Steve Lange @ Work

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

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    VMWare IT Pros: Gain twice the virtualization skillset. Cover more ground.



    Industry experts estimate that over 70% of businesses now have more than one virtualization platform in their IT environment. IT pros who are fluent in several platforms have a considerable edge in their technical careers. Here's your chance to expand your virtualization skillset for FREE – and become invaluable to your company, clients and customers.

    Join us at this free, one-day technical workshop on Microsoft Virtualization for VMware IT professionals. Experienced Technical Evangelists will guide you through key scenarios and cover equivalent technologies from Microsoft and VMware. Complete all the hands-on labs and you'll walk away ready to build your own lab environment for further evaluation and testing.

    This event will help you to:

    • Ramp up your knowledge of Microsoft virtualization technologies
    • See how your existing VMware skillset translates in a Microsoft environment
    • Compare and contrast the key Microsoft and VMware technologies
    • Leverage available Microsoft tools to help manage a VMware environment
    • Learn more about the upcoming enhancements to Windows Server 2012 R2 and System Center 2012 R2

    At a high level, as part of this course, you'll learn about the following topics:

    • Hyper-V Configuration, Clustering & Resiliency
    • Virtual Machine Mobility, Backup & Replication
    • Managing Hyper-V with Virtual Machine Manager
    • A look at System Center 2012 R2 Preview
    • VMware: Management, Integration, and Migration

    Session Requirements:
    In order to participate in the labs, please bring a modern laptop. Click HERE for more detailed system specs. All participants registering for the event should download Microsoft Hyper-V 2012 R2 Preview.

    Modernize your datacenter
    Try the new Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview, System Center 2012 R2 Preview, Hyper-V 2012 R2 Preview today.

    Register now and save your seat for this FREE, full-day event in your local area. For more information or to register, select the city near you.

    Locations & Dates (click on one to register):

    Seating is limited, so register today. Events run from 8:30am - 4:00pm.

    Interested in events in other cities?  See all IT Camps

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    IT Camps: Discover Key Hybrid Cloud Solutions for IT Pros


    Windows Azure

    You CAN have the best of both worlds! With Windows Azure, IT Pros can easily extend an on-premises network to embrace the power and scale of the cloud – securely and seamlessly. These Hybrid Cloud scenarios present real solutions that you can implement today to solve pressing IT issues such as:

    • Right-sizing Storage Investments
    • Protecting Data with Off-site Backups
    • Business Continuance and Disaster Recovery
    • Cost-effective, On-demand Dev/Test Environments
    • Internet-scale Web Sites… And MORE!

    Join us at this FREE full-day hands-on event to experience the power of Hybrid Cloud. Our field-experienced Technical Evangelists will guide you through the process of jumpstarting your knowledge on Windows Azure Storage, Virtual Machines and Virtual Networking for key IT Pro scenarios. Complete all of the hands-on labs and you'll walk away with a fully functional Windows Server 2012 cloud-based test lab running Windows Azure!

    Session Requirements:
    Be sure to bring a modern laptop that is capable of running the following prerequisites. For more detailed system specs, click on the city nearest you.

    • Modern operating system, including Windows 7, Windows 8, Linux or Mac OS X
    • Modern web browser supporting HTML5 and Javascript, including IE 9 or later, Chrome, Firefox and Safari
    • A remote desktop (RDP) client – included with Windows platforms. Mac and Linux RDP clients can be downloaded for free

    All participants registering for the event should have an active Windows Azure subscription. If you have not already done so, sign up for a FREE trial of the Windows Azure platform and services, including access to the Virtual Machines preview.

    Register now and save your seat for this FREE, full-day event in your local area. For more information or to register, select the city near you.

    Registration Information

    Select a venue/date below to register online!

    Seating is limited, so register today. Events run from 8:30am - 4:00pm.

    Interested in events in other cities?  See all IT Camps

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Visual Studio 2013 RC and the Virtual Launch


    As the summer winds down, I hope to get more active with my blog again (At Microsoft, summer often brings a slew of internal conferences, trainings, planning, and vacation).  I think Visual Studio 2013 is the perfect topic with which to jump back in!

    If you didn’t already know, Visual Studio 2013 RC is available for download

    Visual Studio LogoMore specific downloads links:

    An RC is a Release Candidate, meaning it’s basically done; but we’re just looking for any outlier issues and may put a little extra polish on the experience before release.

    And speaking of release, tag your calendar for the virtual launch event on November 13th at 9AM EST! (Add to Outlook | iCal).  Hope to (virtually) see you there!

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Denver: FREE TFS Training Workshop from Aspenware


    Aspenware TechMunch Technical Lunch Events“Okay, I have TFS.. Now what?”

    If you or anyone in your organization has asked that question, this free training from Aspenware may be your answer!

    Check out the training page on their site for full details, but here are the basics:

    1. Part 1: Thursday September 19, 11:30AM-4PM
    2. Part 2: Wednesday September 25, 11:30AM-4PM

    Lunch will be provided between 11:30AM-12:00PM

    Full details here:

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Denver Event: Quality Enablement Through Agile Testing


    VS_Purp526_rgbContinuous Quality for Modern Business Applications

    Producing high quality software, closely aligned with the constantly changing requirements of business stakeholders is more important than ever. Especially in an Agile development setting, every team member has to ensure that their work is of the highest quality – all the time. Testers can verify quality but not ensure it – proper QA procedures and a quality mindset are essential for high performance development teams.

