Steve Lange @ Work

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

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Today at TechEd: ALM Roadmap Released!

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    You’ve all be asking, “What’s next for Visual Studio?”  Well, today at TechEd in Atlanta, Jason Zander gave the first solid peek at Visual Studio “vNext”.

    He also blogged in detail about this announcement.  Read his post in full for all the juicy details, including screenshots, but below are my personal highlights:

    VS vNext will bring in two more role interactions: stakeholders and operations.  To do so, Visual Studio will include new and improved capabilities:

    • Agile Planning Tools – New backlog and task board capabilities will further help provide development transparency.
    • Lightweight Requirements – Use PowerPoint to communicate requirements and design in a comfortable manner.
    • Stakeholder Feedback – Similar to Test Pro 2010, stakeholders can easily provide actionable feedback about the work in progress.
    • Continuous Testing – Expanded unit test support by including MSTest, nUnit, and xUnit, targeting both .NET and native C++ code.
    • Agile Quality Assurance – Among other things, a new exploratory testing tool allows application “spelunking” to identify additional product issues.
    • Aligning Development with Operations – A new System Center / TFS connector CTP is on its way to help enable an operations team to assign application performance monitoring and diagnostic information gathered by System Center to TFS for immediate attention.

    For more information, check out the “Visual Studio vNext: Application Lifecycle Management” whitepaper, now available. Also, be sure to take a look at the Visual Studio Roadmap.

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Utah Event: Using the Visual Studio 2010 ALM Tools to Improve Your Software Lifecycle Management

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    Visual StudioCome join Microsoft and Notion Solutions on May 24th in our Lehi office as we present the latest tools and techniques for managing your software process to attain quality software using Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 and the Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) tools provided with this release.  These new tools provide significant value beyond what is available with Microsoft Visual Studio Team System 2008.

    The day will cover the following topics:

    Overview of Visual Studio 2010 ALM Tools for Managing Your Software Lifecycle

    (9:00-11:00am)

    This is an overview of Visual Studio 2010 and ALM tools and highlights the difference between Visual Studio Team System 2005/2008 and the new Visual Studio 2010, including the new Team Foundation Server features, the new modeling and debugging tools, as well as the latest in capabilities for managing and performing testing.

    Using Team Foundation Server 2010 for Non-Windows Development

    (11:00-12:00pm)

    This is an overview of the best practices for utilizing Team Foundation Server (TFS) 2010 and Microsoft Visual Studio Team Explorer Everywhere for development activities beyond Microsoft and the Windows platform. This presentation will shows development teams using mixed and non-Microsoft platforms how to effectively leverage TFS 2010 to adopt work item tracking, version control, and automated build and test technologies.

    Improving Software Quality with Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Test & Lab Tools

    (1:00-3:30pm)

    This is an overview of the Visual Studio 2010 and the Visual Studio Test Professional 2010 testing tools, including using the new Microsoft Test Manager 2010 to manage your testing and using test automation to automate your UI testing. The use of Microsoft Visual Studio Lab Management 2010 will be discussed as a means of automating the creation of virtual environments for testing purposes. See how the Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 testing and lab tools can help streamlining your entire testing lifecycle.

    Summary and Q&A

    (3:30-4:00pm)

    Registration info:
    May 24, 2011
    Microsoft Corporation
    Lehi/Salt Lake City, UT
    Event ID: 1032485358
    June 16, 2011
    Microsoft Corporation
    Irvine, CA
    Event ID: 1032485360

    I hope to see you there!

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Steve’s Newsletter – May 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! 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

    Events & Training

     

    Final Thoughts

    Microsofties in my role predominantly cover specific geographies in order to load balance resources across a region. For example, my geography covers Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, and southern Nevada. Beginning in a few weeks, I’ll be expanding my reach into certain parts on Southern California – my old stomping grounds where I worked from 2005 to 2007 – I look forward to re-connecting with my old customers and colleagues! 

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Running Code Metrics as Part of a TFS 2010 Build – The Poor Man’s Way

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    Code Metrics, not to be confused with code analysis, has always been tough impossible to run as part of a build in Team Foundation Server.  Previously, the only way to run code metrics was to do so inside Visual Studio itself.

    In January, Microsoft released the Visual Studio Code Metrics PowerTool, a command line utility that calculates code metrics for your managed code and saves the results to an XML file (Cameron Skinner explains in detail on his blog). The code metrics calculated are the standard ones you’d see inside Visual Studio (explanations of metric values):

    • Maintainability Index
    • Cyclomatic Complexity
    • Depth of Inheritance
    • Class Coupling
    • Lines Of Code (LOC)

    Basically, the power tool adds a Metrics.exe file to an existing Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate or Visual Studio 2010 Premium or Team Foundation Server 2010 installation.

    So what does this mean?  It means that you can now start running code metrics as part of your builds in TFS.  How?  Well, since this post is titled “The Poor Man’s Way”, I’ll show you the quick and dirty (read: it works but is not elegant) way to do it.

    As a note, Jakob Ehn describes a much more elegant way to do it, including a custom build activity, the ability to fail a build based on threshold, and better parameterization.  I really like how flexible it is!  Below is my humble, quick & dirty way.

    The below steps will add a sequence (containing individual activities to the build process workflow that will run just prior to copying binaries to the drop folder.  (These steps are based on modifying DefaultBuildTemplate.xaml.)

