January 7 2013 Update: v2 of this service is now in beta. It still supports Team Foundation Server 2010, and it adds support for Team Foundation Server 2012 as well as a few new APIs and bug fixes.
A few months ago we released the beta of the OData Service for Team Foundation Server 2010. Today, I am pleased to announce that v1 of this service is now available and you can download it here.
What the heck is an OData Service for Team Foundation Server 2010? I’m glad you asked. The purpose of this project is to help developers work with data from Team Foundation Server on multiple device types (such as smartphones and tablets) and operating systems. OData provides a great solution for this goal, and has been embraced by numerous developers for building great device-specific applications. OData is accessible from any device and application stack which supports HTTP requests. This OData service interacts directly with the TFS client object model.
What is OData? OData exposes a way to work with data over the web. If you’re new to OData, I suggest spending a few minutes at http://www.odata.org/ reading about this evolving standard. It uses interfaces similar to REST, so that you can programmatically consume and manipulate data from any device or application stack which supports HTTP requests. DPE has been working with several organizations (such as PayPal, Facebook, and Netflix) and product groups to enable OData where it makes sense to do so. Team Foundation Server was an obvious choice since it not only allows developers to extend TFS in new and interesting ways, but it also allows us to further showcase support for this evolving standard with the developer community at large.
Can I see a demo? Of course! I filmed a video for Channel 9 which shows you how to get started using this service. When you’re ready to get started, just download the release which includes full documentation. The service can be easily hosted in Windows Azure to front-end your own Team Foundation Server instance, or if you want to use this with CodePlex we’ve already hosted this service for you at https://codeplexodata.cloudapp.net/. As long as you have contributor rights on any CodePlex project backed by Team Foundation Server 2010 you can start making OData calls immediately. We also have included a sample Windows Phone 7 application, and WebMatrix Helpers, which show you how to get started building applications which consume this service.
You can also find a few great projects from people in the community who have been using this during the beta to build some great applications, such as TFS on the Road (a TFS app for Windows Phone) and a few other examples here.
(this is a video I filmed during the beta so you'll hear me refer to this as a beta, but the concepts are the same for the v1 release)
What’s new in v1? Since the beta, we have invested heavily in better documentation and a better installation experience. We have also made a few bug fixes and added support for a few operations, mainly around build definitions. Everything we have done since the beta has been based on direct customer feedback. Thanks to everybody who has contributed by evaluating the beta and helping to make this a great release!
So this is v1 – what is your roadmap for future releases? Is this supported? I would like to continue to iterate on this and add value over time. I should make it clear, however, that this is not an official release from the TFS engineering team. The TFS engineering team has reviewed the service and approved of the approach we are taking, but there is no official support for this service. That said, all of the source code is provided for you, the license permits you to use it and extend it for your own purposes, and we are interested in (but not committed to) continuing to add capabilities over time. Personally, I’d love to get this working with the Team Foundation Service, but since it’s only in a “preview” mode at the moment it’s a bit too early to be building extensions for it.
If I build an application using this service, will users need client access licenses (CAL’s)? In most cases, they will. Connecting to Team Foundation Server via OData has the same licensing implications as connecting via Team Explorer, the web, or any other client. But there are a few exceptions where users working with Team Foundation Server don’t need CAL’s. Please refer to the Visual Studio 2010 licensing whitepaper for all of the details.
I hope you enjoy this – if you build something interesting please be sure to drop us a line and let us know!
December 27, 2013 Update: Fixed several broken links due to files having been moved.
I have received several great emails from people who have tried the Visual Studio 2012 ALM Virtual Machine and the accompanying hands-on-labs / demo scripts. Thanks for all of the positive feedback!
I also know that for some people, a Hyper-V virtual machine like this one can be a bit hard to get started with. You might not have the requisite hardware and Windows Server hosting environment, or sometimes you just want to quickly demonstrate one of these capabilities to a colleague or user group without the overhead of booting into the virtual machine. For this reason, I have just published a set of DemoMates for each of the 6 ALM hands-on-labs / demo scripts I published last month.
