costs and development time while increasing software quality.

    raven_screenshot

    stpBA StoryBoarding by stpSoft

    Abstract: stpBA Storyboarding for Microsoft® Visual Studio® Team System allows a business analyst or analyst developer to capture, define and validate requirements and scenarios in a Team System project through GUI storyboarding. Requirements can be imported from stpsoft Quew. The tool seamlessly integrates with Team System process templates and generates screen flow diagrams, HTML storyboards, UI specifications, functional specifications, Team System work items and test scripts.

    stpsoft_screenshot

    RASK (Requirements Authoring Starter Kit) - MSDN Offering

    Abstract: The Requirements Authoring Starter Kit (RASK) provides a customizable requirements-authoring solution for software development teams. RASK serves two purposes. It provides the basis of a Requirements Authoring solution and illustrates how to access Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Team Foundation Server programmatically from Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Tools for the Microsoft Office System (Visual Studio 2005 Tools for Office). RASK has broad functionality that you can extend with minimal effort.

    RASK integrates several Microsoft products into the solutions: Microsoft Office Word 2003, Visual Studio 2005 Tools for Office, Microsoft SQL Server 2005, and Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services. In addition, RASK uses Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Team Suite and Visual Studio 2005 Team Foundation Server, which are part of the Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Team System.

    RASK is not a complete requirements-authoring application and is not intended to compete with existing requirements-management applications.

    rask_screenshot

    Optimal Trace by Compuware

    Abstract:  Optimal Trace is Compuware’s business requirements definition and management solution, built to enable IT and the business to collaborate more effectively and improve IT project delivery outcomes. According to CIO magazine, ineffective requirements are the cause of over 70 percent of IT project failures. Compuware Optimal Trace addresses this problem with “structured requirements.” This approach captures software requirements from the perspective of the user, complete with visual storyboards and traceable relationships throughout the project lifecycle to business needs. Using structured requirements, IT organizations ensure that they are accurately and completely capturing the right requirements, communicating them effectively and dramatically improving their ability to deliver on the expectations of the business.

    optimaltrace_screenshot

     

    Next:  Summary

    Series:

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Quick Way to Integrate PhpED and Team Foundation Server

    • 3 Comments

    phpedlogo So when I’m asked, “How can I integrate my PHP IDE with Team Foundation Server?”, my first response *should* be, “Why not use Visual Studio instead?”  That’s an idealistic reply, admittedly.  There are several great tools out there for PHP development, with followings that would collectively shudder at the thought of *having* to use Visual Studio.

    PhpED by NuSphere is a popular PHP development tool.  It boasts (among a lot of other things) the ability to plug-in to various version control systems, although it comes set up to leverage CVS.    There’s not much documentation out there to explain how exactly to tie into other version control systems besides CVS.  So what about Team Foundation Server?

    The fast answer?  Use the TFS Power Tools, more specifically the Windows Explorer extension.  This power tool allows you to perform version control operations on files directly from Windows Explorer:

    The TFS shell extension power tool

    All that’s really required (besides having the TFS Power Tools installed) is that the files you want to work on reside in a folder that’s in a TFS workspace

    If you use PhpED for PHP development, you probably see where I’m going with this.  ;)

    Let’s say I have the below workspace and project in PhpED:

    A sample project in PhpED

    I set up this project in C:\Work\NotDotNet\Test, which is already mapped to a TFS workspace.  As soon as I start populating files into this project, I can see that the Windows Explorer extension power tool is already working if I look at the file system:

    The TFS shell extension

    Now for the fun part.  PhpED has a nifty little feature that allows you to access the Windows shell from within its IDE.  Right-click, select “Shell Menu”, and there it is!

    Accessing the TFS shell extension from PhpED

    To add all these files to TFS version control, I right-click the project and select Shell Menu->Team Foundation Server->Add.

    The “Add to Source Control” dialog pops up:

    Add to Source Control dialog

    Hit “Finish”, and I’ve added all my files as pending changes to TFS.  Last, all I have to do is check them in by again going to the Shell Menu, only this time selecting “Check In”.

    Selecting Check In

    That gives me the TFS check-in dialog we all know and love.  I can do everything I normally would with this dialog, such as choosing specific files to check in, comments, check-in notes, and linking to work items.

    TFS Check-in dialog

    Click “Check In” and I’m done (in my case, check check-in created changeset 270)!

    Check-in completed!

