Steve Lange @ Work

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

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    VSO is Happy to See You! Project Welcome Pages

    • 2 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

    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

    Build 2014 has been announced!

    • 1 Comments

    Build is back!

    You can read the full details in Steve Guggenheimer’s post on the Microsoft Blog, but here are the basics:

    • WHEN: April 2-4, 2014
    • WHERE: Moscone Center, San Francisco
    • WHY: Because you want to build awesome applications that run on awesome platforms that reach millions of people and devices.

    IMPORTANT REGSITRATION INFORMATION:

    Registration opens on January 14th, 2014 at 9AM Pacific at http://www.buildwindows.com. Don’t be late – Last year’s conference was booked in less than an hour!

    clip_image001

    Follow Build on Twitter as well: https://twitter.com/bldwin

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Group-based Permissions in Team Foundation Server

    • 1 Comments

    Two scenarios will be discussed in this post:  Single Hat and Multiple Hats.

     

     

    Base Scenario:

    You have 3 people:  Joe, Sally, and Dave

    You have 3 main roles: Developer, Tester, Reviewer

    You also have 3 projects: Project A, Project B, and Project C

     

     

    Scenario #1: Single Hats

    Team members wear only one hat in the enterprise.  A Developer for one project is a developer for all projects – the same for Tester and Reviewer.

     

    The roles that Joe, Sally and Dave play are the same for every project:

     

    Developer

    Tester

    Reviewer

    Project A

    Joe

    Sally

    Dave

    Project B

    Joe

    Sally

    Dave

    Project C

    Joe

    Sally

    Dave

     

    The simple setup for this in Team Foundation Server is to use generic role-based groups:

     

    Team Foundation Server

          \Developers

                \Joe

          \Testers

                \Sally

          \Reviewers

                \Dave

     

    When configuring your Team Project’s permissions, simply grant each group the desired rights.  This will allow any subsequent users to be added to the environment with ease (just add them to the group that fits their role).

     

     

    Scenario #2: Multiple Hats

    Your team may have roles that vary by project.  A good way to support this in Team Foundation Server is to create role-based groups on a per-project basis.

     

    The roles that Joe, Sally and Dave play vary with each project:

     

    Developer

    Tester

    Reviewer

    Project A

    Joe

    Sally

    Dave

    Project B

    Dave

    Joe

    Sally

    Project C

    Sally

    Dave

    Joe

     

     

    The inherent problem with using generic role-based groups (as in Scenario #1) is that in this scenario, everyone would have full rights to each of the three projects because each person belongs to each group:

     

    Team Foundation Server

          \Developers

                \Joe

                \Sally

                \Dave

          \Testers

                \Joe

                \Sally

                \Dave

          \Reviewers

                \Joe

                \Sally

                \Dave

     

    A more practical approach is to use project-specific, role-specific groups.  This adds several extra groups, but more effectively manages access control at the project level:

     

    Team Foundation Server

          \Project A - Developers

                \Joe

          \Project A - Testers

                \Sally

          \Project A - Reviewers

                \Dave

          \Project B - Developers

                \Dave

          \Project B - Testers

                \Joe

          \Project B - Reviewers

                \Sally

          \Project C - Developers

                \Sally

          \Project C - Testers

                \Dave

          \ Project C - Reviewers

                \Joe

     

     

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Is Team System Right for You?

    • 1 Comments
    Find out:  http://blogs.msdn.com/slange/articles/527711.aspx
  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Upcoming VSTS Webcasts by the West Region team

    • 1 Comments

    The western region DPE team is hosting twice-a-month webcasts from March through June.  The first Friday of each month will cover a general platform overview, and the third Friday of each month will feature a specific topic area.

    Upcoming sessions:

    March 17th (10AM PST) – Deep Dive on TFS Source Control - https://www.livemeeting.com/cc/microsoft/join?id=XST7PM&role=attend&pw=w%3D%3AjNFP5d
    April 7th – Team System Platform Overview - https://www.livemeeting.com/cc/microsoft/join?id=DKCD6B&role=attend&pw=x%3FM5%7EM%26Gt
    April 21st – Team Build - https://livemeeting.microsoft.com/cc/microsoft/join?id=3JSJ46&role=attend&pw=Q%5Dm6Cn4%5BD
    May 5th - Team System Platform Overview - https://www.livemeeting.com/cc/microsoft/join?id=QM2NMQ&role=attend&pw=zGfj%7B7%3D%3AX

    As Live Meeting information becomes available, I will try to update this post.