    1. Open the build process template you want to edit (it may be simpler to create a new template (based on the DefaultBuildProcessTemplate.xaml) to work with.
    2. Expand the activity “Run On Agent”
    3. Expand the activity “Try, Compile, Test and Associate Changesets and Work items”
      1. Click on “Variables”, find BuildDirectory, and set its scope to “Run On Agent”
    4. In the “Finally” area, expand “Revert Workspace and Copy Files to Drop Location”
    5. From the toolbox (Control Flow tab), drag a new Sequence onto the designer, just under/after the “Revert Workspace for Shelveset Builds”. (Adding a sequence will allow you to better manage/visualize the activities related to code metrics generation).
      1. In the Properties pane, set the DisplayName to “Run Code Metrics”
    6. From the toolbox (Team Foundation Build Activities), drag a WriteBuildMessage activity into the “Run Code Metrics” sequence.
      1. In the Properties pane
        1. set DisplayName to Beginning Code Metrics
        2. set Importance to Microsoft.TeamFoundation.Build.Client.BuildMessageImportance.Normal (or adjust to .High if needed)
        3. set Message to “Beginning Code Metrics: “ & BinariesDirectory
    7. From the toolbox, drag an InvokeProcess activity into the sequence below the “Beginning Code Metrics” activity (this activity will actually execute code metrics generation).
      1. In the Properties pane
        1. set DisplayName to Execute Coded Metrics
        2. set FileName to “””<path to Metrics.exe on the build machine>”””
        3. set Arguments to “/f:””” & BinariesDirectory & “\<name of assembly>”” /o:””” & BinariesDirectory & “\MetricsResult.xml”  (you can also omit the assembly name to run matrics against all assemblies found)
        4. set WorkingDirectory to BinariesDirectory
    8. (optional) From the toolbox, drag another InvokeProcess activity below “Execute Code Metrics” (This activity will copy the XSD file to the binaries directory)
      1. In the Properties pane
        1. set DisplayName to Copy Metrics XSD file
        2. set FileName to “xcopy”
        3. set Arguments to “””<path to MetricsReport.xsd>”” ””” & BinariesDirectory & “”””
    9. Save the XAML file and check it in to TFS.

    Workflow after adding code metrics sequenceThe sequence you just added should look like (boxed in red):

    You basically have a sequence called “Run Code Metrics” which first spits out a message to notify the build that code metrics are beginning.

    Next, you actually execute the Metrics.exe executable via the InvokeProcess activity, which dumps the results (XML) file in the Binaries directory (this makes it simpler to eventually copy into the drop folder).

    The “Copy Metrics XSD file” activity is another InvokeProcess activity which brings along the appropriate XSD file with the metrics result file.  This is optional of course.

    After you run a build using this updated template, your drop folder should have something like this:

    Drop folder after running build with new template

    Pay no attention to the actual binaries – it’s the presence of MetricsReport.xsd and MetricsResults.xml that matter.

    Pretty cool, but there’s one annoyance here!  The metrics results are still in XML, and aren’t nearly as readable as the results pane inside Visual Studio:

    MetricsResults.xml on top, Code Metrics Results window in VS on bottom

    Don’t get me wrong – this is a huge first step toward a fully-baked out-of-VS code metrics generator.  The actual report generation formatting will surely be improved in future iterations.

    I decided to take one additional step and write a simple parser and report generator to take the XML results and turn them into something more pretty, like HTML.

    Before I dive into code, this is the part where I remind you that I’m not (nor have I ever been) a developer by trade, so the code in this blog is purely for functional example purposes.  Winking smile

    I created a relatively simple console application to read in a results XML file, parse it, and spit out a formatted HTML file (using a style sheet to give some control over formatting).

    I’m posting the full example code to this post, but below are the highlights:

    I first created some application settings to specify the thresholds for Low and Moderate metric values (anything above ModerateThreshold is considered “good”).

    Settings to specify Low and Moderate metric thresholds

    I created a class called MetricsParser, with properties to capture the results XML file path, the path to output the report, and a path to a CSS file to use for styling.

    To store individual line item results, I also created a struct called ResultEntry:

        struct ResultEntry
        {
            public string Scope { get; set; }
            public string Project { get; set; }
            public string Namespace { get; set; }
            public string Type { get; set; }
            public string Member { get; set; }
            public Dictionary<string, string> Metrics { get; set; }
        }

    I then added:

    private List<ResultEntry> entriesShifty

    which captures each code metrics line item.

    If you look at the results XML file, you can see that in general the format cascades itself, capturing scope, project, namespace, type, then member.  Each level has its own metrics.  So I wrote a few methods which effectively recurse through all the elements in the XML file until a complete list of ResultEntry objects is built.

    private void ParseModule(XElement item)
            {
                string modulename = item.Attribute("Name").Value.ToString();
                
                ResultEntry entry = new ResultEntry
                {
                    Scope = "Project",
                    Project = modulename,
                    Namespace = "",
                    Type = "",
                    Member = ""
                };
                List<XElement> metrics = (from el in item.Descendants("Metrics").First().Descendants("Metric")
                                          select el).ToList<XElement>();
                entry.Metrics = GetMetricsDictionary(metrics);
                entries.Add(entry);
                List<XElement> namespaces = (from el in item.Descendants("Namespace")
                                          select el).ToList<XElement>();
                foreach (XElement ns in namespaces)
                {
                    ParseNamespace(ns, modulename);
                }
            }

    Bada-bing, now we have all our results parsed.  Next, to dump them to an HTML file.

    I simply used HtmlTextWriter to build the HTML, the write it to a file.  If a valid CSS file was provided, the CSS was embedded directly into the HTML header:

     #region Include CSS if available
     
                    string cssText = GetCssContent(CssFile);
                    if (cssText != string.Empty)
                    {
                        writer.RenderBeginTag(HtmlTextWriterTag.Style);
                        writer.Write(cssText);
                        writer.RenderEndTag();
                    }
     
    #endregion

    After that, I looped through my ResultEntry objects, inserting them into an HTML table, applying CSS along the way.  At the end, the HTML report is saved to disk, ideally in the build’s binaries folder.  This then allows the report to be copied along with the binaries to the TFS drop location.

