Steve Lange @ Work

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

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    August 2010 - Steve’s Monthly Developer Tools Newsletter (First Installment!)


    [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.]

    imageIt 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.

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Steve's Development Tools Newsletter - August 2010


    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!

    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 – 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. 

    Upcoming Events & Training - 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)

    Other Things to Know

    Patch for Upgrading to TFS 2010

    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:

    • Labels that were created before the upgrade are missing files or folders. Labels might be completely empty.
    • The Merge wizard in Visual Studio does not display all valid merge targets for a given source path/branch.
    • During merging, merge candidates are shown for changes that were already merged before the upgrade

    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?

    • Lab Management does not run on Azure.  It’s designed to leverage virtualization on your hardware in your environment.
    • Team Web Access (TFS browser client) is included with TFS 2010.  It’s installed automatically.  The work item-only client is shoved into the full web client, and is enabled (or stripped down to) based on the user’s permissions.
    • How do you pronounce Azure
    • Yes, you can run TFS on a non-Server OS like Windows 7, but you lose SharePoint and Reporting Services.  And it’s not a good idea if for more than just a few people.  I run TFS 2010 on my Win7 machine at home, but hey, it’s only me using it.
    • If you need to use a partner, but don’t know which one to contact, ping me first.  Each partner in your area has slightly different areas of focus.  Contact me and I can help align the right resource for you.
    • In a test case (in Test Manager, or MTM), parameter values are only in the test case, and aren’t data driven from external data sources.  Once you automate a test case (into a Coded UI Test), you can elect to either continue using the test case’s parameter values, or wire it up to an external data source (such as a CSV, XML, or database table).  This holds true for any automated test in Visual Studio (Coded UI, Web Performance, or Unit).
    • Try TestScribe.  TestScribe is a free utility which cranks out a nice Word document representing your test plan. 

    Thoughts on July

    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.

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Introducing Visual Studio LightSwitch!


    Formerly code-named “KittyHawk”, LightSwitch was announced today at VSLive!..

    Without going into details (because a great introduction is on Jason Zander’s blog), just know that LightSwitch is probably the simplest way to creating business applications for the desktop and the cloud.  It automates the more time-consuming procedures of building applications, such as data sources, screen designs, and data validation.

    LightSwitch is available as a standalone Visual Studio product, and will be integrated into Visual Studio in the future.

    Take a peek!

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Visual Studio Scrum 1.0 Template is Released


    The beta is done..  As announced to Soma’s and Aaron Bjork’s blogs, Microsoft has released the Visual Studio Scrum 1.0 process template for Team Foundation Server.  It’s an incredibly light-weight and flexible template designed to enact Scrum in TFS.

    Aaron’s blog discusses this more, but there are some basic changes since the beta, mainly ones designed to round out the template.

    Keep in mind that the MSF for Agile 5.0 template has some similar “Scrum-like” concepts, but this template is meant to be more purely Scrum-centric.

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Microsoft .NET 4.0 Framework and Visual Studio 2010 Boot Camp for Developers


    [Update 7/27:  The next course’s new start date is September 18th]

    [Update 9/14:  The next course’s new start date is October 18th]

    VS_v_rgbLooking to get certified, but short on time?  Take a look at the upcoming Visual Studio 2010 Accelerated Learning Program (geek speak: Boot Camp).  It’s immersive – it’s hard core, and it may be just what you’re looking for!

    Sponsored by IQShare, Pariveda Solutions, and ExecuTrain, this is an intensive 10 day program (10 hours/day), and covers all material from 5 Microsoft official courses that make up the designed path to achieve the MCTS (23 total days of content).

    What is “Accelerated Training”?  A blurb:

    IT professionals have realized the importance of possessing a professional certification, but, it is not preferable these days to get trained the orthodox way because time is a major constraint for both individuals and companies. On the other hand, (the less-expensive) eLearning or self-study options make a compromise on the hands-on practical aspects of IT training. Considering time & budget constraints, the most cost effective training solution that has emerged these days is Accelerated Training. Our program is all about teaching specific skills, tools or technologies over a limited time span in a zero-distraction environment. Live feedback from instructors about exam questions, topics, problem-solving skills, comprehensive certification information and access to the latest systems. servers and other hardware adds value to the classroom experience.

    At the end of the course, you’ll be well-positioned for the following 4 Microsoft Certification exams:·

    Check it out soon!  The next course is slated to begin on August 7th September 18th.

    A PDF version of the brochure can be found here.

    For more information contact, Michael Ruark at (720) 885-5984, or visit the registration website at:

    Also, be sure to also check out their SharePoint Designer 2010 Accelerated Learning Course as well!  The next course starts on August 23rd.