    BTW, notice I’m getting the TFS version control icons displayed in PhpED (the green triangles in at the bottom-right of an item’s icon indicates it’s “seen” by TFS, a pencil indicates a checked-out file, etc.):

    TFS version control icons in PhpED

    Now to test that I can check out and check in, let’s make a little change.  (My big preface here is that I know almost nothing about PHP development, so I’m just going to insert some arbitrary text so I have a modification.  This is not a PHP lesson!)

    First, I noticed that PhpED won’t even let me modify a file (may be a setting somewhere, but I’m not sure) if it’s read-only.  So that tells me right away that my file is not checked out.

    So I check out the file via the Shell Menu extension (Shell Menu->Team Foundation Server->Check Out for Edit).

    Checking out a PHP file for edit

    Now I can make a small change.

    My simple change

    Once I’m done making my edits, I save the file and check it in (again using the Shell Menu, you probably get this by now).

    Selecting check-in

    Again, I get the beloved check-in dialog again.

    Check in Dialog

    Fill in the information I want, click “Check In”, and  I’m off!

    Now, just to make sure I’m not looking at smoke and mirrors, let’s switch to Team Explorer and view the file’s history.

    File history in Team Explorer

    There’s my change!  Now, for a final check, let me diff the two versions.

    Comparing the two versions of the PHP file in version control

    Make sense?  Not bad for a free integration point!

    Now, this all said, there is one main caveat which is worth mentioning – it shouldn’t prevent you from leveraging this shell-type integration, but it should be known nonetheless.  The TFS Power Tool shell extension only provides the basic version control operations.  Others, such as getting historical versions, viewing history, branching, merging, and shelving are notably absent from the shell extension’s menu.  You can still do all this from Team Explorer – you’ll have this installed on your machine, as it’s a requirement for the TFS Power Tools to be installed.  So yes, for some operations you’ll need to pop open Team Explorer, but the bulk of your daily operations are available right from the shell.

    BUT, PhpED is also has a very extensible menu system (that’s how it ties in with CVS), so you may also be able to leverage that to create TFS-specific menu options (such as creating workspaces, diffing files, etc.).  I had a little fun with this and was able to quite easily create a couple of TFS-related menu options to help me view a file’s history, as well as create a shelf.  All I did was drop the path to tf.exe (by default it’s "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 9.0\Common7\IDE\”) into my PATH environment variable (just easier than putting in the full path to tf.exe each time), and away I went.

    In PhpED, go to Tools->Settings, then scroll down to Integration under Tools.  Here I created a new menu called “Team Foundation Server” and added a few submenu items with the following options (I’m sure you can figure out how to add a few more if you want):

    Option Name Command Options Selected
    View History tf history “@FName@”
    • Show this command in workspace popup, for files
    • Show this command in Explorer popup, for files
    Shelve tf shelve
    • Show this command in workspace popup, for files, for directories
    • Show this command in Explorer popup, for files, for directories

    Annotate

    tfpt annotate “@FName@”
    • Show this command in workspace popup, for files
    • Show this command in Explorer popup, for files

    And I end up with this:

    PhpED Settings - customized menus for TFS

    As you can see, I can leverage the command-line interface for both Team Explorer (tf.exe) and the Power Tools (tfpt.exe, which gets added to your PATH automatically upon installation).

    So now, when I right-click on certain objects in PhpED, I can take advantage of these options.  They simply shell out the specified commands and the appropriate CLI takes over.  For example, if I select “View History”,

    Selecting the View History custom menu option

    I get this:

    Viewing History of the selected file in PhpED

    Sweet!

    So that’s about it!  There of course may be other ways to integrate these two products (perhaps using SVNBridge on CodePlex), but I found this above method to be quick and relatively painless.

    I hope this helps a couple people!  Please let me know what you think, or if you have any questions.

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Visual Studio Team System for Database Professionals Workshop

    • 3 Comments

    Overview
    Visual Studio Team System 2008 Database Edition provides advanced tools for database change management and testing and offers functionality to enable database developers and administrators to be more productive and increase application quality in the database tier.

    Visual Studio Team System 2008 Database Edition delivers a market shifting database development product that provides a foundation for managed database evolution through the use of an offline, Visual Studio project-centered source code control system together with a suite of tools designed to help understand the impact of proposed changes.

