Steve Lange @ Work

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

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    New Updates Rolling out to Visual Studio Online (VSO)

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    I’ll let you read about these updates in more detail on the Visual Studio News Page, but there are a couple killer new capabilities rolling out to VSO:

    Code Editing in the Browser

    You will now have the ability to manipulate files in version control directly from the browser!

    • When looking at a source file, you can use the Edit command to edit the contents of a file, including color coding and formatting.
    • You can also add, delete, or rename a file directly from the browser, without having to download the entire branch.
    • This capability extends to the Welcome hub, too!

     

    Filtering on Backlogs & Queries

    Think of this as a quick search for text on either a backlog or query result.  As you filter, the results will show only items that contain the matching text (in the displayed columns, including tags).

    Sprint backlog and task board improvements

    • You can now drag and drop on the sprint backlog or task board to reprioritize or reparent items.  This means you can reparent tasks to other stories on the task board if you need to.
    • On the task board, collapsed stories/PBIs will show summary information about the linked tasks.

     

    Preview APIs for adding and updating files in source control

    REST APIs for adding, editing, renaming, and deleting files in TF Version Control and Git projects are now available for preview.  See Visual Studio Online REST API Versions and History.

     

    CodeLens for Visual Studio Online in Preview

    Woot!  CodeLens is showing up when using VSO!

     

    Just another example of how fast and responsive this team is delivering new capabilities.  For further proof, check out the features timeline (which also shows stuff under development).

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Go Big with the New Azure G-Series Virtual Machines

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    The new G-Series VM’s in Azure are big.. They provide a lot more memory and increased SSD storage than before.  They also employ the latest Intel Xeon E5 v3 family of processors for increased performance.

    Here are the new G-Series VM sizes:

    Size Cores RAM (GB) SSD Storage (GB) Persistent Data Disks (Max)
    Standard_G1 2 28 412 4
    Standard_G2 4 56 824 8
    Standard_G3 8 112 1,649 16
    Standard_G4 16 224 3,298 32
    Standard_G5 32 448 6,596 64

     

    If you want to play around with these in dev/test, go ahead.  But shut them down when you don’t need them to avoid overage charges!

    For more information on all the available Azure VMs, go here.

    Go big or go home! 

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    More CloudFests Coming your Way!

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    Learn Azure hands-on!

    imageThe cloud has moved way beyond novelty—more and more of us live and work there every day. That's why we’ve put together CloudFest, a set of Hands-On Labs (HOL) that will be sweeping North America.   I hope you can attend one or more of these no-cost events.

     

    Here's what you can learn:

     

    Virtual machines

    Create a virtual machine in seconds. Solve many common issues, such as proof-of-concept development that requires quick provisioning of one or more servers to validate code.

     

    imageHyperscale web

    Explore a day in the life of a web app developer implementing a continuous deployment model and embracing DevOps. Use awesome tools that will help you develop, build, and deploy a modern responsive web application.

     

    Go mobile

    Develop an application and create a mobile backend that will give you the ability to scale to multiple device platforms and form factors. Transition or extend your current application to any mobile platform.

     

    Azure PowerShell

    imageCreate your cloud solutions for almost any current development language or device using Azure SDKs and command-line tools.

     

    Desired State Configuration (DSC)

    Prepare Azure virtual machines for SharePoint 2013 installation using DSC.

     

     

    So where is CloudFest? All over!  Below are some dates & locations that I know about, and there are surely more to come!  Simply click on the city you want, and register.

     

    Date

    Location

    2/25/2015

    Irving, TX

    3/3/2015

    Alpharetta, GA

    3/3/2015

    Reston, VA

    3/4/2015

    Tampa, FL

    3/5/2015

    Ft. Lauderdale, FL

    3/5/2015

    Mountain View, CA

    3/11/2015

    Southfield, MI

    3/12/2015

    Tempe, AZ

     

     

    There will be prizes and a complimentary lunch will be served. We look forward to you joining us!

     

    Please feel free contact me if you have any questions!

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    In case you missed it, do more with VSO Basic!

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    You can read the full announcement here, but here are some core changes made to VSO Basic plans (don’t worry, it’s all good!)

    Any user with a VSO Basic license can now take advantage of these features (in addition to everything you could do before):

    • Web-based test execution
    • Agile portfolio management
    • Work item chart authoring
    • Team Rooms

     

    Sweet!  Brian Harry also talks about this in more detail on his blog here.

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Check out the Cloud Platform roadmap

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    Microsoft recently added a new resource for all you folks with your heads in the Cloud: the Cloud Platform roadmap.

    It's a website that gives you an at-a-glance view of what Azure is up to.  There are sections that talk about recent releases of new capabilities and services, items that are in preview (but available), projects mid-flight, and even canceled programs and services.