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    It’s Not Too Late! See “The Full Testing Experience”


    It’s still not too late to register for “The Full Testing Experience: Professional Quality Assurance with Visual Studio 2010”.  It’s a packed 1/2 day event at a Microsoft location near you.  Come learn all about MTM (Microsoft Test Manager) and Lab Management and how these products help you organize test plans & test cases, manage automated & manual test runs, and help dev & test teams see each other’s work in a new light.

    This event series is touring the Western US, and will be in my neck(s) of the woods in Denver and Phoenix at the end of this month.  I hope to see you there!

    July 27, 2010  -  Phoenix, AZ  -  148975

    July 28, 2010  -  Denver, CO  -  148976

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Test Drive the New TFS Scrum Template v1.0 (Beta)


    Different, and more lightweight than the EMC (formerly Conchango) Scrum for Team System template, this template is meant to provide a simple and flexible implementation of Scrum for Team Foundation Server 2010.

    It’s free, and available for download in the Visual Studio gallery.  Additional details can be found on Aaron Bjork’s blog post:  Announcing Team Foundation Server Scrum v1.0 Beta, where he discusses the differences between this template and the MSF for Agile v5.0, how sprints are handled, etc.

    New Product Backlog Item dialog

    So grab it and take it for a spin today!  You can get it HERE.

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Microsoft Store Welcomed to Colorado


    Today the latest Microsoft Store opened in Lone Tree, CO at the Park Meadows Mall.  Countless people were on-hand to be among the first to enter this amazing store.  (I also heard that over 100 people camped out the night before?  Ahh, the days of Window 95!)


    The line keeps going

      The line keeps going

    The line keeps going

    Microsoft executives were in attendance, including Kevin Turner and Ray Ozzie.  Kevin opened the store a little before 10AM, but not before giving away $350,000 in software to local organizations (KidsTek, Denver Museum of Nature & Science, and the Girl Scouts of Colorado).

    Many local Microsoft employees were also at the opening to support our newest colleagues (they’re the ones in the bright shirts!) to the community.

    KT kicking things off 

    Other notable attendees included the mayor of Lone Tree, the State Attorney General, local city council, and other.

    Once the ribbon was cut, people poured into the new store!



    Digital wall



    I didn't have the guts to interrupt and ask for a picture.  ;)

    Other items of note:

    • The first 1000 visitors through the door received a swag bag containing a Microsoft Store t-shirt, Bing stress ball, Microsoft Store water bottle, Xbox game, and other assorted trinkets.  Additionally, they received 2 wristbands providing VIP access to a Demi Lovato concert on Saturday.
    • The store was decked out with items similar to other stores, including:
      • 3 Surface machines
      • a digital wall wrapping the store, made of over 100 individual screens
      • the latest computers, laptops, netbooks, digital cameras, Zunes, accessories, etc.
      • Several XBox setups, including Rockband (+ DJ)
      • A giant 3D TV running Media Center
    • Professional boarder Rob Dyrdek in the afternoon for autographs.

    You can see many more pictures (and much more professionally done) at the MS store’s Facebook page:

    It was amazing to see such a turnout for the opening of a retail store – an incredible rarity for Park Meadows!  I hope everyone gets an opportunity to visit a store in your area.   The employees are excited, educated, and ready to help!

    Hope to see you there sometime…

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Woot! Expression Studio 4 is Here


    Expression Studio 4Expression Studio 4 was announced this week!  There are some incredible new capabilities in this release, and I’ve bulleted the big ones below.  There are other places that will talk more about each in detail, but this should give you a start.  (One of my favorite features – native TFS support!)

    There are three (3) different product sets for Expression Studio:

    • Expression Studio 4 Ultimate
      • Expression Web + SuperPreview
      • Expression Blend
      • SketchFlow
      • Expression Design
      • Expression Encoder Pro
    • Expression Studio 4 Web Professional
      • Expression Web + SuperPreview
      • Expression Design
      • Expression Encoder
    • Expression Encoder 4 Pro

    (Technically, there is a fourth edition, Expression Studio 4 Premium, but that is not available via retail)

    Here’s the experience you get with xStudio 4 as told in an elevator:

    Expression Blend, Visual Studio, Silverlight and .NET provide the most compelling design and development workflow on the market today. Seamlessly working on user experience and core architecture enables you to deliver visual and interaction design and underlying code that is both unique and innovative. The speed and flexibility with which ideas are taken from concept to completion gives you and your team the ability to push the envelope of your skills throughout the project, challenging you to deliver sophisticated and compelling applications for your customers, while still enabling you to deliver the final project on time and within budget.

    Here’s what I say:

    Expression Studio 4 allows you to conceptualize, design, and create compelling user experiences while easily collaborating with development and test teams.  Map your thoughts, communicate ideas, design the next “wow” experience.