    Code Metrics Results HTML Report

    You’ll notice that this layout looks much like the code metrics in Visual Studio if exported to Excel.

    So again, not the most sophisticated solution, but one that a pseudo-coder like me could figure out.  You can expand on this and build all of this into a custom build activity which would be much more portable.

    Here is the code for MetricsParser:

    Again I recommend looking at Jakob’s solution as well.  He puts a much more analytical spin on build-driven code metrics by allowing you specify your own thresholds to help pass or fail a build.  My solution is all about getting a pretty picture

    Happy developing!

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Steve’s Development Tools Newsletter – April 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! 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

    • Happy Birthday to Visual Studio 2010!  Ah, how time flies when you’re having fun!  Check out Soma’s blog for more fun information about Visual Studio 2010’s birthday.
    • The Team Foundation Server Integration Platform (think: plumbing which can be used to build integrations/synchronizations/migrations) has been updated.  This update is primarily bug fixes, but still an important release if you’re rolling your own migration tool for TFS.  Brian Harry lists the bug fixes here.
    • Do you have lots of build definitions in TFS 2010?  Is your build node in TFS starting to look a little too lengthy/busy?  I recommend you take a look at Inmeta Build Explorer in the Visual Studio gallery.  It uses a naming convention to help visually organize your build definition into a more navigable structure
    • A new book on TFS entitled “Professional Team Foundation Server 2010” has just recently been released.   It’s a great read which goes into how to get the most out of the capabilities of TFS across the board (including customizing and extending).
    • Oracle and .NET now play even better together with Oracle’s release of the ODAC for EF and LINQ and Quest’s Toad Extension for Visual Studio.  Now you can query Oracle easily using LINQ and Entity Framework, and leverage the Toad Extension for enabling change management for the development of Oracle databases.
    • We’re making it easier for Eclipse developers to take advantage of Windows Azure with the CTP release of the Windows Azure Plugin for Eclipse.  Take a look at this blog post for more details!

    Events & Training

    MIX11 is NOW!

    If you’re not one of the lucky ones to be able to attend in person, you can still catch it live online at http://live.visitmix.com/.

    MSDN Events Presents:  Understanding Azure

    Cloud Development is one of the fastest growing trends in our industry. Don’t get left behind. In this event, Rob Bagby and Bruno Terkaly will provide an overview of developing with Windows Azure. They will cover both where and why you should consider taking advantage of the various Windows Azure’s services in your application, as well as providing you with a great head start on how to accomplish it. This half-day event will be split up into 3 sections. The first section will cover the benefits and nuances of hosting web applications and services in Windows Azure, as well as taking advantage of SQL Azure. The second section will cover the ins and outs of Windows Azure storage, while the third will illustrate the Windows Azure App Fabric.

    DATE
    CITY, STATE
    TIME
    REGISTRATION LINK
    April 15, 2011
    Tempe, AZ
    1:00 PM – 5:00 PM
    April 18, 2011
    Bellevue, WA
    1:00 PM – 5:00 PM
    April 19, 2011
    Portland, OR
    1:00 PM – 5:00 PM
    April 20, 2011
    Irvine, CA
    1:00 PM – 5:00 PM
    April 21, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    1:00 PM – 5:00 PM

    What Event Do You Want?

    We’re doing some initial planning for our developer & platform events in the summer and fall.  What would you like to see, especially from a development tools perspective?  Some thoughts we’re currently considering:

    • Agile Database Development
    • Lab Management
    • Architecture with Visual Studio 2010

    Let me/us know what grabs you!

    QuickAnswers

    • If you have Visual Studio Ultimate, you have access to unlimited load testing (previously your limit was 250 v-users).  You can configure multiple load agents to ramp up your load.  Any VS Ultimate user can leverage them.
    • This is a know issue in Test Manager that when building a test case if you go beyond 10 steps the steps window shrinks. This makes it harder to see multiple steps at the same time.  You can try restoring the Test Manager window from Maximize and then manually change window size.
    • When doing a schema compare, remember that the Compare Settings->Ignore Objects dialog lists items for you to check if you want to ignore them, not include them.  By default, Extended Properties are ignored (checked).
    • If you’re losing IntelliSense in database projects, it’s most commonly related to online/offline availability, insertion points, and specific conditions in the T-SQL Editor.  One way to help troubleshoot is to create a new, simple database project and see what IntelliSense experience you have.

    Final Thoughts

    Please continue to send me your ideas for items to include in this monthly newsletter.  Some have requested more information about the different roles in the developer & platform evangelism (DPE) division at Microsoft, which I’m happy to do!

    Others have inquired about the best way to reach me to ask simple, one-off questions.  While direct email is always fine, I do also use Formspring, a question and answer service.  You can find my profile page on Formspring (and ask me a question) here:  http://www.formspring.me/slange.

  • 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

    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

    Steve’s Development Tools Newsletter – March 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! 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!

    First of all, you may (or may not) have noticed that I did to post a newsletter last month. Last month was a crazy one in terms of overall available bandwidth, and I simply didn’t get a chance to put a newsletter together.

    Announcements

    Visual Studio 2010 SP1 is now available for download! While it’s not a “big bang” impact service pack like the VS 2008 one, there are some great new capabilities that I think you will enjoy. These include things like included Silverlight 4 support, unit testing support for .NET 3.5, IIS Express, Razor support, SQL CE 4, HTML5, CSS3, Intellitrace for 64-bit and SharePoint, Web PI integration. For a full list, see this KB article.

    Team Foundation Server 2010 SP1 is also live! This release focuses primarily on fixes, which are fully listed in this KB article.

