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.
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!
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.
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!
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:
(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.
(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.
(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.
March 15th, 2011
Register via this link: http://www.clicktoattend.com/?id=153134
I hope to see you there!
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!
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.
(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!
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.
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 email@example.com.
Visual Studio, and .NET development in general is a broad and deep topic. IT Boot Camps is providing four separate curriculums in this area:
March 7 - 9 May 2 - 5
Exam Targeted: 70-511: TS: Windows Applications Development with Microsoft .NET Framework 4
Course Material: 10262A: Developing Windows Applications with Microsoft Visual Studio 2010
March 10 - 12 May 5 - 7
Course Material: 10264A: Developing Web Applications with Microsoft Visual Studio 2010
March 14 - 15 May 9 - 10
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
March 16 - 18 May 11 - 13
Exam Targeted: 70-516: TS: Accessing Data with Microsoft .NET Framework 4
Course Material: 10265A: Developing Data Access Solutions with Microsoft Visual Studio 2010
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:
March 28 -31
Exam Targeted: 70-506: TS: Silverlight 4, Development
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.
June 13 - 14
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:
* Remember that there are discounts for user group members!
WHEW! Don’t know where to start? Contact IT Boot Camps for more information.
Using the Visual Studio 2010 ALM Tools to Improve Your Software Lifecycle Management
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
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
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
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
TIME: 9:00 am-4:00 pm (local time)
March 9, 2011
To register, click here!
March 10, 2011
To register, click here!
March 15, 2011
March 17, 2011
Los Angeles, CA
March 23, 2011
March 30, 2011
April 6, 2011
April 27, 2011
For questions or more information, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 972-607-4830
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, 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!
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:
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!
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!
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 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.
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)
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!
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!
Thanks 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!
Microsoft & 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 (email@example.com) if you’re interested!
Welcome & Registration: 11:30 AM
Build: 12:00 PM-5:00 PM
Brew: 5:00 PM
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) for the registration info.
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:
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.
This installment is a little light – but there are still some goodies below, so enjoy!
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).
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
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 email@example.com. I won’t email you directly otherwise!
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:
Again, Brian has full details and screenshots, so I don’t want to poach his post, so check it out.
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.
7595 Technology Way, Suite 400
Denver, CO 80237
We’ll see you there!
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.
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
Event ID: 1032464622
The Cable Center
Event ID: 1032464623
Event ID: 1032464624
Seating is limited. Register online or call 1-877-MSEVENT
In this installment (jump to): Announcements, Upcoming Events & Training, QuickAnswers, Customer-Requested Feature: Who Does What at Microsoft? (new!), Final Thoughts.
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:
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!
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:
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!
Each 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):
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.
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.
In an earlier article I discussed how to use and Ordered Test to control the execution order of Coded UI Tests (the same can be applied to other test types as well). I received a few follow-up questions about how to do this in TFS Build so tests run in a particular order as part of a build.
Here’s one way that’s remarkably easy.
In my example, I have a project called JustTesting, which contains just a test project with 3 unit tests (which will always pass, BTW).
I put those tests into an ordered test:
In Solution Items, I open up my JustTesting.vsmdi file, create a new test list (called Ordered Tests), and add my ordered test to it.
Once that’s done, I check everything into TFS (my Team Project’s name is “Sample CMMI”.
Next, I set up a build definition (in Team Explorer, right-click Builds, and select “New Build Definition”). Set whatever options you want (name, trigger, workspace, build defaults) but stop at “Process”.
In the section named “2. Basic”, you’ll see that by default the Automated Tests field is set to (something like): “Run tests in assemblies matching **\*test*.dll using settings from $/Sample CMMI/JustTesting/Local.testsettings”.
Click on the ellipsis on the right of that to open the Automated Tests dialog:
Remove the entry you see (or leave it if you wish to include that test definition), and then click “Add”.
In the Add/Edit Test dialog, select the optoin for “Test metadata file (.vsmdi)”. Use the browse button to find and select your desired .vsmdi file. In my example, JustTesting.vsmdi.
