Steve Lange @ Work

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

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Visual Studio 2013 Update 3 RTM is available!

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    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

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

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    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.

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    Build 2014 has been announced!

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    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!

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

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    Where Do You Go To Find Events In Your Area?

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    We’re currently working on a consolidated event calendar/list/RSS feed for the Western US.  Right now, there are several places you need to go to get a relatively comprehensive list of Microsoft events in your area, including MSDN Events, Technet Events, Microsoft Worldwide Events, and blogs (hopefully this one!).

    Are there other places you look?  Let me know!  Our ultimate goal is to provide you a comprehensive listing of Microsoft happenings in a single location, ideally via RSS feed as well. 

    Send me mail or comment on this post below and let me know where else you look.

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    In Phoenix? Want WPF Training? Don’t Want to Pay for It?

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    Yep, I’m serious.  It’s coming to Phoenix on 6/5-6/6.

    Check this out:  http://blogs.msdn.com/jaimer/archive/2009/04/01/announcing-the-using-wpf-to-build-lob-applications-training-tour.aspx

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    Event: Better Software Quality with Visual Studio Team System 2010

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    Better Software Quality with Visual Studio Team System 2010

    Please join Microsoft and Northwest Cadence for these free half-day sessions designed to introduce you to the quality tools of Microsoft Visual Studio Team System 2010.

    Learn how Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) coupled with ALM tooling will help organizations build quality into their lifecycle.  Many of the great features of Visual Studio Team System 2010 will help you break down organizational walls between your developers and testers. Get better software with Visual Studio Team System 2010.

    This event is geared towards both non-technical and technical testers, developers, project managers, QA managers, and others interested in improving the quality of your code.

    Session Topics

    Understanding the Visual Studio Team System Quality Tools

    Tour the quality tools available in VSTS 2010, including Test Case Management, Bug Tracking, Test Cases and the new Microsoft Test and Lab Manager interface.  See how VSTS 2010 can provide traceability from requirements to code, test runs, bugs, tested environments and code.

    Running Test Cases & Filing Bugs

    We will show you how to use the Test Runner to run manual tests against a particular test environment, take screenshots, and file a series of bugs.  All this while automatically recording a video of your test being completed.

    Fixing the Bug (Developer)

    Learn how Historical Debugging is a new feature of VSTS 2010 that you will not want to miss! Learn how to reproduce filed bugs using Historical Debugging, enabling you to break down the biggest wall separating developers and testers.

    Automating a Regression Test

    Find out how to turn a manual test into an automated regression test.  You can even schedule it to run during an automated build!

    Creating a New Test Plan

    During this session we will create a new test plan, showing you how to set up Data Collectors for the computers in your environment, define the various test environment combinations, and map relationships between test cases and requirements.

    Rounding Out Your Knowledge

    Understand the more advanced features of VSTS 2010 including Lab Manager, Test Controllers and Agents, and the numerous quality reports that can guide an effective development process.

    REGISTRATION

    Register for a date & location near you!

    Welcome: 8:00 AM

    Seminar: 8:30 AM-12:30 PM

    Microsoft Partner Events: www.clicktoattend.com

    Portland
    September 29, 2009

    Click here to register

    Event Code: 140546

    Bellevue
    September 30, 2009

    Click here to register

    Event Code: 140547

    Denver
    October 06, 2009

    Click here to register

    Event Code: 140548

    Phoenix
    October 07, 2009

    Click here to register

    Event Code: 140549

    Hawaii

    October 07, 2009

    Click here to register

    Event Code: 140648

    Salt Lake City

    October 20, 2009

    Click here to register

    Event Code: 140629

    Mountain View
    October 22, 2009

    Click here to register

    Event Code: 140550

    San Francisco
    October 23, 2009

    Click here to register

    Event Code: 140551

    San Diego
    November 03, 2009

    Click here to register

    Event Code: 140552

    Irvine

    November 04, 2009

    Click here to register

    Event Code: 140553

    Los Angeles

    November 05, 2009

    Click here to register

    Event Code: 140554

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Hey Denver! PDC Viewing Event has moved

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    Consider this a quick (and last-minute) update to my previous post about the PDC Viewing Events.

    For those of you registered (or wanting to register) for the PDC viewing event in Denver on Thursday (10/28), we’ve moved the event from the Cable Center near DU to our local Microsoft office at the Tech Center.