    Schemas, DML and metadata can be versioned, code can be automatically reviewed using static analysis, unit tests can be created and executed to ensure quality, and comparisons can be made with test and production systems prior to deployment.

    Integration with Visual Studio Team System 2008 Team Foundation Server helps increase the productivity of the database professionals by enabling them to become an integral part of the application team.

    Please join Microsoft and Adventos for this one-day course to learn how the Developer and Database editions of Team System work together in the application lifecycle.

    image  Course Outline

    • Core Features of TFS
    • Team Projects
    • Source Control and Team Foundation Build
    • Managing Databases in a Team Environment

    Who Should Attend?

    Database Administrators, Database Developers

     

    imageBasic Agenda

    • Welcome: 8:30 PM
    • Seminar: 9:00 AM-4:30 PM

    Denver, CO

    • February 18, 2009
    • Click here to register with invitation code: 982D4B .

    imagePhoenix, AZ

    • February 19, 2009
    • Click here to register with invitation code: 15B18A.

    Los Angeles, CA 

    • March 3, 2009
    • Click here to register with invitation code: 31A402

    Irvine, CA

    • March 4, 2009
    • Click here to register with invitation code: E4995A

    San Diego, CA

    • March 5, 2009
    • Click here to register with invitation code: 3B9F3B

    To Register by Phone –

    • Call 1.877.MSEVENT (1.877.673.8368) with invitation code.
  • Steve Lange @ Work

    VSO is Happy to See You! Project Welcome Pages

    • 3 Comments

    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

    Activating Visual Studio 2013 on an Offline Machine

    • 2 Comments

    (File this under “I already know that”, but I get asked this question quite frequently..)

    Visual Studio 2013 likes to go online every so often to validate that it’s being used by a licensed user.  That’s all well and good, but what if that user is working in a permanently offline environment? 

    Fear not.  As an MSDN subscriber, you can download a “static” activation key to use.  Here are the steps:

    • Go to http://msdn.microsoft.com from a computer that has internet access.
    • Click on “MSDN Subscriptions” link toward the top right.
    • Sign into MSDN with a valid MSDN subscriber account (Microsoft Account, formerly Live ID)
    • Click on “My Product Keys”

    image

    • Scroll down to the VS 2013 edition you have installed.  You should see the term “Static Activation Key.”  That is the key you need to enter into Visual Studio to turn off the internet activation check (which normally runs every 30 days).

    image

     

    Make a note of that key, and head over to your offline computer.

     

    • Launch Visual Studio 2013
    • Go to Help->Register Product

    image

    • Click on “License with a Product Key”

    image

    • Enter the static key you noted from MSDN.

    image

    • Click Apply, and you should be set!
  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Visual Studio 2013 Update 3 RTM is available!

    • 2 Comments

    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

    Thanks, RM Tech Trifecta!

    • 2 Comments

    I had a great time on Saturday hanging out with 400-ish of my closest friends at the Rocky Mountain Tech Trifecta!  Many of you braved iffy road conditions to make it downtown for this incredible event.

    Big hats of to the Yacks for putting this together!

     

    View Rocky Mountain Tech Trifecta (Feb 2009)
  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Take TFS for a Test Drive with a Hosted Trial

    • 2 Comments

    There is a new option for taking TFS for a test drive:

     

    Free 6-week hosted trials of TFS are being offered by TeamDevCentral.  It includes:

    ·         Accounts allowing customers to experience different team roles and to collaborate within a project

    ·         Up to 4 hours of guidance and/or support for the trial can be used for any type of advice related to TFS or Visual Studio Team System

     

    You can sign up for the trial at their website, or read the press release:  Press Release: TeamDevCentral Offers Free Trials of Hosted Microsoft Team Foundation Server

     

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Sssshh!!! The Team System Big Event is Coming..

    • 2 Comments

    We’ve got a cool event in the works.  Covering all aspects of Team System.  Presented by Microsoft, partners, and community influentials.

    Where?  Denver, Phoenix, Irvine, Mountain View, Portland.

    Don’t tell anyone! (Okay, do tell people – bring them along, but don’t give up your seat!)

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    First Take: Microsoft Surface at the Rio's iBar

    • 2 Comments

    Surface at the iBarDuring a recent trip to Las Vegas (yes, for business), I was able to visit the iBar at the Rio.  It recently installed six Microsoft Surface machines to add to the social experience at the bar (press release).  This was the first time I'd seen a Surface up close.