    Think about it in a few major focus areas, and their supporting capabilities:

    Compelling Experiences

    • SketchFlow
    • Adobe Photoshop Import
    • Adobe Illustrator Import
    • Behaviors
    • Control Styling
    • Visual State Manager
    • Custom controls
    • Easing Animation
    • Path Layout
    • Pixel Effects

    Powerful Technology

    • Silverlight 4, Silverlight 3, .NET 4, .NET 3.5
    • Code Editor
    • XAML IntelliSense
    • C#/VB IntelliSense
    • Sample Data
    • TFS support (yeah, baby!)
    • Behaviors
    • Extensibility (UI adorners on custom controls)
    • Expression Blend and Visual Studio integration
    • Eco-system – utilizing and leveraging skills that are in place today

     Accelerated Results

    • Behaviors
    • SketchFlow / Microsoft Word export
    • Adobe Photoshop Import
    • Adobe Illustrator Import
    • Sample Data
    • Code Editor
    • XAML IntelliSense
    • C#/VB IntelliSense
    • Control Skinning
    • Visual State Manager – State animation / Effects
    • Custom controls / Convert Graphics to control parts
    • Superior workflow design/development workflow

    Take it for a test drive today!

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Visual Studio 2010 Feature Packs are Here


    MSDN logo There are two feature packs releasing today, with a third on its way in the coming weeks.  If you’re using VS 2010 Ultimate and are an MSDN subscriber, enjoy the Visualization and Modeling Feature Pack!

    You can get ‘em here:

    Jason Zander has blogged about the feature packs in much more detail, but here’s a bulleted list of goodies:

    Visual Studio 2010 Visualization and Modeling Feature Pack

    • Visualize your native (C++) code
    • Visualize Web Application Projects, Web Sites, and ASP.NET MVC code
    • Code Generation from UML Class diagram
    • Rapid population of Modeling Store from Architecture Explorer
    • XMI 2.1 Import
    • Work Item to Model Element Back linking
    • Layer Diagram Extensibility

    And free for everyone (using VS 2010), introducing the Productivity Power Tools!  You can get this from the Visual Studio Gallery.

    Visual StudioVisual Studio 2010 Productivity Power Tools

    • Document Tab Well – One of the key pieces of feedback that we have received over several versions of Visual Studio is that users want to be able to customize the behavior of their document tabs.  From the ordering of tabs to the position of the close buttons, user can now configure dozens of different options for their tabs. To configure this option, on the Tools menu, click Options -> Environment -> Document Tab Well to configure it as you prefer.
    • Extension Update – Provides a bubble tip when there are updated versions of the Pro Power Tools or any other extensions available on the Visual Studio Gallery. To try this experience, install this old version of the “Collapse Selection in Solution Explorer” extension and restart Visual Studio.
    • Highlight Current Line – As the resolution of monitors increases, it’s becoming more difficult to find the caret in the code editor. The Highlight Current Line extension makes it easy to find the caret by highlighting the line that the caret is on in the editor.  You can even configure the default color by changing the setting for “Current Line (Extension)” and “Current Line Inactive (Extension)” in Tools Options Fonts & Colors.
    • Add Reference Dialog – From the Solution Explorer or Navigator, right-click the References node, select Add Reference, and you will be presented with a fast, searchable and easy to understand Add Reference dialog.
    • HTML Copy – This extension provides support for the HTML Clipboard format when copying code from the editor. This means that you’ll no longer have to go fix up the formatting of your code when you paste it into a Team Foundation Server bug form or any other HTML based control.
    • Triple Click – It has never been easier to select a line of code from the mouse by simple triple-clicking anywhere on the line.
    • Fix Mixed Tabs – Some developers prefer tabs, others prefer spaces, and nobody likes mixing tabs & spaces. This extension promotes developer harmony by warning as they are open or save a file that has a mixture of tabs & spaces. The information bar also provides an easy way to fix the file to suit your preference.
    • Ctrl + Click Go To Definition – This extension gives the editor a web browser by adding clickable hyperlinks to symbols in your code as you hold down the Ctrl key.
    • Align Assignments – This extension improves code readability by aligning the assignments when you type Ctrl+Alt+] such that it takes this



    And turns it into this:


    • Move Line Up/Down Commands – This extension maps the Alt+Up Arrow & Alt+Down Arrow keys such that they will move the current line of code or the selected lines up and down through the editor. 
    • Column Guides – Since Visual Studio.NET 2002, an undocumented Registry key enables users to draw a vertical line in the code editor. This is very useful to remind developers that their full line of code or comments may not fit one a single screen. Thanks to this extension this feature has returned with UI configure it.
    • Colorized Parameter Help – This extension improves consistency with the editor by applying syntax highlighting to the contents of the Parameter Help window for C# & Visual Basic.NET. 
  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Thoughts on TFS Project Collections


    New to TFS 2010, Team Project Collections (TPCs) provide an additional layer of project organization/abstraction above the Team Project level (see the MSDN article, “Organizing Your Server with Project Collections”)

    I’ve been asked numerous times over the past couple of months about the intention of project collections, their flexibility and limitations.  Below are simply my educated thoughts on the subject.  Please do your due diligence before deciding how you wish (or wish not) to implement project collections in your environment.