    Microsoft Office

    7595 Technology Way, Suite 400

    Denver, CO 80237

    Map picture

    We’ll see you there!

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Steve’s Development Tools Newsletter - December 2010

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    Visual Studio 2010I receive a lot of email each week from you asking very specific, and valuable questions.  It’s my hope that a newsletter like this will help me communicate important announcements, tips/tricks, and other items to help you and your team ultimately be more successful!  Whenever I post a new newsletter, I will send email notifications to those of you who would like to be contacted.  If you don’t want to receive email notifications, just let me know!

    Announcements

    A new Visual Studio Feature Pack was recently released to MSDN subscribers.  It contains a myriad of new functionality, but a couple of the most notable include improvements to Coded UI Tests.  With this feature pack we’ve added support for Silverlight 4 applications, a graphical UIMap editor, as well as the ability to playback recorded tests in Firefox.

    If you’re about ready to upgrade to TFS 2010 from either 2005 or 2008, let me know before you do!  I can make sure you have the latest and greatest bits to ensure a smooth upgrade process.

    Wanting to load test WCF services?  Take a look at the latest beta of the ALM Rangers project, the WCF Load Test Tool on CodePlex.  This newest edition includes some new functionality such as DataSets support, duplex contracts, improved error reporting, and Fiddler2 trace processing.

    If you’re looking for a good read, take a look at Brian Harry’s blog, most notably a recent post talking about the history and direction of TFS as an open platform.

    The Denver Visual Studio .NET User Group has found a new home!  When meetings resume in January, they will convene at HBA (Home Builders Association) of Metro Denver in Centennial.  It’s just off I-25 between Arapahoe and Dry Creek, only a few exits south of the Microsoft office (address and map)

    Events & Training

    Build & Brew – We produced the first two rounds of the Build & Brew last week in Phoenix and Denver.  Thanks to all who attended!  For those of you in other cities, it’s going to be moving across the rest of the Western US starting in January.  Stops include San Diego, Los Angeles, Costa Mesa, Portland, Bellevue, Sunnyvale, and San Francisco.

    Silverlight Firestarter – If you missed the live webcast, you can catch the video highlights on the web, including labs.  Sessions include best practices, Windows Phone 7, and a look at Silverlight 5!

    Ramp Up - Trying to wrap your brain around all the stuff Microsoft is cranking out?  Get started with the basics with Ramp Up, a free, online, community-based learning program rooted at MSDN.  Simple sign in with your Live ID, click a track, and get going!

    QuickAnswers

    • When you upgrade to TFS 2010, TFS automatically applies an upgrade template to your existing build definitions (or build types in 2005) so they will continue to use your TFSBuild.proj file after the upgrade.
    • (Random) What’s my favorite feature in Outlook 2010?  “Ignore”, by far!  It let’s me flag a conversation as irrelevant, putting any future messages related to that thread directed in Deleted Items.
    • Yes, you can use Premier hours and Microsoft training vouchers for development related activities!  If you have an agreement that’s expiring soon with Microsoft, check and see if there are any hours you need to use!

    Final Thoughts

    Happy Holidays to you and your family!  Thank you for being my customer, colleague, and friend this past year.  My job at Microsoft, while multi-faceted, is simple at its core:  To help you understand Microsoft development tools as fully as possible so that you can get the most for your investment in our software.  If you’ve seen me present to your team before, you know that I’m never short on information! 

    Thank you for providing me that opportunity.  That said, enjoy the holidays with friends and family!

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    New Invoicing Option Available for Azure Benefits on MSDN

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Using Oracle and Visual Studio together?

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    It’s about to get a heck of a lot easier!

    Both of what I’m about to discuss below are in beta, so please exercise your normal caution when using these tools.

    vs2010logo

    Oracle Data Access Using Entity Framework and LINQ

    A beta of Oracle Data Access Components (ODAC) for Microsoft Entity Framework and LINQ to Entities is now available on the Oracle Technology Network (OTN). What is this? The ODAC for EF and LINQ is a set of components that bring Oracle data access into the folds of the Microsoft Entity Framework, Language Integrated Query (LINQ), and Model-First development.

