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Showing posts from 2009

DogFoodII: VSTS 2010 | Follow-ups

Had a fantastic audience Friday for my VSTS 2010 Overview presentation at DogFoodII . Thanks for coming. I wanted to follow up on some of the questions with more complete responses. Q. Will 2008/5 custom SSRS reports fail following the upgrade? A. One key aspect here is “custom”. 2010 significantly changes the data warehouse schema (…which drives most reports). So, existing reports will need some work to function properly under 2010. That said, the VSTS team upgraded/updated the process templates and reports for Agile and CMMI to work properly against the 2010 schema. If you have custom reports, you’ll need to update them manually. Excellent information from Aaron Bjork here . Q. Will 2008/5 customizations to team builds fail following the upgrade? A. After doing some internal reading, I think this will actually work ok and upgrade successfully. The process template upgrade solution will wrap custom builds in a “legacy” MSBuild file and simply call Team Build against it. That s

DogFoodII: VSTS 2010

Thanks for coming to my VSTS 2010 (Beta2) presentation at DogFoodII in Columbus. I've posted the deck here and will publish a follow-up post with Q&A from the session. Special thanks and appreciation to Randy Pagels , Microsoft Developer Solution Specialist for the Heartland District for supplying a lot of the material. Randy maintains an excellent resource on VSTS/TFS at Also, special thanks for the VSTS MVPs for helping us learn and understand what's coming in 2010.

TFS/VSTS 2010: A Preview @ DogFood II

I'll be speaking at DogFood II on TFS/VSTS 2010. It's a preview but will help you get your hands around the breath of 2010. Here's the skinny: Please join us for the 2nd Annual Dog Food Conference; sponsored by the partner community. We will have MS speakers, MS partners, ISVs, MS MVPs and community leads presenting over 40 topics. Around half of the speakers are community leads; and half are MS specialists. As seating is limited, we encourage you to knowledge share with your peers, see overviews and chat one on one at the “Ask the Expert” area. Website has the full agenda and register links.

SQL Server Reporting Services 2008 Presentation

Recently, I delivered a client presentation on SQL Server Reporting Services 2008. There were some follow-ups I thought I’d share: Q. After creating and deploying an .RDL file to Report Manager, later, when I want to modify it, can I bring it back into BIDS? A. Yes. Simply create a new, empty Reporting Services project within BIDS and then Add >> Existing, browse out and open the existing .RDL file. You may need to make some minor edits if you were using a shared data source. Q. Compare Report Builder 2.0 with BIDS. A. Reference this page: Q. Compare SSRS 2008 for Standard and Enterprise SQL Server editions. A. Reference this document: Additional, informative article: Q. Is there a freely av

COALMG November: TFS 2010 from Microsoft's Doug Neumann

Very excited to announce we've (well, Alexei deserves all the credit) landed Doug Neumann for COALMG 's November meeting! Date/Time: Thursday November 5th, 6PM, Polaris Microsoft Office (4th Floor) Abstract: Visual Studio 2010 is almost here, and with it comes a host of new capabilities for application lifecycle management in Team Foundation Server. In this talk, we'll survey the new features in TFS 2010, starting with enhancements to the core features of version control, work item tracking, and build automation and then venturing into new capabilities for executing agile projects, managing quality assurance activities, and simplifying the provisioning of virtualized testing environments. There's a lot to learn with Team Foundation Server 2010, but this talk will cover the foundations and get you on your way to becoming an expert. Biography: Doug Neumann has been working on Team Foundation Server since its inception in early 2003 when he was responsible for des

VSTS Tester Demo Follow-ups

Last week, I delivered a VSTS 2008 Tester Edition demo to a prospective client. Following up on a few questions to which I didn’t know the answer: Q. Can I use Subversion with TFS? A. I get this question all the time from developers. It’s a perfectly valid question. The answer is no…but yes…sort of. The version control repository (and all data) must remain SQL Server. Yes, it’s proprietary. Further, if you plan to use TFS in your software development environment, but choose not to leverage it for version control, it severely limits the usefulness of the information elicited from TFS (because you’re not feeding in the crucial VC data). If you’re not leveraging VC in TFS, you’re probably not leveraging Team Build either. That said, while a fully-integrated TFS for ALM and SCM is the ideal, there’s a compelling argument to leverage TFS as a repository for requirements, scenarios, test cases, functional and load testing as well as defect tracking. TFS is an excellent repository to s

