Showing posts with label ALM. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ALM. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

[Limited Time] The TFS 2013.2 RC upgrade weekend is coming, Friday February 28th and Saturday March 1st...

Team Foundation Server, SharePoint Server, .NET, and SQL Server - Get Ready for TFS 2013.2 (Update 2) RC Upgrade Weekend

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Are you excited about Team Foundation Server 2013.2 (Update 2) RC?

Are you comfortable running pre-release software in production?

If so, you might want to consider scheduling your TFS upgrade for Friday February 28th and Saturday March 1st. During those days, Microsoft experts will be standing by to help support you in the event that you have questions or something goes wrong.

If you’re interested in taking advantage of the Upgrade Weekend, please visit http://aka.ms/TFSUpgradeWeekend to complete a brief registration survey. This survey will remain open until February 26th, 2014. Please contact VSEAP@Microsoft.com if you have any questions about this offer.

Here are some reasons to consider upgrading to Team Foundation Server 2013.2 (Update 2) RC:

  • Work Item Tagging
    • Query on tags – You can now write and save work item queries containing tag clauses.
    • Tags in VS – Previously tags could only be assigned/used within the TFS web UI.
    • Tag permission – Now you can control, with a permission, who can create new tags.
    • Edit Tags in Excel – Now when you are managing a list of work items in Excel, you can include the tags column, edit it and publish the tags changes back to TFS.
  • Backlog Management
    • Perf improvements – Navigating between the backlog, sprints, etc is MUCH faster.
    • Non-working days – You  can define you’re non-working days (weekends, for most of us) and we’ll exclude them from the burn down calculation.
    • Configurable start date for cumulative flow diagram – Now you can define what date to start the diagram.
  • Charting
    • Pin charts to project home page – You can now pin a chart to your project homepage so everyone can see it when they visit your project.
    • Customize chart colors – Maybe not a huge deal but very nice.  Now you can select what colors you want to use in your charts.
  • Export Test Plan to HTML
    • You can now export your test plan to HTML for offline reading/sharing, printing, etc.  You can choose the level of detail you want to include in the document.
  • Release Management
    • We added a new concept of “Tags” that enables you to tag deployment targets.  Tags can be used to treat a set of machines the same.
  • Git Improvements
    • Annotate – The annotate (aka blame) feature in Visual Studio has been updated to support Git.
    • Amend – You can now update your most recent local commit from within VS just like the “git amend” command line allows.
    • Push to multiple remotes – Team Explorer now recognizes multiple Git repos and allow you to select which remote you want to push to/pull from.
    • Revert a commit – You can now easy “rollback” a commit in the event you checked in something that you’ve decided that you really don’t want.
    • Progress with cancellation –You now have the ability to cancel long running Git operations.
  • And of course, bragging rights for being on the newest version of Team Foundation Server!

..." [GD: Post Leached almost in full]

That last upgrade weekend seemed to good well, so I heard and read, well enough it looks like that they are going to have another! If you're a cutting edge kind of TFS shop, there's little better deal than taking part in this upgrade weekend. You'll get personal help, support and advice... free!

NOTE! It looks like you don't even have to already be on TFS 2013 RTM!

Here's a snap from the survey;

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Also I guess that makes it pretty clear that we're going to be getting the 2013.2 RC about than too... :)

 

Related Past Post XRef:
[Limited time offer, open unit Sept 6th!] You know you can use TFS 2013 in production, right? But pre-release stuff is scary? How about if there were some Microsoft Experts on standby to help you upgrade? Sign up now for the Team Foundation Server 2013 Upgrade Weekend, September 13-15

Thursday, February 06, 2014

"Grumpy, Descartes, Mr. Bighead, and Mr. Blasé" and your move to Agile...

Scrum Alliance - Grumpy, Descartes, Mr. Bighead, and Mr. Blasé

Anybody who has had to direct any form of change in an organization must have come to realize how it is about people. This has been recognized for a long time and documented extensively (see http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?field-keywords=change+management).

In particular, there always seem to be some people who will resist and make it difficult.

In a report about the Agile transition at Yahoo!, Gabrielle Benefield writes, "Not everyone is willing or able to change." She also states that "10 to 15 percent of people will not like the status quo at any given time" (see "Rolling out Agile in a Large Enterprise"). And I think I can confirm this statement from my own personal experience.

So lately I've been wondering: Is there a typical profile for those people who have a hard time transitioning to Agile? Are they always the same from one organization to another? Is there a magic formula to spot them right away?

After some time trying to describe the typical profile, I recognized not one but four distinct profiles. Here's how to recognize them, and some tips to help get them on board with Agile.

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..."

Which one of these guys are you?

None, right! But you've worked with some I bet. This article has a some good tips on how to help handle them in your move to Agile...

Thursday, January 09, 2014

24! [Hands-on-Labs and Demo Scripts now available in the big BK Visual Studio 2013 ALM VM] + [Bonus: Azure'ing it too...]

Brian Keller - Visual Studio 2010/2012 Hands-On-Labs / Demo Scripts Upgraded to 2013

The Visual Studio 2013 ALM Virtual Machine was upgraded today to include the sample content and hands-on-labs / demo scripts which were previously introduced for Visual Studio 2010 and 2012 capabilities. This brings the total number of hands-on-labs and demo scripts which work with this VM to 24.

We also used this opportunity to address some fit-and-finish feedback we received on the initial release of the 2013 ALM VM, so it should be a nice improvement all around. As a reminder you can find the full list of ALM virtual machines here.

Brian Keller - Visual Studio 2013 Application Lifecycle Management Virtual Machine and Hands-on-Labs / Demo Scripts

Updated January 9, 2014: The VM was upgraded to include all applicable Visual Studio 2010 and 2012 hands-on-labs / demo scripts. This brings the total number of hands-on-labs / demo scripts you can run with this virtual machine to 24.