    During this event, your local Microsoft Developer Technology Specialist will provide you an inside look at Black Box Testing, show you the capabilities of Microsoft Test Manager, and address the Developer’s experience in quality enablement through white box testing. Furthermore, we’ll cover how quality is an accountability and addressable by the entire development organization.

    You’ll also have an opportunity to learn the value of Build, Deploy, Test, and Lab Management from our ALM Partner, Imaginet, and gain exposure to cross platform GUI test automation tools with froglogic’s Squish. We look forwarding to seeing you there!

    I hope you can make it!


    WHEN:  Thursday August 22, 2013, 9:30AM – 3:00PM
    WHERE:  Microsoft Denver Office , 7595 Technology Way, Suite 400, Denver, CO 80237

    Complimentary Food & Beverages Provided


    Microsoft-Logo clip_image005 clip_image007

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Upcoming Visual Studio ALM Workshops from Imaginet



    Upgrading to TFS 2012: What You Need to Know!

    Microsoft Visual Studio 2012 brings a number of new features into the integrated ALM toolset.  With new features like PowerPoint Storyboarding, Integrated Code Review Features, Stakeholder Feedback, and a newly integrated Developer / Operations Workflow, you will quickly find many reasons to upgrade to Visual Studio and Team Foundation Server 2012!  In this webinar, we'll briefly discuss the breadth of new ALM features. Come join us for this free Webinar!

    July 11, 2013 1:00 - 2:30 pm CT

    Top Business Benefits of Application Lifecycle Management (ALM)

    Why should your business focus on Application Lifecycle Management? What benefits will you see to your overall business? How does ALM impact your bottom line? Come attend this free webinar to discover all the answers!

    July 17, 2013 1:00 - 2:00 pm CT
    August 14, 2013 1:00 - 2:00 pm CT

    Getting Started with Coded UI Testing: Building Your First Automated Test

    This training seminar will demonstrate how to record tests run against various types of application user interfaces using Microsoft's Visual Studio's Coded UI Tests and how to replay them at any time. Additionally, we will explore how to embed validations, either simple or elaborate, to ensure your application is producing the correct results. Learn how to improve the quality of your applications by having a repeatable set of Microsoft Coded UI Tests available to ensure defects don't go unnoticed!

    September 5, 2013 1:00 - 2:30 pm CT
    September 19, 2013 1:00 - 2:30 pm CT

    Quality Coding: What’s New with Visual Studio 2012

    The newest release of Visual Studio 2012 is rich with new tools that enhance standard developer activities.  In this session, we'll review and demonstrate some of these new features, such as Unit Testing, Code Reviews, Code Clones, and other developer tools. Come join us for this free Webinar!

    August 8, 2013 1:00 - 2:30 pm CT
    August 22, 2013 1:00 - 2:30 pm CT

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Windows 8 App Factor Events Near You!





    Have app ideas?  Have software development skills?  If so, that’s all you need to learn, compete and win! 6 Cities, 100’s of developers and 1000’s of great ideas.


    WINDOWS 8 APP FACTOR LEARN | Fun day of “training and auditions” where you will learn what you need to know to take your skills and ideas into a new economy.

    • Form a team where you can use your skills and compete to win.
    • Learn how to build an app from idea to store submission. 
    • Start from scratch or use a beautiful sample to get started.
    • Free consulting from the local evangelist team (in person or online). 


    WINDOWS 8 APP FACTOR COMPETE | Windows 8 App Factor Compete will provide you with an opportunity to show off your app and hard work to the world and potentially win.

    If you don’t have time to attend in person, no big deal, just submit your work of art online to be eligible to win fabulous prizes. Find out what amazing apps are coming out of your community. Watch and see which developers truly have the App Factor, register today!

    Special Note: To participate in these sessions, you will need to bring your own computer (laptop preferred). Prep info available at:

    We look forward to seeing you there!


    (Click on the city for which you’d like to register)


    5/31: Bellevue, WA

    5/31: San Diego, CA

    5/31: San Francisco, CA

    6/7: Irvine, CA
    6/7: Mountain View, CA

    6/13: Tempe, AZ

    *8 Hrs


    6/22: Irvine, CA

    6/22: San Francisco, CA

    *4.5 Hrs

    For more information or to register, visit: or call 1-877-MSEVENT


  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Better Multi-User Support for Work Item Tracking in TFS 2012


    Consider this scenario:

    1. User A opens a work item (and keeps it open)
    2. User B opens the same work item, makes a change, and saves it.
    3. User A (with work item still open), decides to make a change.

    In Team Foundation Server 2010 (and previous releases for that matter), support for multiple users editing the same work item at the same time was simple and blunt.

    When User A makes a change (based on a now out-of-date version of the work item), he’s presented with the TF237079 error (again, I’m looking at TFS 2010 currently):

    TFS 2010 error message

    This occurs regardless of the field you modify (i.e. if User B changed “Description” and User A changed “Title”, this condition still rears its head).

