Steve Lange @ Work

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

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    The “Ultimate” Event: Visual Studio 2010 & Team Foundation Server 2010



    Join us for a sneak peek of Microsoft® Visual Studio® 2010, which will be a landmark release of the premier development toolset for Windows®, Web and Cloud development.
    The Ultimate Event is your exclusive opportunity to hear about Visual Studio 2010 from experts before the product is launched this year. Microsoft has made significant investments to and improvements of Modeling and Testing/QA tools in Visual Studio 2010. At this event you’ll get a comprehensive overview of Visual Studio 2010 and Team Foundation Server 2010, which is the Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) core of Visual Studio. We’ll present enhancements in version control, reporting, project management and build management. 
    Spend the day with us to learn how to take software development to the next level with Visual Studio 2010!


    Time Topic
    8:30 AM-9:00 AM Registration, Welcome
    9:00 AM-10:30 AM Lap Around VS 2010
    10:45 AM-12:00 PM Agile Management with TFS
    12:00 PM-12:30 PM Lunch
    12:30 PM-1:45 PM No More "No Repro"
    2:00 PM-3:15 PM Architecture for Everyone

    I hope to see you there!


    Date Location Event ID


    Bellevue, WA



    San Diego, CA



    Los Angeles, CA



    Mountain View, CA



    Irvine, CA



    Phoenix, AZ



    Salt Lake City, UT



    Portland, OR



    Denver, CO



    San Francisco, CA


  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Event: SharePoint as a Development Platform


    Maximize Your SharePoint Investment: Leverage It as a Development Platform!

    Join us at this in-person event that will assist your agencies and organizations in further realizing the return on your existing SharePoint investment via Enterprise SharePoint Development. Enterprise Application Development on the SharePoint Platform enables a multitude of SharePoint benefits to be coupled with the power of the .NET platform. This combination allows the creation of flexible, integrated and secure line-of-business applications to be built in a fraction of the time of traditional development. So join us at a city near you as we explore Microsoft’s current and long term strategy for the Microsoft SharePoint Platform and supporting Development Tools. Seize this opportunity to immerse yourself in the exciting world of Enterprise SharePoint Development!




    8:30 AM–9:00 AM


    9:00 AM–10:00 AM

    Keynote: Taking your SharePoint Investment to the Next Level with Visual Studio 2010

    This keynote session will provide an overview of the new platform capabilities in SharePoint 2010. You will also be among the first to see Visual Studio 2010’s tightly integrated experience for application developers building and deploying SharePoint solutions.

    10:00 AM–11:00 AM

    Realizing SharePoint as a Development Platform

    This session will focus on how SharePoint Products & Technologies can contribute to the acceleration of the solution development process by taking advantage of out-of-box capabilities in order to deliver composite business applications for your organization.

    11:00 AM–12:30 PM

    Unleashing the Power of SharePoint Apps with Visual Studio 2010

    This demo-oriented session will provide a deeper look at SharePoint Development concepts, techniques & best practices. 

    12:30 PM–1:00 PM


    1:00 PM–2:30 PM

    Managing the SharePoint Application Development Lifecycle

    The final session of the day will provide a look at strategies and best practices for Team based SharePoint development

    Who Should Attend

    Developers, Architects, Web Designers and technical managers and stakeholders who wish to gain a better understanding of the long term vision of SharePoint as a platform and the benefit of developing for SharePoint.

    Attend for your chance to win a 16GB Zune HD!


    Phoenix, AZ

    February 9, 2010

    Event ID: 1032439113


    Denver, CO

    February 10, 2010

    Event ID: 1032439113


    San Diego, CA

    February 18, 2010

    Event ID: 1032439116


    Portland, OR

    February 23, 2010

    Event ID: 1032439115


  • Steve Lange @ Work

    New Virtual Images for you (yep, Happy Holidays!)


    I’ll let Brian Keller’s blog give you all the details, but we’ve got new Visual Studio 2010 Beta 2 virtual images (now with sample data!) ready to go.  More here.

    And also, if you’re still monkeying around with VSTS 2008, you may have noticed that your current images are about to expire.  Here is a link to updated ones.

    These images are downloadable via several large files.  Be sure to use a download manager (Brian gives you instructions for how to use FDM)!

    Ready? Set? Go!

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Update on VS2010 & .NET 4 Release


    I’ll let you read more details on ScottGu’s blog, but here’s the gist:  We’ve had tons and tons of terrific feedback about the current Beta 2.  Based on all that feedback, in order to make the RTM of this version of Visual Studio as stellar as it can be, the official release of VS 2010 and .NET 4 will be pushed back a few weeks.

    A Release Candidate (RC) is planned to be made available in February, which will give us all the opportunity to take one more test drive before RTM.