...

The Visual Studio 2013 RTM ALM Virtual Machine is available for download along with 24 hands-on-labs / demo scripts which introduce you to many of the ALM capabilities which have been included in this release.

You can download and install Visual Studio 2013 (including Team Foundation Server 2013, .NET Framework 4.5.1, etc.). But if you would like a faster way to understand what is new for application lifecycle management in this release, this virtual machine is pre-configured with all of the necessary software and sample data for you.

...

Labs upgraded from Visual Studio 2010/2012: NEW

...

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Hosting the VS 2013 ALM VM in a Windows Azure Virtual Machine

I am recommending the use of a Windows Azure Virtual Network for this exercise so the virtual machine does not have any ports open to the internet (public facing).  If you have any questions, comments or concerns regarding the steps in the article feel free to leave a comment.

Steps we’ll be performing in this article:

  • Download the VS 2013 ALM Virtual Machine (.rar)
  • Extract the files for the VS 2013 ALM Virtual Machine
  • Download and install the Windows Azure PowerShell cmdlets
  • Create a Windows Azure Storage Container
  • Create a Windows Azure Virtual Network with Point-to-Site Connectivity
  • Upload the .VHD to Azure Storage
  • Configure a disk  so the .VHD can be used by a Virtual Machine
  • Create and configure the Virtual Machine
  • Complete the configuration of the Virtual Network and connect to the VPN

First you should head over to Brian Keller’s great blog post and follow the instructions to get the files.  If you don’t have a fast and reliable internet connection you may want to wait and build a 2nd virtual machine on the virtual network that I am configuring as part of this post to download the files and upload the .vhd to your Azure storage.  I tried it this past weekend on my internet service (provided by cable) and the upload took just over 17 hours, if you do this from within a Virtual Machine in Azure the entire process (calculate MD5 Hash and Upload) takes about 2.5 hours.

...

The only way this might be better is if this VM were in the Azure Gallery, but until then, this is one of the coolest ways to check out all that is VS 2013, with sample data, demos, labs, etc. If you're a trainer, presenter or just want to see just about everything that is TFS ALM, this VM is a must download...

 

Related Past Post XRef:
Happy VM Day! The Visual Studio 2013 RTM ALM Virtual Machine is now available
The HOL "Building a Release Pipeline with Team Foundation Server 2012" thing
Featuring Agile Planning and Portfolio Management with TFS2013 in these Hands On Labs
Visual Studio 2013 ALM and HOL VM now available...
VS2012 Update 1 ALM VM and HOL / Demo Scripts now available
The VS 2012 ALM Virtual Machine and VS 2012 Update 1 (In short, there's an updated VM coming, don't install it on this VM if you don't have too)
The big BK has updated the Visual Studio 2012 RC ALM Virtual Machine and Hands-on-Labs
VS 11 ALM DemoMates updated for the Beta
Visual Studio/TFS11 ALM Demo's... Mate! See the VS/TFS 11 ALM's hands-on-labs in DemoMate form
Visual Studio 11 ALM VHD's, VirtualBoxed (and even on x86 hosts too)
Want to play with Visual Studio 11 & TFS 11 Dev Preview but don't want to install it (and have access to a Hyper-V server)? Here's a VHD just for

Monday, December 16, 2013

Team Foundation Server 2013 Collaboration Provider for Skype Released...

Team Foundation Server Collaboration Providers

Enable support for 3rd party instant messenger clients on the TFS Power Tools 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2013

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 Skype Version 4.0

Release Notes

Tested Skype versions
- Skype 6.11.0.102

Supported features:
- sending Instant Messages to team members
- making calls with team members
- making video call with team members
- showing status and avatar of team members in team member hub (Team Explorer)

Limitations:
- support for group chats/calls was removed in 2012/2013 power tools release

Know issues / Issues / FAQ
For other issues / common questions consider http://tfscollab.codeplex.com/wikipage?title=Skype%20Provider%20V3

Supported Power Tools Version
TFS Power Tools 2013

Cool tool, with source, that shows how you can extended Team Explorer, adding communication providers. That said, given the upcoming Skype COM'pocalypse I have to wonder at the long term viability of this...

 

Related Past Post XRef:
TFS 2012 Power Tools to the People! (plus MSSCCI Provider & Build Extensions too)
Extending the Team Members feature in the VSTS 2008 TFS Power Tools October 2008 Release. For example, adding Skype support…
VSTS 2008 TFS Power Tools - October 2008 (aka 2.3) Released – Manage Source Files via Windows Shell/Explorer extension, new PowerShell extensions and Team Members tool

TFS Administration Tool 2.3 (aka 2013 Version) Now Available

Grant Holliday’s blog - TFS Administration Tool 2.3 (2013) Released

As I did after the last major TFS release, the TFS Administration Tool has been updated to depend upon the TFS 2013 Object Model. You no-longer need Team Explorer 2012 installed to use the tool. It can be installed on machines running either the stand-alone object model (http://aka.ms/TFSOM2013), TFS 2013 or Visual Studio 2013.

This release supports SharePoint groups/roles, thanks to a community contribution. There are no other major functional changed between the release and the previous (2.2) release.

http://tfsadmin.codeplex.com/

Currently, the MSI in the downloaded ZIP file is flagged by Windows SmartScreen as “unsafe” – based upon the experience of the last release, in about a week, it will build enough “reputation” to be considered safe.

...