    Dang!  Now what?  You need to refresh the work item (to suck in the updated version), and lose your proposed changes (well, you have to input them again).  The work around for this is simple: If you like to keep work items open (for reference, or whatever) and don’t want to get “blocked” should you decide to make a later change, click the refresh button prior to making your changes.  This will reduce the chance that someone else slides in an update before you do.

    Refresh button for work items in TFS 2010

    Team Foundation Server 2012 handles this scenario more smoothly.

    Let’s revisit the scenario I listed above.  When user A makes his change and clicks “Save”, TFS will check to see if the work item has already changed.  If it has, but User B’s change (say to “Description”) doesn’t conflict with User A’s proposed change (say to “Title), it just works (this condition is equivalent to merging in version control when there are differences but no conflicts).  TFS will save the User A’s change and refresh the work item for him (so now User A can see his save, as well as the updated field values from User B).  Basically, TFS will auto-merge work item updates when different fields are updated (i.e. no stepping on toes).

    If the same field is has been updated by User B and User A, now you effectively have a true merge condition.  In this case, TFS will give you this message, TF248023:

    TFS 2012 message

    Look at what the message is saying.  It’s not blocking you – it’s warning you that you may step on someone’s toes (i.e. there’s a direct conflict with a field you’re trying to update).  If you close this dialog and try to save the work item again, it will allow you to save!  Now ideally, you’d take a look at the work item history (per the dialog message) to see check on what changes you’re potentially overwriting before saving; so consider this message as a warning from TFS 2012 saying “I’ll let you save this if you really want to, but don’t say I didn’t tell you so if someone gets mad!”

    So again, in previous versions of TFS, the above scenario doesn’t really work.  You’re forced to refresh the work item and re-enter your changes.  In TFS 2012, if there are no direct field-level conflicts, it works just fine.  If there is a direct conflict, you’ll get warned first.

    Hope this makes sense!

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Upcoming Webcasts from Northwest Cadence


    Northwest Cadence has some webcasts in the hopper – check them out!


    Date and Time




    9:00 – 10:00am PT

    Agile Development using

    Visual Studio 2012



    9:00 – 10:00am PT

    Not Just a Developer’s IDE: Testers Using the “Developer Testing” Tools in VS



    9:00 – 10:00am PT

    Not Just a Developer’s IDE: Testers Using the “Developer Testing” Tools in VS



    9:00 – 10:00am PT

    Introducing the New Git Integration with TFS 2012



    9:00 – 10:00am PT

    Storyboarding and Feedback Manager



    9:00 – 10:00am PT

    Unit Testing Without Fear



    9:00 – 10:00am PT

    A Lap Around Microsoft Test manager (MTM)


  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Imaginet Visual Studio Workshops and Webinars


    Check out the latest round of webinars from Imaginet! Click on the date/time to register..


    Top Business Benefits of Application Lifecycle Management (ALM)

    Why should your business focus on Application Lifecycle Management? What benefits will you see to your overall business? How does ALM impact your bottom line? Come attend this free webinar to discover all the answers!

    April 1, 2013
    1:00 - 2:00 pm CT

    June 3, 2013
    1:00 - 2:00 pm C

    Quality Coding: What’s New in Visual Studio 2012

    The newest release of Visual Studio 2012 is rich with new tools that enhance standard developer activities.  In this session, we'll review and demonstrate some of these new features, such as Unit Testing, Code Reviews, Code Clones, and other developer tools. Come join us for this free Webinar!

    April 4, 2013
    1:00 - 2:30 pm CT

    April 18, 2013
    1:00 - 2:30 pm CT

    May 9, 2013
    1:00 - 2:30 pm CT

    May 23, 2013
    1:00 - 2:30 pm CT

    Getting Started with Coded UI Testing: Building Your First Automated Test

    This training seminar will demonstrate how to record tests run against various types of application user interfaces using Microsoft Visual Studio's Coded UI Tests and how to replay them at any time.  Additionally, we will explore how to embed validations, either simple or elaborate, to ensure your application is producing the correct results.  Learn how to improve the quality of your applications by having a repeatable set of Microsoft Coded UI Tests available to ensure defects don’t go unnoticed!

    April 11, 2013
    1:00 - 2:30 pm CT

    April 25, 2013
    1:00 - 2:30 pm CT

    June 13, 2013
    1:00 - 2:30 pm CT

    June 27, 2013
    1:00 - 2:30 pm CT

    The How, What, and Why of Performance Testing Your Applications

    Verifying that a system works with a single user does not mean it will work in real-life scenarios.  Performance testing allow you to simulate real-world scenarios to verify your system will function and perform after real users start using it.  This session will demonstrate how Microsoft's Visual Studio 2012 can be used to perform both stress and load tests against a variety of technologies.  Come join us for this free Webinar!

    May 2, 2013
    1:00 - 2:30 pm C

    Managing Test Labs Without Headaches

    In 2010, Microsoft released a bold new features to support management of virtual test environments.  "Lab Management" provided the ability to easily spin up test environments, perform automated build and deployments, run automated tests, and collect diagnostic data. Unfortunately, many teams were discouraged by the infrastructure requirements.

    Now, with Visual Studio 2012 and standard environments, even small teams or groups that can't use Microsoft's Hyper-V can still benefit from lab management.  This session will demonstrate how to configure your existing environments for many of the same compelling features formally available only with Hyper-V. Come join us for this free Live Web Workshop!