  • Steve Lange @ Work

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

    • 1 Comments

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

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

  • Steve Lange @ Work

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

    • 1 Comments

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

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

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

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Tag: I guess I’m it

    • 1 Comments

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

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

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

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Want browser-based access to Team Foundation Server?

    • 1 Comments

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

    Read the PressPass announcement here.

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

    Also, Brian Harry posted a look at the product.

     

  • Steve Lange @ Work

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

    • 1 Comments

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

    You can download it HERE.

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    It's like sheep in the cattle line..

    • 1 Comments

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Halo 3 - Do you Believe?

    • 1 Comments
    Halo 3
  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Announcement: TFS Operations Guide is Posted

    • 1 Comments

    The TFS Operations Guide has been published to MSDN. 

    Summary:  You can manage your deployment of Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Team Foundation Server more effectively if you create your own operations plan. As you create your plan, you should understand key elements of the architecture of Team Foundation Server and how your deployment topology affects operations. This white paper explains those elements in detail, so that you can avoid common problems with your deployment.

    Linkhttp://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb663036(VS.80).aspx

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Worldwide Telescope - something worth checking out..

    • 1 Comments

    image  I downloaded this yesterday and played around a little bit with it.  It's quite awesome to explore the stars in this fashion.  What is it?  Well, to quote the description from the website:

    "The WorldWide Telescope (WWT) is a Web 2.0 visualization software environment that enables your computer to function as a virtual telescope—bringing together imagery from the best ground and space-based telescopes in the world for a seamless exploration of the universe.
    Choose from a growing number of guided tours of the sky by astronomers and educators from some of the most famous observatories and planetariums in the country. Feel free at any time to pause the tour, explore on your own (with multiple information sources for objects at your fingertips), and rejoin the tour where you left off. Join Harvard Astronomer Alyssa Goodman on a journey showing how dust in the Milky Way Galaxy condenses into stars and planets. Take a tour with University of Chicago Cosmologist Mike Gladders two billion years into the past to see a gravitational lens bending the light from galaxies allowing you to see billions more years into the past.
    WorldWide Telescope is created with the Microsoft® high performance Visual Experience Engine™ and allows seamless panning and zooming around the night sky, planets, and image environments. View the sky from multiple wavelengths: See the x-ray view of the sky and zoom into bright radiation clouds, and then crossfade into the visible light view and discover the cloud remnants of a supernova explosion from a thousand years ago. Switch to the Hydrogen Alpha view to see the distribution and illumination of massive primordial hydrogen cloud structures lit up by the high energy radiation coming from nearby stars in the Milky Way. These are just two of many different ways to reveal the hidden structures in the universe with the WorldWide Telescope. Seamlessly pan and zoom from aerial views of the Moon and selected planets, as well as see their precise positions in the sky from any location on Earth and any time in the past or future with the Microsoft Visual Experience Engine.
    WWT is a single rich application portal that blends terabytes of images, information, and stories from multiple sources over the Internet into a seamless, immersive, rich media experience. Kids of all ages will feel empowered to explore and understand the universe with its simple and powerful user interface.
    Microsoft Research is dedicating WorldWide Telescope to the memory of Jim Gray and is releasing WWT as a free resource to the astronomy and education communities with the hope that it will inspire and empower people to explore and understand the universe like never before. "

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Cash Back from Live Search? Really?

    • 1 Comments

    See how it works (details here), but to summarize:

    clip_image001Search

    Search for cashback deals at Live Search cashback. Each time you click a Live Search cashback listing, you'll find great deals on the product you chose. Your results will clearly list the cashback savings you'll receive off the store price, and your final bottom-line price that includes tax and shipping costs. Also look for this icon cashback Icon when you search for a product on Live Search to find great cashback deals.

    Shop

    Compare and sort products by the bottom-line price. Click the best deal to go to the store. Everything you buy during that store visit will be eligible for Live Search cashback. On your first time using Live Search cashback, we will ask you for an email address so we can tell you how to quickly set up your free cashback account.

    Save

    Keep saving money each time you use Live Search cashback. Every time you make a qualifying purchase, we'll send you an email to confirm your Live Search cashback savings. When your cashback account reaches a balance of at least $5, you can claim your cold, hard cash. Terms and conditions.

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    VSTS Architect Edition Gets a Boost

    • 1 Comments

    Brian Harry discusses some of the great new stuff coming down the chute for the Architect Edition of Team System in his notes from TechEd.

    His post can be read here. My favorite looks to be the "Architecture Explorer".