Team Foundation Server Administration Tool

The TFS Administration Tool allows Team Foundation Server administrators to manage user permissions on all three platforms utilized by Team Foundation Server:

  1. Team Foundation Server,
  2. SharePoint, and
  3. SQL Server Reporting Services.
The tool also allows administrators to easily copy user permissions among team projects and to easily identify any missing permissions on any of the three platforms.
Announcements

December 16, 2013-TFS Administration Tool 2.3 released
We are pleased to announce that the TFS Administration Tool 2.3 has been updated to the Team Foundation Server 2013 object model and it can be installed on machines running either the stand-alone object model or Visual Studio 2013.

This release supports SharePoint groups/roles. There are no other major functional changed between the release and the previous (2.2) release.

It is not required to uninstall the previous (2.2) release. Installing this release will update the shortcut to the latest version.

Please download TFS Administration Tool 2.3, and let us know what you think about the tool. In case you run into a bug please open an issue and include either the contents of the "Output" window as an attachment or the contents of the log file saved in the "Logs" folder so that our team can easily reproduce and investigate the problem. Please feel free to remove the confidential information like user accounts, or server names.

Download TFS Administration Tool 2.3

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I've found this a must have tool for any TFS Admin...

 

Related Past Post XRef:
Team Foundation Server Administration tool v2.1 Released (Think “TFS2010 version”)
TFS Administration Tool - Having a problem installing v1.3 after having upgraded to TFS2008? Here's your ticket to v1.2 freedom...
Team Foundation Server Administration Tool 1.3 Released (with TFS2008 Support)
TFS Administration Tool 1.2 Released
TFS Permission Manager 1.5 Released
TFS Permission and Administration Tools
TFS Administration Tool

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

The TFS Upgrade Guide gets... well... upgraded. v3, the TFS 2013 Upgrade Edition

Willy's Reflections - TFS Upgrade Guide comes out of silent BETA release and ships v3 for TFS 2013

We are please to announce the release of TFS Upgrade Guide, v3 for practical guidance for an upgrade to TFS 2013.

This guide is intended as a supplement to the Upgrade information found in the Team Foundation Server Installation and Administration guides. It is recommended to begin with the Team Foundation Server Installation and Administration Guide (http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=29035) before using this guide. This guide covers scenarios which may be encountered during and after the upgrade process and provides examples of most common and potential issues.

...

TFS Upgrade Guide - v3 - TFS 2013 Upgrade Guide

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Welcome to the Team Foundation Server Upgrade Guide where we, the ALM Rangers, will take you on a guided journey through practical and scenario-based guidance for upgrading your existing Team Foundation Server (TFS) infrastructure to TFS 2013, walking through some of the common scenarios encountered during the upgrade process.

NOTE The guidance is based on Visual Studio TFS 2013 and should be used in conjunction with documentation that accompanies the product and is available on the Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) at http://msdn.microsoft.com.

Intended audience
We expect the majority of our audience personas to be Dave – TFS Server Administrator, Jane – Infrastructure specialist, Garry – Development Lead and Paul – Database Administrator. See ALM Rangers Personas and Customer Types1 for more information on these and other personas.

The guide assumes a good knowledge of the TFS and an operational administration mindset – in other words, intermediate to advanced TFS Administrators.

What you’ll need
The following prerequisites are needed and referenced in this guide as ‘supported editions’:
 TFS 2010 and 2012 as existing environment
 TFS 2013 as target environment

...

No more excuses... time to upgrade or at least seriously consider it... come on, it shouldn't be that hard, right? At least, not if you have this guide in hand [Note to self: Walk the walk... sigh... must upgrade mine soon]

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Happy VM Day! The Visual Studio 2013 RTM ALM Virtual Machine is now available

Brian Keller just shot me this email and I thought it important to blog about is ASAP (so you have a chance to download the VM's while on a faster work network... ;)

Just in time for Thanksgiving, I’m pleased to announce that the Visual Studio 2013 RTM ALM Virtual Machine is now available!

This virtual machine replaces the previous Visual Studio 2013 ALM virtual machine which was based on Preview bits. This is a publicly downloadable set of content, so you may feel free to share this with your customers, partners, etc. It’s designed to be both a tool for demonstrating our ALM story and as a self-paced training environment for learning how to use our ALM tools.

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This virtual machine is configured with:

· Microsoft Windows Server 2012 Standard Evaluation

· Microsoft Visual Studio Ultimate 2013

· Microsoft Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2013

· Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2013 (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook)

· Microsoft Visio Professional 2013

· Microsoft Release Management for Visual Studio 2013

· Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Standard

· Sample users and data required to support hands-on-lab scripts which accompany this download and exercise 4 new ALM scenarios.

Public URL: http://aka.ms/vs13almvm

More ALM virtual machines and hands-on-labs / demo scripts (including VS 2012, Project Server/TFS, and SCOM/TFS) can be found at http://aka.ms/ALMVMs.

What’s next? In the next sprint we will be working on the following:

  • Porting the hands-on-labs, demo scripts, and sample data from the VS 2012 ALM virtual machine to work with the Visual Studio 2013 ALM virtual machine.
  • Building a set of assets and scripts to enable the Microsoft field to effectively learn and demonstrate Application Insights.

Enjoy!