    You can use collections to more tightly couple related projects, break up the administrative process, or to dramatically increase scale.  But the primary design goal behind introducing project collections is around isolation (of code, projects, or groups within an organization) in a way that provides all the benefits of TFS, scoped to a defined level within a single instance of TFS.  You’re effectively partitioning TFS.

     Basic project collection structure


    If you have ever used TFS 2005 or 2008, think of it this way.  A project collection effectively compartmentalizes all the capabilities you’ve grown to love in a single TFS 2005/2008 instance:

    Project collection compartmentalization

    I won’t go into how you create/edit/delete project collections.  Just know that you can.  (BTW – for those of you upgrading from an earlier version of TFS, your existing projects will go into a single default project collection (by default, it’s named “Default Collection”.  Original, right?)

    Consider this (over-simplified) example.  I have 4 projects in my server, currently in a single (“default”) collection:

    Single collection view

    Say Project A and Project B are used by “Division A” in my company, and Agile1 and Sample Win App are used by “Division B”.  Project A and Project B share some code and leverage the same user base.  The assets in each division’s projects are in no way related to the other.  Consequently, I’d love to take advantage of project collections and separate our divisions’ stuff.  A more practical implementation of project collections might look like this:

    I build out my collections using the TFS Administration Console to look like this:

    Viewing my project collections in the admin console

    Once that’s done, I can ultimately end up with such a structure that my desired projects are contained in their respective organization’s collection:

    Division A’s stuff:

    Division A's collection

    Division B’s stuff:

    Division B's collection

    Now each division’s stuff is effectively compartmentalized.  No shared process templates, no shared user base, and no shared database (which means one division’s screw-up won’t affect another division’s work).

    Okay, so I lied a little – I earlier said I wouldn’t go into detail about how to CRUD collections.  But I will mention one thing here, which will add context to the above scenario.  In the above, I had a single collection that I effectively wanted to split into two collections (i.e. go from “Default Collection” to “Division A” and “Division B”).  This is surprisingly easy to do (more complicated than drag & drop, but not ridiculous either).  The documentation for splitting a collection lists 15 main steps to accomplish this, but basically what you’re doing is cloning a collection and then deleting what you don’t want.

    See?  I told you it would be a simple example.  But if you expand this to think of a TFS environment with 100 projects (instead of my puny four), you get the point.

    This all sounds pretty cool, right?  It. Is. Very. Cool.  Project collections can be used for various purposes in your TFS deployment (consolidating related development efforts, scaling the SQL backend, mapping TFS hierarchy to organization hierarchy, etc.).  However, with flexibility comes complexity.  If you had fun sitting around a conference table debating how to structure your TFS 2005/2008 project hierarchy (perhaps consulting our branching guidance document or patterns & practices?), project collections add a new element to consider for 2010.  Below I’ve outlined some of the main considerations for you and your team to think about before taking advantage of project collections in TFS 2010.

    For Systems Administrators:  Pros & Cons


    • Flexibility to to backup/restore collections individually.  This can reduce downtime as restoring one collection will not impact users of other collections.
    • Since each collection is contained in its own database, these databases can be moved around a SQL infrastructure to increase scale and load balancing.
    • Could help consolidate IT resources.  If your organization currently leverages several TFS instances simply to isolate environments between departments, collections can allow the same TFS instance to be used while still providing this isolation.


    • Again, with flexibility comes complexity.  Since project collections use their own databases, each one must be backed up (and restored) individually.  Also, other admin tasks such as permissions and build controller configuration grow proportionately as additional collections are created.
    • Users and permissions need to be administered separately for each project collection (this may also be a project admin consideration).
    • There are more databases to restore in the event a full disaster recovery is needed.

    For Project Administrators:  Pros & Cons


    • Organizational hierarchy.  If your organization has multiple divisions/departments, you can break up your TFS project structure to reflect that organizational view.  This makes it much easier for users to identify (or constrain via permissions) which projects belong to their department.
    • Projects grouped in the same project collection can leverage similar reports (“dashboards”) work item types, etc.  They can can also inherit source code from other grouped projects.