    So while it’s a slight bummer that VS 2010 is getting pushed back a little bit, I think it’s a good thing overall.  Personally, I’d rather get the product right, rather than “right now”.

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Check Out Bytes by MSDN


    Bytes by MSDNListen or watch many influential community and Microsoft developers interviewed at PDC 09 talk about Azure, Visual Studio 2010, Silverlight, Windows 7, and a variety of additional topics that they are passionate about.


    Check back every week, or subscribe to the RSS feed.  You can watch the interviews online, or download (in a variety of formats) for viewing at your leisure.

    Guests include Scott Guthrie, Andrew Brust, Time Heuer, David Yack, Scott Hanselman, Tim Huckaby, Loke Uei Tan, and many others!

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    TFS 2010 Beta 2 Power Tools & BPA now Available


    Per the announcements on Brian Harry’s blog, there are some new downloads available for you to use with your TFS 2010 Beta 2 installation:

    • TFS 2010 Power Tools (Brian’s post):  Power Tools are “out of band” releases of new functionality to enhance your TFS experience.  Available are:
      • TFPT (Team Foundation Power Tools), which includes
        • Process Template Editor
        • Check-in Policy Pack
        • Alert Editor
        • Windows Shell Extension
        • PowerShell Support
        • TFPT Command line
        • TFS 2010 Best Practices Analyzer (BPA) Tool (Brian’s post):  The BPA tool helps you identify potential/existing configuration issues with on TFS servers, either pre- or post-install.
    • TFS MSSCCI Provider


  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Registration is Open for the 2010 Rocky Mountain Tech Trifecta


    If you didn’t go last year, you probably regretted it, right?  Well, now’s your chance to redeem yourself!

    The 2010 Rocky Mountain Tech Trifecta is officially open for registration HERE.  Go to the website for full details, but what you really need to know:

    • Date/Location: Saturday, February 27th, 2010 at Metro State College in downtown Denver.
    • What’s Covered:  .NET, SQL Server, and Windows – lots of sessions!
    • Cost:  FREE!

    This terrific event is organized by volunteers from the local Colorado .NET, PASS, and Windows Server User Group Chapters.

    I’ll be there, will you?

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Scrum For Team System Process Template Released for TFS 2010


    You probably know it as the “Conchango Scrum Template” for Team Foundation Server.  EMC acquired Conchango a little while back, and it’s great to see that the “Scrum for Team System” process template has not been forgotten!

    The latest release, V3.x Beta 2 (x86 / x64), is an updated template designed to work with TFS 2010 Beta 2.

    You can browse the discussion forum and download the template HERE.

    Also included:


    This Scrum template & process was also delivered as a session at PDC.  You can watch it on-demand here:


  • Steve Lange @ Work

    PDC 2009: Day 2 – silverlight, Free Laptops, and the Underground


    There were several exciting announcements today, but the one that topped the list (at least technology-wise) was the availability of Silverlight 4 Beta.  There’s a lot of new stuff going into Silverlight (I’ll let you read the full “What’s New”), but my favorites:

    • Webcam & microphone support
    • Full print support
    • HTML hosting
    • Full design surface in VS 2010

    While ScottGu wowed the crowd with these new capabilities, the loudest applause was bought.  Bought?  Yup, each PDC attendee was given a new multi-touch tablet laptop.  Wow!  (Imagine the line for that!)

    That evening, it was time for my regional DPE team to shine.  Many folks from all groups within my West Region had been working for months to put together the Underground at PDC – what has quickly become the definitive party for PDC.  The night didn’t disappoint, hosting over 1,200 people for a 6-hour party featuring repeat demos from PDC keynotes, a Bing search challenge, a technology showcase (I did lots of multi-touch demos with HP TouchSmarts) and lots of giveaways.  Oh, did I mention the actual party!?

    HP TouchSmarts - this was my post for the evening..

    HP TouchSmarts - this was my post for the evening..

     Joe Shirey & Erin Jacobs.  Two key parts of the night's sucess!

    Joe Shirey & Erin Jacobs.  Two key parts of the night's success!

     David Chou & Ned Curic.  Brilliant minds.

    David Chou & Ned Curic.  Brilliant minds.

     Is that THE Tim Huckaby?

    Is that THE Tim Huckaby?

     Do you think the PDC geeks were excited to see them arrive?

    Do you think the PDC geeks were excited to see them arrive?

     DSCN1130 DSCN1146

     DSCN1150 DSCN1154

    There were masses of tweets that night on Twitter, either mentioning @UndergroundPDC or hashtagging #UGPDC09.