    If you’ve ever used the Entity Framework or LINQ, you can readily understand how productive these capabilities can be for a developer. Previously, EF and LINQ were not feasible with Oracle.

    If you’re not familiar with EF, LINQ, or the concept of Model-First:

    • The Microsoft Entity Framework (EF) abstracts the relational, logical database schema and presents a conceptual schema to the .NET application. It provides object-relational mapping for .NET developers.
    • LINQ is a .NET data querying language which can query a multitude of data sources using common structured syntax.
    • Model-First allows the conceptual model to be created first by the developer. Next, Visual Studio can create DDL scripts to generate the relational database model based on the conceptual model.

    Get started today! Download the beta, and then walk through the tutorial.

    Note: The beta includes the 32-bit Oracle Database client 11.2, which can access Oracle Database server 9.2 and higher. It requires Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4.

    Toad Extension for Visual Studio 2010Oracle Database Change Management with Toad Extension for Visual Studio

    Speaking of Visual Studio, did you know our friends at Quest Software have been hard at work developing the Toad Extension for Visual Studio? Toad Extension for Visual Studio is a database schema provider (DSP) for Oracle in Visual Studio 2010, and aims to give the full benefits of Visual Studio 2010’s database change management and development features to Oracle databases. This includes offline database design, development and change management, better aligning your Oracle development with the rest of your organization’s application lifecycle management methodology.

    How do you get started? Download the beta, watch a couple videos, and dive in!

     

    Links & Additional Information

    ODAC for Microsoft Entity Framework and LINQ

    Toad Extension for Visual Studio

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Holy VS 11 Webcasts, Batman!

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    Want to learn more about Visual Studio 11 and TFS 11 but can’t make it to an in-person roadshowCheck out this line up of “11” webcasts provided by our awesome ALM partners.  Topics include:

    • A View into Microsoft's New ALM Features and Tools
    • Agile Planning
    • Managing Requirements & Customers
    • Testing Tools
    • Cross-Platform Development
    • Storyboarding
    • Exploratory Testing

    .. to name a few.  Check out the list of webcasts and sign up!

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Steve’s Monthly Newsletter – December 2011

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    I receive a lot of email each week from you asking very specific, and valuable questions. It’s my hope that a newsletter like this will help me communicate important announcements, tips/tricks, and other items to help you and your team ultimately be more successful!

    Announcements

    Happy Holidays!Happy Holidays to everyone!  I hope you all take the time to enjoy the season with your family and friends (assuming the build doesn’t break!).  For those of you local to Colorado, I hope to see you soon and share a holiday toast!

    If you haven’t joined me before, I encourage you to stop by my virtual office hours!  I’m committed to holding them through the end of January.  If enough folks visit I’d like to extend them until summer.  My remaining hours for this month:

    • 12/15 @ 9:30 AM (Pacific)
    • 12/30 @ 9:30 AM (Pacific)

    Don’t forget that my team has access to programs (and funds to help pay for them) to help you and your organization get ramped up on all sorts of topics and technologies:

    Send me a note and let’s see where I can help!

    Upcoming Events

    QuickAnswers

    • Looking for a way to track effort against fixing a bug?  Instead of customizing the bug to capture hours, why not create a linked task to track it?  This simplifies the process and provides better granularity for measuring scope and effort (plus the reports are ready to run against tasks already!)
    • When upgrading TFS, don’t try to do too much at one time.  Rather than moving hardware, changing domains, AND upgrading at the same time, do each one incrementally.  This will allow you to checkpoint your progress and make for easier troubleshooting should something go wrong.
    • Try Notion Timesheet as a way to keep track of hours worked on a given work item in TFS.

     

    Parting Thought

    The source of Control is not the same as source control!  Oh, and True never fails!

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Catching up..

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    Summer is here, and to help say goodbye to Spring, I thought I’d list a few tidbits that you may or may not have heard about in the news recently:

    There are two great books out now that cover Visual Studio ALM 2012.  These are among the first and most comprehensive books to dive into Application Lifecycle Management and Team Foundation Server, and are well worth the read!

    Team Foundation Service Preview goes public!  What? Yep, no more waiting for invite codes.  Go at it! You can just go to the home page (http://tfspreview.com) and sign up for your account.  As of right now, everything is still free. Check Brian Harry’s blog for more details.