    • In Visual Studio, you can only connect to one collection at a time.  While it’s relatively trivial to simply connect to a different collection, you can’t view team projects in Team Explorer that reside in different project collections.
    • Relationship-specific operations you enjoy across team projects cannot span project collections.  This means that there are several things you cannot do across collection boundaries, such as:
    • Branch/merge source code (you can do this cross-project, but not cross-collection)
    • Query work items (i.e. you can’t build a query that will show you all bugs across multiple collections)
    • Link items (i.e. you can’t link a changeset in one collection to a task in another collection)
    • Process templates are customized and applied at the project collection level, not the TFS server level

    What does it boil down to?

    It’s really about your need for isolation.  Do you ideally want to isolate by application/system, organization, or something else?  Do you foresee a need to share code, work items, or other assets across projects?  It’s a fun little decision tree:

     Basic, over-simplified decision tree

    So that’s it!  The devil is always hiding in the details, so do your own research and use your own discretion when deciding how to adopt project collections into your TFS deployment.  I anticipate more guidance on this topic to come out as TFS 2010 installations propagate throughout the world.

    For more resources and practical guidance on using Team Foundation Server, see the TFS team’s blog on MSDN.

    I hope this helps you somewhat!  And thanks for reading!

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Ordering Method Execution of a Coded UI Test


    There’s often no discernable, consistent pattern that dictates the execution order of automated tests (Coded UI in this example, but the same applies to Unit Tests).  Some argue that it may be a good thing that there isn’t an inherent pattern for the execution of CodedUI tests (and unit tests, for that matter), as a seemingly more random pattern can uncover test dependencies which reduce the overall effective coverage of tests.  And I agree with that to an extent, but there are always cases in which control over execution order is needed.

    An easy way to accomplish test order is to use an Ordered Test. This will provide you explicit control over the execution order of your tests.

    For this example, I have a Coded UI Test class called CodedUITest1 (for more on Coded UI Tests, see the Anatomy of a Coded UI Test).  In it, I have two CodedUI Test methods:

    • CodedUITestRunFirst()
    • CodedUITestRunSecond()

    I want to order them such that they execute like:

    • CodedUITestRunSecond()
    • CodedUITestRunFirst()

    1. Add a new Ordered Test. Go to Test->New Test, and select Ordered Test.

     New test window

    2. The ordered test will open. I can move the available tests from the left list into my ordered test list on the right. I can then move the tests up/down to create the desired order.

     Ordered Test dialog

    It’s not shown in this screenshot, but there is a checkbox to allow the ordered test to continue upon a failure.

    3. Save the ordered test. I can now see the ordered test in my Test View window.

    Test View window showing new ordered test

    4. When ready, I select to run my ordered test. It will appear in the Test Results window as a single test.

    Test Results window showing ordered test

    When finished, I can double-click on the test result to see that both tests did actually run, their individual results, and their order.

    Detailed results of ordered test

    It’s a surprisingly easy yet elegant solution.  I can put pretty much any automated test into an ordered test (except for load tests).  If you have a lot of tests, coupling the use of ordered tests with other test lists can really help visually organize your test project.

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Event Series: The Full Testing Experience - Professional Quality Assurance with Visual Studio 2010


    This is a follow-up to a webcast I previously mentioned.  If you’re in the area, why not see it live?

    Visual Studio

    Microsoft and Northwest Cadence are proud to offer this four hour live event – during which we will demonstrate the testing and quality assurance lifecycle using Visual Studio 2010 and Team Foundation Server. Join us as we dive into the testing tools and testing process you can use to dramatically improve the effectiveness of your QA and Test efforts. You’ll see the Microsoft Test Manager and Lab Management in all its glory as we explore how to manage your test environment, organize test suites, test cases, requirements and bugs, and how to manage both automated and manual test runs. In addition, you’ll see how to easily create an automated test from an existing manual test run. Finally, and most importantly, you’ll discover how insanely easy it is to create bugs that can be simply and reliably reproduced by developers – Visual Studio 2010 is that powerful.


    • Imagine knowing which manual regression tests you had to run, given the code changes in the recent build…
    • Imagine being able to quickly and completely capture bugs in such a way that developers can reproduce them…
    • Imagine being able to record your exploratory testing and turn that exploration into detailed test steps – with just a few commands…
    • Imagine taking a manual test run and, in seconds, turning it into an automated test…
    • Imagine using an intuitive interface to design, organize and execute your test plans…
    • Imagine seeing your testing progress on one simply dashboard, and drilling into critical details…
    • Imagine testing your application more effectively, in less time, and with less pain…

    Now come see it all. In action. Today.

    This training event is geared towards QA managers, technical and non-technical testers, business analysts, and quality-conscious developers working on cross-functional teams (or, gasp, organizations without testers).

    Register for a date & location near you!