    For a Monday night, there were quite a few people hovering around the area waiting for one of the Surface machines to become available.  We found one, sat down, and started experimenting.  Here are the games/apps that we played with.

    Mixologist

    This app allows you to scroll through various adult beverages and select one to be ordered directly from the bar.  You can also experiment mixing your own.  Overall, it worked pretty well, although we had to get used to the navigation.  It was the first application we played with, so I think we were also still figuring out the touch sensitivity and the allowance for multi-touch (the two of us were touching the screen at the same time, and I think that messed up some of our menu choices).

    PIC-0062 - Copy Hip-notic

    This application is basically a YouTube viewer.  You can search for videos by keyword, browse by rating, or browse by most recent.  Your search results appear as postcard-looking thumbnails that can be rotated, resized, and played.  We found it pretty easy to lose track of time with this application (isn't that the point?), and spent most of our time watching videos.

    Head Games

    This app provides a series of games, most notably "High Roller" bowling, pinball, and Last Call (a memory game).  We bowled a few frames and moved on.  BTW, here's a hint for the bowling game if you want to run up your score.  As you're getting ready to bowl, you can run your fingers on the standing pins, you can knock a lot of them over before you even bowl.  (You can also use the same technique against your opponent, moving his pins away from the ball.)

    Flirt

    This app allows patrons at one Surface machine to interact with patrons at other machines.  There are video cameras pointed at each Surface table, so you can look at other Surface users in the bar.  The interactions available include chat, zooming the video camera, taking and sending pictures, or send predefined phrases (read: pick-up lines) or words (remember the magnetic words you can put on your fridge?  This is the virtual version of that).

    There are a couple other applications that were available, but we didn't really check them out.  They looked to be a "virtual vegas" tour, showing attractions, shows, and other sights.

    My overall impression is that this has some great social potential.  Since there were only six tables at the iBar, there weren't a lot of choices for interaction.  A much more compelling social experience:  Someday when Surface machines are installed at other Harrah's properties around the country (or world), network them together and allow the Flirt app to work across those properties.  The fun and interactivity dynamic will be dramatically different when someone in Las Vegas "flirts" with someone in Atlantic City.

     PIC-0064Oh, and one last thing - it's with a heavy heart that I must confess that we crashed a couple of the apps - each several times.

    On the bright side, there were no GPF's or Blue Screens of Deaths.  Rather Surface just mentioned that there was a problem, killed the failed app and restarted.  Not a huge distraction for a social user who would probably have a decent count of adult beverages coursing through their system to begin with.

    The flirt app has the most promise, integrating with webcams and other Surface machines.  If it can scale without crashing, Flirt will be a great draw for many Harrah's properties.  We didn't "flirt" too much - not just because we're married, but because most of the tables were occupied by other guys...

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Phoenix: Awesome Upcoming SDLC/VSTS Event

    • 2 Comments

    VS-header

    ADOPTING VISUAL STUDIO TEAM SYSTEM 2008

    June 12, 2008 | Phoenix, AZ |Event ID: 1032374283

    ABSTRACT/SUMMARY

    Microsoft Visual Studio Team System 2008 (VSTS) is an integrated Application Life-cycle Management (ALM) solution comprising tools, processes, and guidance to help everyone on the team improve their skills and work more effectively together. VSTS 2008 provides multi-disciplined team members with an integrated set of tools for architecture, design, development, database development, and testing of applications. Team members can continuously collaborate and utilize a complete set of tools and guidance at every step of the application lifecycle.

    This one-day seminar will walk through VSTS 2008, highlighting new features that are available in the most recent release. Presentations will include demonstrations, best practices, and discussions on all four role-specific editions. We will also cover project management with Team Foundation Server (TFS), leveraging TFS source control, and new features such as integration with MOSS, and managing the build process with continuous integration. .  During lunch, we will also have a discussion around the adoption of methodology within the enterprise including lessons and experience from customers that have been through that process.

    Please join Microsoft and Neudesic, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner for this one-day seminar. Thank you, we look forward to seeing you there!

    COURSE OUTLINE

    Interactive seminar and demonstrations

    • VSTS Role-based Editions
      • Architect
      • Developer
      • Test
      • Database Professional
    • Team Foundation Server
    • Adopting a Methodology (lessons from other customers)
    • Best Practices
      • Version Control
      • Project Management using VSTS
      • Working with Continuous Integration

    REGISTER

    To register, please visit http://msevents.microsoft.com/ and search on the event code listed below, or call 1.877.MSEVENT (1.877.673.8366).