A DemoMate is a Silverlight-based rendering of a software demo which can be used to easily learn a demo or show it to an audience (albeit in a strict, linear format). It’s not a substitute for the virtual machine and being able to go “off road” of the script, but if you plan on sticking to the script then it’s the next best thing.
While you’re using the DemoMates, you can use the options in the lower-right corner to go full screen, switch between auto-play and manual advancing modes, turn presenter scripts on or off, and so on. As you hover your mouse over these items they should become self-explanatory, so I am not going to cover all of the settings here.
You can run these DemoMates online, or if you plan on using these in an environment where you might not always have Internet access then I suggest installing the offline version. Note: Not all of the DemoMates are available online due to some hosted assets we lost when an employee left the company. The full collection of DemoMates can be accessed by downloading the offline installers.
Online: ● Agile Project Management in Team Foundation Server 2012 ● Building the Right Software - Generating Storyboards and Collecting Stakeholder Feedback with Visual Studio 2012 ● Diagnosing Issues in Production with IntelliTrace and Visual Studio 2012 ● Exploratory Testing and Other Enhancements in Microsoft Test Manager 2012 ● Making Developers More Productive with Team Foundation Server 2012 ● Unit Testing with Visual Studio 2012 - MSTest, NUnit, xUnit.net, and Code Clone ● Introduction to PreEmptive Analytics ● Lab Management Improvements in Visual Studio 2012 ● Testing and Debugging SharePoint Applications with Visual Studio 2012
Offline: (gets installed locally on your computer) ● Agile Project Management in Team Foundation Server 2012 ● Building the Right Software - Generating Storyboards and Collecting Stakeholder Feedback with Visual Studio 2012 ● Diagnosing Issues in Production with IntelliTrace and Visual Studio 2012 ● Exploratory Testing and Other Enhancements in Microsoft Test Manager 2012 ● Making Developers More Productive with Team Foundation Server 2012 ● Unit Testing with Visual Studio 2012 - MSTest, NUnit, xUnit.net, and Code Clone ● Introduction to PreEmptive Analytics ● Lab Management Improvements in Visual Studio 2012 ● Testing and Debugging SharePoint Applications with Visual Studio 2012 ● Authoring and Running Manual Tests using Microsoft Test Manager 2012 ● Branch and Merge Visualization with Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2012 ● Code Discovery using the Architecture Tools in Visual Studio Ultimate 2012 ● Debugging with IntelliTrace using Visual Studio Ultimate 2012 ● Introduction to Coded UI Tests with Visual Studio Ultimate 2012 ● Introduction to Platform Testing with Microsoft Test Manager 2012 ● Introduction to Test Case Management with Microsoft Test Manager 2012 ● Introduction to Test Planning with Microsoft Test Manager 2012 ● Introduction to Web Performance and Load Testing with Visual Studio Ultimate 2012 ● Understanding Class Coupling with Visual Studio Ultimate 2012 ● Using Code Analysis with Visual Studio 2012 to Improve Code Quality ● Using the Architecture Explorer in Visual Studio Ultimate 2012 to Analyze Your Code
I hope you’ll enjoy these as another way of learning about the application lifecycle management scenarios that Microsoft is investing in with Visual Studio 2012.
Muito obrigado to Arley Pádua, Carlos Ubirajara Amorim, and Marcello Andrade – these guys have generously translated the Visual Studio 11 ALM Hands-On-Labs from English into Brazilian Portuguese!
The virtual machine itself is still available in English only, but at least for people who are more comfortable with Brazilian Portuguese as their language of choice this can make it easier to learn about the application lifecycle management improvements we have coming in Visual Studio 11.
The Brazilian Portuguese labs can be downloaded here, and the original English labs can still be found here.
PS: If anybody is interested in translating any of my hands-on-labs into their own native language, please let me know!
The November 2011 refresh of the Visual Studio 2010 RTM Virtual Machine with Sample Data and Hands-on-Labs is now available. This new version includes an extended expiration date of April 9, 2012. Please note that if you are using the last version of the virtual machine it will stop working on November 1, 2011.
Follow the instructions here to download the new virtual machine and hands-on-labs.