    June 6, 2013
    1:00 - 2:30 pm CT

    June 20, 2013
    1:00 - 2:30 pm CT

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Build conference is coming!




    Microsoft’s Build conference is on its way to San Francisco June 26th-28th!  Come see all the goodness around developing great experiences around Windows, Windows Phone, Windows Azure, IE, Office 365, and Xbox!

    Registration opens at 09:00am PDT, April 2, 2013
    Early bird (first 500): $1,595 | Full: $2,095

    So don’t forget to register!  Oh, and you can follow Build on Twitter as well: Follow @bldwin

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Event Series: Why Requirements Still Matter




    In the world of Scrum or Agile, do requirements really still matter that much? Well, if you want to compete in the world of the modern application, absolutely!

    In fact, they matter more than ever. Shorter release cycles mean that typical impediments to value delivery impact the application lifecycle more than ever. The challenge of “getting requirements right” is crucial to getting the right thing out the door before your competitors do.

    Come join us for this half-day event where we’ll:

    • Examine the impact that these compacted release cycles have on the application lifecycle and how they apply to the world of requirements.
    • Explore how Microsoft Team Foundation Server can serve as the mechanism to manage your requirements as well as how they integrate with the rest of the lifecycle.
    • Showcase InteGREAT by eDev Technologies, a robust requirements lifecycle management platform that can help teams meet the ever evolving needs of the modern application world.

    We’re bringing this unique event to four (4) cities throughout the Western US.  Click on the city closest to you to register! (Oh, and this event is FREE!)

    I hope you can make it!

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Finding What’s Out of Date In your Workspace


    A couple of customers have asked me about this in the past couple of weeks:  “How can I tell in my workspace, how far out of date are my files?”

    TFS knows if your file is out-of-date and will tell you simply by showing you a “No” in the Latest column in Source Control Explorer:

    Source Control Explorer

    But what if you want to know how far out of date your file is?  You can see this by accessing the properties of the file (right-click, select Advanced->Properties):

    File properties

    As you can see in the above screenshot, I’m one version behind.

    Easy, right?

    But what if I want to know this for all the files in my workspace?  Using the built-in mechanisms, I’d have to look at the properties of each file that shows “No” in the Latest column.  That could take a while!

    As a side note, if I don’t care how far out of date I am, but I at least want to know all the files that are out-of-date, I could use the /preview switch on the command line tf get:

    command line

    Notice that a.txt and d.txt in the command line correspond with what’s shown as out-of-date in the first screenshot. (BTW, nothing actually happened because I specified /preview.  And the “Replacing” tells me that these files need to be replaced, or “caught up”.

    However, let’s assume I want to know the workspace and server versions for all my files that are outdated in my workspace.  There’s not a very convenient manner to do this without several clicks, but it’s surprisingly easy through the TFS API.

    Here’s a quick, full sample console application that:

    1. Connects to my TFS server (only works for “on prem” TFS, not TF Service (it will work, but not by using WindowsIdentity))
    2. Grabs your workspace
    3. For each file in your workspace, checks to see if the workspace version is different than the server version.
    4. Spits everything out to the console.

    The code isn’t anything special (I’m not a developer by trade), but it works.

    using Microsoft.TeamFoundation.Client;
    using Microsoft.TeamFoundation.VersionControl.Client;
    using System;
    using System.Collections.Generic;
    using System.Linq;
    using System.Security.Principal;
    using System.Text;
    using System.Threading.Tasks;
    namespace WorkspaceVersions
        class Program
            private const string _TfsUrl = "http://<myTFS>/defaultcollection";
            private const string _TfsProject = "$/<myproject>";
            private const bool _OnlyListOutOfDate = true;
            static void Main(string[] args)
                Print("Connecting to TFS..");
                // Connect to the team project collection and the server that hosts the 
                // version-control repository. 
                TfsTeamProjectCollection tpc = new TfsTeamProjectCollection(
                   new Uri(_TfsUrl));
                VersionControlServer vcServer = tpc.GetService<VersionControlServer>();
                // Get workspace versions
                ListWorkspaceVersions(vcServer, _TfsProject);
            /// <summary>
            /// Silly convenience method for printing a line of text to the console.
            /// </summary>
            /// <param name="text"></param>
            private static void Print(string text)
            private static void ListWorkspaceVersions(VersionControlServer vcs, string project)
                Print("Getting workspace..");
                var workspace = vcs.QueryWorkspaces(null, WindowsIdentity.GetCurrent().Name, 
                Print("Getting working folder for the project..");
                var folder = workspace.Folders.First(f => f.ServerItem == project);
                Print("Getting local versions..");
                List<LocalVersion[]> items = workspace.GetLocalVersions(new[] { 
                    new ItemSpec(folder.LocalItem, RecursionType.Full) }, 
                if (_OnlyListOutOfDate)
                    Print("NOTE: Only listing items which are out-of-date");
                foreach (LocalVersion[] locals in items)
                    foreach (LocalVersion item in locals)
                        int serverversion = vcs.QueryHistory(
                            new ItemSpec(workspace.GetServerItemForLocalItem(item.Item),RecursionType.Full),
                        if ((_OnlyListOutOfDate && (serverversion != item.Version)) || _OnlyListOutOfDate == false)
                            Print(String.Format("   Server: {0}, Local: {1}", serverversion, item.Version));

    If you are comfortable in the command line, this may work out well for you.