Uncheck “Run all tests in this VSMDI file”, then check the box next to your test list containing the ordered test. In my example, the test list is called “Ordered Tests”. Your dialog should look something like this:
Click OK and you’re Automated Tests dialog should look like:
Click OK again, then save your build definition.
Queue a new build using this definition. Once complete, look at the build report to see your test results.
It’s a few steps, but nothing ridiculous. And I didn’t have to hack any XML files or do any custom coding.
Hope this helps!
I plan to create a newsletter at the beginning of each month, highlighting notable items from the previous month and what to look for in the coming month.
Visual Studio LightSwitch - I mentioned this announcement last month. Now LightSwitch Beta 1 is now available for download!
Visual Studio Database Guide – The latest product of the ALM Rangers team, the VS Database Guidance provides practical guidance for Visual Studio 2010 Database projects, focusing on 5 areas: Solution and Project Management, Source Code Control and Configuration Management, Integrating External Changes with the Project System, Build and Deployment Automation with Visual Studio Database Projects, and Database Testing and Deployment Verification. This release includes common guidance, usage scenarios, hands on labs, and lessons learned from real world engagements and the community discussions.
Window Phone 7 Developers – That’s right, it’s getting closer! Windows Phone 7 just RTM’d. What does that mean for you? It means that more content, training, and toolkits are on the way for developers. In fact, I just blogged about upcoming developer launch events around the West. If you’re not local to an event, you can still watch the event streamed live on October 12th (just register first).
Agile Lean Users Group - Hey Phoenix, check it out!
TFS Re-Release: Team Foundation Server 2010 has been re-released to include QFE KB2135068, which addresses an upgrade issue I mentioned in last month’s newsletter. If you’re already using TFS and never encountered any issues upgrading, then you don’t need to do anything about it.
Hands On Lab: Improving Software Quality with Visual Studio Team System 2010 – This lab is coming to Denver and Phoenix later this month. This two-day instructor-led course provides students with the knowledge and skills to use the latest testing tools provided by Visual Studio Team System 2010 to improve their ability to manage and execute test plans. Test case creation and management will be covered, as well as test execution and automation practices. Creating and managing virtual lab environments using Lab Management will be discussed within the context of test plan and execution. By the end of the course, students are equipped to begin planning the implementation of Visual Studio 2010 for improving testing practices within their organizations. This course is currently taught using Visual Studio Ultimate 2010. Details: Denver | Phoenix
Lots of Webcasts! – There are quite a few webcasts coming soon that will cover all sorts of topics. Stay updated here.
I’m busy planning a couple other events which I hope to have delivered by the end of this year. My goal is to create a couple of unique event series this year – hint: maybe we’ll host an event at a brewery?
As always, we maintain a pretty up-to-date listing of events in your area (including MSDN and TechNet) at GotTeamSystem.com.
Keep sending topics you’d like to hear more about, either via an event or blog posts. I’ll see what I can do!
For those of you in Colorado, it looks like I’ll be presenting at a couple upcoming user groups:
With the Windows Phone 7 RTM announcement this week, it’s time to start building your apps to run on it! What better way to get excited about this new platform and enjoy a jumpstart in your development than developer launch events!
There will be national and regional launch events, along with an opportunity to view online as well (if we don’t make it to your neck of the woods).
Windows Phone 7 gives you the power to build complex, robust applications using consistent hardware specs, a comprehensive development toolkit, and the all-new, full-service Marketplace for selling your apps. We want you to be ready to capitalize on this new frontier, so we’re launching two days of fast-paced learning to get you up and running with Windows Phone 7 development. Check out the agenda and pick the day that best fits your needs – or join us for both. The choice is yours. Whatever you can imagine, you’ll get the information you need to build high-demand apps with Windows Phone 7.