    But wait, there’s more! Also new for TFS is something a lot of people have been waiting for: the TFS Project Server Integration Feature Pack. Bridging these two products will help teams by providing a real-time insight into portfolio execution, alignment with strategic objectives, and resource utilization; Automating the exchange and sharing of project information across teams and improving coordination between teams via common metrics; and allowing development and project management teams to use familiar tools to collaborate and communicate project timeline and progress such as Microsoft Visual Studio, Project, and SharePoint.

    These updated products are currently available on the MSDN download site, and should be more publicly-available in a few days.

    Does your team do load testing? Want to do more of it? Well now you can with the Load Testing Feature Pack! This release lets users with Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate with MSDN the rights do do unlimited load testing! This enhancement now makes it incredibly easy for you to make sure your applications can handle the load necessary to scale appropriately. If you look at Brian Harry’s post on this, he calls out a valuable piece of information in that this is the fifth feature pack shipped since the 2010 release.

    If you love them, like I do, you’ll be happy to know that there’s a new release of the Team Foundation Server Power Tools available (March 2011). They’re broken into the “main power tools”, build extensions, and the MSSCCI plugin (MSCCI did not get updated, though). I’ll let you read the full details on their respective pages, but here are the highlights: Updated backup/restore power tool, improved Windows Shell extension, and the ability to manipulate build definitions from the command line.

    Team Explorer Everywhere 2010 SP1 is also available (it released last month, but since I didn’t post a newsletter..). If you’re building non-.NET apps using Eclipse (regardless of OS platform), you really, really, really need to take a look at TEE!

    Events & Training

    As mentioned in a previous post, MSDN has updated its free training courses, including new Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010 (developer-focused) tracks. Take advantage of them – they’re free!

    There is a terrific event rolling through Denver next week! The Visual Studio 2010 ALM Roadshow will be in the Denver office on March 15th, covering topics such as ALM, TFS for non-Windows development, and software quality. Hope to see you there!

    And as always, there is a regular cadence of webcasts from our my team as well as partners. Keep an eye out on the Got Team System? site for updates.

    QuickAnswers

    • Test Professional does not include the ability to author Coded UI Tests. You need Visual Studio Premium or Ultimate to do that.
    • If you’re doing schema comparisons using the Visual Studio 2010 database tools, keep in mind that in Compare Options, the list of checkboxed objects you see are objects to ignore during comparison, not include.

    Final Thoughts

    As you can see, the guys at DevDiv have been busy! I’ve also been staying busy working with Visual Studio LightSwitch, exploring how it can help me (and by extension, you!) more rapidly and easily develop LOB applications for your department or organization. It’s one of the few tools for which I’ve been able to give a compelling demo in 10 minutes! I recommend you install the beta when you get the chance and check it out for yourself!

    As always, I’m looking for suggestions from you for topics to include in future newsletters. Keep ‘em coming!

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Event: Free Visual Studio ALM Roadshow Coming Through Denver

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    vs2010logoUsing the Visual Studio 2010 ALM Tools to Improve Your Software Lifecycle Management


    March 15th, 2011 at the Microsoft Denver Office
     
    Come join Microsoft and Notion Solutions as we present the latest tools and techniques for managing your software process to attain quality software using Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 and the Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) tools provided with this release.  These new tools provide significant value beyond what is available with Microsoft Visual Studio Team System 2008.
     
    This roadshow covers the following topics:

    Overview of Visual Studio 2010 ALM Tools for Managing Your Software Lifecycle

    (9:00-11:00am)
    This is an overview of Visual Studio 2010 and ALM tools and highlights the difference between Visual Studio Team System 2005/2008 and the new Visual Studio 2010, including the new Team Foundation Server features, the new modeling and debugging tools, as well as the latest in capabilities for managing and performing testing.

    Using Team Foundation Server 2010 for Non-Windows Development

    (11:00-12:00pm)
    This is an overview of the best practices for utilizing Team Foundation Server (TFS) 2010 and Microsoft Visual Studio Team Explorer Everywhere for development activities beyond Microsoft and the Windows platform. This presentation will shows development teams using mixed and non-Microsoft platforms how to effectively leverage TFS 2010 to adopt work item tracking, version control, and automated build and test technologies.

    Improving Software Quality with Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Test & Lab Tools

    (1:00-3:30pm)
    This is an overview of the Visual Studio 2010 and the Visual Studio Test Professional 2010 testing tools, including using the new Microsoft Test Manager 2010 to manage your testing and using test automation to automate your UI testing. The use of Microsoft Visual Studio Lab Management 2010 will be discussed as a means of automating the creation of virtual environments for testing purposes. See how the Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 testing and lab tools can help streamlining your entire testing lifecycle.

    Summary and Q&A
    (3:30-4:00pm)

     

    Registration Info

    March 15th, 2011

    Register via this link:  http://www.clicktoattend.com/?id=153134

     

    I hope to see you there!

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Updated Training on MSDN

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    If you didn’t know, MSDN provides several free training courses (read:  great instructional videos with downloadable source code, plus offline options which include presentations for sharing the good word!).

    Several topics have been updated, and now Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010 development trainings have recently been moved from Channel 9 to MSDN.

    Take a peek!  The training home page is here, which contains links to the below training topics:

    Windows Phone 7 Training Course

    Windows Azure Platform Training Course

    Silverlight 4 Training Course

    Visual Studio 2010 Training Course

    Windows 7 Training Course

    Office 2010 Developer Training Course

    SharePoint 2010 Developer Training Course

    Unified Communications "14" Training Course (Lync)

    Identity Training Course

    SQL Server 2008 R2 Business Intelligence Training Course

    Take advantage of these free training courses.  It’s a terrific way to get your development feet wet in a new technology!