Brian Keller
Principal Technical Evangelist
Visual Studio ALM
Blog: blogs.msdn.com/briankel
ALM 2012 Book: Professional ALM with Visual Studio 2012
TFS 2012 Book: Professional Team Foundation Server 2012
Visual Studio ALM Demos / hands-on-labs

Related Past Post XRef:
The HOL "Building a Release Pipeline with Team Foundation Server 2012" thing
Featuring Agile Planning and Portfolio Management with TFS2013 in these Hands On Labs
Visual Studio 2013 ALM and HOL VM now available...
VS2012 Update 1 ALM VM and HOL / Demo Scripts now available
The VS 2012 ALM Virtual Machine and VS 2012 Update 1 (In short, there's an updated VM coming, don't install it on this VM if you don't have too)
The big BK has updated the Visual Studio 2012 RC ALM Virtual Machine and Hands-on-Labs
VS 11 ALM DemoMates updated for the Beta
Visual Studio/TFS11 ALM Demo's... Mate! See the VS/TFS 11 ALM's hands-on-labs in DemoMate form
Visual Studio 11 ALM VHD's, VirtualBoxed (and even on x86 hosts too)
Want to play with Visual Studio 11 & TFS 11 Dev Preview but don't want to install it (and have access to a Hyper-V server)? Here's a VHD just for

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Dave McKinstry's Massive Missive of More VS 2013 Launch Events, ALM Webcasts and some Game On too!

Ponder.NET - More Visual Studio 2013 Launch events and ALM Webcasts

In addition to the Visual Studio Launch Events I wrote about in my previous blog entry, I wanted to pass on the rest of the launch information for the rest of the US.  Here is an announcement from one of our developer tools solutions specialists (Laura Smith) handily crafted with upcoming launch events across the nation and also some of our partner webcasts through the end of the year:

Visual Studio 2013 Launch

Join the festivities on November 13th as we launch Visual Studio 2013. Anyone can participate from virtually any location. Simply log into the portal with a workstation or mobile device and watch the keynote speech live or at a time that’s more convenient for you. You can also hear how customers are already using Visual Studio and get detailed insight into using the product’s features and services by watching technical sessions conducted by the Microsoft development team. And for the first time you can view the launch in multiple languages. The virtual launch will start at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time on Wednesday November 13th.    Click Here for Virtual Launch and Local Launch Events Worldwide

The virtual launch will be followed by local events where we discuss:

  • What’s new in Visual Studio 2013 and Team Foundation Server 2013
  • Discuss Real-World Business Scenarios
  • Characteristics and Benefits of Modern Apps
  • Consider Business and Technical Insights

 

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Webcasts?

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Game on? Game On!

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That should be enough to keep you busy for a bit... :)

Friday, October 25, 2013

Wriju's TFS 2013 Book and Video Link Round-up

Wriju's BLOG - Team Foundation Server 2013 : Books Free and Paid

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Wriju's BLOG - Team Foundation Server 2013 : Learning Videos

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This is something I'd usually keep for RadioTFS, but given we've got nearly two weeks until the next show, I think I can slip this in here AND there.  Plus we've got some new TFS users in my shop, so thought it would be nice to highlight these, so they can have some great weekend reading materials... :)

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Grant's TFS Grooming Guide (Think "How to keep your TFS looking nice and pretty [and working]...")

Grant Holliday’s blog - What does a well maintained Team Foundation Server look like?

After spending some time out in the field looking at customer’s TFS environments and more recently looking at some of Microsoft’s internal on-premises TFS deployments, I realized that some environments are configured and better maintained than others.

Some of the general concepts and the very TFS-specific configurations are talked about in Part 5 of my Professional Team Foundation Server 2012 book, but many of the basics were considered out of scope or assumed knowledge. Also, not everybody has read the book, even though it gets 5 stars and is considered “THE Reference for the TFS Administrator and expert!” on Amazon.

The purpose of this blog post is to give the Service Owners of TFS a check-list of things to hold different roles accountable for in the smooth operation of the server. It’s broken into 5 sections that roughly translate to the different roles in a typical enterprise IT department. In some cases, it might all be the one person. In other cases, it could be a virtual team of 50 spread all throughout the company and the globe.

  1. The initial setup and provisioning of the hardware, operating system and SQL platform
  2. Regular OS system administrator tasks
  3. Regular SQL DBA tasks
  4. TFS-specific configurations
  5. Regular TFS administrator tasks

The list is in roughly descending priority order, so even if you do the first item in each section, that’s better than not doing any of them. I’ll add as many reference links as I can, but if you need specific instructions for the steps, leave a comment and I’ll queue up a follow-up blog post.

  • Keep Current ...
  • Initial OS Configuration and Regular Management Tasks ...
  • Initial SQL Configuration ...
  • Regular SQL DBA Maintenance ...
  • TFS Configuration Optimizations ...
  • Regular TFS Administrator Maintenance ...
  • Regular TFS Build Administrator Maintenance ...
  • Exit Procedures ...
  • Other Resources ...

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While I'm sure we'll be chatting about this in the next RadioTFS cast, I thought this deserved additional highlighting (and note to myself that as an accidental TFS Admin, I need to do this stuff...)

Friday, August 23, 2013

[Limited time offer, open unit Sept 6th!] You know you can use TFS 2013 in production, right? But pre-release stuff is scary? How about if there were some Microsoft Experts on standby to help you upgrade? Sign up now for the Team Foundation Server 2013 Upgrade Weekend, September 13-15

Team Foundation Server 2013 Upgrade Weekend

Are you excited to upgrade to Team Foundation Server 2013? Are you comfortable running pre-release software in production? If so, you might want to consider scheduling your upgrade for the weekend of September 13-15. During this weekend, Microsoft experts will be standing by to help support you in the event that you have questions or something goes wrong. If you are interested in taking advantage of Upgrade Weekend, please complete this brief survey. This information will be used by Microsoft to determine our technical support staffing needs. This will also allow us to send you additional information before Upgrade Weekend to help you prepare for a successful upgrade. This survey will remain open until September 6. Please contact VSEAP[at]Microsoft[youknow]com if you have any questions about this offer.

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If you're thinking about upgrading to TFS2013, this is an opportunity you really should not miss. How often do you get a chance to have someone standing by just to help you, and free at that? You provide six fields of info, a TFS Server to upgrade and they provide the stand by experts if you need help or support.