    Date: June 12, 2008
    Time: 9:00 AM-5:00 PM
    Location:
    Microsoft Corporation
    2929 N. Central Ave., Ste. 1400
    Phoenix, AZ 85012
    Phone: 602.280.8600
    See map and/or driving directions

    Registration Link: http://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/EventDetail.aspx?EventID=1032374283&Culture=en-US

    Event ID: 1032374283

  • 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

    Team Foundation Server: Beta 3 Refresh vs. CTP

    • 2 Comments
    Which to use for evaluation?  Well it depends on you ultimately might use the evaluated TFS install as your production server.  Keep this important note in mind.  The Beta 3 Refresh version carries a go-live license, which means that Microsoft will provide a supported migration path to the RTM version of TFS.  The CTP version does NOT carry the same promise.
  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Announcing My New Virtual Office Hours!

    • 2 Comments

    In an effort to continually help you get the most out of your investment in Microsoft development tools, I am happy to announce that I have set up regularly-scheduled virtual office hours!

    Please join me at any of his scheduled hours to ask questions, view quick demos, or learn more about upcoming products, technologies, and events.  You can also use this time to collaborate with other customers who may have stories or advice to share.

    I've created a page on this blog that lists my office hours dates/times, as well as information on how to join.  I've scheduled them roughly every two weeks or so for one hour.

    My current office hours schedule runs through the end of January 2012.  If enough people participate each week, I would love to extend them another six months!

    I hope to "see" you in my "office"!

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    No PDC Tickets? Watch it with us at PDC Live!

    • 2 Comments

    image

    Live Broadcast & In-Person Session

    UPDATE (10/26) – The Denver PDC viewing venue is moving to the local Microsoft office in the Tech Center: 7595 Technology Way, Denver, 80237 (map HERE)

    PDC10 is now sold out, but you can still join in on the excitement via the live stream and in-person delivered sessions. Attend this event on October 28, 2010; this year’s content will focus on the next generation of Cloud Services, client & devices, and framework & tools. You can get the highlights of PDC without heading to Redmond.

    This year’s groundbreaking event will include live streaming of the keynotes, as well as concurrent live streaming of sessions. All content will be available on demand within 24 hours of recording. Be a part of it by attending a local area event or by watching online.

    So since it’s online, why come to a PDC Live event?  Watch it with others to create better interaction and an improved learning experience; plus see key sessions demonstrated live!

    Join the PDC mailing list for the latest news on upcoming PDC events and special discount offers: https://www.ustechsregister.com/pdcmailinglist/main.aspx.

    Space is limited, register soon! For agenda & session detail, please visit the local event registration page.

    PDC Viewing Venues & Registration Info

    Mountain View, CA

    Microsoft Corporation

    Event ID: 1032464622

    Denver, CO

    The Cable Center

    Microsoft Office

    Event ID: 1032464623

    Phoenix, AZ

    Gangplank

    Event ID: 1032464624

    Seating is limited. Register online or call 1-877-MSEVENT

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Holy Accelerated Training, Batman!

    • 2 Comments

    Hey Denver!  Our friends at IT Boot Camps have two sets of accelerated trainings coming up that you will want to check out.  This is just a subset of courses offered, ones that focus on developers. 

    imageTeam Foundation Server 2010 Administration

    This 2-day accelerated program covers all the material that targets achieving the MCTS: Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010, Administration certification (Exam 70-512).

    This program is designed for knowledge and skills on installing, configuring and maintaining Visual Studio 2010 Team Foundation Server.  It is intended for candidates who install, configure, and manage a Microsoft Visual Studio Team Foundation Server (TFS) 2010 implementation. Candidates typically work in an enterprise development organization that provides process automation services by using TFS.