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Content from My DevExpress Webinars this Week

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

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

    Feb 22nd - Team Foundation Server 2010 for Developers

    (view the replay here at DevExpress)

     

    Feb 24th – Visual Studio 2010 Testing for Developers

    (view the replay here at DevExpress)

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

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

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Holy Accelerated Training, Batman!

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

    imageTeam Foundation Server 2010 Administration

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

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

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

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

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

    imageVisual Studio Boot Camps

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

    Visual Studio Windows Applications 2010
    Date(s):

    March 7 - 9
    May 2 - 5

    Price: $1,495*

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

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

    Curriculum:

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

    March 10 - 12
    May 5 - 7

    Price: $1,495*

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

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

    Curriculum:

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

    March 14 - 15
    May 9 - 10

    Price: $950*

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

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

    Curriculum:

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

    March 16 - 18
    May 11 - 13

    Price: $1,195*

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

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

    Curriculum:

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

     

    Additional Great Opportunities

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

    Silverlight 4: Application Development
    Date(s):

    March 28 -31

    Price: $1,895*

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

    Course Material: 

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

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

    Windows Azure Professional Developer
    Date(s):

    June 13 - 14

    Price: $950*

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

    After completing this course, students will be able to:

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

    * Remember that there are discounts for user group members!

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

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Upcoming Visual Studio 2010 ALM Roadshows (FREE)

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    Using the Visual Studio 2010 ALM Tools to Improve Your Software Lifecycle Management

    Live Roadshow!

    Come join Microsoft and Notion Solutions as we present the latest tools and techniques for managing your software process to attain quality software using Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 and the Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) tools provided with this release.  These new tools provide significant value beyond what is available with Microsoft Visual Studio Team System 2008.

    This roadshow covers the following topics:

    Overview of Visual Studio 2010 ALM Tools for Managing Your Software Lifecycle

    (9:00-11:00am)

    This is an overview of Visual Studio 2010 and ALM tools and highlights the difference between Visual Studio Team System 2005/2008 and the new Visual Studio 2010, including the new Team Foundation Server features, the new modeling and debugging tools, as well as the latest in capabilities for managing and performing testing.

    Using Team Foundation Server 2010 for Non-Windows Development

    (11:00-12:00pm)

    This is an overview of the best practices for utilizing Team Foundation Server (TFS) 2010 and Microsoft Visual Studio Team Explorer Everywhere for development activities beyond Microsoft and the Windows platform. This presentation will shows development teams using mixed and non-Microsoft platforms how to effectively leverage TFS 2010 to adopt work item tracking, version control, and automated build and test technologies.

    Improving Software Quality with Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Test & Lab Tools

    (1:00-3:30pm)

    This is an overview of the Visual Studio 2010 and the Visual Studio Test Professional 2010 testing tools, including using the new Microsoft Test Manager 2010 to manage your testing and using test automation to automate your UI testing. The use of Microsoft Visual Studio Lab Management 2010 will be discussed as a means of automating the creation of virtual environments for testing purposes. See how the Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 testing and lab tools can help streamlining your entire testing lifecycle.

    Summary and Q&A

    (3:30-4:00pm)

    TIME:   9:00 am-4:00 pm (local time)

     

    March 9, 2011

    Microsoft Corporation

    Dallas/Irving, TX

    To register, click here!

    March 10, 2011

    Microsoft Corporation

    Austin, TX

    To register, click here!

    March 15, 2011

    Microsoft Corporation

    Denver, CO

    To register, click here!

    March 17, 2011

    Microsoft Corporation

    Los Angeles, CA

    To register, click here!

    March 23, 2011

    Microsoft Corporation

    Houston, TX

    To register, click here!

    March 30, 2011

    Microsoft Corporation

    Waltham, MA

    To register, click here!

    April 6, 2011

    Microsoft Corporation

    Chicago, IL

    To register, click here!

    April 27, 2011

    Microsoft Corporation

    Bloomington, MN

    To register, click here!

    For questions or more information, please feel free to contact us at info@notionsolutions.com or by calling 972-607-4830

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Steve’s Development Tools Newsletter – January 2011

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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

    First of all, Happy New Year!  I hope everyone enjoyed there holidays, and that the chaos of work allowed you to do so!

    We have a new member on our team!  Michael Palermo (http://www.palermo4.com/) is our newest Developer Evangelist based in Phoenix.  I encourage you to say hello the next time you see him at a local event.

    When you get a chance, check out Visual Studio 2010 SP1 Beta.  It includes all sorts of cool stuff like Unit Testing against .NET 3.5, SharePoint, IIS Express, etc.

    There’s a new book out covering the Build engine in 2010.  Take a look on Amazon here.

    Have you confused yourself when trying to customize a build in TFS 2010?  The new TFS Build Activities reference on MSDN should help!

    Events & Training

    There are still seats available for the remaining Build & Brew events around the West!  Contact me if you’d like an invitation!  Remaining venues/dates are:

    Date

    City Venue
    1/20 San Diego, CA Karl Strauss Brewing
    1/27 Portland, OR MacTarnahan’s Taproom
    1/31 Bellevue, WA Rock Bottom Brewery
    2/8 Los Angeles, CA MSFT Office/Bonaventure Brewery
    2/9 Costa Mesa, CA Karl Strauss Brewing
    3/3 Sunnyvale, CA Firehouse Grill & Brewery
    3/10 San Francisco, CA Thirsty Bear Brewing

    The Rocky Mountain Tech Trifecta is back for V3.0 on Saturday, March 5th!  Check out the website and register to go – oh, and it’s FREE!

    This month’s Denver VS UG’s meeting features our own Ricardo Villalobos presenting, “Designing, Building, and Deploying Windows Azure Applications using Visual Studio 2010".  Don’t miss it!