Awarded Team System MVP

A little more than a month ago, I was awarded the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) Award for Team System. I haven't said much about it because I try to remain a humble guy and frankly, I've been swamped with work/life. And, unlike a lot of awards, it's not really one you "go after" comes to you without a formula. What I really want to say about this is thank you. Thank you to the community for creating opportunities to present. Thank you to Microsoft for supporting technology professionals and creating jobs and careers around your products (and staying out of the way when I comes to implementation :). Thank you to the community leaders and professionals who dedicate their time and seemingly endless energy to making all of us stronger by creating environments of intense learning and camaraderie. Thank you to my employer for believing in my endeavors and investing in me the time to develop my TFS/VSTS skill set and share what I learn with the commun

VSTS 2010: Architecture Edition Presentation

Recently, I had the pleasure of co-presenting (probably generous...I more just rode shotgun :) on VSTS 2010: Architecture Edition with Randy Pagels , Developer Platform Technical Specialist with Microsoft. We spoke to an impressively-attended internal user group at Cincinnati Financial . Thank you Randy for the invitation to co-present and Cincinnati Financial for having us in. To be honest, I'm not a big fan of the current 2008 Architecture Edition. Too rigid. Doesn't roll with the punches very well. It's more of a lay-down-the-law boundaries at the beginning of the project without the flexibility of absorbing feedback and instituting ongoing, evolutionary change. The new version seems much more flexible and functional. It imposes a model / architecture but can be (and expects to be) adjusted easily over the life of the project. One can also institute a confirmation check of the code against the model during the automated build. It's less overbearing and more of a q

Off Topic: Chicago Must-Eat Foods

This is a frequent topic of conversation with friends visiting Chicago. I lived there for 8 years and loved Chicago...well, except for the October to May winters. Chicago has great sports, culture, festivals, events, shopping and...of course food. So I can avoid regurgitating this list every time I'm asked, here we go: Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinders (Pizza in a bowl...owner remembers wait list by your face) Cafe Babareeba (Spanish tapas) Giordano's (deep dish pizza; pass on Gino' where near as good) Portillo's (Loaded dogs) Joe's (get the Stone Crab if it's in season) Mon Ami Gabi (French) Tizi Melloul (Mediterranean) Mia Francesca's (Italian) Star of Siam (Tai) Mitchell's (breakfast) I'm sure I'm forgetting something but that's a good start. Enjoy!

TFS 2010 Setup: Gotchas

I'm sure I missed a step somewhere during setup the search engines catch 'em, I'm going to post my TFS/VSTS 2010 setup missteps below: Issue : "TF255147: The following server that is running SQL Server is not listening on the expected TCP port: SERVER" Resolution : Open SQL Server Configuration Manager. Under SQL Server Network Configuration, Protocols for MSSQLSERVER, right-mouse Enable TCP/IP. Restart SQL Server. Re-run TFS configuration wizard. Issue : "TF255282: Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 cannot be installed. The program is already installed on this server" Resolution : Open up Add/Remove Programs (or "Programs and Features" under Win2k8 Server) and remove Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services 3.0. Re-run TFS configuration wizard. Issue : Couldn't get Full-Text search within SQL 2008 to install. MSI (s) (14:AC) [00:03:21:091]: Source is incorrect. Unable to open or validate MSI package D:\Setup\

Overriding the default assembly output directory in Team Build

By default, Team Build (MSBuild-driven) wants to output compiled assets (assemblies, config, exe's, etc.) to a flattened ..\Binaries\Release|Debug directory. I had a client desiring to package up these assets in their relative, normal output directories into an MSI using WiX. Fortunately, there's a simple directive to set within the TFSBuild.proj file such that the individual project OutDir is honored: <customizableoutdir>true</customizableoutdir> Set this within the main PropertyGroup element for your build. Unless you're performing a custom check-out, you'll also need to turn off read-only attributes set during the Get from version control. Update this attribute in the AfterGet target using an Exec task:

Agile with TFS Presentation Follow-up

Thanks for everyone attending my " Implementing an Agile Software Development Process with Team Foundation Server (TFS) " presentation today. We enjoyed some good discussion. I had a few TFS-related questions pop up which I thought I'd address in a post: Q. Is it possible to fail the build but only if a specific test fails? So, let's say we have 3 tests. If Test01 or Test02 fail, fail the build. If Test03 fails, don't fail the build. A. Not that I'm aware of. If any test fails in a build but compilation succeeded, that build lists a state of Partially Succeeded. With TFS 2008 SP1, we received a property to modify or control this behavior: TreatTestFailureAsBuildFailure. If true (false is the default), any test failure will set the build state to Failed (vs. Partially Succeeded). Nice write-up here . You might take the approach of creating two separate builds: one that contains all your tests and one containing just mission critical tests. Set TreatTestFailu

Rollback a Ooops in TFS with TFPT Rollback

Rhut roe, Raggie. You just checked in a merge operation affecting 100's of files in TFS against the wrong branch. Ooops. Well, you can simply roll it back, right? Select the folder in Source Control Explorer and...hey, where's the Rollback? Rollback isn't supported in TFS natively. However, it is supported within the Power Tools leveraging the command-line TFPT.exe utility. It's fairly straightforward to revert back to a previous version--with one caveot. First, download and install the Team Foundation Power Tools 2008 on your workstation. Before proceeding, let's create a workspace dedicated to the rollback. To "true up" the workspace, the rollback operation will peform a Get Latest for every file in your current workspace. This can consume hours (and many GB) with a broad workspace mapping. To work around this, I create a temporary workspace targeted at just the area of source I need to roll back. So let's drill down on our scenario... I'm worki

Installing TFS/VSTS 2010 Beta 1

I finally found some time to get rolling on VSTS/TFS 2010 and wanted to share how I kitted out my environment. Somewhat related, fantastic overview on where to start . Started with my Windows 2008 Server VPC Installed and configured IIS 7 Downloaded and installed the SQL Server 2008 180-day Trial Configured SQL Server 2008 and SSRS, SSAS Turned off IE Enhanced Security for Administrators Under Win7 Beta1 (my host OS), I have a jerky mouse on the VPC . Unfortunately, the Change settings button under the Troubleshoot tab of my display driver is disabled under 64-bit :( Otherwise, I would enable the hardware acceleration recommendation. It's slightly better under full-screen. Downloaded and installed Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) v3.0 . Downloaded and installed TFS 2010 Beta 1 following the instructions to the letter. Downloaded and installed VSTS 2010 Beta 1 . Happy exploring and learning!

Troubleshooting the TFS Data Warehouse

Occasionally, I encounter issues with the TFS data warehouse failing to refresh. Sometimes, it's as simple as the VS TFS Task Scheduler service isn't started but other times, it's more complicated. Here's a helpful troubleshooting document up on MSDN for troubleshooting the SQL Server TFSWarehouse relational table / Operational Data Store (ODS). If you're expereincing issues with Analysis Services (SSAS) and/or the cubes, reference this one .

Microsoft BizValue Series

Thanks to everyone attending my firm's monthly Microsoft BizValue Series. In case you missed it, I've presented recently on the Microsoft Business Intelligence ( MSBI ) stack, Microsoft Online Services / BPOS and Team Foundation Server ( TFS ). We meet in our offices downtown (Columbus, OH) on the 2nd Wednesday of the month. Next week (June 10th), I'll be delivering a talk on leveraging TFS for agile software development efforts. I'll deliver a similar presentation in our Charlotte, NC offices the following day (June 11th). You can learn more and register here and here .

ArcReady: Architecting for the Cloud

Update: 3/28: Thanks for joining us in Mason, OH. Slide deck is here and on Slide Share here . Thanks for joining us at ArcReady in Columbus, OH "Architecting for the Cloud". I hope everyone got some good information out of my "Cloud Services" session. I'll also be delivering this same session in Mason, OH this Friday. Thanks for coming and thanks to Brian Prince for offering the opportunity to present. Architecting for the cloud For our next ArcReady, we will explore a topic on everyone’s mind: Cloud computing. Several industry companies have announced cloud computing services . In October 2008 at the Professional Developers Conference, Microsoft announced the next phase of our Software + Services vision: the Azure Services Platform. The Azure Services Platforms provides a wide range of internet services that can be consumed from both on premises environments or the internet. Session 1: Cloud Services In our first session we will explore the current sta

