Brian Keller

Director of ALM Evangelism for Microsoft

March, 2007

  • Brian Keller

    Visual Studio Team System Goodies


    Wow, it's been an exciting couple of weeks for Visual Studio Team System users. Generally I don’t like to be an echo chamber for what you can pick up in the blogosphere, but these items were too good to pass up and I wanted to highlight them just in case you missed them.


    1)      We announced on Monday that Microsoft has acquired TeamPlain who makes the popular TeamPlain Web Access for connecting to Team Foundation Server via your browser. Not only is this a good solution for cross-platform access to TFS, but it also enables the casual user w/o Team Explorer installed to check in on project status or even contribute to a project (manipulate work items, source code, etc.). The best news is that with this acquisition we are making TeamPlain available for FREE to anybody who is properly licensed for a TFS CAL. For more details see

    2)      The patterns and practices team recently published a broad set of prescriptive guidance for Team Foundation Server/VSTS. See

    3)      By popular demand we have published about 40 pages of guidance on branching and merging strategies with Team Foundation Server. Check out


    You’ll note that #2 and #3 are hosted as Wikis on CodePlex. We’re trying a new publishing model where we’ll use CodePlex as an agile publishing surface, at least until we stabilize and decide to move things into the MSDN Library. So please leave comments in the Wiki if you have suggestions or questions which aren't addressed by the guidance.



  • Brian Keller

    New Channel 9 Video: Team Build "Orcas" demo and interview

    We just posted a new Channel 9 video interview with Buck Hodges and Jim Lamb in which they discuss the enhancements coming to Team Build in the "Orcas" release of Team Foundation Server. As Buck and Jim demonstrate, Team Build "Orcas" will include built-in support for Continuous Integration! It's very slick and perhaps one of my favorite features. Also as a reminder the rest of the VSTS Channel 9 videos are always available here.
  • Brian Keller

    Job Posting: Team System + BI expert wanted


    Siddharth Bhatia, a group program manager on the Visual Studio Team System team, is looking for someone to help make the data in Team Foundation Server easier to consume. This will help software teams answer everyday questions which drive the decisions they make about their projects. There is a lot of exciting work to do in this area and I think Siddharth would be a great guy to work for, so I wanted to help get the word out about this opportunity. If you are interested, or if you know anybody who is, please email a resume to sbhatia AT microsoft DOT com. Here are the details:

    I’m looking for someone who can take a large-scale warehouse that is filled with information that we work with everyday: bugs, features, tasks, changesets, test cases, test results and builds and make it really easy for customers to get answers to the questions we ask everyday like “Is my project on track?”, “What’s the quality of my software?” and  “Are we ready to ship?”


    Job Title: Program Manager

    Hiring Manager: Siddharth Bhatia

    Group: Visual Studio Team System

    Req #: 164376

    Location: Redmond


    Did you know that 32% of all software projects are cancelled, 60% are considered failures by the organizations that initiated them, and nine out of ten come in late? On March 17th 2006, Microsoft set out to fix this when it released Team Foundation Server (TFS) - the hub of the Visual Studio Team System.

    With TFS, customers can manage all the artifacts of a software development project including the work items (bugs, features & scenarios), source code, automated builds, documents and reports in a fully integrated way. “Having better information is leading to better decisions. It is just a far more productive development environment”, noted one customer.

    The TFS Data Warehouse stores the relationships and all the changes that the team makes during software development. SQL Server Reporting Services and MS Excel provide front-ends to the data to help everyone involved in software development make better decisions.

    We are looking for a Program Manager with a burning passion in the relational database and SQL Analysis Services space. In this role, you will be responsible for the end-to-end solution including the customer scenarios, the reporting infrastructure, the database schemas and the OLAP cube. You will define the data that lives in the warehouse, how it gets there and help make it easy to answer the following:
    · For IT leaders - are projects meeting the business requirements and are they on time?
    · For technology managers - what is the quality of the software?
    · For individual contributors - what is my work and what are its dependencies?
    · For executives - are we compliant with regulatory initiatives like SOX?
    You will own the strategic vision for the evolution of the TFS reporting platform and how to align effectively with the specific processes in a team.

    You should enjoy solving hard problems and up to speed with SQL Server 2005, Analysis Services and Reporting Services technologies. A minimum of 5 years of experience in program management and proficiencies in data warehouse design is required.

  • Brian Keller

    VSTS & TFS "Orcas" CTP, Visual Studio 2005 SDK v4.0 Available


    Wow - there is lots of good stuff coming online this week!

    • First, we released the February CTP of Visual Studio "Orcas" which includes not only Visual Studio Team Suite enhancements but also includes the first publicly available build of Team Foundation Server "Orcas" as well! Brian Harry has posted all of the details about what's new and where to get the bits. Start your downloads...
    • Also, Version 4.0 of the Visual Studio 2005 SDK is now available. This is the final version of the SDK which will target Visual Studio 2005. James Lau has post a list of enhancements and Ed Psyk sent around a list of the Team Foundation Server-specific enhancements which I've pasted below.

    Team Foundation Server Enhancements in the Visual Studio 2005 SDK v4.0

    • New Work Item Custom Control API Sample and Help Documentation
      • Demonstrates how to use the Work Item Custom Control APIs introduced in Visual Studio 2005 SP1.
    •  New Version Control Merge History API Documentation
      • Demonstrates how to use the enhanced QueryMergesWithDetails API introduced in Visual Studio 2005 SP1
    • Updated Team Explorer PcwTESample
      • This sample can be found in \VisualStudioTeamSystemIntegration\Team Explorer and Project Creation\PcwTESample\.
      • Fixed problems that prevented the sample from building.
    • Updated Team Foundation Server Collectibles Sample
      •  This sample can be found in \VisualStudioTeamSystemIntegration\Team Foundation Core Services\ExtendingTeamFoundationSample\.
      • Re-written to use best practices.
      • Updated ReadMe.doc to reflect new architecture.
    •  All Team Foundation Server Pubic Assemblies Updated to Visual Studio 2005 SP1
      • These assemblies can be found in \VisualStudioIntegration\Common\Assemblies\.
    • Updated Team Foundation Server BisSubscribe.exe Tool
      • This tool was updated to the RTM version and can be found in \VisualStudioTeamSystemIntegration\Utilities\EventSubscriptionTool\.
      • The SDK version of this tool now provides unsubscribe capability.
    • Added Visual Studio Team Explorer Package GUID’s, Menu ID’s and Group ID’s Header Files
      • The newly provided header file contains the constants required for integrating with existing Team Explorer shortcut menus when you create Visual Studio Integration Package projects. The TFS_VC_IDs.h file can be found in \VisualStudioTeamSystemIntegration\Version Control\ and the TFS_WIT_IDs.h file can be found in \VisualStudioTeamSystemIntegration\Work Item Tracking\.
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