    Welcome: 8:00 AM (Local Time)

    Seminar: 8:30 AM-12:00 PM (Local Time)

    Microsoft Partner Events:






    July 7, 2010

    Bellevue, WA


    July 8, 2010

    Portland, OR


    July 13, 2010

    Mountain View, CA


    July 14, 2010

    San Francisco, CA


    July 15, 2010

    Irvine, CA


    July 27, 2010

    Phoenix, AZ


    July 28, 2010

    Denver, CO


  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Free Webcast: The Full Testing Experience – Professional Quality Assurance with Visual Studio 2010


    vs2010logo I hope you can make this Webinar on June 15 - we’ll review all of the great new TESTING functionality of Visual Studio 2010.

    If you are using other Testing solutions from HP, IBM or providers (including open source solutions), you will want to learn more about what comes “in the box” with Visual Studio 2010.  Many of you already own the licenses to our new Testing solutions – learn how you can start to leverage them today!

    The Full Testing Experience – Professional Quality Assurance with Visual Studio 2010

    • Imagine knowing exactly what manual regression tests you had to run, given the code changes in the recent build…
    • Imagine being able to quickly and completely capture bugs in such a way that developers can always reproduce them…
    • Imagine being able to record your exploratory testing and turn that exploration into detailed test steps – with just a few commands…
    • Imagine taking a manual test run and, in seconds, turning it into an automated test…
    • Imagine seeing your testing progress on one simply dashboard, and drilling into critical details…

    Registration Link:

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Hey South Coloradans! Did you miss the launch?


    Well, no worries!  The South Colorado .NET User Group is putting on their own Visual Studio 2010/.NET 4.0 event on Thursday, 5/6 in Colorado Springs.

    You’ll enjoy presentations from local subject matter experts such as David Yack, Ely Lucas, Joe Wilson, Erik Lane, Ben Hoelting, and Dave Milner.

    You can get the full details here:

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Hey Slange, where have you been?


    I received a few emails and tweets asking why my blog has been so quiet lately.  Well, I promise there’s a good reason.

    My newest little guy, Caden Jax

    My wife and I welcomed our second child into the world in March.  As a result, I was able to take advantage of a Microsoft benefit giving me 4 weeks of paid leave.  So, I went dark for all of April to adjust to life as a new dad (again).

    So what about this leave?, some of you have asked me.  Well, let me explain further:

    I know there are a few other companies out there that offer this, but I’ve never worked for any of them before.

    When my wife and I had our first child, I worked for a different company.  I had done well to save up my vacation time so that I could take three weeks of to adjust to our new family lifestyle.  While it was vacation time well-spent, doing so drained my allotted vacation hours.  It was months before I could afford to take any more time off for family excursions, personal activities, or just plain R&R.

    Enter my career at Microsoft.  Microsoft provides what’s called ICL, or Infant Care Leave, for both new mothers (as you’d expect) AND new fathers (very, very cool!).  I was provided four weeks of leave, paid, and the option to take an additional eight weeks (unpaid) if I so chose (I didn’t, as three months from work would probably give me the shakes).

    However, I did work one day in April – the VS 2010 Launch event in Denver on April 22nd.  I delivered the Application Lifecycle Management session in the Developer track.  (Thanks to all of you who offered kind words after!).  My task list includes getting the content posted online soon, for those of you asking for it.

    So, as of today (5/3), I’m back and digging out of my pile of email.  If you’ve sent me email, I promise I’ll find it and get back to you ASAP.  I also have some pending blog entries which I’ll get posted in the next couple weeks.

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    The Visual Studio 2010 & .NET 4 Launch is Here




    Join us for a free, in-person event you won’t want to miss
    Join a select group of developers for an event near you and get hands-on experience with Microsoft® Visual Studio® 2010.
    Learn about the rich application platforms that Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 supports, including Windows® 7, the Web, SharePoint® 2010, Windows Azure, and Windows Phone 7 Series. Visual Studio 2010 is packed with new and enhanced features that simplify the entire development process from design to deployment. From all new multi monitor support to SharePoint and Silverlight tools out of the box, there’s a lot to love in 2010.
    Attend presentations, demos, and training from Microsoft engineers, evangelists and partners and see for yourself the power of Visual Studio 2010:

    • Learn how Visual Studio 2010 helps drive tighter team collaboration across the entire software development lifecycle.
    • See how quickly you can build rich websites with ASP.NET MVC 2 and Dynamic Data.
    • Learn about the powerful capabilities of the new Windows Phone 7 Series application platform and the familiar tools experience that Visual Studio 2010 provides for developers.
    • Find out how easy it is to leverage your existing code and move to the cloud with Windows Azure.