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Denver Study Group, by the Denver Visual Studio User Group


    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.


    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!  


    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


    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.


    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.


    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

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Visual Studio Update 2 is here (well, the CTP is)


    If you’re one of the lucky ones to be attending the ALM Summit this week (I’m not), you’ve been able to experience first-hand the bevy of announcements made concerning Visual Studio Update 2.  An evaluation CTP (read: Not supported, not “go live”) has been dropped and is ready for feedback.

    Brian Harry explains it best in his blog post (as always), but here’s a quick list of my highlights:

    • You can tag work items: Similar to tags on blog posts, you can place various tags on work items to help with categorization and organization.
    • Web-based test case management:  Think Test Manager (MTM) in the browser.  You can do basic management and execution of test cases via the web.  This will make it much easier to perform manual tests on non-Windows platforms.
    • Unit testing
      • Playlists: Create arbitrary test lists/groups.
      • Windows Phone app support
    • Fakes & Stubs has been moved down to VS Premium (still in Ultimate)
    • Office 2013 support
    • Blue Theme – if you still can’t get past the reduction of color in VS 2012.

    But nevermind all that – did you hear that Team Foundation Service (compare) now supports Git repositories?  More on Brian’s blog.

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    New Office Hours for this Spring


    As you may or may not know, my primary geography of responsibility is basically the entire western United States.  Scaling to support thousands of customers involves a lot of prioritization, packed travel schedules, and “breadth”-type activities.

    While I think I’m pretty good about replying to email and phone calls (let me know here), I’m always looking for other manners to be more accessible to customers.  To this end, I’ve set up virtual office hours for this spring (running through June 2013).  I’ll be holding office hours every Friday (well, most Fridays ;)) for 1 hour (and will add more time if this becomes at all popular) in the mornings (9AM Pacific, 10AM Mountain).

    To do this, I’m following the lead of some of my peers and using to manage online office hours.  Per that site, here’s how it works:

    • Each office hours session is broken into 4 15-minute segments
    • Anyone can RSVP for a 15-minute session
    • Upon RSVP, I’ll send Lync and phone info to you

    I think the advantage to using this process is that I’ll know if anyone plans to show up.  There’s no point in sitting on a Lync call if no one plans to join!

    Here’s the link to view and sign up for my office hours:

    Please feel free to sign up and join me for a chat one of these Friday mornings!

    Let's Meet!

    My Office Hours
  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Team Foundation Server vs. Team Foundation Service


    You’ve probably found a few comparisons on the interwebs comparing the “traditional”, on-premise TFS with the new cloud-hosted Team Foundation Service.  I get asked about this a lot – as a result, I thought I’d share the slide deck I used to drive this conversation.  Please let me know if you have any questions!


    Basically, TF Service is a nice way to get up and running quickly, without worrying about infrastructure, backups, etc.  What you lose is some customization, lab management, and SSRS reporting.

    Happy developing!

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Upcoming Visual Studio 2012 ALM Webcasts from Imaginet



    Imaginet is thrilled to provide you with exclusive invitations to our Winter Webcast Series covering a variety of new topics on Microsoft’s Visual Studio 2012 ALM Tools. This is your exclusive opportunity to gain incredible insights, learn new skills, and understand how to best leverage some incredible new technologies from Microsoft.

    Space is limited to 500 participants per webcast!


    A Day in the Life: Developer Enhancements with Visual Studio 2012

    The newest release of Visual Studio 2012 is rich with new tools that enhance standard developer activities.  In this session, we'll review and demonstrate some of these new features, such as Unit Testing, Code Reviews, Code Clones, and other developer tools. Come join us for this free Webinar!

    January 10, 2013
    1:00-2:30pm CT

    January 24, 2013
    1:00-2:30pm CT



    Top 10 Business Benefits of Application Lifecycle Management (ALM)

    Why should your business focus on Application Lifecycle Management? What benefits will you see to your overall business? How does ALM impact your bottom line? Come attend this free webinar to discover all the answers!

    January 14, 2013
    1:00-2:00pm CT



    Operations Management in the Application Lifecycle

    Application lifecycles start when the software is envisioned and lasts until it is retired. Most of that time is generally spent in maintenance and upgrade, after an application is deployed into production but before it is retired. This session will describe how to optimize this segment of the application's lifecycle with new Microsoft tools.

    January 17, 2013

    January 31, 2013



    How Microsoft's ALM Tools Can Improve Your Bottom Line

    Improved efficiencies, enhanced productivity, reduction of wasted time and effort, and improved team collaboration. Each of these benefits that result from adopting a  successful ALM strategy will all help your bottom line.  Come find out how at this free webinar!

    February 4, 2013
    1:00-2:00pm CT



    Upgrading to TFS 2012: What You Need to Know!

    Microsoft Visual Studio 2012 brings a number of new features into the integrated ALM toolset.  With new features like PowerPoint Storyboarding, Integrated Code Review Features, Stakeholder Feedback, and a newly integrated Developer / Operations Workflow, you will quickly find many reasons to upgrade to Visual Studio and Team Foundation Server 2012!   In this webinar, we'll briefly discuss the breadth of new ALM features. Come join us for this free Webinar!