Day 1: Jump-Start Your Mobile Development | 8:30am - 5:15pm In the first of this two-day launch event, we'll take you under the hood of Windows Phone 7 and the Windows Phone 7 platform with a progressive set of learning sessions. We'll start with the basic tools and fundamentals of Windows Phone 7 application development and as the day unfolds, we'll go deeper into development scenarios using Silverlight, XNA and the Windows Phone 7 SDK. You'll also see how to earn cash for your apps in the fully loaded Marketplace.
Day 2: Unleash Your Best App Workshop | 9:00am - 4:00pm This hands-on workshop is designed to help you turn those napkin sketches and subway scribbles into real, sellable apps. You'll apply fundamental Windows Phone 7 design principles to build an app and upload it to the fully revamped Marketplace. Go at your own pace or follow along with a proctored group lab. Either way, you'll get step-by-step advice from Microsoft and community experts. It's an unprecedented opportunity to stake your claim in the marketplace – using familiar tools and consistent specs.
DAY 1: Jump-Start Your Mobile Development
Hilton Orange County
DAY 2: Unleash Your Best App Workshop
Microsoft Silicon Valley Campus
San Francisco Design Center
10/12 - DAY 1: Jump-Start Your Mobile Development – Streamed Live – REGISTER HERE
Don’t live in California? You can also attend a Windows Phone 7 Unleashed event, put on by MSDN Events:
The first half of this deep dive event is lecture and hands on lab. At the half point mark of the day, you’ll have a solid foundation for building WP7 applications. The second half of the day is going straight to code. Build the best app and have a chance to win!
In order to deliver the best possible experience for attendees, seating at these events is VERY limited. Register now!
Please note, there are pre-requisites for these events!
Events rolling your way:
New Horizons Learning Center
Microsoft Denver Office
Salt Lake City
Microsoft Salt Lake City Office
Events are being confirmed daily, so please subscribe to an RSS feed on www.msdnevents.com for updates on events in your area! Check each registration page for full agenda and details.
I hope to see you all at one of these awesome events!
You’ve been waiting for it for months. You’ve been wondering how much it will cost. Wait no more!
VS Lab Management is now available via MSDN. So if you have Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate with MSDN or Visual Studio Test Professional 2010 with MSDN, you can use the Visual Studio 2010 Lab Management 2010 Deployment Guide on MSDN Subscriber Downloads to set up Lab Management.
See “Getting Started with Lab Management” for more details, but here’s a quick blurb on Lab Management:
Microsoft’s Visual Studio Lab Management solution extends the existing Visual Studio Application Lifecycle Management platform to enable integrated Hyper-V based virtual machine management. Lab Management automates complex build-deploy-test workflows to optimize the build process, decrease risk and accelerate your time to market. Organizations can reduce development and testing costs associated with setup, tear down and restoration of virtual environments to a known state. Lab Management streamlines the collaboration between development, QA and operations to help organizations achieve a higher ROI and realize the benefits of Microsoft’s entire ALM solution. Lab Management enables testers to file rich bugs with links to environment snapshots, which enable developers to quickly debug complex environments.
If you wish to evaluate Lab Management, you can download the trial (available here) or a fully-configured Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V based virtual machine (available here).
Rob Bagby’s back in town, people! Although only temporary, he’s armed with some exciting stuff around Entity Framework 4. Come find him in a city near you (schedule below).
You are not going to want to miss this half-day event where Rob Bagby will be illustrating how to take advantage of the Entity Framework 4 in your applications. The event will be split across 3 sections and will be demo-driven.
In part I, Rob will start with an overview of Entity Framework 4. He will then delve into modeling and mapping with the EF. He will cover how you can create a “conceptual” or “application-centric” model within the framework to meet the needs of your application. He will also cover relationships in the Entity Framework, including the new Foreign Key relationships in Entity Framework 4.
In part II, Rob will provide an overview of your querying options in the Entity Framework. He will discuss your querying options in Entity Framework 4, including the following:
In Part III, Rob will discuss working with Object Services to track changes and perform persistence. This section will include a discussion of the new templates in Entity Framework 4 aimed at working in disconnected environments: the POCO template and the Self-Tracking Entities template. Given time, Rob will illustrate how the EF supports functionality that real-world applications require such as concurrency, validation and transactions.