    Final Thoughts

    December was a little slower due to the holidays, so there’s not as much to report in this current installment of the newsletter.  Send me your questions and ideas for February’s!

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Don’t Forget to Try the VS 2010 Service Pack 1 Beta

    • 0 Comments

    You can get it here:  http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=11ea69cb-cf12-4842-a3d7-b32a1e5642e2

    The installer covers all editions of Visual Studio 2010 – Express, Professional, Premium, & Ultimate.  The what’s new covers some of the benefits of SP1, but here is a consolidated list:

    Unit Testing (now includes SharePoint 2010)

    • You can create unit test projects and target them to the .NET Framework 3.5.
    • You can run unit tests that target the .NET Framework 3.5 from Visual Studio 2010 SP1 Beta on your local machine.

    • You can run unit tests that target the .NET Framework 3.5 by using MSTest.exe from the command prompt.

    • You can run unit tests on a build agent as part of a build.

    IIS Express - a lightweight Web server that you can use in Visual Studio. IIS Express combines the simplicity of the ASP.NET Development Server with many powerful Web server features offered by IIS 7.5. IIS Express offers the following advantages:

    • It is less than 10 MB, and it consumes fewer system resources than IIS 7.5.

    • It works in Visual Studio 2010 and in Visual Web Developer 2010 Express.

    • You do not have to use an administrator account to run or debug Web applications in Visual Studio.

    • Most development features available for IIS 7.5 are available for IIS Express.

    SQL Server Compact 4.0 Design Time Support - an embedded database server that has a small footprint. The Visual Studio 2010 SP1 Tools for SQL Server Compact 4.0 CTP2 enable you to work with SQL Server Compact databases in Visual Studio Web projects.

    Using SQL Server Compact databases and tools provides the following advantages over using the full SQL Server or SQL Server Express edition:

    • They are quick to install and set up. The total download for the database and tools is less than 20 MB.

    • Data storage is file based. Your data is stored in a single .sdf file, which you can copy to the App_Data folder of your ASP.NET application on a Web hosting site.

    • Database deployment is improved. Transact-SQL and .NET Framework data APIs are compatible. You can use the same SQL commands and database code that you use with other versions of SQL Server.

    • Visual Studio design-time data tools, such as Server Explorer, the Query and View Designer, the Entity Designer, the SqlDataSource control, and the Dataset Designer, all work with SQL Server Compact databases.

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Steve’s Development Tools Newsletter - December 2010

    • 1 Comments

    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

    Build & Brew Follow-up

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    vs glassThanks to everyone who attended the first two rounds of the Build & Brew event series in Phoenix (11/30) and Denver (12/2)!  Judging from the level of interaction and feedback, I’d say it’s been a success so far!

    As promised, I’ve posted slide decks and other links online for you to download.  You can get this content from Skydrive HERE.

    Also, below are some links to help jumpstart your use of TFS 2010 Build:

    Again, thanks for attending!  This type of event format is somewhat of an experiment, so I appreciate not only your attendance but your feedback as well!

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Event: Come learn about TFS Build 2010 at the “Build & Brew”

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    vs glassMicrosoft & Neudesic have partnered to deliver this half day seminar & private happy hour. In this course, we will give you a tour of the newly revamped build system in Team Foundation Server (TFS) 2010.  Learn how you can take advantage of TFS Build in your organization as we walk through new capabilities such as workflow, automated testing, architectural validation, gated check-in, virtual lab deployments, and customization.  See how TFS Build 2010 can also help you get the most out of Visual Studio Ultimate and Test Professional 2010.

    The afternoon will wrap with a private happy hour where you can network with the group and presenters.

    Seating is very limited!  Email me (stevenl@microsoft.com) if you’re interested!

    Locations

    November 30th – Phoenix
    Sun Up Brewery
    December 2nd – Denver
    Wynkoop Brewing Co.

    Welcome & Registration: 11:30 AM

    Build: 12:00 PM-5:00 PM

    Brew: 5:00 PM

    Agenda

    • Anatomy of Team Foundation Build 2010
    • Making Build Your Team’s Heartbeat
      • Minimizing Code Breaks
      • Running Automated Tests in Build
      • Ensuring Architectural Design
    • Advanced Topics with Visual Studio Ultimate & Test Professional 2010
      • Eliminating the Broken Build with Gated Check-in
      • Custom Build Activities
      • Building & Deploying to Your Virtual Test Environment

    Again, this is a limited-seating event.  Think of it as half education (“build”), half thank-you-for-being-our-customer (“brew”) event.  Please email me (stevenl@microsoft.com) for the registration info.

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Get your VS Feature Pack 2 Here (or at least from here)

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    That’s right!  The next Visual Studio feature pack is now available on MSDN downloads here.  It builds upon the first feature pack, and delivers some terrific support in the testing & Coded UI space for Silverlight and Firefox

    Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Feature Pack 2 brings more advanced platform and tool support for both manual and automated testing scenarios, powered by Visual Studio 2010 Premium, Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate, or Visual Studio Test Professional 2010. Now you can test your Silverlight 4 and Firefox applications more thoroughly and have better control over your coded UI tests through an intuitive graphical editor. Feature Pack 2 enables you to expand test coverage of platforms for your applications through world-class tool support.

    In particular, Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Feature Pack 2 enables the following scenarios:

    Silverlight 4:

    • Capture and playback of Action Recordings for Silverlight 4 Applications
    • Automated coded UI tests to be written and executed against Silverlight 4 applications
    • Ongoing edits to coded UI test projects using a graphical editor

    Firefox:

    • Fast Forward of action recordings from Microsoft Test Manager for Mozilla Firefox 3.5+
    • Automated testing from Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 for Mozilla Firefox 3.5+ (playback only).