    If you attended, thanks for coming and we hope you had a blast (it certainly seemed like you did!).  If you worked there that night, pat yourself on the back.  Everything ran incredibly well!

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Day 1: PDC – Information Overload


    After hopping a shuttle bus from the hotel to the LA Convention Center, the official PDC “Day 1” started off with a flurry.  Ray Ozzie and Bob Muglia (along with several other demo helpers) kicked off the conference with several announcements.

    I won’t go in to full details, but the highlights:

    • Windows Azure is going into production on January 1st, and will start billing on February 1st.
      • There’s a current CTP of a connector which will help Azure applications to connect to databases behind the firewall.
    • Codename “Dallas”:  Exposing public data for purposes of innovation.

    Both can be read about in this eWeek article.

     Just 4,000 of my closest friends, waiting for the keynote to start.

    Waiting for the first keynote to start.

    Joe & Raj in a break area.

    Joe Shirey and Raj taking a break from the sessions.

     A sample container datacenter.

    A sample container from the Microsoft datacenters cropping up around the world.

    A henna tattoo.  It's the new MSDN logo.

    If you came by the VS 2010 area in the “Big Room”, you could get henna of some key logos & icons.  This one is of the new MSDN logo.

    I wrapped up my day with the US DPE customer dinner at The Palm restaurant downtown.  Great customers, friends, colleagues, and steaks!

    I had honestly hoped to write more about sessions and announcements, but it’s frankly too late in the evening.  That’s why you get the link to eWeek article, so you can read about it for yourself!

    More tomorrow!

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Watch the Underground @PDC Live!


    LIVE from the The Underground @ PDC 09! People are still talking about last year’s event at the Edison downtown.  Because not everyone can make it to Los Angeles or PDC, The Underground is going LIVE ONLINE! Tune in to see Microsoft’s Scott Guthrie, Corp VP of Microsoft’s .Net Developer Platform and much, much more.

    Wednesday, November 18 at 7:00 PM

    LIVE at

    Twitter: @undergroundpdc

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    PDC 2009: Day 0 – It’s All About Software Quality


    After my 2.5-hour flight from Denver (The entire Denver contingent of Microsoft Developer Platform & Evangelism was on my flight) to Los Angeles at the you-know-what crack of dawn this morning, I was excited to arrive at my first Microsoft Professional Developers Conference.  In my 4+ years at Microsoft, 2 of which were in Sothern California, it’s hard to believe that it took me this long to finally attend.  But I made it!image

    PDC doesn’t officially start until tomorrow, leaving today for “pre-cons” – workshops & team meetings.  For me, it was a deep-dive into the new QA/Testing tools coming out in VS 2010. 

    My highlight topics included:

    • Test Case Management
    • Manual Testing
    • Action Recording
      • Turning an action recording into a Coded UI Test
    • Lab Management
    • SCVMM, TCM, and other fun acronyms
    • Query-based test suites
    • Requirements-based test suites
    • Test Impact Analysis
    • Fast Forward Manual Testing

    It’s all goodness.  I’ll be honest – It’s a heck of a lot to learn as well, but these new capabilities are really going to hit home with a lot of people.  You just wait and see.  For those of your in Phoenix, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City and Denver – just let me know if you’d like a run through from me.

    That’s it for today.  I guarantee today will be the lightest day of the week.  Tues-Thurs will be providing keynotes, tons of geeky sessions, and some great evening events along the way (my team is hosting a dinner tomorrow night, and there’s of course the Underground at PDC event/party on Wednesday)!  I’ll also try to post some thoughts on Twitter as well (or follow all of the PDC tweets here).

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Querying the TFS Database to Check TFS Usage


    Why would you want to know how many users are actually using Team Foundation Server?  Well, for starters:

    • You want to make sure that each user in your environment using TFS is properly licensed with a TFS CAL (Client Access License). 
    • You want to show management just how popular TFS is in your environment.
    • You want to request additional hardware for TFS, and want to show current usage capacity.

    But, what if your users are spread out all over the world, so you can’t just send a simple email asking, “Hey, are you using TFS?”

    One relatively straightforward way is to ask your TFS server’s database.  TFS logs activity in a database ‘TfsActivityLogging’, specifically in a table ‘tbl_Command’.

    NOTE:  It’s not supported to go directly against the database, so take note of 2 things:

    1. Be very careful!
    2. Be clear that this isn’t supported.  This process works, but only in the absence of a supported way to query TFS usage.  Just because I work for Microsoft, doesn’t mean you can get official support from MS on this.

    All that out of the way, the simple way to do this is to use Excel:

    Open Excel.

    Go to the Data tab and select ‘From Other Sources’ in the ‘Get External Data’ group, and select ‘From SQL Server’.