    February 7, 2013
    1:00-2:30pm CT

    February 21, 2013
    1:00-2:30pm CT



    Getting Started With Coded UI testing: Building Your First Automated Test

    This training seminar will demonstrate how to record tests run against various types of application user interfaces using Microsoft Visual Studio's Coded UI Tests and how to replay them at any time.  Additionally, we will explore how to embed validations, either simple or elaborate, to ensure your application is producing the correct results.  Learn how to improve the quality of your applications by having a repeatable set of Microsoft Coded UI Tests available to ensure defects don’t go unnoticed!

    February 14, 2013
    1:00-2:30pm CT

    February 28, 2013
    1:00-2:30pm CT



    Lean, Kanban, and TFS

    Kanban was originally created as a scheduling system to help manufacturing organizations determine what to produce, when to produce it, and how much to produce.  Although this may not sound like software development, these lean principles can be successfully applied to development teams to improve the delivery of value through better visibility and limits on work in process.  This webinar will provide an overview of the Kanban method, including the history and motivation, the core principles and practices, and how these apply to efficiency and process improvement in software development.  We'll also describe how Team Foundation Server can be used as a foundation for your work visualization and work flow management.  Come join us for this free Webinar!

    March 7, 2013
    1:00-2:30pm CT

    March 21, 2013
    1:00-2:30pm CT



    Using Lean and Kanban to Revolutionize Your Organization

    With the introduction of Lean and Kanban into the software developments, teams are now starting to discover how to leverage these principles to revolutionize how they do business.  Come find out how you can use Lean and Kanban together with Microsoft TFS to make dramatic improvements in your organization!

    March 11, 2013
    1:00-2:00pm CT



    The Newest of the New with Visual Studio and TFS 2012

    By itself, Visual Studio 2012 included many compelling new features not available in prior releases.  But Microsoft hasn't stopped.  Since the production release in August 2012, Microsoft has continued to release more new capabilities. In this session we'll walk through some of the latest and greatest enhancements that you can use in your Visual Studio and TFS 2012 environment.

    March 14, 2013
    1:00-2:30pm CT

    March 28, 2013
    1:00-2:30pm CT


    For questions or more information on Imaginet's webcasts, please feel free to contact us at or by calling 1-800-989-6022.

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    December Webcast: Improve Quality, Collaboration, and Visibility into Your Projects with Visual Studio Premium 2012


    Delivered by Imaginet

    VS_Purp526_rgb-smallMicrosoft Visual Studio 2012 Premium offers an array of tools for managing your entire software lifecycle, including: planning, development, building, testing, tracking, and deployment.  We will discuss and demonstrate how the Microsoft Visual Studio 2012 Premium Edition can take your software development to a whole new level that cannot be achieved with the Visual Studio 2012 Professional Edition alone.  Come join us for this free webinar!

    Register here:

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    The Largest Hack-a-thon in the World is in Colorado!

    clip_image002Build your one-of-a-kind Windows app at the free Gen Appathon event on November 9th. Join thousands of developers just like you on November 9, 2012 for the world's largest code fest – Gen Appathon. Here's your chance to get down to business and start building your dream app, or polish up the last lines of code on that app you've already started.

    This hackathon was renamed from WowZapp!

    This event is an open hackathon, where you'll put all your coding skills into practice. Code to your heart's content, with experts available for one-on-one consultation to guide you through every step of the process. And did we mention that it's free?

    There's never been a better time to build apps.

    Windows 8 has launched, hardware manufacturers are readying new devices, and millions of consumers are starting to upgrade. We can't guarantee your success, but releasing a first-of-its-kind app in the Windows Store can't hurt your reputation – or your bottom line.

    clip_image004This full-day event will be filled with coding, sharing, plenty of food, and the occasional Lightning Talk on topics determined by your apps and questions. Bring your own laptop (for recommended system specs, click on the city nearest you), your apps and your best ideas, and get ready to create!

    Prizes will be awarded for best Win 8 app, best Windows Phone app, and best use of Azure. Register today and join us for this fantastic (and free) developer opportunity.

    Bring your laptop and your brilliant ideas for that new Windows 8 app. We’ll help you code it. Gen Appathon is a free hackathon happening on November 9 in cities nationwide. It’s the perfect chance to build your dream app, or put the finishing touches on that app you’ve already started. Either way, you’ll get one-on-one support from Microsoft and community experts who can guide you at every step of the way. We’ll also award prizes for best Win 8 app, best Windows phone app, and best use of Azure. Register today and don’t miss this full day of coding, food, prizes and hands-on consultation.

    Here’s the information

    Will I see you there?

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Team Foundation Service is Live!


    That’s right!  FKA TFS Preview has graduated to a fully-released service!

    For a graduation present, the official URL has been updated to

    TFS Preview will continue as a valid URL for a little while longer, but now that “TFS in the Cloud” is officially online and available, you can start using the new URL.  http://[youraccountname]

    The first real pricing option was also announced, the FREE one!  TF Service will be available for free for teams of up to 5 users, and includes all the bells and whistles that you know and love from TFS: version control, work item tracking, agile planning, feedback management, and more.  And not to mention there’s no limit on number of projects.