    Denver, CO

    Tuesday, April 20

    LA (Costa Mesa), CA

    Tuesday, May 18

    San Francisco, CA

    Thursday, May 20

    Seattle, WA

    Thursday, May 27

    Get session details >>

    Can’t make the dates above? Register for our half-day, in-person events featuring      
    Launch 2010 highlights in a city near you.



    Fort Collins, CO

    Wednesday, April 21

    Phoenix, AZ

    Thursday, April 22

    San Diego, CA

    Monday, May 3

    Albuquerque, NM

    Tuesday, May 4

    Salt Lake City, UT

    Wednesday, May 5

    Los Angeles, CA

    Tuesday, May 11

    Sacramento, CA

    Wednesday, May 19

    Portland, OR

    Wednesday, May 26

    Boise, ID

    Thursday, June 3

    Mountain View, CA

    Tuesday, June 15

    We’re looking forward to seeing you at one of these events! If you prefer I not send you these types of communications, just let me know. To learn how to manage your contact preferences for other parts of Microsoft, please read our Privacy Statement.

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Released: Visual Studio Performance Testing Quick Reference Guide (Version 2.0)


    vs2010logo A great new updated reference from the VSTS Rangers group!

    This guidance is a collaborative effort by VSTS Rangers, Microsoft Services, and VSTS Product Team.
    VSTS Rangers.  This guidance was created in a VSTS Ranger project. VSTS Rangers is a special group with members from the VSTS Product Team and Microsoft Services. Their mission is to provide out of band solutions for missing features or guidance.

    What is in the package?

    This version of the QRG is a PDF file with a total of 160 articles (93 of these are either new or updated from the previous version) that are all meant to provide quick information about various aspects of performance testing with Visual Studio. Here is a list of categories that these articles pertain to:

    • How It Works
    • Items new to VSTT 2010
    • Configurations and Settings
    • Networks, IP Spoofing, Test Startups
    • Performance Counters and Data
    • Performance Counter Considerations on Rigs with slow links
    • Data and Results
    • Errors and Known Issues
    • Troubleshooting
    • Extensibility
    • Items not specific to the VSTS testing platform

    You can get the guidance in its full glory from it’s project site on CodePlex.

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Interested? March Architect Innovation Cafe Webcasts


    In case any of this interests you, there are a couple of great webcasts coming this way during this month.  See below!


    March 25, 2010 at 1:00pm – 2:00pm EST

    Title: Extending Your Sites Reach with IE8 Add On Features

    Abstract Today's users are getting more sophisticated and they expect more features from the sites and services they use. In this session learn about how to implement low effort, high value add-ons that expand your sites reach and bring value to your customer base .

    Link to Register:

    Jim Cirone
    Architect Evangelist, Microsoft

    Jim Cirone is an Architect Evangelist with Microsoft's Developer and Platform Evangelism team. He joined the DPE team 3 years ago after spending 10 years in Microsoft's services group architecting and delivering complex solutions. In his current role he is focused on new and emerging web technologies.


    March 26, 2010 at 1:00pm – 2:00pm EST

    Title: Windows Azure Design Patterns

    Abstract: One of the challenges in adopting a new platform is finding usable design patterns that work for developing effective solutions. The Catch-22 is that design patterns are discovered and not invented. Nevertheless it is important to have some guidance on what design patterns make sense early in the game.

    This webcast attacks the problem through a set of application scenario contexts, Azure features and solution examples. It is unique in its approach and the fact that it includes the use of features from all components of the Windows Azure Platform including the Windows Azure OS, Windows Azure AppFabric and SQL Azure. In this webcast you will learn about the components of the Windows Azure Platform that can be used to solve specific business problems.

    Link to Register:

    Bill Zack
    Architect Evangelist, Microsoft

    Bill Zack is an Architect Evangelist with Microsoft. He comes to this role after serving as a Solutions Architect in the Financial Services Unit of Microsoft Consulting Services. His experience includes developing, supporting and evangelizing .NET/SOA based frameworks used to jump-start development projects for financial services companies.

    Stay Connected:

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  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Rocky Mountain Tech Trifecta – Thank you and goodnight!


    Last Saturday I had the opportunity to present two sessions at the Rocky Mountain Tech Trifecta in downtown Denver.  The event itself was incredibly well-attended, with well over 400 people showing up early on a Saturday morning.  What a successful day!

    Dave and Julie Yack involved me in the keynote as well (probably against their better judgment, but it was fun all the same).

    I had mentioned earlier that I’d be doing two sessions, the second of which was entitled, “TFS: Team Development on Crack”.  About 40 people showed up, so it either must’ve been the outside hope of actually getting crack swag, or that there were no other intriguing sessions at that time.  But I had a blast presenting on Team Foundation Server 2010 with a “crack-centric” slant.