    The Data Connection Wizard will open.  Follow steps to connect to the SQL Server that’s used by TFS, selecting the ‘TfsActivityLogging’ database and the contained ‘tbl_Command’ table.


    Enter the SQL Server name that TFS uses.  For the below, my SQL server is at ‘tfsrtm08’.


    Select the ‘TfsActivityLogging’ database, then select the ‘tbl_Command’ table. Click Next.


    Click Finish.

    Select how you’d like to import the table’s data.  For this example, I’m choosing ‘PivotTable Report’.


    Now you’re ready to get the data you want:

    Listing All Users Who Have Touched TFS

    In the ‘PivotTable Field List’ panel on the right, select the ‘IdentityName’ field.  Your spreadsheet should look something like this:


    If you just want a list of users that have touched TFS, then you’re done (in my example, I really only have 2 accounts, and one is the TFSSERVICE account that actually runs TFS).

    However, if you want a little extra information about your users’ activities, you can do a couple extra things.

    List Users and Their Relative Activity Levels

    Add the ‘ExecutionCount’ field to the ‘Values’ section of the PivotTable, and you’ll see the number of commands each user has run against TFS (some minor, like gets, and other major, like changing ACL’s):


    List Users and Their Specific Activity Levels

    Add first the ‘ExecutionCount’ field to the ‘Values’ section of the PivotTable, then add the ‘Command’ field to the ‘Row Labels’ section:


    (Again, remember that some of these commands are less significant than others, but still indicate user activity.)

    List Users and Their Clients

    Add the ‘UserAgent’ field to the ‘Row Labels’ section of the PivotTable:


    List Users and Their Last Activity Time

    Add ‘IdentityName’ to the ‘Row Labels’ section of the PivotTable and ‘StartTime’ to the ‘Values’ section.  Then click ‘Count of StartTime’ (in the Values section) and select ‘Value Field Settings’.  Change the ‘Summarize the value field by’ value to ‘Max’.


    Click ‘Number Format’ and set the format to ‘Date’.  Click OK.  You’ll now see the last activity date for each user.


    I hope this helps!

    Other Tip:

    • You’ll probably see (like in my example) the built-in accounts and their activities (i.e. TFSSERVICE, perhaps TFSBUILD as well).  You may want to filter those ones out from your report.
    • I’ve heard conflicting reports about how much data the ‘tbl_Commands’ table retains (some say just the preceding week).  In my example, I queried the ‘Min’ start times for logged activities and went back over 5 months.  Just something to think about:  Your mileage may vary greatly.  (Apparently a clean-up job is supposed to run periodically which trims this table.)
  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Visual Studio for Oracle Developers – “Project Fuze”


    The fine folks at Quest Software are currently in beta with “Project Fuze”, a DSP (Database Schema Provider) that brings Oracle database development into the fold of Visual Studio.  Like you can with SQL Server today, Fuze will give Oracle developers the full benefits that Visual Studio has to offer, such as:

    • Full change management for Oracle database schemas:  Each schema object is treated as its own individually-managed object in Team Foundation Server.
    • Generate test data:  Use data generation plans to create data for testing purposes.
    • Automated builds:  Build your databases just like your code.
    • Database refactoring
    • Schema comparison:  Compare and merge schema models.

    Interested?  You can download the beta HERE.

    Here’s a Project Fuze Demo:

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Microsoft Acquires Teamprise Assets, Provides Cross-Platform Support for Visual Studio


    Today Microsoft announced (at Tech Ed Europe) the acquisition of Teamprise (press release), a fantastic technology partner that provides client applications for accessing Microsoft’s Visual Studio Team Foundation Server from Eclipse and Eclipse-based IDEs, and from other operating systems, including UNIX, Linux and Mac OS X.

    Teamprise Client Suite currently includes the following:

    • Teamprise Plug-in for Eclipse. The Teamprise Plug-in for Eclipse allows developers to perform all their source control, bug tracking, build and reporting operations from within Eclipse and Eclipse-based integrated development environments (IDEs), such as Rational Application Developer, JBoss, BEA Workshop and Adobe Flex Builder.
    • Teamprise Explorer. Teamprise Explorer combines all the functionality available to Eclipse developers using the Teamprise Plug-in into a stand-alone, cross-platform graphical user interface (GUI) application that is perfect for team members working outside of an IDE, such as graphic designers, quality assurance testers and project managers.
    • Teamprise Command-Line Client. The Teamprise Command-Line Client provides a cross-platform, nongraphical interface to Team Foundation Server, making it perfect for scripting and build scenarios or for developers who prefer a command-line interface.

    Look for a Microsoft-branded, Teamprise-based product sometime around the VS 2010 launch.