    This $950 course (even cheaper if you belong to one of the local user groups!) includes:

    The currently-scheduled dates for this training are: February 17 – 18 and March 17 - 18

    For more information, visit the course’s home page on IT Boot Camp’s site, or email info@itbootcamps.com.

    imageVisual Studio Boot Camps

    Visual Studio, and .NET development in general is a broad and deep topic.  IT Boot Camps is providing four separate curriculums in this area:

    Visual Studio Windows Applications 2010
    Date(s):

    March 7 - 9
    May 2 - 5

    Price: $1,495*

    Exam Targeted:  70-511: TS: Windows Applications Development with Microsoft .NET Framework 4

    Course Material:  10262A: Developing Windows Applications with Microsoft Visual Studio 2010

    Curriculum:

    1. Windows Client Application Design
    2. Introduction to Visual Studio 2010 and WPF
    3. Designing and Developing a User Interface
    4. Taking Control of the User Interface
    5. Testing, Unit Testing and Debugging
    6. Sample Data Binding and Validation
    7. Data Binding to Collections
    8. Enhancing UI Responsiveness
    9. Integrating Localization and User Assistance Features
    10. WPF 2D Graphics, Multimedia and Printing
    11. Control Customization
    12. Attached Properties and Behaviors in WPF
    13. Animations in WPF
    14. Application State, Settings and Lifecycle
    15. Configure and Deploy Windows Client Applications
    Visual Studio Web Applications 2010
    Date(s):

    March 10 - 12
    May 5 - 7

    Price: $1,495*

    Exam Targeted:  70-511: TS: Windows Applications Development with Microsoft .NET Framework 4

    Course Material:  10264A: Developing Web Applications with Microsoft Visual Studio 2010

    Curriculum:

    1. Designing a Web Application
    2. Developing MVC Models
    3. Developing MVC Controllers
    4. Developing MVC Views
    5. Designing for Discoverability
    6. Writing Server-Side Code for Web  Forms
    7. Optimizing Data Management for Web Forms
    8. Ensuring Quality by Debugging, Unit Testing, and Refactoring
    9. Securing a Web Application
    10. Applying Master Pages and CSSs
    11. Developing Client-Side Scripts and Services
    12. Advanced AJAX in a Web Application
    13. Deploying a Web Application
    Visual Studio Service Communications 2010
    Date(s):

    March 14 - 15
    May 9 - 10

    Price: $950*

    Exam Targeted:  70-513: TS: Windows Communication Foundation Development with Microsoft .NET Framework 4

    Course Material:  10263A: Developing Windows Communication Foundation Solutions with Microsoft Visual Studio 2010

    Curriculum:

    1. Service Oriented Architecture
    2. Getting Started with WCF Development
    3. Hosting WCF Services
    4. Defining and Implementing WCF Contracts
    5. Endpoints and Behaviors
    6. Testing and Troubleshooting
    7. Security
    8. Advanced Topics
    Visual Studio Data Access 2010
    Date(s):

    March 16 - 18
    May 11 - 13

    Price: $1,195*

    Exam Targeted:  70-516: TS: Accessing Data with Microsoft .NET Framework 4

    Course Material:  10265A: Developing Data Access Solutions with Microsoft Visual Studio 2010

    Curriculum:

    1. Designing a Web Application
    2. Developing MVC Models
    3. Developing MVC Controllers
    4. Developing MVC Views
    5. Designing for Discoverability
    6. Writing Server-Side Code for Web  Forms
    7. Optimizing Data Management for Web Forms
    8. Ensuring Quality by Debugging, Unit Testing, and Refactoring
    9. Securing a Web Application
    10. Applying Master Pages and CSSs
    11. Developing Client-Side Scripts and Services
    12. Advanced AJAX in a Web Application
    13. Deploying a Web Application

     

    Additional Great Opportunities

    IT Boot Camps has courses covering a wide range of topics, but here are a couple more developer-focused ones you may want to look at:

    Silverlight 4: Application Development
    Date(s):

    March 28 -31

    Price: $1,895*

    Exam Targeted:  70-506: TS: Silverlight 4, Development

    Course Material: 

    • 10553A: Fundamentals of XAML and Expression Blend
    • 10554A: Developing Rich Internet Applications using Microsoft Silverlight 4

    This accelerated program will take 8 days of information and offer it in a 4 day format.  Candidates for this program are developers who create and maintain rich interactive applications (RIA) using Silverlight 4.  Candidates may have additional experience with previous Silverlight versions.

    Windows Azure Professional Developer
    Date(s):

    June 13 - 14

    Price: $950*

    This class is designed for .NET developers with Web application experience that are exploring developing new applications or porting existing applications to Windows Azure.