    Virtual Machines & Hands on Labs have been updated to 2012 RC.  For details and download (it’ll take a while, so get comfortable), see Brian Keller’s post.

    There’s a lot more, but these are the highlights from the ALM side of things. 

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Hey Denver, there’s a new Meetup in town!

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    If you haven’t already joined, head over and check out the Colorado Microsoft Developers Meetup.  My pal Jerry Nixon started it about a month ago to create a central place for our development community find out about events (MSDN, MS-sponsored, others) happening in the area.  He’s also graciously added me as an organizer so we’ll be able to include development tools-specific events (ALM, TFS, Visual Studio, testing, etc.) to the calendar as well!

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    Pluralsight + MSDN = Loads of free training!

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    Pluralsight - Hardcore Developer TrainingIn case you missed the reminder in the latest MSDN Flash, here’s another gentle nudge:

    MSDNFor a limited time, all MSDN subscribers in the US can get a FREE 1 year “starter” subscription to the list of 20 Pluralsight courses listed here on their website.

    This is a great opportunity to leverage even more of your MSDN subscription. Get over to Pluralsight’s page and sign up sooner than later! (Yes, this offer will expire!)

     

    .

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Thoughts on Managing Documentation Efforts in Team Foundation Server

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    I’ve met with several customers over the last few months who either are, or are looking to, manage their documentation efforts in Team Foundation Server.  There’s not much guidance or documentation about the best way to do that.  Now my blog is hardly a repository of impactful information; but I hope this post helps to shed some light on practices that can be used to manage documentation in TFS.

    In thinking about this, the concept of documentation management is somewhat similar to requirements management:  A document format is the ultimate output, consistent capture and management is ideal, and a development workflow is needed.  Several years ago (when TFS 2005 was the current release), I blogged a four-part series on requirements management in TFS, a series which many seemed to appreciate.  (Since then, a much more robust, prescriptive guidance has been published on CodePlex around TFS 2010 called the “Visual Studio Team Foundation Server Requirements Engineering Guidance” ). 

    There are two main schools of thought around using TFS to manage documentation efforts:

    • Document-centric
    • Item-centric

    Document-Centric

    In the document-centric approach, the document itself is the “version of the truth”. Updates are made to the document directly, and either TFS or the associated SharePoint site manages versioning.  Any approval workflows are handled by SharePoint.

    The benefit of this approach is that people already know how to edit a document (Word is the most popular requirements management tool, as well!).  It’s natural and seemingly convenient to just pop open a document, make some updates, hit “Save”, and close.  When the documentation process is finished, you already have your “output” – the document itself.  Just convert it to the format that you want (PDF, XPS, whatever), and you’re done.

    The drawback however, is in its simplicity.  You lose formatting consistency of individual sections of the document, as well lower-level management of those sections.  This results in extra scrutiny over a document to check for those inevitable inconsistencies. If you have traceability requirements in your process guidelines, it’s going go be very difficult to accurately relate a specific section within a document to another artifact in TFS.  It’s quite near impossible to report on the status of a documentation effort, other than “the document is or isn’t done yet.”  There are no metrics around how much effort has been applied to the documentation, how many people have collaborated on it, etc.

    Item-Centric

    The item-centric approach uses the work item tracking system in TFS to manage components/pieces of documentation individually.  This is accomplished by creating a work item type designed to support individual pieces of documentation.  In this scenario, TFS becomes the “version of truth”, and the actual document is really just an output of that truth. (Think of this as similar to version control, which houses the truth of your code, and the build is the output of that.)

    Several of these RM-centric approaches can be applied toward documentation efforts:

    • Custom work item types
    • Consistent UI for consistent data capture
    • Querying and reporting
    • Categorization or classification

    Below is just one example how a “Documentation”-like work item type might look in TFS:

    Sample documentation work item type

    You’ll notice there are standard fields such as title, assigned to, state, area, and iteration.  In this example, there are a few custom fields added as well:

    • Document Structure (group)
      • Target Document
      • Document Order
    • Documentation

    Target Document allows you to target a specific document that this documentation piece belongs to.  In my example, I use a global list for this field, allowing choices of End User Manual, Administrator’s Guide, and Installation Guide.

    Document Order is a field I created to help with the ordering of the documentation piece (for sibling work items) when it is finally output into a document.