    Welcome, Teamprise!

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Visual Studio 2010 Beta 2 is Here + The New MSDN


    clip_image003You’ve probably read a lot about this already, so I’ll keep it short:  VS 2010 Beta 2 is available via MSDN – details here:  Full availability is scheduled for 10/21.

    Here’s what you should do to get started:


    The New MSDN

    MSDN and Visual Studio editions are getting facelifts.   What’s happening to MSDN?  Take a peek here:

    The biggest thing here is the new SKU changes we’re making in 2010. The “role-based” editions of Visual Studio and Team System has been revamped to more closely reflect SKU’s used by Windows and Office (Brian Harry posts details here):

    • Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate with MSDN: the comprehensive suite of application lifecycle management tools for software teams to ensure quality results from design to deployment.
    • Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Premium with MSDN: a complete toolset for developers to deliver scalable, high quality applications.
    • Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Professional with MSDN: the essential tool for professional development tasks to assist developers in implementing their ideas easily.

    Cleaner, yes?

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Sweeping Changes in Visual Studio 2010 and MSDN - 60 Minute Webcast Series


    msdnlogoVisual Studio 2010 and MSDN are BIG – and they are getting bigger! In this session, we’ll explore all the changes to the Visual Studio family of products, including Team Foundation Server as well as recent upgrades and changes to our MSDN line-up. Please join us for a 60 minute “CAN’T MISS” – high level overview, where we will discuss the many changes to our offerings which will likely impact current customers and future customers. We promise you won’t be disappointed!

    Speaker: John Sanderson, Senior Developer Solution Specialist, Microsoft Corporation

    To register online, visit: (search for Event ID below).



    Event ID

    Tues, 10/20/2009

    10:00 AM-11:00 AM PST


    Wed, 10/21/2009

    11:00 AM-12:00 PM PST


    Thurs, 10/22/2009

    9:00 AM-10:00 AM PST


    Tues, 11/3/2009

    9:00 AM-10:00 AM PST


    Wed, 11/4/2009

    10:00 AM-11:00 AM PST


    Thurs, 11/5/2009

    11:00 AM-12:00 PM PST


    Tues, 11/10/2009

    11:00 AM-12:00 PM PST


    Wed, 11/11/2009

    9:00 AM-10:00 AM PST


    Thurs, 11/12/2009

    11:00 AM-12:00 PM PST


  • Steve Lange @ Work

    PDC09 – Will I See You There?


    clip_image002This year’s Professional Developers Conference (PDC) is coming!  It’s taking place November 17 – 19th in Los Angeles. If you’re a developer, architect or technology leader involved in making strategic technology decisions, this is the conference you need to attend to stay ahead of the curve and get a head start on planning your company’s product and technology investments.

    If you register by September 15, you’ll receive $500 USD off the regular conference pass price.

    New to the PDC? Learn more about the big announcements from last year and experience the PDC08 online via Channel 9.


    The Professional Developers Conference (PDC) is the definitive developer event focused on the technical strategy of the Microsoft developer platform.  Attendees come from around the world to learn about the future of Microsoft developer technology directly from the people who make it happen.  If you’re a developer, architect or technology leader involved in making strategic technology decisions for your company or organization, the PDC is for you.

    Since 1991, the PDC has been the epicenter of Microsoft’s biggest platform announcements, including Microsoft .NET, Windows® XP, Windows Vista® and Windows 7®. This year, you’ll hear more details about our services platform, Windows®, the Web, devices, and our next generation of developer tools.


    • Microsoft’s vision and roadmap for the future of developer technology.  PDC is where our biggest names make the biggest announcements.  Keynoters Ray Ozzie and Bob Muglia will share their vision for developer technology at PDC09.  More keynoters still to be announced!
    • Deep, technical content delivered by Microsoft’s technology leaders.  At the PDC, you’ll have the unique opportunity to learn directly from the people who conceived and built the latest Microsoft developer platform technologies and tools.  Much of what’s featured at the PDC has yet to be released, and as a result, session content comes in ‘hot’ and is published all the way up to the event date.  Subscribe to the New Sessions RSS to stay on top of published sessions.
    • Hands-on access to the latest developer technologies and over 1,000 Microsoft product and technology experts available to answer your questions.  The PDC isn’t just about keynotes and sessions – it’s an opportunity for you to get hands-on access to the latest technologies, have your questions answered by Microsoft program managers and developers and plan the features and architecture to support your product and business goals.
    • Unique networking opportunities with leading-edge developers and technology leaders just like you. You’ll be among your tribe at PDC09, and we’ve planned a number of special events and places for you to take advantage of the opportunity to connect with and learn from attendees that share your technology interests and business challenges.