    Additional pricing plans will be announced as they become available, according to Brian Harry on the TFS news page.


  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Upcoming Coffee Talks from Northwest Cadence


    Here are some upcoming webcasts from our ALM partner Northwest Cadence!  Simply click on the links in the “Code” column to register!


    Coffee Talk: Northwest Cadence – A Lap Around Visual Studio 2012

    Summary: An introduction to the major new features and improvements in Visual Studio 2012. Expect to see the new enhanced User Interface, Agile Planning Tools, Requirements Gathering Tool, Stakeholder Feedback Tool, Updates to the Developer and Tester Experience, Version Control Improvements, and DevOps Integration. The list goes on but the ride starts here, so buckle up and join us for this lap around Visual Studio 2012.




    September 28, 2012

    October 12, 2012

    October 26, 2012

    8:30 AM –9:30 AM PST

    8:30 AM –9:30 AM PST

    8:30 AM –9:30 AM PST




    Visit for a full list of upcoming events.

    Coffee Talk: Northwest Cadence – Leveraging your SA Benefits

    Summary: Join Northwest Cadence as we provide you with an overview of the three (3) DTDPS offerings. We will explain how to activate and strategically utilize these benefits to enhance your software deployment planning. In addition, we will review how you can connect DTDPS to other Software Assurance benefits within your agreement to ensure you gain the highest return on your investment.




    October 8, 2012

    November 12, 2012

    9:00 AM –10:00 AM PST

    9:00 AM –10:00 AM PST



    Visit for a full list of upcoming events.

    Coffee Talk: Northwest Cadence – Introduction to Kanban

    Summary: Kanban is a Lean-inspired approach to software development. Although the rules of Kanban are simple, they are also remarkably powerful. By simply visualizing work, limiting work in process, and monitoring the flow of work, the team begins a powerful process of discovery and improvement. This has resulted in impressive improvements in nearly all areas of software development time and time again. During this event, we will talk about the five basic principles of Kanban adoption, the benefits of adoption, and the pitfalls along the way.




    October 10, 2012

    October 24, 2012

    8:30 AM –9:30 AM PST

    8:30 AM –9:30 AM PST



    Visit for a full list of upcoming events.

    Coffee Talk: Northwest Cadence – Migrating Without Fear: Visual Source Safe to the new TFS2012

    Summary: Moving code from one repository to another has never been the hard part of migrating from VSS to TFS. It’s fast, it’s safe, you keep backups, so what’s the holdup? If your developers have been pushing back because they’re afraid TFS will totally disrupt their daily coding practices, you’re not alone! (And they weren’t entirely wrong.) Local Workspaces in TFS 2012 may be just the thing you need to change the conversation. Learn more about these and other first-class code management features and get your team ready to make the leap!




    October 31, 2012

    November 14, 2012

    8:30 AM –9:30 AM PST

    8:30 AM –9:30 AM PST



    Visit for a full list of upcoming events.

    Coffee Talk: Northwest Cadence – Refactoring Without Fear: Architecture in the new Visual Studio 2012 Ultimate

    Summary: Refactoring a production application feels an awful lot like trying to swap out the hydraulics on a jumbo jet in the air. On the other hand, sub-standard hydraulics don’t sound so great either. That’s what refactoring is about: improving code to provide long-term stability and maintainability. Done right, it can reduce overall costs and dramatically increase user satisfaction, even accelerate new feature development. In this session, learn the basics of refactoring: what and why to refactor, when and how to work it into your team’s overall process, and key technical strategies like unit testing, automated build, and architectural verification that make technology renewal on-the-fly safer and simpler than ever.




    November 7, 2012

    8:30 AM –9:30 AM PST


    Visit for a full list of upcoming events.

    Coffee Talk: Northwest Cadence – Embracing Modern App Development with Visual Studio 2012

    Summary: Whether it’s Test-Driven Development, Test-First Development, or just plain figuring out whether your code does what you want it to do, unit testing is the standard for modern application development and a must-have for agile teams—but getting started can be a real challenge. What should you test? How granular should your tests be? How do you isolate code? How much code coverage is reasonable? If you’ve hit a wall, you’re not alone.

    Get straightforward, practical guidance you can use today to jump-start your team’s unit testing efforts and finally see for yourself what the big deal is.




    November 19, 2012

    9:00 AM –10:00 AM PST


    Visit for a full list of upcoming events.

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    VS/TFS 2012 Tidbits: TFS Feedback Management Behind the Scenes


    In this post, I’m going to take a closer look at how the new Feedback capabilities in TFS 2012 works under the covers.

    In general, TFS users can request “feedback” from stakeholders about particular elements/areas of an application.  This can be either specific or general scenarios.  TFS manages the feedback process using work items and email notifications.  But how does this work, really?  Let’s find out!

    You initiate a feedback request from your project (or team) dashboard by clicking on “Request Feedback”


    In this example, I’m soliciting feedback for Bing searches.  And I’ve asked for two items of feedback (called “feedback items”, see Step 3 in the screenshot).

    So what happens when I actually click send?

    Well, as far as the stakeholder is concerned, they just get an email with some simple instructions to get started:


    But on the TFS side, TFS creates two work items (of type Feedback Request), one for each feedback item specified in the previous request (see #142 and #143):


    Let’s look at #142 (Search for ‘Steve Lange’) and see what’s stored.