Columbus Exchange and Windows User Group (CEWUG): Unified Communications

One solution from Microsoft I've always been curious about but never had the time to dedicate to, Office Communication Server or OCS. Presence with instant messaging, VOIP, video conferencing...all kinds of neat stuff. The next meeting of will provide a full demo. Might want to check that out. What: Columbus Exchange and Windows User Group (CEWUG) Join Microsoft and BT to learn how Microsoft Unified Communications solutions help streamline communications between people and organizations, bringing together e-mail, calendaring, voice mail, IM/ presence, VoIP, audio, video, and Web conferencing. This interactive session will include a live demonstration of the Microsoft Unified Communications Solutions. CEWUG Registration Link Agenda: 5:30 to 6:05: Welcome time; meet the MS steering committee, pizza and beverages 6:05 to 7:05: Microsoft Unified Communications overview and demonstration 5 minute break 7:10 to 8:15: BT INS discusses how they saved money using Microsoft Unif

Configuring a Development Sandbox for the Azure CTP

I'm getting up to speed on Azure and the other cloud SDKs and need to configure an environment for development, demos and learning. My experiences... First off, if you've read my blog, you know I haven't installed non-productivity software on my core OS for years . Further, I don't get the warm and fuzzies installing CTP software on my core OS. I also love the recoverability and start-over-from-a-checkpoint features of virtualization. Virtual PC (VPC) houses all my development, demo and learning sandbox instances. So, let's start off with a VPC instance. For this to work well, ideally, you need a good 4GB of memory. Further to the ideal, you're running x64 so as to have access to the full 4GB of memory. ACQUIRE AN AZURE SERVICES DEVELOPER KEY To develop against Azure and/or .Net Services and SQL Services, you need an invitation code. Oooh, very exclusive. Pretty people to the front of the line! You can start the process here . If you run into problems, che

Visual Studio Team System 2010 Hands on Labs

Thanks to Randy Pagels for organizing and for all enjoyed this event in Columbus yesterday. Feel free to post any questions/comments here and we'll get them answered. One question that came up inquired about support for Sharepoint development within TFS/VSTS 2010. The Visual Studio team answered with a resounding: " Yes, Sharepoint is a first class citizen in TFS 2010 ".

Go Virtual! Save your Soul.

I haven't installed a development tool (production or beta/CTP) on my core OS for years. I do all my development, presentation preparation and learning / experimentation on Virtual PC (VPC) instances. (Ok, my clients pony up development machines for client work but...and no developing / architect jokes) Also, these are not VPCs I created. Certainly, one needs to license these instances properly when used in a production environment (vs. testing/evaluation) but leveraging a VPC will save you loads of time and effort (and headaches). To be clear, I don't recommend this approach if you need to actually learn how to install and configure a product and/or operating system. If you're studying for your MCSE, it likely behooves you to actually install it a few times rather than leveraging an existing virtual instance. But, if you want to learn how to leverage or use the product rather than how to install and configure it , go out to your favorite search engine or search.microsof

Developer Tools Roadmap: Columbus

Thanks to everyone who attended my firm's ( Cardinal Solutions ) / Microsoft joint-sponsored Developer Tools Roadmap event at the Columbus Microsoft MPR room. Thanks to Randy Pagels , Bill Steele and...(no, I won't thank myself) for speaking on C#/.Net 4.0 Futures, VSTS 2010 and Azure/S+S/Online Services, respecitvely. Please contact me or leave a comment with any questions!

TFS for One Please

This post includes a recent inquiry and my response. Thought it was interesting...names changed to protect the innocent. ============================= Jeff, I was one of the attendees at the Foo Bar seminar you put together earlier this month. I got a lot out of it and have been inspired to give it a try. I do not have an employer at the moment, nor any extra equipment lying around. I want to install and configure the whole mess on my laptop (dual-core processor, 2G RAM, Vista SP1 -- so it should handle it). I don't want to use the downloadable virtual image as I want to learn how to do the actual installation process. Hopefully this experience will help me in the future. (Or is this crazy and I should just stick with the virtual image?) I have copies of all the relevant software, and am looking for some advice on the best way to do the installation and configuration where the Team Server, SQL Server (I already have 2008 Express installed), and Tea

