Thursday, December 09, 2010

VS/TFS 2010 All-Up VM Refresh

Brian Keller just updated the soon-to-expire (12/15) all-up Visual Studio/TFS 2010 VM. Make sure to download the latest refresh! From Brian:

What’s new in the December 2010 Refresh?
The version of this virtual machine
which was refreshed on December 9, 2010, includes the following additions:
Visual Studio 2010 Feature Pack 2
· Team Foundation Server 2010 Power Tools
(September 2010 Release)
· Visual Studio 2010 Productivity Power Tools
(these are disabled in VS so that the screenshots of the hands-on-labs still
match; you can quickly enable the Productivity Power Tools via Tools ->
Extension Manager from within Visual Studio)
· Test Scribe for Microsoft
Test Manager
· Visual Studio Scrum 1.0 Process Template
· All Windows
Updates through December 8, 2010
· Lab Management GDR (KB983578)
Visual Studio 2010 Feature Pack 2 pre-requisite hotfix (KB2403277)
Microsoft Test Manager hotfix (KB2387011)
· Minor fit-and-finish fixes based
on customer feedback
· A new expiration date of June 1, 2011

Thursday, October 14, 2010

DogFood III Conference:Engaging nondevelopers in Visual Studio 2010/TFS/ALM

I'm honored to be presenting at the DogFood Conference again this year. I'll be delivering a session entitled "Engaging nondevelopers in Visual Studio 2010/TFS/ALM" on Friday. Hope to see you there!

Update (11/03/2010): I posted my deck on SkyDrive...but you still need to attend in person! (Lots of demos...)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Visual Studio 2010 Microsoft Scrum Process Template on SharePoint 2010

I couldn't find specific reference to installing the Scrum template onto SharePoint 2010 so I thought I would confirm that it does indeed work. A few tips:

  1. The MSI installer does not apply the process template nor install the SharePoint feature. You need to upload the template manually and run STSADM.exe commands to deploy the TFS WSP. Follow the ReadMe.txt files in the installation directories for the template and the feature, respectively.

  2. The path in the SharePoint installation ReadMe.txt file refers to the STSADM.exe path in the "12 hive" but this switches to the "14 hive" for SharePoint 2010. Just replace the paths to ../12/.. with ../14/..

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Lab Management in Visual Studio 2010 Released

In my experience, there's a lot of animosity and poor communication between Development and QA. It's not that they don't appreciate one another so much as they never seem to stay on the same page.

QA: "What's the status on defect #4874?"
Dev: "Done."
QA: "Done?"
Dev: "Yeah, I fixed that Tuesday."
QA: "Err, ok. Well where is it? I mean where can I verify it?"
Dev: "No clue. I committed it Tuesday. It passed unit tests and built successfully."
QA: "Alright. I'll track it down."

Invariably, QA speaks with the build manager (if there is one) to find the build in which that defect was repaired. After discovering the correct build, now QA needs an environment stood up to house that build. But wait, the UAT environment is currently testing the next release. It can't be disturbed for another week.

At this point, the QA person's blood pressure heads for unsafe levels and the browsing begins. But it doesn't have to be this way...

Lab Management in Visual Studio 2010 along with TFS solves many of these pains. Here's what the above scenario might look like with Lab Management:

QA doesn't inquire to the Dev about #4874 because it's already marked Resolved and back in QA's list of Defect Work Items. It's associated with a Continuous Integration Team Build instance which is marked with a Build Quality of Ready for UAT (meaning all unit tests passed and the build compiled successfully). Behind the scenes, as part of the build, Lab Management spun up a virtual web server, application server and database server. Team Build deployed the solution to this virtual environment and even sent an email to the build manager and the QA person (they chose to be alerted) saying this environment was ready for testing. This shop is currently testing four pending releases along with a production hotfix that's going out later today--all at the same time in completely separate environments.

Best of all, it's an amazing value. If you made/make the investment in Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate, you get Lab Management for free. Yes, that's right: free. That said, you will need some not insignificant hardware to serve as a host for these virtual servers...but you have that already, right?

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

How I Cloned my Laptop Hard Drive or Skirting the Dreaded Hard Drive Kerklunk

Recently, my laptop hard drive started emitting the dreaded, "kerklunk, rriiipppphphhhh" noise. Oh yes, you've awoken in a sweat with this nightmare, haven't you? It's a sure sign of a failed drive coming down the pike. Incoming!

Rather than suffering the life-shattering disruption of an unrecoverable drive, I called a Code Blue...and here's what I did:

Background: I have Win7 64-bit running on a Dell Latitude D830 with a bay-mounted SATA external 500GB drive and an external USB 500GB drive.
  1. Download Paragon Backup & Recovery Free Edition; install
  2. Use Paragon B&R to create a full backup of my existing hard drive (including MBR/Master Boot Record) onto my external USB drive (about 1/2 the size of my total hard drive)
  3. Use Paradon B&R to restore from the external USB drive to the external bay drive
  4. Shut down Windows7
  5. Swap primary hard drive with external bay drive
  6. Start up Windows7
  7. Order new hard drive to replace old, busted, Kerklunk drive...