    Feature Pack 2 is a cumulative feature pack where Visual Studio 2010 Feature Pack 1 (“Visual Studio 2010 Visualization and Modeling Feature Pack”) features are included.

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Steve’s Development Tools Newsletter – November 2010

    • 0 Comments

    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!

    This installment is a little light – but there are still some goodies below, so enjoy!

    Announcements

    Did you know that you actually have TFS hosting options?  There are several companies out there that you can use to host your TFS projects, saving you the effort of managing your own TFS server.  For a good list, check this out.

    At PDC last week, Brian Harry presented a new concept for TFS.  TFS on Windows Azure.  A lot of companies want this, and Brian discusses the challenges and successes of this endeavor in this blog post.

    If your team is using Eclipse, or working on a non-Windows OS, then perhaps you’ve heard of Team Explorer Everywhere.  Well, now there’s a new Beta (2010 SP1) available for you to try.  Some key new features include localization, gated check-in support, and rich text (plus bug fixes).

    Upcoming Events & Training

    The ALM Summit is this month in Redmond, November 16-18.  If you are an ALM practitioner, lead, or manager who is passionate about mastering your craft, you should register to attend the ALM Summit at the Microsoft Conference Center in Redmond, Washington.

    When you attend the ALM Summit you will gain deeper insight into your application lifecycle. You will also discover and learn about industry best practices that address additional development challenges, and how Microsoft's ALM Solutions enable and support those best practices . You'll have the opportunity to interact directly with the Visual Studio team, top engineers from other Microsoft product groups, and industry luminaries - both at the event and at evening receptions. Attending the ALM Summit will provide you with new tools for making better design, implementation, and technology selection decisions.

    The Build & Brew event series is coming to Phoenix on November 30th, and Denver on December 2nd.  Come join us for a half-day event at a local brewery (Sun Up Brewery in Phoenix, and Wynkoop Brewery in Denver) to learn about the new build system in TFS 2010.  Afterward, we’ll have a hosted happy hour to mingle and network with other companies that use TFS.  Registration info:  Phoenix  |  Denver

    QuickAnswers

    Final Thoughts

    Thanks for reading, I really do appreciate it!  I’ve seen the hit stats for this newsletter going up, and have received a lot of email from people asking to be added to the mailing list.  Please let me know what else you’d like to see in this newsletter, and I’ll do my best to accommodate!

    Also, I’d love to hear what else you’d like from the GotTeamSystem.com website.  My team maintains that site and are always looking for ways to improve it!

    Reminder:  If you’d like me to email you when I post a newsletter, just send me a note at stevenl@microsoft.com.  I won’t email you directly otherwise!

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Team Explorer Everywhere (TEE) 2010 SP1 Beta is Out!

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    That’s right!  If you’re on Eclipse, or a non-Windows platform and are using TFS, then Team Explorer Everywhere (TEE) should be on your radar.

    And if you’re using it already, then you’ll be even more excited to know that the Beta for SP1 is now available.  Full details are available on Brian Harry’s blog, but below are some highlights:

    • Fully localizable product.
    • Full Gated check-in support for TFS 2010.
    • Support for rich work item descriptions
    • Bug fixes and other improvements.

    Again, Brian has full details and screenshots, so I don’t want to poach his post, so check it out.

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Hey Denver! PDC Viewing Event has moved

    • 1 Comments

    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

    Turn It On! My Visual Studio LightSwitch (Beta1) Presentation

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    Tonight I presented to the Denver Visual Studio .NET User Group on Visual Studio LightSwitch.  Thank you to those who attended!

    For those of you who missed it, or just want the content anyway, below are links to my presentation. 

    You can find it on SkyDrive or on my profile at SlideShare:

    Below are a few links to get you started as well:

    Lastly, a few of you asked for the funny looping slide deck I used during the break.  That’s on SkyDrive HERE.

    Thanks!

  • Steve Lange @ Work

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

    • 2 Comments

    image

    Live Broadcast & In-Person Session

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

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

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

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

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

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

    PDC Viewing Venues & Registration Info

    Mountain View, CA

    Microsoft Corporation

    Event ID: 1032464622

    Denver, CO

    The Cable Center

    Microsoft Office

    Event ID: 1032464623

    Phoenix, AZ

    Gangplank

    Event ID: 1032464624

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

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Steve’s Development Tools Newsletter – October 2010

    • 0 Comments

    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!

    In this installment (jump to):  Announcements, Upcoming Events & Training, QuickAnswers, Customer-Requested Feature: Who Does What at Microsoft? (new!), Final Thoughts.

    Announcements

    Windows Phone 7 is Here!  Devices are coming soon, and the development tools are fully baked!  As a developer, now is the time to get a jumpstart on building apps for WP7.  There are developer launch events taking place all over the region (some have already taken place).  See the Upcoming Events section below for more details.

    The Denver Visual Studio Users Group needs a new home!  My team has been happy to host the UG in our Denver office for many years, and it’s been great to watch it grow during that time.  But simple laws of physics apply:  the UG has outgrown our facility!  So we need your help in finding a new place to meet.

    Speaking of the Denver UG, I’m slated to speak at this month’s meeting.  I’ll be introducing Visual Studio Lightswitch, and show how this type of tool is a GOOD THING for developers! 

    Did you know that Forrester named Microsoft a “Leader” in their assessment of the agile development management tools.  More details here, but below is a nice excerpt:

    • Microsoft provides the most comprehensive platform for .NET development. With extensive project support and comprehensive integration into the Visual Studio development environment, Team Foundation Server continues in the tradition of Microsoft products with an easy install and simple configuration. Out-of-the-box process configurations supporting Agile and other popular process models make adoption simpler. The VS2010 release, which was not evaluated, demonstrates a firm commitment to Agile with improvements to planning, reporting, and task management.