ALM Briefing / SDLC in a Box Event

Thanks to everyone who attended our ALM Briefing / SDLC in a Box event on 2/05 at the Polaris Microsoft offices. We had a great audience with lots of intriguing questions. Our follow-up post is here . Shameless plug: Cardinal Solutions , my employer and one of the sponsors of this event, is a Microsoft Visual Studio Team System (VSTS) Inner Circle partner. We specialize in: Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) Assessments / Catalyst Team Foundation Server (TFS) capacity planning, installation and configuration Migration of source code Process Template customization and advising End-user training for all roles Automated and Continuous Integration (CI) builds with Team Build Best practice advising and ongoing consulting for process change, methodology implementation and customization of process and tools surrounding TFS and VSTS Please contact me for all your Team Foundation Server (TFS) and Visual Studio Team System (VSTS) needs.

Application Lifecycle Management Briefings / SDLC in a Box

I'll be presenting VSTS/TFS 2008 at this two day event Feb. 4-5th. Speakers: Alexei Govorine , Quick Solutions Jeff Hunsaker , Cardinal Solutions They are the co-founders of the Central Ohio ALM Group The SDLC in a Box session will be led by two Central Ohio community leads. This 2 day briefing will discuss an application lifecycle project, from initial conception through requirements gathering, design, development, testing, build & review processes. We also cover process concepts, integration with non-Microsoft development and best-of-breed partner solutions & offerings for Visual Studio 2008 Team System. This two day sesions is targeted for Developers, Architects, Project Managers, DBAs and Business Analysts looking for ALM and researching Team Foundation Server. Register for this Event! Enter code: 857100 This event will be held at: Microsoft 8800 Lyra Drive Suite 400 Columbus, OH 43240 Map IT!

MDC Detroit: Introducing jQuery in ASP.Net

Update (2/7/2009): VsDoc for jQuery v1.3.1 released! Update (1/23/2009): Thanks to all who attended! The packed house made for some great energy...and I hope some solid learning. I added the link to the samples/demos below (all the way at the bottom). My colleague Jason Karns and I have the honor of presenting " Introducing jQuery in ASP.Net " at the Detroit MSDN Developer Conference on January 22nd. Come see this exciting inclusion of an open source library with Microsoft Visual Studio! I've included several links below we'll discuss in our talk: jQuery: v1.3 Released 1/14! (...but no official Visual Studio annotated Intellisense file yet ;-( jQuery Project jQuery Visual Studio annotated library Scott Guthrie “ jQuery Intellisense in VS 2008 ” - Enabling Intellisense for jQuery in Visual Studio2008 Hotfix to support -vsdoc.js annotated files within Visual Studio ASP.Net: ASP.Net MVC (Beta) ASP.Net AJAX (built in to ASP.Net 3.5 SP1) ASP.Net AJAX Control Too

CodeMash: 2009

Another amazing CodeMash this year. I'm a third year alum now and it just keeps getting better. I embraced Open Spaces more this year. Along with that and the Microsoft Hands on Labs, there was never a dull moment. Most importantly, I got to hang with all the amazing folks who contribute so much to the community/region...and wow can Dustin Campbell and Carl Franklin *jam* guitar (...the real ones...not Rock Band)! Huge props to Jim Holmes , Brian Prince , Jeff Blankenburg , Jason Follas , Jason Gilmore , Josh Holmes , tons of people I missed and all the great speakers and sponsors (including my employer, Cardinal Solutions ). Can't wait until next year!

VSTS 2008 Data-Driven Web Test

During a client demo this afternoon, I mind-blanked on creating a data-driven web test. Sure enough, I stepped out of the client offices and figured it out. Super. But, I think it's counterintuitive enough to outline in a blog post (...trying to make myself feel better ;-). Somewhat in my defense, I was thinking about data-driven unit tests. These, IMO, are easy to implement. Data-driven web tests are a bit more effort and challenging. Create a web test: Right-mouse on your test project selecting Add >> Web Test. Use the browser recorder to capture your web test scenario. Let's assume you're submitting an age and credit rating to an insurance rate calculator...similar to the screen capture below: Create a table or CSV file (comma-delimited...just use Excel and save as CSV) with relevant headings for your inputs and expected values: From Solution Explorer, double-click on your web test. In the main window, right-mouse on your web test selecting Add Data Sou