    In each of those sections, you'll also find information neatly categorized by cloud infrastructure, enterprise mobility, data management and analytics, application development, and internet of things (IoT).

    So if you've ever wondered what our Cloud Platform team is up to, look no further!

    Cloud Platform roadmap: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/server-cloud/roadmap/

     

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    More CloudFests! Hello Bellevue!

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    I wanted to let you know about a really exciting Azure Hands-on Workshop event that we have coming up in the Bellevue area on February 26th!

    Microsoft, Northwest Cadence, and Neal Analytics invite you to participate in an all-day event, featuring hands-on labs after lunch!

    We hope you can join us for a look at the future of Azure and what promises to be exciting hands-on experiences and lively discussions.

    Agenda

    Welcome & Breakfast

    Keynote

    Presentation Sessions (choose one)

    Option 1:

    Transform your software development process with Azure (Northwest Cadence)

    Join Northwest Cadence to see how Azure can play an important role in modern continuous delivery practices, as it supports extremely rapid development cycles, near-infinite scaling, and dramatically reduced up-front costs. DevOps and DevTest become accessible to mere mortals when Azure infrastructure and platforms are used!

    Option 2:

    Azure Machine Learning (Neal Analytics)

    Neal Analytics will be conducting an introductory workshop with Azure Machine Learning. This is highly relevant across all areas of a business, and is designed to be understood from developers to CEOs. We will start by demonstrating the business value through several of Neal’s solutions, and we will move into Azure ML and show you how to model your data.

    Lunch and Q&A Panel

    Afternoon Session (everyone)

    CloudFest Hands-on Labs

    Join us to explore how to build real world cloud applications using Windows Azure. You will receive hands-on experience with the tools necessary to succeed, and learn about virtual machines, hyperscale web, going mobile, Azure Powershell and Desired State Configuration (DSC).

    We look forward to having you!

     

    Date & Location

    February 26, 2015, 8am – 5pm

     

    Civica Office Building (Directions)

    205 108th Ave NE

    Suite 400

    Bellevue, WA 98004

     

    Registration

    Register using this link!

    Complimentary continental breakfast and lunch will be served. Hope you can join us!

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    More CloudFests! Hello, Portland!

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    On February 10th (next week!), Microsoft will be hosting a CloudFest in Portland!  Click here to register (more details below)!

    CloudFest: An Exclusive Azure Workshop

    Microsoft, Northwest Cadence, and Marquam Group invite you to participate in an all day event, featuring hands-on labs after lunch!

     

    Agenda

    • Welcome & Breakfast
    • Keynote
    • Presentation Sessions (choose one)


    Option 1: Transform your software development process with Azure (Northwest Cadence)

    Join Northwest Cadence to see how Azure can play an important role in modern continuous delivery practices, as it supports extremely rapid development cycles, near-infinite scaling, and dramatically reduced up-front costs. DevOps and DevTest become accessible to mere mortals when Azure infrastructure and platforms are used!

    A real-world example of PaaS

    Are you considering a move to the cloud? Hear a real-life story from Northwest Cadence about how they approached architecting, hosting, and developing a software product that uses the power of Azure.

    Creating an Azure VM

    Azure Virtual Machines provide flexibility for you DevTest practices and can support your need to move on-premise production machines to the cloud.  Learn how to create Azure virtual machines that will support your ALM practices during this hands-on hour.

     

    OR

    Option 2: Azure Active Directory Premium (Marquam Group)

    Join Marquam Group for a presentation about Microsoft’s strategy to simplify control of identities and access across the cloud and enterprise. This presentation, targeted at systems administrators and developers, will provide an overview of the Azure AD service that an organization receives when signing up for Azure or Office 365.  We will discuss the features of the Azure AD Premium service and how your organization can leverage it.

    The Azure AD service provides a compelling and affordable Identity and Access Management suite: integration with on-premise Active Directory, multi-factor authentication for security, self-service for employees, and integration with thousands of applications. With Microsoft making such significant investments into Identity and Access Management, how will it affect your organization? What is Azure AD? How can it be used in my organization? Does it work with DirSync? How does it practically tie in with non-Microsoft SaaS applications and services? What’s the real difference between Free, Basic, and Premium? Do I need the Enterprise Mobility Suite, or is there other ways to integrate this Azure service into my existing technologies?


    Lunch and Q&A Panel

     

    Afternoon session: CloudFest Hands-on Labs*

    (Proctored by Northwest Cadence & Marquam Group)

    Join us to explore how to build real world cloud applications using Windows Azure. You will receive hands-on experience with the tools necessary to succeed, and learn about:

    Virtual machines
    Create a virtual machine in seconds. Solve many common issues, such as proof-of-concept development that requires quick provisioning of one or more servers to validate code.