    The Title field obviously houses the name of the feedback item.  On the Details tab, the Description field holds the specific instructions that correspond with the feedback item.



    On the Application tab you’ll find the details from step 2 on the request form (“Tell the Stakeholders How to Access the Application”).


    And lastly, you’ll notice that the feedback items (Feedback Request work items) are linked together to form the more composite request.


    So how can we see to whom this request was sent?  Look in the comments of the history for the work item (at the bottom of the screenshot):


    The benefit of this approach is that it allows feedback items to be tracked individually.  If you submit a feedback request, but ask stakeholders to check out features that align with different backlog items/requirements/whatever, this method provides more specific tracking.

    Reuse or Making Corrections

    Another less obvious, but equally nice benefit to managing feedback requests this way is that you can make changes to the request without creating an entire new one.  This is possible because the link that’s inserted in the email sent to the stakeholders references the work item ID’s of the feedback request items, rather than embedding all the instructions in the URL (or statically somewhere else).

    So if I make a mistake I don’t have to create a brand new request, but instead the Title, Description, and other applicable fields on the Application tab and have the stakeholder simply reuse the previously-sent link.

    In this example, the URL provided in the email looks like this (see bolded area):


    By updating either of the work items specified in the URL, the feedback session will subsequently be updated.

    More on the feedback URL

    You can modify the URL and send it directly to someone without filling out the feedback request form.  For instance, if I requested feedback of work items 142 and 143 from certain people but also wanted feedback on work item 143 from an additional person I can augment the URL and send it to that one-off person.  In this example it would look like:


    Here’s the basic breakdown of the URL:


    <TFS_URL> The URL of your TFS instance
    <Project_Name> The name of your Team Project
    work_item_ids Comma-separated list (or use %2C) of work item ID’s.  These work item ID’s need to correspond to Feedback Request work items or the Feedback Client will throw an error.

    Moving On

    So let’s say I walk through the process of providing feedback using the Microsoft Feedback Client.  For summary, here’s the feedback I provide:



    Once I submit my feedback through the Feedback Client, a work item (of type Feedback Response) is created for each individual reply.  (See #144 and #145 below)


    Again, this allows teams to track individual responses to discrete items.  So if a stakeholder skips feedback for a particular item, it doesn’t interfere with feedback on other items.

    Revisiting and Providing More Feedback

    Here’s one last great feature.  As the stakeholder, let’s say I want to either review or amend feedback I’ve already provided, or submit additional feedback.  I’m covered!  If I simply click on the link provided in the original feedback request email, upon entering the “Provide” step of my feedback session TFS is smart enough to see that I’ve already provided feedback.  In doing so, it inserts the feedback details I provided earlier into the Feedback Client.  So now I can make changes to existing feedback, or enter more information. 

    For example, here’s the Feedback Response work item created from my first submitted feedback:


    If I click on the URL in the original email sent to the stakeholder, the Feedback Client runs again, and I can instantly see the feedback I’d previously supplied:


    (Look familiar?)

    Really all it’s doing is looking at the Feedback Request work item, checking to see if there is a Feedback Response item submitted by me already.  If there is, it pulls the content of the Stakeholder Comments field and sends it over to the Feedback Client for the stakeholder to make further edits.  Sweet!


    The basic thing to remember here is that the Feedback Management process in TFS uses TFS work items to manage the storage and workflow of providing feedback.  Think of the Feedback Client as a very lightweight TFS client.  Changes you make in the Feedback Client either create or update Feedback Response work items in TFS.  Direct changes made in TFS to the work items are reflected in the Feedback Client when those work items are accessed.

    I hope this helps better explain how feedback actually works in TFS 2012.  It’s terrific and easy way to engage stakeholders to get feedback at various points in the development lifecycle.  But it’s a flexible implementation as well, providing mechanisms for reuse and more granular tracking.


  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Upcoming ALM Webcasts from Neudesic


    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


    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

    Windows 8 / Windows Server 2012 Installfest - Denver (October 9, 2012)


    My colleague (and ridiculously knowledgeable) Harold Wong will be hosting a Windows 8 / Windows Server 2012 Installfest in Denver next week.  I highly encourage you to attend if you have an interest in getting a solid start on these platforms.  In his own words:

    “With the recent RTM of Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012, I am hearing a lot of interest from people who really want to start kicking the tires of these two new flagship products from Microsoft. If you are interested in getting an evaluation version of Windows 8 or Windows Server 2012 installed onto you machine to start playing with, I can help you. I will have bootable thumb drives with Windows 8 Enterprise 90-Day Eval (RTM) and Windows Server 2012 Evaluation (RTM). In addition, I will also provide VHD files that have Windows Server 2012 Evaluation and Windows 8 Enterprise RTM 90 Day Evaluation preinstalled so that we can configure your machine with Boot to VHD (no repartitioning required and keeps your existing OS intact). I will show you how to build your own VHDs so you are armed for the future.”

    This is an informal event where you can come and go at any point during the event window.

    To register, sign up here: (The registration page also lists prerequisites for your laptop, as well as some other stuff to have ready/downloaded prior to arrival).

    This event is also listed through the Colorado Microsoft Developers Meetup group here:

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