    So that’s it!  Will I see you there?

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Data-Driven Tests in Team System Using Excel as the Data Source


    There is some documentation to explain this already, but below is a step-by-step that shows how to use an Excel spreadsheet as a Data Source for both unit and web tests.

    First, let’s set the stage.  I’m going to use a solution containing a class library and a web site. 


    The class library has a single class with a single method that simply returns a “hello”-type greeting. 

    namespace SimpleLibrary
        public class Class1
            public string GetGreeting(string name)
                return "Hello, " + name;
    For my VB friends out there:
    Namespace SimpleLibrary
        Public Class Class1
            Public Function GetGreeting(ByVal name As String) As String
                Return "Hello, " & name
            End Function
        End Class
    End Namespace

    Unit Testing

    So now I’m going to create a unit test to exercise the “GetGreeting” method.  (As always, tests go into a Test project.  I’m calling mine “TestStuff”.)


    Here’s my straightforward unit test:

    public void GetGreetingTest()
       Class1 target = new Class1();
       string name = "Steve";
       string expected = "Hello, " + name;
       string actual;
       actual = target.GetGreeting(name);
       Assert.AreEqual(expected, actual);

    In VB:

    <TestMethod()> _
    Public Sub GetGreetingTest()
       Dim target As Class1 = New Class1
       Dim name As String = "Steve"
       Dim expected As String = "Hello, " & name
       Dim actual As String
       actual = target.GetGreeting(name)
       Assert.AreEqual(expected, actual)
    End Sub

    I’ll run it once to make sure it builds, runs, and passes:


    I have an Excel file with the following content in Sheet1:


    Nothing fancy, but I reserve the right to over-simplify for demo purposes.  :)

    To create a data-driven unit test that uses this Excel spreadsheet, I basically follow the steps you’d find on MSDN, with the main difference being in how I wire up my data source.

    I click on the ellipsis in the Data Connection String property for my unit test.


    Follow these steps to set up the Excel spreadsheet as a test data source for a unit test.

    • In the New Test Data Source Wizard dialog, select “Database”. 
    • Click “New Connection”.
    • In the “Choose Data Source” dialog, slect “Microsoft ODBC Data Source” and click “Continue”.  (For additional details about connection strings & data sources, check this out.)
    • In “Connection Properties”, select the “Use connection string” radio button, then click “Build”.
    • Choose if you want to use a File Data Source or a Machine Data Source.  For this post, I’m using a Machine Data Source
    • Select the “Machine Data Source” tab, select “Excel Files” and click Ok
    • Browse to and select your Excel file.
    • Click “Test Connection” to make sure everything’s golden.
    • Click Ok to close “Connection Properties”
    • Click Next
    • You should see the worksheets listed in the available tables for this data source.
    • In my example, I’ll select “Sheet1$”
    • Click “Finish”
    • You should get a message asking if you want to copy your data file into the project and add as a deployment item.  Click Yes.
    • You should now see the appropriate values in Data Connection String and Data Table Name properties, as well as your Excel file listed as a deployment item:
    • Now I return to my unit test, note that it’s properly decorated, and make a change to the “name” variable assignment to reference my data source (accessible via TestContext):
      [DataSource("System.Data.Odbc", "Dsn=Excel Files; 
      driverid=1046;maxbuffersize=2048;pagetimeout=5", "Sheet1$", 
      DeploymentItem("TestStuff\\ExcelTestData.xlsx"), TestMethod()]
              public void GetGreetingTest()
                  Class1 target = new Class1();
                  string name = TestContext.DataRow["FirstName"].ToString();
                  string expected = "Hello, " + name;
                  string actual;
                  actual = target.GetGreeting(name);
                  Assert.AreEqual(expected, actual);
    Again, in VB:
    <DataSource("System.Data.Odbc", "Dsn=Excel Files;
    driverid=1046;maxbuffersize=2048;pagetimeout=5", "Sheet1$", 
    <DeploymentItem("TestStuff\ExcelTestData.xlsx")> <TestMethod()> _
        Public Sub GetGreetingTest()
            Dim target As Class1 = New Class1
            Dim name As String = TestContext.DataRow("FirstName").ToString()
            Dim expected As String = "Hello, " + name
            Dim actual As String
            actual = target.GetGreeting(name)
            Assert.AreEqual(expected, actual)
        End Sub
    • Now, running the unit test shows me that it ran a pass for each row in my sheet


    Web Testing

    You can achieve the same thing with a web test.  So I’m going to first create a simple web test that records me navigating to the website (at Default.aspx), entering a name in the text box, clicking, submit, and seeing the results.  After recording, it looks like this.