    After completing this course, students will be able to:

    • Understand cloud computing in its various forms and how Windows Azure fits in the cloud computing space.
    • Learn why organizations want to run applications in the Azure cloud.
    • Understand the architecture of Azure.
    • Explore the Azure SDK and DevFabric development environment.
    • See how to develop applications for Azure and how that varies from "normal" .NET application development.
    • Write and deploy a ASP.NET Web application (Web Role) to Azure.
    • Explore Azure storage capability.
    • Learn how to create and deploy background computational applications (Worker Role) in Azure.
    • Explore SQL Azure capability.

    * Remember that there are discounts for user group members!

    WHEW!  Don’t know where to start?  Contact IT Boot Camps for more information.

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Content from My DevExpress Webinars this Week

    • 2 Comments

    Thanks to those of you who attended the DevExpress webinars I delivered this week.  I hope it was worth your 60 minutes!

    As promised, below is the content from each webinar.  I’ve posted the slide decks on SlideShare.net, and the sample code from my second webinar on SkyDrive.

    Feb 22nd - Team Foundation Server 2010 for Developers

    (view the replay here at DevExpress)

     

    Feb 24th – Visual Studio 2010 Testing for Developers

    (view the replay here at DevExpress)

    The sample project from this webinar can be found here on SkyDrive (click on DevTesting-Samples.zip).

    Again, thanks for attending!  I had a lot of fun!

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Upcoming ALM Webcasts from Neudesic

    • 2 Comments

    The events just keep comin’ from our awesome partners!  See below for the latest schedule of ALM webcasts from Neudesic.

    October 30th Scrum and Agile Management with Visual Studio 2012, Presented by Clementino de Mendonca

    Find out how Visual Studio has become the tool of choice to manage your Scrum projects, and how it stands out of the way allowing you to do Agile in your own terms instead of forcing you to adapt your development process to a tool. We will take a tour on how you can enact Scrum best practices and cycles, allowing the team to always have a clear picture of Done should look like at the end of a sprint through using Team Foundation Server as a team communication hub.

    November 1st Requirements and Stortyboarding in the Visual Studio 2012, Presented by William Salazar

    Many teams use mockups or storyboards to describe general application appearance and flow.  This session will demonstrate new features in Visual Studio 2012 that support creating, presenting and maturing storyboards using tools you already know. And then we’ll show how this process fits into the rest of your application’s lifecycle.

    November 6th – Creating a Branch Strategy, what it is, why you need one, and how you get started, Presented by Clementino de Mendonca

    Do you know for sure which code base snapshot in your source control system matches what is in production? What is the best strategy to manage source code for team members working in parallel in different features? In this talk we will take a look at creating branching strategies that answer these and other questions, and allow you to balance simplicity, isolation, and speed in your software development efforts.

    November 8th – DevOps: Integrating Operations for Continuous Delivery, Presented by William Salazar

    Integrating Development and Operations teams deeply using new practices and tools is critical to delivering on the promise of shorter cycle times, improved mean time to repair, and increased business value that all companies that build software want to fulfill. Organizations that use practices and tools to integrate development and operations can significantly speed up their Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) process and enable continuous delivery of software to their customers, whether internal or external. Developers and Operations engineers are increasingly working closer together to maintain always on services. Visual Studio 2012 with System Center 2012 give developers and operations the tools to work seamlessly together to reduce the mean time to repair for defects in production applications.

    Learn about some of the newest features in Microsoft Visual Studio 2012 and System Center 2012, including:

    • Features to help improve the interactions between development and operations, creating better, integrated workflows
    • New lab management tools that allow teams to quickly spin up an advanced Build-Deploy-Test infrastructure
    • Deployment management features such as support for multiple package types, virtual machine management, automated deployment to private and public clouds
    • Integrated production monitoring and diagnostics tools

    Register:

    November 14th – Collecting Actionable Feedback with Visual Studio, Presented by Clementino de Mendonca

    Most teams collect feedback from customers in one way or another but it fails to trickle down as something that developers can use to improve the product. See how Visual Studio can help you capture, structure and tie feedback into your existing development efforts with Microsoft Feedback Client, allowing you to provide actionable starting points for your development and testing efforts. REGISTER TODAY!

    November 15th – Developer Testing with Visual Studios, Presented by William Salazar

    From the ground up, the developer testing experience in Visual Studio 2012 was designed to allow developers to focus on their code and avoid unnecessary distractions. Test Explorer is now easily extended, allowing you to add third-party testing frameworks in addition to those shipped with Visual Studio. Visual Studio also includes the new Fakes framework to let developers create fast running and isolated unit tests. In this session, we will review the new developer testing experience in the context of a typical day-to-day workflow, showing how these features will help you quickly write better quality code.