Monday, August 19, 2013

North by Northwest [Cadence] - Up coming casts from Northwest Cadence

Northwest Cadence - Upcoming Events and Training Courses

Northwest Cadence hosts regularly-scheduled events designed with our clients and community in mind. Come ready to ask hard questions, gain new knowledge, and be part of the social occasion.

What’s more fun than talking about tough technical topics, showing amazingly cool demos, and sharing insiders tips learned through years in the trenches?

...

  • Aug. 27. 13 | 9:00AM PT | Webcast | Register | Agile Development using Visual Studio ALM
  • Sep. 3. 13 | 9:00AM PT | Webcast | Register | Deliver Early, Often, and Exceptionally with Visual Studio Premium
  • Sep. 10. 13 | 9:00AM PT | Webcast | Register | Automating your Software Delivery Pipeline
  • Sep. 11. 13 | 9:00AM PT | Webcast | Register | Enterprise Dependency Management with NuGet and Chocolatey
  • Sep. 17. 13 | 9:00AM PT | Webcast | Register | Introducing the New Git Integration with TFS 2012
  • Sep. 18. 13 | 9:00AM PT | Webcast | Register | Continuous Delivery with Team Build and Octopus Deploy
  • Sep. 24. 13 | 9:00AM PT | Webcast | Register | Automating your Software Delivery Pipeline
  • Sep. 25. 13 | 9:00AM PT | Webcast | Register | Enterprise Dependency Management with NuGet and Chocolatey

...

Bunch of free webcasts from the boys and girls at Northwest Cadence.

What's with the dupe's? That's a feature, not a bug... It's a great chance to interact with the presenters for the given session if you missed the first one.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Silos are for farms, not agile development teams...

naked ALM - A better way than staggered iterations for delivery

There is a better way than staggered iterations for delivery that will keep you on the path to agility.

I have seen many companies that are trying to move towards greater agility get trapped in the past by creating artificial silos based on skills. They believe that by creating a timebox for planning, development and testing that we can get closer to agility and move away from our traditional models. Unfortunately the actual result is to enshrine that traditional staged model and step sideways on the path to agility, not forwards. In many cases it can be a significant step backward that will take many painful years to rectify.

image

..

The problem with staggered iterations for delivery

In the diagram above we have an 18 week cycle from inception to delivery. That’s more than 4 months between ideation and delivery with a lag of 2 months to even get feedback with a 2 month lag for all subsequent feedback. Worse this is the most expensive kind of feedback as the Coding and Testing teams ..

...

The solutions to staggered iterations for delivery

We need to foster teams over individuals and make those teams responsible for the delivery of working software. To get that we need cross-functional teams that can turn ideas into that working software. And we need to do it often.

  • Cross-functional teams –We need to have...
  • Asynchronous development -  Ideally you want...
  • Test first – Test first is about not doing any work unless there is a measurable test that ...
  • Working software each iteration – If you don’t create working software at the end ...
  • Quality Assurance requires no testing – If you consider that all testing is done as part of the sprint, ...

...

Conclusion

The expected result of staggered iterations would be an increase in rework and in technical debt. If you are moving from a 4 year iterative process to a 4 month one you will see value, but your process will be opaque and will only reduce your ability to deliver working software.

Yes your cycle time will be reduced, but you can do so much better....

I've been here, done that, but I've found that without support and buy-in by everyone, this is an easy trap to fall into. Heck even cross functional teams can be a political beast that can't be slain, let alone everything else.

Yet, that doesn't mean we can't dream and strive for something like this.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Northwest Cadence is giving a number of great (and free) Dev/ALM webcasts in the coming days, weeks and months...

Northwest Cadence - Upcoming Events and Training Courses

Northwest Cadence hosts regularly-scheduled events designed with our clients and community in mind. Come ready to ask hard questions, gain new knowledge, and be part of the social occasion.

What’s more fun than talking about tough technical topics, showing amazingly cool demos, and sharing insiders tips learned through years in the trenches?

SNAGHTML10d1630e

image

There's a bunch of great sessions here, and the webcasts are free (which is a hard deal to beat...)

(via Public Sector Developer Weblog)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

InRelease Released - The InRelease acquisition has completed and you can now get the "InRelease for Microsoft Visual Studio 2013 Preview"

Brian Harry’s blog - InRelease Acquisition is complete

At TechEd, in early June, I announced our agreement to acquire InRelease – a release management product built specifically for Team Foundation Server by InCycle Software.  Since then, we’ve received tons of requests for more information, demos, etc.  Unfortunately, we’ve only been able to point people at InCycle because the acquisition was not final.  I’m happy to say that about a week ago we closed the acquisition and InRelease is now a part of Microsoft.

That doesn’t mean we can start selling it right away.  There are a number of things that have to happen in order to enable that – getting it on our price lists, shipping a version that is properly branded, serviceable, etc.  All of that will take a few months but there are some good options for you in the interim.  Let me share some of them.

  • We are providing a preview of our future Release Management product today.  It’s basically the existing InRelease product with some minimal changes to meet some of our compliance requirements.  You can download it here.  You can also read the InRelease Preview User Guide and ask questions on the forum.
  • InCycle Consulting will continue as an independent company and, until we ship the first fully Microsoft product, will continue to provide trials and sell the InRelease product.

...

Hopefully these two paths will solve everyone’s needs while finish up the changes we need to make.

I also want to say a few words about licensing so you, at least, have a little context on what to expect.  We are not ready to announce pricing but I can share a bit about the structure of the licensing.

  • The InRelease release management authoring components will be included in Visual Studio Test Professional, Visual Studio Premium and Visual Studio Ultimate.
  • Everything needed to participate in a release process (as opposed to configuring it) will be included in the Team Foundation Server CAL.
  • The InRelease server components will be integrated into Team Foundation Server 2013.
  • The InRelease deployers (which are required for each node you deploy on) will continue to be licensed separately.