    See “TxtName=Steve”?  The value is what I want to wire up to my Excel spreadsheet.  To do that:

    • Click on the “Add Data Source” toolbar button.
    • Enter a data source name (I’m using “ExcelData”)
    • Select “Database” as the data source type, and click Next
    • Go through the same steps in the Unit Testing section to set up a data connection to the Excel file.  (Note:  If you’ve already done the above, and therefore the Excel file is already in your project and a deployment item, browse to and select the copy of the Excel file that’s in your testing project.  That will save you the hassle of re-copying the file, and overwriting.)
    • You’ll now see a Data Sources node in my web test:
    • Select the parameter you want to wire to the data source (in my case, TxtName), and view its properties.
    • Click the drop-down arrow in the Value property, and select the data field you want to use.
    • Now save and run your web test again.  If you haven’t used any other data-driven web tests in this project, you’ll notice that there was only one pass.  That’s because your web test run configuration is set to a fixed run count (1) by default.  To make changes for each run, click “Edit run settings” and select “One run per data source row”.  To make sure all rows in data sources are always leveraged, edit your .testrunconfig file to specify as such.
    • Now run it again, and you should see several passes in your test results:

    That’s it in a simple nutshell!  There are other considerations to keep in mind such as concurrent access, additional deployment items, and perhaps using system DSNs, but this should get you started.

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    patterns & practices Summit 2009



    patterns & practices Summit 2009 is Here!  It will be held in Microsoft Conference Center, Redmond, WA between October 12th and 16th 2009.

    We are putting together a strong line up of technical sessions from p&p team members, Microsoft product groups and industry experts. This year we are also introducing “Lightning Talks”. If the sessions are the gourmet food for your brain, these lightning talks are the gourmet snack, the energy bar kind. We will provide you more details on the lightning talk in our next update. Today we want update you with our line-up of keynote speakers.

    p&p Summit Keynote Speakers

    This year’s keynoters include industry luminary Martin Fowler and Microsoft technical leaders  Scott Guthrie, Brian Harry, David Campbell, Wolfram Schulte and Douglas Purdy. Microsoft General Manager Emma Williams will kick off this year’s p&p summit.















    Why Attend?

    When you attend the patterns & practices Summit you will gain deeper insight into the p&p guidance that you are already using. You will also discover and learn about p&p guidance offerings that address additional development challenges. You'll have the opportunity to interact directly with the p&p team, top engineers from other Microsoft product groups, and industry luminaries. Attending the patterns & practices Summit will provide you with insight into making better design, implementation, and technology selection decisions.

    What Previous Attendees Have Said...

    "This was a wonderful experience."

    "Overall, conference was great, gave us good roadmap to follow."

    "Thank you for all the great ideas. I am looking forward to going home and applying them."

    "Many of the things I learned here will revolutionize our practices, processes, designs, and patterns. THANKS!"

    "Speakers were great"

    "Humor was refreshing"

    "Great event! Do it again!"

    "Excellent conference, just first day alone was worth the money. Thank you."

    "This was an excellent value and I would recommend it to everyone!!"

    "All speakers were very knowledgeable and they addressed many issues that I face every day."

    "This was an excellent conference for me. I'm taking away some useful tools."


    Special Offer ($400 off until June 30th and $200 off after that)

    We are happy to extend a special offer to you via this email. This is only available to the recipients of this email. With this offer, you will save $400 of the best available open registration price until June 30th and $200 off after that. Register now to take advantage of this special offer.

    Price Information:

    $1695 $1295 - Early Bird (thru June 30th)
    $1695 $1495 - Early Bird (thru August 31)
    $1895 $1695 - Standard Registration

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Thank you, Denver! Goodnight!


    Thanks to the roughly 100 of you who attended the Denver VS.Net User Group.  While I’m sure you all showed up primarily for the free food and door prizes, I appreciate the level of interaction during my presentation last night (“Team Foundation Server: Today & Tomorrow”). 

    As promised, here is the presentation I used last night (posted on SkyDrive):

    Please send me feedback or any other questions you might have!

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    60 Minute Webcast Series: Team Foundation Server Today & Tomorrow


    clip_image002 Team Foundation Server is big – and it’s only getting bigger! In this session, we’ll explore Team Foundation Server and its current capabilities, including version control, work item tracking (tasks, bugs, etc.), build automation, and reporting. We will also take a look at some of the new capabilities “in the pipe” for TFS 2010 – not only improvements on existing functionality, but new capabilities such as workflow-based build, hierarchical work items, and drag & drop merging.

    Speaker: Steven Lange, Developer Technology Specialist, Microsoft (

    September 25, 2009 | 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

    Click here to register (Event ID: 1032424150).