Unbelievably, that's it. Everything (including Windows Activation) just worked. I will shout to the hills about the awesome-ness of Paragon's tools. Yea Paragon. Seriously. Booyah.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Scrum for TFS Template v1.0 (Beta)

In case you missed it, Brian Harry announced Microsoft's Scrum process template this week at TechEd in New Orleans. Very exciting. Great work, Aaron and team!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Scrum for TFS 2010 at Path to Agility

Thanks to all who attended Alexei's and my Scrum for TFS 2010 Thursday at the Path to Agility conference. Please contact us if you have follow-up questions. We posted the deck here.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Path to Agility Conference: Speaking

I'll be leading a panel and presenting at the Path to Agility conference Thursday May 27th. The panel at 1:15PM is entitled "Attracting and Leading Agile Developers". The presentation at 3:00PM is entitled "Scrum with Team Foundation Server 2010". Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

TFS 2010: Check-in Policies and Power Tools

Recently, I had an inquiry about where the "Changeset Comments Policy" went for Check-in Policies...check the Power Tools.

Before installing Power Tools…


After installing Power Tools…


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Visual Studio and Team Foundation Server 2010 – Starting Point

Congratulations to the Microsoft team for recently releasing the much anticipated Visual Studio and Team Foundation Server 2010. My firm is embarking on several roll-outs right off the bat so I wanted to capture some of our efforts. To start, lets just provide the basics:

TFS 2010 Installation Guide

TFS 2010 Administration Guide

Visual Studio Rangers Guidance

Visual Studio 2010 and .Net 4.0 Training Kit

Application Lifecycle Management Online Assessment

MSF for Agile Software Development 5.0 Process Guidance

Team Foundation Server Power Tools April 2010

TFS 2010 Setup | TF255437: Access is denied.

If you experience TF255437: Access is denied while installing TFS 2010 on a remote/separate data tier, likely, the setup account is not a member of the local Administrators group on that data tier machine.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Path to a-gil-i-ty

I'm excited to deliver a break-out session at The Path to a-gil-i-ty conference coming up May 27th. The presenter line-up looks fantastic...I'm eager to sit in on the other talks!

I'll be speaking along with Alexei Govorine on managing Scrum projects leveraging the recently released Visual Studio 2010 and Team Foundation Server 2010.

Click here for COAAH write up and registration. My firm, Cardinal Solutions is a sponsor.

End User Improvements in SharePoint 2010

Thanks to everyone who attended the Cardinal Solutions event last week when I delivered our "End User Improvements in SharePoint 2010" presentation. It was well-received and certainly fueled the excitement around empowering business users with a viable platform beyond just Office or relying on custom development.

OT: Safelite Triathlon | Results

Following up on my participation in the Safelite Triathlon to benefit MaAfrika Tikkun, I indeed finished and more importantly, raised $1000. Thank you again for your generous contributions!

Regards to the Safelite folks who organized a safe, fun and entertaining event. Held in Las Vegas, I typically think of one (or two) things: gambling. However, out by Lake Mead is gorgeous. The event utilized the lake, trails and some serious up-and-down hills through rocky terrain to deliver a challenging run, swim and bike.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

OT: Triathlon for Charity: MaAfrika Tikkun | Safelite

In April, I'll be competing in the Safelite Charity Triathlon benefiting MaAfrika Tikkun, a charity charged with reducing hunger and improving health care for children in South Africa. If you care to donate, please click on the Donate button in the right pane or visit my page at Thank you!

Next Generation Testing with Visual Studio 2010

Monday the 15th, Randy Pagels delivers "Next Generation Testing with Visual Studio 2010" in Columbus at the Polaris Microsoft offices. I'll be delivering a short segment on my firm's capabilities. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Agile with TFS 2010 Talk

Last Thursday, I spoke on Agile (Scrum) with TFS 2010. A lot of great conversation and questions came out. A few I wanted to follow up with:

Q. Has security administration improved with 2010?
A. Yes, fellow MVP Paul Hacker points out the new TFSAdmin 2.0 tool on CodePlex.

Q. Is anyone doing hosted TFS?
A. Yes, again see Paul Hacker's firm SaaS Made Easy.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

TFS 2010 Upgrade from Beta2 to RC…

…went great. I followed the PDF posted here and only encountered a single issue (which I wanted to record here).

[ Reporting ] TF255275: The following Web service for SQL Server Reporting Services could not be accessed: http://win-4h5rozlea69/ReportServer/ReportService2005.asmx.


Embarrassingly, this is simply due to SSRS not started on the server. Props to my friend Jason Barile called this solution on MSDN Forums (scroll to the bottom).