    November 27th – Improving Small Team Productivity with Team Foundation Server, Presented by Clementino de Mendonca

    Team members in smaller teams have always had to wear multiple hats: talk to customer, develop, test, talk to customer, fix bugs, retest, talk to customer, deploy… did I forget to mention you also have to plan your releases?  No way you can do this without some automation. Visual Studio 2012 is the suite that will boost your productivity to the max by augmenting your skills with powerful tools that will help you trace your way out of a development cycle labyrinth.

    November 29th – Making Developers More Productive with Visual Studio Team Foundation Server, Presented by William Salazar

    In this session, we will talk about those “fit-and-finish” scenarios in Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2012 which will make developers more productive as they write code and collaborate with other team members. You’ll find out about the new integrated code reviews; the new “My Work” experience for managing your active tasks; and once you’re “in the zone” Visual Studio will now help you stay focused on the task at hand, no matter how much you’re randomized, with a new suspend/resume experience. You’ll also find out how to work offline seamlessly, how the new merging experience works, and how you can more easily find work items.

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Denver Study Group, by the Denver Visual Studio User Group

    • 2 Comments

    2/13: Update – New meeting location!

    The local user group here in town has set up a new study group, kicking off tomorrow (Feb 7th).  For full details, go here, but below are the core details.

    The Denver Study Group is a sub group of Denver Visual Studio User Group.

    When

    Thursdays, beginning February 7, 2013 (first course for 6 weeks, then repeat for next course)
    5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. Limited to First 20 Attendees!  

    Where

    Microsoft Store, 303-824-6772
    Park Meadows Mall, 8505 Park Meadows Center Dr., Lone Tree, CO 80124,
    Store is near the center of the mall, Zone B, Upper Level, between Macy's and Forever 21
    Meeting space is near the middle back portion inside the Microsoft store

    UPDATED LOCATION (see below)   

    Innovation Pavilion, 9200 East Mineral Ave., Centennial, CO 80112

    North of Park Meadows Mall, between E. Dry Creek Rd. & E. County Line Rd., W of I-25)
    - Plenty of free parking, Enter the front lobby (doors locked after 7:00 p.m.)
    - Check the white board for room number (probably, 3rd floor, Suite 310 or 385)

    Using Pluralsight videos: one month free pass for first time attendees
    First Course: Building Applications with ASP.NET MVC 4 by Scott Allen
    Watch Videos, Code, Discuss (no purchase necessary)
    Optional: bring your own pc (free Wi-Fi available)
    Join us for our first Denver Study Group --
    FMI: read the details below

    What

    The Study Group meets for the express purpose of gathering developers together on a series basis to watch, code, discuss, and learn from high quality video training along with others of a like mind.
    During the Study Group meetings, the training videos are shown in a web browser via a streaming service and displayed on a large screen audio/visual presentation system for all participants to watch and hear together.

    Why

    Video training helps us in our group bring experienced and highly rated training professionals directly into our group at a time and place of our choice -- and for free! More than that, it provides us with opportunities to select the specific training we need to be delivered via video and supplement it with coding in a group setting and interactive discussions learning together with our own peers locally. This gives us the best of both worlds - expert training and group interaction - delivered to fit our needs.
    Video training provides an excellent, cost-efficient alternative to live training programs by using a vast training library which has helped thousands of developers worldwide. When we add our group members to code and discuss together, you get even more than you could by watching the videos solo.

    When

    Thursdays, 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm MST, approximately 2 hour meetings once each week
    Watch 45-60 minutes of course video at each meeting
    Work 20-30 minutes on ad-hoc exercises and code together as a group related to the video just watched
    Discuss 20-30 minutes in a round table format related to the video just watched
    Approximately 5-6 consecutive weekly meetings will be completed to go through a course
    Break between courses 1-4 weeks and then repeat for next course
    Depending on the course and the needs of the participants, the watching/coding/discussion times  will vary, sometimes considerably
    Depending on each course, length of each weekly meeting and consecutive meetings for a course may vary
    Holidays, other special days, weather, and venue use, may cause changes to the planned schedule
    We will plan for each course from one to six months ahead of scheduled venue space needs and  communicate those dates and times to ensure our space reservations and placement on the venue  events calendar

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