...

InRelease for Microsoft Visual Studio 2013 Preview

Brief Description

InRelease for Visual Studio 2013 Preview is the essential suite of release and deployment tools available to automate deployment of applications across the desktop, the server, and the cloud.

Overview

Microsoft InRelease for Visual Studio 2013 Preview helps development and operations teams integrate with Team Foundation Server 2013 Preview to configure and automate complex deployments of their automated builds to target environments more easily. Development teams can also model their release processes and track approvals, sign-offs, and visualize their release status.

Release management with InRelease for Visual Studio 2013 Preview requires Ultimate 2013 Preview, Premium 2013 Preview, or Test Professional 2013 Preview. The deployment agents will continue to be licensed separately per target server.

...

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InRelease Preview User Guide

InRelease is a continuous deployment solution for .NET teams that makes release cycles repeatable, visible and more efficient by automating deployments through every environment from Team Foundation Server (TFS) until production. With pre-defined release paths, InRelease triggers deployments upon approval, assembles all the components of your application, moves them to the target servers and installs all of them in one transaction. Once the installation is successful, InRelease can execute automated tests or data generation scripts specified for your application. The same steps are repeated until the application is approved and goes to the next environment.

Based on a business-approval workflow and a flexible and centralized configuration, InRelease is an orchestration platform that improves coordination and communication between development, operations and quality assurance to decrease issues inherent to it such as: inefficiency, errors, frustration, high costs and delays.

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Not for everyone or every dev, but still a great additional to the Microsoft ALM DevOps story...

Monday, June 03, 2013

TechEd NA 2013 Day 1 Announcement Round-up - VS 2013, TFS 2013, InRelease, SQL 2014, Server 2012 R2, BizTalk Services, Azure-in-a-box and even more Azure...

Brian Harry's blog - Visual Studio 2013

Hold on to your seat, this is going to be a long one…

Today at TechEd, I announced Visual Studio 2013 and Team Foundation Server 2013 and many of the Application Lifecycle Management features that they include. Today, we enabled some of those features on Team Foundation Service for you to try out immediately and I announced that a preview of VS 2013 and TFS 2013 will be available at the Build conference later this month.

It’s an exciting time now that we can start talking more openly about what’s coming in our next major release. As usual, there’s so much I will only be able to just skim the surface with this post. Stay tuned for many more posts on my blog, the ALM blog, the Visual Studio blog ...

ALM and Beyond - Visual Studio 2013

Today, Microsoft announced Visual Studio 2013, the next release of is integrated developer tools solution for building modern applications for devices, the cloud and on the client. Visual Studio 2013 Preview software will be released at Build 2013.

Visual Studio 2013 will incorporate a wave of new hybrid Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) features, many of which were released today through Team Foundation Service, that help development teams be more productive, improve collaboration through agile development practices, ensure the creation of quality, high performing applications, and accelerate delivery times and resolving issues in production through the support of DevOps capabilities.

Available today, Microsoft also announced updates to its Team Foundation Service with the addition of Agile Portfolio Management, Team Room, Cloud Load Testing, Code Commenting, enhanced Web Test Case Management features and more.

Additionally as of today MSDN subscribers will have access to new benefits that will enable them to develop and test more easily on Windows Azure. This new benefit includes up to $150 worth of Windows Azure platform services per month at no additional cost for Visual Studio Professional, Premium or Ultimate MSDN subscribers, and use rights to run selected MSDN software in the cloud.

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Somasegar’s blog - Visual Studio 2013, ALM, and DevOps

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In this vein, today marks the start of TechEd North America 2013, and with it I’m excited to announce several key advances related to the modern application lifecycle.

Visual Studio 2013

I’m thrilled to share that our next major release, Visual Studio 2013, will be available later this year, with a preview build publicly available at Build 2013 in San Francisco at the end of the month.  In his keynote demo and follow-on foundational session today at TechEd, Brian Harry highlighted some of the new ALM capabilities coming in this release and in the cloud, including new features focused on business agility, quality enablement, and DevOps.  Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Agile portfolio management, which enables you to plan your agile projects “at scale” by showing the hierarchical relationship between work being done in multiple teams across your organization.
  • Cloud-based load testing, a new capability of Team Foundation Service that takes advantage of the elastic scalability of Windows Azure to generate traffic, simulating thousands of simultaneous virtual users so as to help you understand how your web applications and services operate under load.
  • Code information indicators that provide information about unit tests, work items, code references, and more, all directly within the code editor in Visual Studio, increasing developer productivity by enabling project-related contextual information to be viewed and consumed without leaving the editor.
  • A team room integrated into TFS, improving the collaboration amongst team members via a real-time and persistent chat room that integrates with data and interactions elsewhere in TFS.
  • Identity integrated into Visual Studio, such that the IDE is connected to backend services that support, for example, roaming the developer’s settings as the developer moves from installation to installation.
  • Support in TFS for integrated code comments that facilitate code reviews with increased transparency and traceability.
  • A .NET memory dump analyzer, which enables developers to easily explore .NET objects in a memory dump and to compare two memory dumps in pursuit of finding and fixing memory leaks.
  • Git support built into Visual Studio 2013, both on the client and on the server, including in the on-premises Team Foundation Server 2013.

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InRelease

DevOps is an increasingly important part of application lifecycle management and is a growing area of interest as businesses need to develop and deploy quality applications at a faster pace. We continue to invest in improving the modern application lifecycle, with a particular focus on DevOps.