    In TFS 2010, you also have the added advantage of work item hierarchy to better help organize the structure of your documentation. You can use hierarchy to break down sections or areas of the document.  Viewing the “structure” of a document (like a document outline in Word) is a matter of constructing a query.

    For example, below is a query result that shows a document hierarchy for my “End User Manual”:

    image

    There are a few very tangible advantages of using this approach:

    • Each section of documentation is individually manageable.  They can be assigned to different people, follow individual workflows, and be reported on and queried against.  Documentation can much more explicitly be planned as documentation work items can be put into sprints, iterations,etc.
    • Sections can be modified using a number of tools (Team Explorer, Excel, Web Access, or several 3rd party integrations).
    • Documentation work items, as they are work items, can be related/linked to other artifacts they support.  For instance, you can tangibly relate a build, task, requirement, or even code to a piece of documentation.
    • You can use work item queries to help identify and track the progress of your documentation efforts.  For example, while the previous screenshot shows the entire tree of documentation items, you could have another query to display the items that haven’t yet been completed:

    image

    Creating your Document

    Sounds great, right?  Oh yeah, but what about actually creating the document itself? (What, you don’t just want to dump the query results to Excel and format from there?)

    Well, the first main step is to get your work items exported to a Word document (for any fine tuning) and ultimately converted to your final output format (probably PDF).

    If your list of documentation work items is flat (i.e. no hierarchy, parent/child relationships), that simplifies things because you can dump your work items to a file format that can be used as a merge source for Word (like a TSV or Excel file).  Then you really just have to worry about formatting your document appropriately.

    And there are a couple of 3rd party tools that you may (again, based on your specific needs) be able to leverage.  These tools work to integrate Word with TFS, and each carries their own pros and cons:

    It gets more complicated as you work with a hierarchy.  In my above example, I want my work item hierarchy to reflect  a document hierarchy in the output document (i.e. first level gets Heading 1, second level gets Heading 2, etc.).  That puts a small wrinkle in things.

    So when in doubt, roll your own.  I have several customers who have implemented custom utilities to export their documentation work items to a Word document.  Given my amateur status as a programmer, I thought I’d give it a shot myself.  More on that in a future post, but the basic idea of such a utility is something like this:

    1. Select the WI query that gives you the work items you want, in the right order, etc.
    2. Select a document template to use, or at least a document style.
    3. Click “go”, and watch the utility run through each work item in the query results, inserting field values in the appropriate placeholder (named area, bookmark, whatever) in the document.

    Again, more on that later.

    Summary

    So keep in mind that while your mileage may vary in terms of approach and need, it is definitely possible to leverage TFS WIT as repository for your document development needs.  My examples above are by no means the only way to attack this topic – I’ve just seen them work with other customers of mine.

    Enjoy!

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Slide content from Denver ALM Roundtable

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    This is a slightly tardy post, but here is a link to the presentation slide deck used by Peter and Matt during the ALM Roundtable in Denver.  You’ll see that it’s rather light; but keep in mind the slides were merely for talking points leading to more demo (remember, this was a demo-heavy event!).

    If you have any questions, please let me know!

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    VS/TFS 2012 Tidbits: When to Use the Feedback Client

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    As the Visual Studio family of products (Visual Studio, TFS, Test Professional) nears its 2012 release, I thought I’d bring some short hits – tidbits, if you will – to my blog. Some of these are pretty obvious (well-documented, or much-discussed), but some may be less obvious than you’d think. Either way, it’s always good to make sure the word is getting out there. Hope you enjoy!

    When to Use the Feedback Client

    FeedbackOne of the “new” new features of TFS 2012 is the addition of the Microsoft Feedback Client for collecting feedback from stakeholders, end users, etc.  This tool integrates with TFS to provide a mechanism to engage those stakeholders and more seamlessly include their insights in the lifecycle.

    Several of my customers however, perhaps with brains overloaded with the possibilities of this capability, have asked me, “So when exactly do I use this? When do I request feedback?”

    Well, the answer, as it often times is, is “it depends.”

    First, if you aren’t aware of the two ways to use the Microsoft Feedback Client, check out (shameless plug) my previous post covering this.

    The more I play around with this tool and talk about it with customers, the more scenarios I find in which this new 2012 capability adds value.