    Are you going to STPCon (Software Test Professionals Conference) in Las Vegas this month?  If so, I’ll see you there!  I’ll be trolling the conference and working at the Microsoft booth in the Expo hall.

    If you haven’t already taken advantage of this offer, know that Azure benefits to MSDN subscribers has doubled!  Now instead of an 8-month introductory offer, you get 16 months!

    Internet Explorer 9 is out in beta!  Take a look; it’s fast!

    Upcoming Events & Training

    With fall comes events!  The MSDN and TechNet calendars usually begin lighting up around this time of year.  You can see evidence of this on the GotTeamSystem.com site’s event calendar.  Here are some highlights:

    clip_image001

    Tuck this away:  PDC is coming, and it will be streamed live from Redmond.  There may be a PDC viewing in a Microsoft office near you.  As these places are confirmed, I’ll be sure to let you know!

    QuickAnswers

    • If you develop against the mainframe using MicroFocus Mainframe Express, you can use TFS for version control using the TFS MSCCI Provider (MSCCI:  Microsoft Source Code Control Interface).  More information here.
    • When you download the TFS Installation Guide (and many other .CHM files), when you first open it you’ll think that all the documentation pages are broken.  What you need to do is “unblock” the content by right-clicking the file, selecting Properties, and then clicking the “Unblock” button at the bottom of the Properties dialog.  Then open the file again and you should be golden.  (Yes, it mentions this at the top of the download page, but who reads that part anyway?)
    • Here are some great tips for getting the most out of Scrum in TFS.
    • Yes, you can order your tests as part of a Team Build.
    • Do you used BizTalk 2009 and TFS?  Take a look at this hotfix.
    • Why yes, we do have a bunch of new code analysis rules & warnings for VB.  (This is part of larger list of updates to the VS ALM library.  For a complete list, check this out.)

     

    Customer-Requested Feature: Who Does What at Microsoft?

    Customer-Requested FeatureEach month, I’ll address a specific customer’s question as the newsletter’s “feature”.  If you have a burning question, send it my way!

    This month, the question is, “There are so many different people and roles at Microsoft that I directly deal with.  Who does what, and who can answer my questions?”

    I’ll try to provide some insight as to “who does what” at Microsoft as it relates to Developer & Platform Evangelism (DPE, my division).

    Microsoft has a lot of people in the field to help you:  sales & licensing specialists, technical specialists, account managers, and account technology strategists.  Related to development, you’ll have sales & licensing specialists, technology specialists, and different kinds of evangelists (developer, architect, user experience, IT Pro, ISV, start-up, and platform strategy advisors, to name a few).

    So who you contact when you have a question?  Well, you may not like this first answer, but “it depends” on what question you have.  The best, most basic advice I can give you is, “contact whoever you know, and we’ll figure it out from there.”  My DPE team works really closely with each other, and we’re always happy to broker questions to the right resource for you.

    So here are the basic roles that you, as a development organization, may come across at Microsoft (may not be all-inclusive, but should cover the basics):

    • Account Manager – This person manages the overall relationship between Microsoft and your company.  They handle new and existing agreements (Enterprise Agreements, etc.) and are heavily vested in your company’s overall satisfaction with Microsoft.
    • Account Technology Strategist/Specialist – This person is the technical right-hand to the account manager.  He or she is the apex for all of your company’s technical needs.  Think of this person as a knower of all products but master of none.  Your ATS makes sure all your technology questions are answered, and that your various Microsoft technology investments are maximizing your productivity.
    • Developer & Platform Evangelism
    • Developer Solutions Specialist – The DSS is your sales & licensing specialist for development tools (Visual Studio, TFS, MSDN, Expression, etc.).  He or she will make sure you’re properly licensed for your team’s needs.  The DSS works closely with the account manager and ATS to further align development resources for your team.
    • Developer Technology SpecialistThis is my role.  The DevTS is the technical pair to the DSS (above), and is considered the development tools expert in the field.  He or she can provide development tools overviews (100 to 400 level) and demonstrations for your team, as well as answer specific questions about tool functionality, workarounds, etc.  This person works in tandem with the DSS in making sure your development staff is equipped to be as successful as possible.
    • Evangelists
    • Developer Evangelist – The DE is usually your face for Microsoft development technologies.  You’ll find a DE speaking at MSDN events, maintaining a popular blogs, and generally spreading all the .NET goodness to the masses.  The DE focuses on the underlying frameworks and technologies (.NET, Silverlight, WP7, etc.) that the development tools enable. 
    • Architect Evangelist – Where the DE works “in the weeds” with the development team, the AE works from an enterprise architect level to help align your projects’ overall business needs to the best Microsoft platform available.
    • Find your local evangelist here.

    Does this help?  There are additional roles which I may highlight later, but if your on a development team, chances are these are the types of Microsoft folks you’ll come across most frequently.

    Again, if you have a question and you’re not sure which Microsoft person to start with, just pick the contact you know the best.  We all work together and want you questions to be answered.  I’d rather offer you this advice instead of trying to give you a decision tree for identifying a first point of contact.

    Final Thoughts

    Windows Phone 7 is all the buzz these days – Don’t be left behind!  Learn all you can either from the developer website or by attending a launch or MSDN event.

    Thanks for reading, I really do appreciate it!  I’ve seen the hit stats for this newsletter going up, and have received a lot of email from people asking to be added to the mailing list.  Please let me know what else you’d like to see in this newsletter, and I’ll do my best to accommodate!

    Also, I’d love to hear what else you’d like from the GotTeamSystem.com website.  My team maintains that site and are always looking for ways to improve it!

    Reminder:  If you’d like me to email you when I post a newsletter, just send me a note at stevenl@microsoft.com.  I won’t email you directly otherwise!

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