    Hyperscale web
    Explore a day in the life of a web app developer implementing a continuous deployment model and embracing DevOps. Use awesome tools that will help you develop, build, and deploy a modern responsive web application.

    Go mobile
    Develop an application and create a mobile backend that will give you the ability to scale to multiple device platforms and form factors. Transition or extend your current application to any mobile platform.

    Azure Powershell
    Microsoft Azure has a software development kit and command-line tools that can help you create your cloud solutions for almost any current development language and device.

    Desired State Configuration (DSC)
    Prepare an Azure Virtual Machine to receive a SharePoint 2013 installation using Desired State Configuration

    *Prerequisites

    • A PC that is wireless internet-ready, so you can participate in the hands-on exercises
    • An Azure subscription (or use Free Trial)
    • Visual Studio 2013 Premium or Ultimate (or use Free Trial)
    • Azure SDK 2.4 (download here)
    • Visual Studio Online subscription (or use Free Trial)

     

    There will be cool prizes, and complimentary breakfast & lunch will be served. Hope you can join us!

    Parking: A pay-to-park garage is located at the nearby Safeway on NW 14th Ave, and additional on-street parking is available in the area.

     

    Date, Registration & Location

    Date: Tuesday, February 10, 2015 from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM (PST)

    Location: Microsoft - Portland
    1414 NW Northrup Street
    Suite 900
    Portland, OR 97209

    Registration: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/cloudfest-a-hands-on-azure-workshop-portland-or-tickets-15354501728

     

    Thanks, and we hope to see you there!

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    My Office Hours are Back!

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    I’ll let the office hours landing page do the talking, but just a heads up that I’ve set up recurring office hours for the Spring!

    More here: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/slange/p/spring2015virtualofficehours.aspx

    I hope to “see you in my office”!

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Notes from my 2/13 Virtual Office Hours

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    Thanks to those of you who joined my office hours earlier today!  It was great to chat!

    I’ve noted some of the more direct questions asked during our time, and have included some information below to help answer them.

    Q: What’s coming for the build system for TFS?

    Chris Patterson blogged about this very topic just yesterday, but in short, a lot is changing!  In short, the model of XAML-based builds, while still supported, is getting shifted to a much more open, extensible one.  Additionally, the team is not re-inventing the build wheel - rather, they’re looking to embrace all the other great build engines out there, such as MSBuild, Ant, Maven, script, etc.  This means several things:  You get access to build for multiple platforms right out of the box (not just Windows!), using a Web UI if you want, and get full real-time access to the build’s progress.

    Q: Can I capture my own telemetry with Application Insights?

    Certainly!  Once you understand all the metrics options for Application Insights, you can insert a little code here and there in your application to capture whatever telemetry you want.  More here.

    Q: I like all the Azure benefits I get via my MSDN subscription.  How can I share my Azure “stuff” with others, since the resources are bound to my MSDN-based Azure subscription?

    Great question.  While you can’t currently pool together benefits/credits from multiple MSDN subscriptions, you can certainly share resources.  For example, Bob can create a VM in Azure using his MSDN-based benefits and share access to it with Sally, Tom, whomever.  No restrictions there.  The only item to remember is that since Bob created it, the VM’s consumption will go against his MSDN monthly credits, and no one else’.  For a more collaborate environment that’s all billed collectively, consider a corporate Azure subscription, or an Enterprise Agreement (more on pricing & options).

    If you’re not familiar with Azure benefits you get with your MSDN subscription, check out this short video.

    Q: Visual Studio Online is great, but it seems to be changing quite frequently.  How can I keep up on what changes have occurred, and what ones are coming?

    Simple.  Go to the Features Timeline page on the Visual Studio site.  It gives you a great list of features that have been released (and their release dates), as well as features that are mid-flight.  It pays to be prepared!

     

    Again, thanks for joining.  And I hope to talk to you again in a couple weeks!

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Notes from my 2/27 Office Hours

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    Thanks to those of you who joined my office hours last Friday!

    I’ve noted some of the more direct questions asked during our time, and have included some information below to help answer them.

     

    Q: When will TFS 2015 come out?

    A: The first TFS 2015 CTP is out now, actually. It dropped on 2/23. It brings in several new capabilities, as well as some that have been a part of Visual Studio Online for a while now. Some of these include: better license alignment w/ VSO, Rest API's, Service hooks (yeah!), text filtering on backlogs, and folder history

    Q: Can I use Release Management to deploy to an Azure website from Visual Studio Online?

    A: Why not? Rather than re-invent the wheel in a more detailed reply, I'll direct you to the great Donovan Brown's blog post on this very topic.

    Q: What is a Service Hook?

