Tuesday, 14 February 2017

A note on TFSConfig OfflineDetach

I already mentioned the very useful TFSConfig OfflineDetach in the past. Today I used it once again, and I realised a very important information is missing.

What you need to remember is that the Configuration Database you need to use is the one which has the Collection you want to detach in it. And it must be offline as well.

So in today’s situation (moving a collection across domains in a new instance) I had to restore the configuration database as well as the collection’s.

Monday, 6 February 2017

PRs and ‘Unable to queue Build’ with VSTS

This should never happen, but if it does…


Just go checking the PR settings to verify that there actually is a build linked!


Monday, 30 January 2017

Getting started with Delivery Plans in VSTS

Last week Microsoft released a very interesting extension for VSTS – Delivery Plans.

It is still a very early preview, it will be associated with a business model (so it is likely it won’t be free), and this feature represents a very important expansion of VSTS’ field of execution.

This extension brings a way of tracking the work undertaken by multiple teams at the same time, with the possibility of focusing only on a certain level of detail, and enables scenarios of delivery forecast previously quite hard to achieve.

To easily get started, I suggest installing the Sample Data Widget extension and deploy the “SAFe with VSTS” package. I went for this package because it creates a nice set of Work Items, not because there is any relationship between Delivery Plans and SAFe.

Once this is done, customise the iteration dates and the teams you like – I would go with two sub-teams part of a large team - then assign what you feel is better suited to each team (pretty randomly I reckon given we are just using sample data Smile) and create a Plan like this:


This is a plan designed to give you a full breadth of information, from the larger parts to the finer details. The result is brilliant:


In a single page you will get a timeline view of Epics and Features delivered per-sprint by the whole team, plus the User Stories delivered by each sub-team. This is obviously overkill for the real world – you will want two different plans depending on the level of detail you would like to provide – but it explains why this feature is so powerful and game-changing for me.

Delivery Plans will enable scenarios where stakeholders can easily understand the status of their value streams without using external reporting tools, and this is a crucial step to allow VSTS to grow from a developement-focused tool to a more general purpose in a company.

The documentation is already very comprehensive, take a look there and I strongly suggest to give a go to this extension, given the value it brings.

Monday, 23 January 2017

Do not forget: only leaves are shown on a board!

This is a classic question I get at least once a year, regardless of TFS, VSTS, versions, etc.

I cannot see my Product Backlog Item on the board anymore! Is it gone? Are we losing data?

No, we are not losing data, but you need to remember that if you are linking a PBI/User Story as a child to another one the parent won’t be shown in the board, and that is by design.

This is something that dates back a few year – Willy covered it in 2013 but it is an older discussion theme, always worth remembering it though Smile

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Help! My PowerShell path in the prompt is gone!

If you follow my speeches you surely know I am a huge fan of posh-git, an extremely handy PowerShell module to display inline repository information.

Today I installed it in a Virtual Machine I am going to use for demos at a conference next month and I noticed something odd at first sight:


Where is my path?!

Thanks to Antonio I realised that maybe it was a good idea to check the documentation. It was indeed…


The whole step 2 section explains how to customise the PowerShell prompt – so it was trivial to restore it to the full path as I like it Smile

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Error AADSTS90093 with SonarQube and AAD, why?


It happens. And the reason here is extremely easy and straightforward: if you have any permission on your AAD application for SonarQube which you don’t need you will be denied access Smile

The documentation was updated in June but this error came out recently on an old instance set up before then.

Monday, 19 December 2016

Use the SonarQube Scanner with the new activity for the Team Build

As I mentioned the new SonarSource-maintained activity allows for the SonarQube scanner to be run independently of MSBuild – very useful for repositories containing only JavaScript files for example, where you cannot use the MSBuild-based task because of the lack of a .*proj file.

So all you need to do is to add the relevant task to your build definition:


You only need to configure the required options in the task - it comes with a pre-configured sonar-scanner.properties file so you are ready to go!

You need to create a SonarQube Endpoint like described in the other post, add the typical project key/name/version property triplet and, if you want, you can change the folder containing the source files. Also, if you have your own sonar-scanner.properties ready for use you can supply it in the Advanced pan:


Scenarios where you might want to use this task are where you don’t have a MSBuild-based project system supporting your code, so the other task would not work. Also, it is very handy with heterogeneous projects.