    October 30, 2009| 11:00 AM-12:00 PM PST

    Click here to register (Event ID: 1032424151)

    Additional Offerings & Solutions


    Improve ALM solutions and strategies
    How can you make your development process more efficient, consistent, and with improved quality—for FREE? Take advantage of free advice.




    FREE Expert ALM Consulting
    Get expert advice on your current Application Life-Cycle Management and development processes. Built on a survey of your team leaders, the ALM Catalyst Insight program is phone-based consulting that highlights your organization’s best practices and uncovers areas of risk that will improve with better ALM solutions and strategies.

    > Visit the ALM Catalyst portal to learn more and register.



    FREE Live Workshops
    Learn how to use Visual Studio Team System 2008 Team Foundation Server to its full potential. Four ongoing ALM Catalyst Live Workshops cover different aspects of the development process:

    • Preparation and use of reports
    • Benefits of automated builds
    • Integration of quality assurance
    • Implementation of consistent process

    > Check out the schedule and register for a FREE Live Workshop now.

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Event: Better Software Quality with Visual Studio Team System 2010



    Better Software Quality with Visual Studio Team System 2010

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

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

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

    Session Topics

    Understanding the Visual Studio Team System Quality Tools

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

    Running Test Cases & Filing Bugs

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

    Fixing the Bug (Developer)

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

    Automating a Regression Test

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

    Creating a New Test Plan

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

    Rounding Out Your Knowledge

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


    Register for a date & location near you!

    Welcome: 8:00 AM

    Seminar: 8:30 AM-12:30 PM

    Microsoft Partner Events:

    September 29, 2009

    Click here to register

    Event Code: 140546

    September 30, 2009

    Click here to register

    Event Code: 140547

    October 06, 2009

    Click here to register

    Event Code: 140548

    October 07, 2009

    Click here to register

    Event Code: 140549


    October 07, 2009

    Click here to register

    Event Code: 140648

    Salt Lake City

    October 20, 2009

    Click here to register

    Event Code: 140629

    Mountain View
    October 22, 2009

    Click here to register

    Event Code: 140550

    San Francisco
    October 23, 2009

    Click here to register

    Event Code: 140551

    San Diego
    November 03, 2009

    Click here to register

    Event Code: 140552


    November 04, 2009

    Click here to register

    Event Code: 140553

    Los Angeles

    November 05, 2009

    Click here to register

    Event Code: 140554

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    MSDN Events Coming Your Way!


    After a brief summer break, we’re back at it with a fresh wave of MSDN events!  Take a look at the below listing, and I hope to see you there!

    MSDN Presents: The Next Generation Client Experience

    • Windows 7 for Developers
      • Windows 7 is almost here! With it are numerous improvements and new features to take advantage of in your applications. Watch and learn as we demonstrate how to utilize the new taskbar, multi-touch support, search, libraries, and more.
    • IE8 for Developers
      • IE8 makes your web better… faster, safer and easier.  This is true for developers too.  In this session, we will illustrate how developers can take advantage of some new technologies in IE8 such as accelerators to enhance a user’s web experience.  We will also illustrate the built-in developer tools in IE8 and how to take advantage of them.  These tools include a powerful CSS tool, script debugging and a script profiler.
    • Building Business Applications with Silverlight 3
      • Silverlight 3 has launched.  In this session, we will illustrate how you can build powerful line of business (LOB) applications with Silverlight 3 and Expression Blend 3.  We will begin with illustrating how you can build powerful prototypes with SketchFlow in Blend 3.  We will then implement a LOB application, illustrating some design patterns such as the Repository and Model View View Model (MVVM) along the way.
    When Where Registration
    9/1 Colorado Springs link
    9/2 Denver link
    9/10 Albuquerque link

    MSDN Presents: Introduction to F#

    With the introduction of F# many people asked “Why does .NET need a new language?”  There are many reasons to use F#, but one of the biggest is its support of “asynchronous computational workflows,” a style of programming that makes multi-threaded applications relatively easy to write.  In this session we will introduce F# for those who haven’t spent any time with the new language.  We also will spend some time focusing on the threading aspects of F# that enable programmers to better take advantage of the multi-core processor environments.

    When Where Registration
    9/14 Denver link


    We’ve got other events in the works around Team System as well, so stay tuned!

  • Steve Lange @ Work

    Upgrade Paths to Windows 7


    Some of you may have seen this already, others may have not.  Below is a decent chart showing, based on what you have already (“Upgrade FROM”), how you can get to Windows 7 (“Upgrade TO”).

    From All Things Digital

    And, the folks at have provided some steps to do an in-place upgrade from Windows 7 RC to the release version (RTM).  And although I’m not officially endorsing it, “it worked fine on my machine..”  ;)

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