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Collecting Code Coverage Data from a Load Test

    • 1 Comments

    So I was asked an interesting question today at our VSTS/ALM Seminar in Phoenix:  Is code coverage data collected as part of a load test?

    Well, yes and no. 

    • No:  Code coverage info is collected as part of running a unit test, not a load test.
    • Yes:  If you run a unit test as part of a load test, code coverage is implicitly collected because the load test is calling that unit test (over and over).

    Last element to note:  When viewing code coverage results for a load test run (again, collected when unit tests are included in the test mix for a load test), the data you're viewing is aggregated from all the unit test runs.  This is actually a good thing - I can run a load test that executes a unit test 100,000 times very quickly.  I don't want to look through each run, but rather the cumulative result for code coverage.  This is possible because code coverage is primarily a percentage value.

    This aggregate view is based on the unit test, regardless if the unit test is a "static" or data-driven test (a data-driven test can alter the code coverage results between runs, so again, and aggregate view is easiest to interpret).

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Fun Friday: Drunk Soccer Referee

    • 1 Comments

    I know this is a departure from my Team System and announcement posts, but I couldn't pass this up.

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Heads up: Agile & Scrum Day is coming..

    • 1 Comments

    Just an early warning shot across the bow..  We're working on an "Agile & Scrum Essentials" event to take on the road throughout the West Region.  And of course, it'll be free!  Stay tuned, the invites should be baked next week.  I'll post the dates here!

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Web Interface to Team Foundation Server

    • 1 Comments
    Here's a promising one in the works:  http://www.devbiz.com/teamplain/default.aspx
  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Come See ' The Big Event'

    • 1 Comments

    Announcing 'The Big Event'

    Do you miss the old Dev Days events? Do you wish that you could attend a TechEd or PDC, but don’t have the time or budget to get to one? Well the Big Event is for you. Come spend a day with us as we delve into developer and architect topics during the day. With a mix of some your favorite local presenters as well as some from Redmond.

    The day will begin with a keynote from the Microsoft Patterns and Practices team. Peter Provost, a senior development lead from P&P will join us to discuss what P&P has delivered and how you can get started with their guidance.

    The day's events will cater toward both developers and architects, with tracks accommodating both audiences. For developers, Rob Bagby will discuss exposing and consuming data using the Microsoft stack. He'll explore new data services frameworks for developers to exploit. Developers will also be able to learn how to use Office as a developer platform and realize the power of integrating functionality within Office applications themselves, using managed code! We've also brought in VB developer extraordinaire Beth Massi from the VB team to talk about what is new in VB9 for developers and some surprises you might not have known about. This line-up is must see!

    The architect track will examine topics such as why user experience matters. Discussions around why we should be paying more attention to the user interface and what mistakes inhibit application adoption. Peter Provost from P&P will also discuss Agile Development methodologies at Microsoft and how it has been adopted. Finally the Live Platform will be examined. Live is much more than search and Virtual Earth...this session will examine the whole Live platform offerings available to architects.

    This really is going to be a great day of interaction!

    The event is completely free to attend for anyone (registration is required). Details and registration link are below, we look forward to you attending!

     

    When: Thursday, January 31, 2008 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

    Where: Marriott DTC, 4900 S. Syracuse St, Denver Colorado 80237

    Registration is appreciated: Click here to register

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Heroes Happen Here - Get Ready for the Launch

    • 1 Comments

    heroeshappenhere

    Check out the 2008 Launch site, Heroes Happen Here!

    Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008, and Visual Studio 2008 provide a secure and trusted platform for creating and running your most demanding applications. Combined, the products provide a solid foundation for next-generation web applications, broad support for virtualization technology, and access to relevant information. Advanced security technology, developer support for the latest platforms, improved management and web tools, flexible virtualization solutions, and access to relevant information from throughout your organization enable you to drive your business forward.

    Focus on Visual Studio 2008

    Visual Studio 2008 delivers on Microsoft's vision of enabling developers and development teams to rapidly create connected applications with compelling user experiences for Windows Vista, the 2007 Microsoft Office system, mobile devices and the Web. With the release of Visual Studio 2008 Beta 2, Microsoft is taking a leap forward on its promise to enable developers to harness this next wave of innovation.

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Bill G's Last Day at Microsoft

    • 1 Comments

    Aired during his keynote at CES:

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    "Planeguage"

    • 1 Comments

    ..from Delta Airlines.  At least someone understands the kinds of things that frequent travelers have to endure!

    Here's a sample:

    All the videos are posted here, or you can also see them on Delta's blog site.

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