As part of this increased focus, today I’m excited to announce Microsoft’s agreement to acquire InCycle’s InRelease Business Unit, a leading release management solution for .NET and Windows Server applications. InCycle’s InRelease product is a continuous delivery solution that automates the release process through all of your environments from TFS through to production, all in one solution, and all integrated with TFS.

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MSDN and Dev/Test on Windows Azure

The technical improvements we’re making to Visual Studio represent just one facet of the work we’re doing to improve the productivity and success of teams using Microsoft platforms.

For example, we’ve improved the Windows Azure benefit available as part of eligible MSDN subscriptions; you now have a choice as to how you use your Windows Azure credits for development and test, whether you apply them for Virtual Machines, Web Sites, Cloud Services, Mobile Services, Media Services, HDInsight, or beyond.  The Windows Azure MSDN benefit includes access to virtual machine images preconfigured with MSDN subscription software, such as SQL Server and BizTalk Server, and alternatively supports uploading your own virtual machine with your MSDN software.

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Matt's ALM space - Team Rooms in Team Foundation Service

So now after the Tech.Ed announcement the Team Rooms are available :)

They are not just a chit-chat tool for conversations into the team. They are an invaluable tool for collaboration.

First of all, we can configure it as a broadcast messenger for certain events

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Brian H. Prince's Blog - Stop the presses! Stopped VMs are no longer charged, MSDN benefits improved, and more!

Wow, some truly exciting announcements were made today. I will summarize them here, but once again, for the nitty-gritty details, please see the original post.

1- If you stop a VM, you won’t be charged. This is very new. ....

2- Charged by the minute. ...

3- MSDN subscribers receive free credits. Up until today MSDN subscribers receive ‘free Azure time’. This was expressed as a grid, with a certain amount of free time, allocated per service. You might get 750 hours of free CPU, and then 1GB of free data, etc. etc. This was very complicated, and we were always tuning the ‘right amount’ of each free resource to make sure that it was useful by the developer.

Today we are shifting to a free credit per month plan. ...

4- Additions to the support VPN devices list. VPN devices from F5, Citrix and WatchGuard are now supported for point-to-site networking, in addition to already supported devices from Cisco and Juniper.

5- New datacenters being developed.

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Brian H. Prince's Blog - But wait! That’s not all! More Azure Awesomeness!

And the updates and news about Windows Azure keeps rolling in today. We are making tons of announcements at TechEd this week. Here are some more:

You should read part one of these announcements.

1. MSDN licenses are now officially allowed to be used in Windows Azure environments (for dev/test).

2. MSDN subscribers get big discounts on Azure costs. A subscriber can spin up any number of Windows Server, SQL Server, SharePoint Server, and BizTalk Server VMs for Dev/Test scenarios using Windows Azure and pay only 6 cents/hr when running them....

3. The Azure management portal will now tell you how many MSDN credits you have left for the month, and when it resets.

4. Web Sites now has SSL support. During the preview, Windows Azure Web Sites could do SSL... 

5. Updates to Windows Azure Active Directory. ...

6. Free Trials are now easier! Until now, the free trial was like the MSDN benefits. You received a certain amount of access to each service. That was both complicated, and hard to understand. Now, each trial receives $200 per month of service credit! Yes, $200!

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Totally go sign up for a free trial now, at http://aka.ms/AzureForFree.

7. We announced the preview of BizTalk Services. ...

ScottGu's Blog - Windows Azure: Announcing Major Improvements for Dev/Test in the Cloud

Windows Azure provides a great environment for dev/test.  This is true both for scenarios where you want to dev/test in the cloud and then run the production app in the cloud, as well as for scenarios where you want to dev/test in the cloud and then run the production app using an existing on-premises Windows Server environment.

Windows Azure’s new IaaS and Virtual Networking capabilities make it really easy to enable enterprise development teams to use the cloud to do this.  Using the cloud for dev/test enables development teams to work in a flexible, agile, way without ever being bottlenecked waiting for resources from the IT department.  Development teams can instead use the cloud in a self-service way to spin up or down resources in minutes.  And then when they are ready to deploy their apps they can choose to do so using their existing on-premises servers.  This makes it really easy to start leveraging the cloud even without having to fully bet on it yet for production scenarios.

Today we are announcing a number of enhancements to Windows Azure that make it an even better environment in which to do dev/test:

  • No Charge for Stopped VMs
  • Pay by the Minute Billing
  • MSDN Use Rights now supported on Windows Azure
  • Heavily Discounted MSDN Dev/Test Rates
  • MSDN Monetary Credits
  • Portal Support for Better Tracking MSDN Monetary Credit Usage

Below are details on each of the above improvements.  The combination enables an amazing Dev/Test cloud solution, and an unbeatable offer for all MSDN customers.

Brent Ozar - (Almost) Everything You Need to Know About SQL Server 2014

Just when you thought SQL Server couldn’t get better, Microsoft is announcing the features for SQL Server 2014. They haven’t announced the licensing/pricing, but I’ll tell you what I do know so far.

First, open this in another tab and hit play so you’ve got some background music while you read. Done with the commercial? Okay, let’s get to it:

Cache frequently used data on SSDs. ...

More online maintenance operations. Got  ....

AlwaysOn Availability Groups get more secondaries. If ...

AlwaysOn AG readable secondaries will be more reliable. In  ....

Use Azure VMs as AlwaysOn AG replicas. ....

Failover Cluster Support for Clustered Shared Volumes. ...

Smart Backup to Azure ...

On-premise SQL Server with data/log files in Azure storage. ...

Hekaton: specialized in-memory OLTP tables. ...

Other cool improvements: ...

To BizTalk and Beyond! - BizTalk Services is LIVE!