    A: Great question! A service hook is an integration point with VSO (and soon TFS) to allow you to perform tasks in other services or applications when something happens in VSO. I while ago I provided a basic example of a service hook which would allow you to post to a Team Room via email.

    There are quite a few services which already leverage service hooks, such as Jenkins, Azure Service Bus, ZenDesk, HipChat, and Campfire (full list here).

    Service hooks can also be used in custom applications and services, too! For more information on how to integrate service hooks into your app, start here.

     

    So thanks again for joining me today. I hope to chat with more of you in a couple weeks!

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Come to a CloudFest and Get Started with Azure

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    We’ve done quite a few of these around the country so far, and they’ve proven to be very valuable experiences!  Take a look at the schedule below.  I encourage you to attend one in your area – even if your team doesn’t currently have a cloud strategy, it’ll be worth your while!

    CloudFest

    Build, run, and explore the potential of cloud-based computing

    We’ll help you get right to work setting up cloud-based apps that will dazzle your users while driving down costs. Join Microsoft experts at a CloudFest near you to explore how to build real-world apps using Microsoft Azure.

    You'll learn to create and use virtual machines (VMs) in seconds to solve many common issues. Explore the hyperscale web and get the inside scoop on all that Microsoft Visual Studio and Azure have to offer modern development teams. We’ll give you hands-on experience with all the tools you need to succeed.

    Upcoming CloudFest Schedule:

     

    Note: you MUST bring a wireless, Internet-ready laptop to participate.

    In addition, you need:

     

    I hope to see you soon at a CloudFest in your area!

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    March Webinars from InCycle Software

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    Our friends at InCycle Software have some great webinars coming up this month.  Take a look!

    Webinar March 17th @1pm (PST): Update to Microsoft Development Tools and Platforms in 2015

    Join us for a super charged session showcasing the top Visual Studio features that increase developer productivity. Learn first-hand how easy it is take your skills and team to the next level. 

    http://www.incyclesoftware.com/?events=update-microsoft-development-tools-platforms-2015

    Webinar March 19th @11 am (PST): Moving Your Business to Azure

    During this webinar, we'll discuss a planning and decision making framework focused upon leveraging PaaS for successful application migration to the Microsoft Azure.

    http://www.incyclesoftware.com/?events=moving-your-business-to-azure

    Webinar March 26th @11am (PST): Best Practices on Migrating Your Application to Azure

    Migrating applications and services to the Microsoft Azure can offer a number of attractive benefits. During this session, we'll discuss best practices for the migration of applications to the Azure platform.

    http://www.incyclesoftware.com/?events=best-practices-on-migrating-your-application-to-azure

     

     

    Keep updated on other events and webinars from InCycle by visiting their events page.

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Woot! Visual Studio 2015 Product Line Announced

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    Visual Studio

    I’ll refer you to the official Visual Studio blog post for more details, but just a heads up that the lineup for Visual Studio 2015 was announced this morning!

    Again, full details on the VS blog, but here are the highlights:

    • Visual Studio Premium and Ultimate are condensing into a single, awesome product.  Meet Visual Studio 2015 Enterprise
      • If you have 2013 Premium or Ultimate today, you’ll automatically get upgraded to VS Enterprise whe it’s released.
      • The full comparison of features for the VS 2015 lineup are now available here.
      • Go here for more information on the Visual Studio 2015 product line, including pricing (and yes, Enterprise will be much cheaper that Ultimate!)
    • Are you using VS Professional or Test Professional?  Take a look at the offer that will be coming out in May.  Upgrade from Visual Studio Professional with MSDN or Visual Studio Test Professional with MSDN to Visual Studio Premium with MSDN for 50% off the regular list price and get a free upgrade to Visual Studio Enterprise with MSDN automatically when we release Visual Studio 2015.

      This exclusive offer is only available for 2 months!

     

    All in all, Visual Studio 2015 is going to add tremendous value!  Not just to the product itself, but MSDN as well.  Look for more information about this upcoming release as it becomes available (I’ll try to post more as well!).

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    First QuickHit video – MSDN Azure Benefits

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    This year I’m going to start making some video recordings of the more commonly requested topics I hear from customers.  Many of these topics are relatively introductory (100/200 level) – the frequency of which I’m asked to discuss these topics leads me to believe that maybe building a small library/playlist of videos covering these topics will be useful.

    So over the next few months, I’m going to try and crank out some easy-to-digest, but helpful, videos covering various ALM/Visual Studio/TFS/VSO topics.  If you have any specific topics to suggest, I’m all ears as well!

    Here is my first one – it’s a short video (<3 minutes) that talks about Azure Benefits for MSDN Subscribers. 

    QuickHit Video – MSDN Azure Benefits

    Enjoy!

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