Event Start Date/Time
MSDN Events Presents: Entity Framework 4
14-Sep-2010 01:00 PM
16-Sep-2010 01:00 PM
20-Sep-2010 01:00 PM
21-Sep-2010 01:00 PM
22-Sep-2010 01:00 PM
[UPDATE – To allow comments and better tracking, I’m going to be publishing my newsletter as a regular blog post instead of a static page.]
It happens often: I meet with a customer who asks a terrific question which makes me think, “Man, I have a lot of other customers who’d love to know about that as well!”
So I’ve decided to (try and) put together a monthly newsletter which provides announcements, tips, event notices, and other information that I think will interest you. (And yes, I’m open to ideas/topics as well!)
Earlier today, I posted my first installment for August 2010. As I post more, I’ll maintain an archive as well, I’ll be tagging my newsletter posts as well so you can see an archive. While I will be posting these newsletters online, I will (and already have!) sent notifications to some of you. If you’d like to be notified of new newsletters, send me an email or fill out the contact form and let me know. (Yep, opt in. I don’t want to just spam.)
I hope to publish at the beginning of each month, detailing news from the past month and covering upcoming items for the next month.
This is my first of hopefully many newsletters I want to create for you, my customers. 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!
Visual Studio LightSwitch – An incredibly simple way to create business applications for the desktop and the cloud. Formerly-named “KittyHawk”, LightSwitch removes a lot of the tedium of creating applications, such as data sources, screen building, and validation.
Visual Studio Scrum 1.0 Template is Released – This is a Microsoft-developed Scrum template for Team Foundation Server 2010. It enacts Scrum in a lightweight, flexible manner. And it’s free! Accentient will be doing a 2-part webcast to introduce you to this new template.
GotTeamSystem.com - For a comprehensive listing of upcoming events and webcasts in your area, including development tools, MSDN, and TechNet, visit the Got Team System website. You can subscribe to RSS feeds, or simply bookmark your area’s landing page. This site covers the entire Western United States. Quick links: Denver, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City
Visual Studio 2010 Accelerated Learning Program – [DENVER] Think of it as a boot camp for Visual Studio and .NET 4.0, with Microsoft certification as the end goal. Registration is open now, and the course starts on September 18th.
2-Day Remote Training Course on Testing 2010 – Provided by Northwest Cadence, enroll today! By the end of the course: Testers should be able to start testing software with Microsoft Test Manager and TFS. Test Managers will have enough knowledge to manage testing activities with MTM and TFS. All participants should understand the workflow between developers and testers and understand the benefits of MTM and TFS. In addition, all participants will understand the reports generated by TFS relating to quality and be able to report on application quality on the Cube.
I’m looking for ideas for events this Fall! (Read more below)
If you are preparing to upgrade to TFS 2010, please read this Microsoft Support article first! It discusses an issue with the upgrade process in 2010 which could create the following conditions:
Read the entire article to see if you may need the patch. This patch as been placed on the MSDN Code Gallery here.
QuickAnswers is a section where I plan to provide brief answers or bits of knowledge based on conversations with you, my customers, over the past month or so. Who knows, maybe one will apply to you?
Thanks to all of you who attended “The Full Testing Experience” event series in Denver or Phoenix. The feedback was very positive, with a lot of interest in doing an even deeper dive into the Microsoft testing tools in a future event. We’re looking into it, so stay tuned!
On the topic of events, I’d love to hear what events you’d like to see roll through your town. July and August are big planning months for my team, so now is a good time to speak up if you have a topic in mind!
If you didn’t know, the VS ALM Rangers is a team at Microsoft dedicated to advancing adoption and capabilities of our ALM tools. I’ve been on that team for almost 4 years now, and it’s incredibly rewarding (I was a contributor to the Requirements Management Guidance on CodePlex). More on the Rangers here, including my brief profile.
Thanks for reading! Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any needs around Microsoft’s development tools.