Windows Azure BizTalk Services (aka BizTalk Services, aka WABS) is now available as a Preview on Windows Azure. I've had the opportunity to work with WABS since the beginning. I'm in awe of how much WABS has improved. For example:

  • The BizTalk Services portal has a much better flow for adding partners and creating EDI agreements.
  • Retrieving tracked data in the BizTalk Services portal is much easier.
  • In the Visual Studio project (specifically BizTalk Services project), creating a Connection in the Bridge design area is easier.
  • Scope of the Loop map operations in a Transform has a much better UI experience.
  • TAP customer feedback directly added to the product, including Refreshing the BizTalk Service instead of doing a full deployment and adding XSLT.

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All About Microsoft - Microsoft finds a new way to deliver a private cloud in a box

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On June 3 at its TechEd conference, Microsoft officials announced a new product called Windows Azure Pack. For all intents and purposes, as cloud expert Roger Jennings said to me via Twitter today, the Azure Pack delivers what Microsoft promised with the Azure Appliance.

Microsoft's own Web site description of the new Azure Pack basically corroborates this. "The Windows Azure Pack delivers Windows Azure technologies for you to run inside your datacenter, enabling you to offer rich, self-service, multi-tenant services that are consistent with Windows Azure," the introduction notes.

As Microsoft itself explains in its free, downloadable white paper on Windows Azure Pack (thanks for the link @ehorley), the Windows Azure Pack is a superset of the horribly named "Windows Azure Services for Windows Server" technology, which Microsoft announced back in July 2012, and which it made generally available in January 2013.

Windows Azure Services for Windows Server is a set of select features that originally debuted as part of Windows Azure which Microsoft made available to its service providers. The core set of technologies in this were hosted Linux and Windows Server virtual machines; support for high-density Web sites (the complement of Windows Azure Web Sites, codenamed "Antares"); Service Management Portal; and a Service Management application programming interface (codenamed Katal).

The components in the Azure Pack include ...

That's enough reading for now... (and I think my copy-n-paste fingers are bleeding... ;)

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Visual Studio ALM Ranger Solutions Catalog - All ALM, all awesome...

Willy's Reflections - Visual Studio ALM Ranger Solutions Catalog

The following Visual Studio ALM Rangers solutions have been developed for the ALM community:

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While I usually keep ALM Ranger stuff for RadioTFS this was just too awesome a resource to not share here too. Seeing all this on one page really shows the level of cool that are the ALM Rangers and their work... I mean, like, wow...

Friday, April 19, 2013

"The Essential Binary Repository Management Cheat Sheet" (Think "You've got bin's in my source VCS... No, you've got source in my bin VCS")

DZone - Binary Repository Management

The Essential Binary Repository Management Cheat Sheet

Software development produces both source code and binary artifacts, and both kinds of artifact need to be handled differently. This Refcard assumes basic familiarity with source repository management, and is intended to help you design and configure a binary repository, optimize it for various workflows, and fit it smoothly into your software development lifecycle.

From the PDF

CONTENTS INCLUDE:
❱ Repository Requirements
❱ Repository Design
❱ Hosting & Management
❱ Security & Maintenance
❱ Binary Releases
❱ Popular Repository Managers... and More!

Software development produces two distinct kinds of artifacts: (1) source code, and (2) binary artifacts. This Refcard assumes basic familiarity with source repository management, and is intended to help you design and configure a binary repository, optimize it for various workflows, and fit it smoothly into your software development lifecycle.

SNAGHTML33396303

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I liked the broad, cross platform nature of this refcard.  While for .Net Dev's, Nuget is pretty much the real go to for this, what I thought interesting was that two of the three products mentioned at the end provide Nuget support i.e. Nuget is as much an api as Nuget.org is a repository. Remember, you don't have to use Nuget.org if you don't want too. Nuget makes it very very easy to use other repositories...

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

TFS/Visual Studio 2012 Update 3 CTP 1 is available (think "Batch of Bug Fixes" release)

Microsoft Downloads - Visual Studio 2012 Update 3 CTP 1

This is a community technology preview (CTP) for Visual Studio 2012 Update 3.

Version:2012
Date published:4/15/2013

Language: English

VS2012.3 CTP TFS Express ENU.iso, 483.0 MB
VS2012.3 CTP TFS Server ENU.iso, 1.1 GB
VS2012.3 CTP.exe, 1.3 MB

Visual Studio 2012 Update is providing continuous value to customers, adding new capabilities year-round to features in the main product release. These releases will be aligned with the core software development trends in the market, ensuring developers and development teams always have access to the best solution for building modern applications.
This is a community technology preview (CTP) for Visual Studio 2012 Update 3. These cumulative updates to Visual Studio 2012 include a variety of bug fixes and capability improvements. More details can be found here.

Statement of Support:
PLEASE NOTE: This Technology Preview has not been subject to final validation and is not meant to be run on production workstations or servers. Due to a limitation in this preview, Internet access is required during installation, even when installing with the /layout option. Please ensure Internet access is available before installing this update. Since installation of Visual Studio CTPs and installation of Team Foundation Server CTPs work differently, please read the recommended upgrade approach for each product carefully.

For Visual Studio: The recommended approach for upgrading Visual Studio on test workstations is installing the latest Visual Studio Update CTP on top of an RTM release or a previous CTP build of that Update. Visual Studio CTPs can be upgraded to a different build.

For Team Foundation Server: Do not install a Team Foundation Server Update CTP on a production server, as it will put the server in an unsupported state. Unlike with Visual Studio CTPs, installing a Team Foundation Server CTP fully replaces the current release on the server with the CTP. Team Foundation Server CTPs cannot be upgraded to future CTPs or releases nor “downgraded” to a previous release.

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Description of Visual Studio 2012 Update 3 CTP 1

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As has already been noted, VS2012.3 is looking like a bug fixed release. Kudo's to the team for keeping up the cadence...