    Now back to that “it depends” answer.. The key thing to remember for using the feedback capability is that there is no hard and fast rule for when you should use it.  But here are three main scenarios:

    • Voluntary, Unsolicited Feedback – When a stakeholder/end user has something to say, let them say it with the Feedback Client.  Instead of an email, entry on a spreadsheet or SharePoint list, using the Feedback Client leverages the goodness of Team Foundation Server (not to mention proximity to the actual development team) to log, manage, relate, and report on the stakeholder’s insights. If a business analyst or project manager likes the feedback provided, it’s just a few clicks to get a backlog item created from the feedback and shoved onto the backlog.  The feedback then becomes a supporting item for the PBI, helping address any questions as to why the PBI was added to the backlog.
    • User Acceptance Testing (UAT) – When a new feature has been developed and made available for UAT, request feedback from one or more knowledgeable stakeholders to get sign-off.  Linking the feedback request to the PBI/task/bug being tested for acceptance not only gives additional traceability in validating sign-off; but it provides the team additional “clout” if a stakeholder later voices a concern about a feature completion (“You said you liked it, see?”).
    • Checkpoints/Continuous Feedback – Feedback doesn’t have to be just at the beginning and end of a sprint. Any time there’s something new that QA’s already had a run at, why not involve a stakeholder? While you can, you don’t have to wait until a sprint’s over to get feedback.

     From MSDN, “Planning and Tracking Projects”:Planning and Tracking Projects

    What other scenarios can you think of where you could leverage the new feedback capabilities in VS 2012?

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Additional VS 2012 ALM Webcasts by Imaginet

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    Take a look at the below webcast series from Imaginet focusing on Visual Studio 2012 ALM.  If something looks good, don’t forget to sign up!

    “Imaginet is thrilled to provide you with exclusive invitations to our Summer Webcast Series. Over the last year, Microsoft has made some significant announcements that affect software developers, architects, information technology professionals, and businesses profoundly. 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!”

    Requirements and Storyboarding with Visual Studio 2012

    The saying "a picture is worth a thousand words" is true for requirements. 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. Come join us for this free Web Workshop!

    • July 31, 2012 - 1:00-2:30pm CT   Register (free)

    Scrum and Agile Management Using Visual Studio 2012

    Scrum and agile management methodologies focus on iterative planning, development and release. This session will demonstrate how agile planning, management and tracking are streamlined with Visual Studio 2012. Come join us for this free Web Workshop!

    • August 7, 2012 - 1:00-2:30pm CT   Register (free)
    • August 21, 2012 - 1:00-2:30pm CT Register (free)

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

    The next version of Visual Studio 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 Web Workshop!

    • August 14, 2012 - 1:00-2:30pm CT   Register (free)
    • August 28, 2012 - 1:00-2:30pm CT   Register (free)

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

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Want More VS 2012 ALM Training? You Got It!

    • 1 Comments

    VS_Purp526_rgbOur friends at Northwest Cadence are offering a FREE two-event series in August.  These online events cover four individual sessions:

    • Session 1: A Lap Around Visual Studio 2012
      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.
    • Session 2: Visual Studio 2012 for Agile Teams
      Getting the tool out of the way and letting you stay in the zone is a big part of Visual Studio 2012. Come experience the new developer experience and workflows for work items, version control, unit testing, and code reviews. Visualizing your current work and updating status is almost effortless, version control is much more flexible, continuous testing made possible by a new unit testing interface, and a true code review workflow is available for collaboration and feedback.
    • Session 3: Storyboarding and Feedback Manager
      Bringing people with the good ideas into the software development process! Storyboarding and Feedback Manager can dramatically improve the quality of your requirements, and provide the voice of the customer to your development team. Storyboarding allows you to leverage the familiar features of PowerPoint to drive a completely new requirements-gathering experience. Feedback Manager provides a clean, intuitive interface to provide video, voice and image feedback. Both allow for powerful interaction between stakeholders, business analysts, developers, and testers, smoothing out the handoffs to ensure continuous delivery of customer value.
    • Session 4: Leveraging your Microsoft and Northwest Cadence Benefits for Visual Studio 2012
      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.

    To reserve your space in an upcoming series, please choose a date:

    For more information, please email Rick.Flath@nwcadence.com

  • 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

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