    Here is my presentation on SlideShare (for some reason, embedding isn’t working too well, so you get a link instead):


    To those of you who attended, thanks for stopping by!

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Support for VS 2010 from Micro Focus


    VS 2010 LogoVisual Studio 2010 is packed with capabilities.  If you’re still yearning for more and have some of the below products, this may interest you!

    The folks at Micro Focus have announced four product integrations with Visua Studio 2010, which are planned to be released before the end of May.

    If you don’t remember, Micro Focus last year acquired Borland Software and Compuware’s testing business.  They’re doing something with their new assets!

    For additional info, check out:

    Micro Focus logo (from following products are expected to be released with Visual Studio 2010 integration before the end of May:

    • Visual COBOL 2010 is Micro Focus’s world-class COBOL environment. The product includes support for both native and managed code (full support for multi-targeting & .NET 4.0); new lighter-weight COBOL syntax that permits COBOL programs to be written in a style similar to Visual Basic.NET; includes new features in Visual Studio 2010, such as editor adornments. This product will also form the basis of the new managed code mainframe migration offering, which is scheduled for a July 2010 announcement at the WPC.
    • SilkTest integration permits tests authored using Borland SilkTest to be integrated with Team Foundation Server build processes, and managed through Microsoft Test Manager in Visual Studio Test Professional 2010. Micro Focus plans to offer the SilkTest integration add- free of charge to existing SilkTest customers on maintenance.
    • Micro Focus DevPartner provides additional static and run-time analysis capability within Visual Studio, enhancing the quality & reliability of both managed and native applications. It is in use currently by a number of internal Microsoft development teams.
    • Analyzer Express is a first offering of the Modernization Workbench technology acquired from Relativity Technologies. It provides enhanced code understanding such as data flow analysis and code slicing.
  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Developer Evangelist Needed in Phoenix! (+ a couple other openings)


    My team (Developer & Platform Evangelism) is looking to hire a Developer Evangelist based out of Phoenix.  You can read all about the job HERE on Microsoft’s Careers page.

    Know of anyone, or interested for yourself?  If so, either apply for the job directly or ping me if you have any questions!

    But wait, that’s not all!  We have other openings on my regional team:

    Scott Kerfoot has posted all three jobs on his blog, along with a brief FAQ.

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Power Tools are Available for TFS 2010 RC


    Yup, they’re here!  We didn’t know if there would be any as the team preps for the impending launch, but…


    Quick Tip:  If you have any other 2010 TFS Power Tools installed remove those first (if you have 2008 tools, you should be fine).


  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Ready for a Read? VS 2010 Licensing White Paper is Available


    So you’ve probably heard me talk about it before – VS 2010 is simplified from VS 2008 in terms of SKU choices, MSDN subscriptions, prices, etc.

    Too good to be true?  Kinda.  While the product and licensing model became more simplified, the licensing white paper became longer (up from 11-13 pages to about 30).  Personally, I blame font size, margins, and lots of example scenarios.

    That all said, the Visual Studio 2010 Licensing White Paper is now available on Microsoft Downloads.

    This white paper provides an overview of the Visual Studio 2010 product line and the licensing requirements for those products in common deployment scenarios.

    For volume licensing customers who need a definitive guide to licensing terms and conditions, they should reference the Microsoft Licensing Product Use Rights (PUR) and applicable licensing agreements. For retail customers the license terms are specified in the End User Licensing Agreement (EULA) included with your product.

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Happy Valentine’s (Early): Visual Studio 2010 RC is Available


    vs2010logo The Release Candidate (RC) for Visual Studio 2010 is now available for download and exhaustive tinkering.  :) 

    You can grab it off of MSDN Subscriptions site today, or get it from the public VS 2010 site on Feb 10th. 

    Start here:

    I’ve received a few questions from customers asking why we’re doing an RC so close to the (April) launch of VS 2010.   While we received a lot of positive customer feedback on VS 2010 and .NET 4, the performance of the IDE, especially around loading solutions, building, and debugging, wasn’t as great as expected.  So we took that feedback and worked more on Beta 2 from a performance perspective.  The result?  The RC release.

    So while you won’t find many new features in the RC (again, the predominant focus was on performance), there are a couple niceties in the testing tools (Microsoft Test Manager) that I think you’ll like:

    • Compose Environment from running VMs (Lab Manager)
    • Links list in Test Plan properties (Test Manager)
    • Create any new work item (Test Manager)

    We’re not exactly done with the feedback, either.  We’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions (both bad and good) about this RC so we can make the finished/launched VS 2010 product everything you hope it to be.

    Want to learn more?  Check out S. Somasegar’s Blog and Jason Zander’s Blog for more technical details about the RC.

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