Friday, 23 November 2012

Review - Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2012: Adopting Agile Software Practices: From Backlog to Continuous Feedback


This book, wrote by Sam Guckenheimer (Product Owner for the Visual Studio ALM family) and Neno Loje (Microsoft MVP for Visual Studio ALM) is a complete, five star journey into the world of Agile Software Development.

After introducing the Agile Consensus and what rounds around it, the book covers all the basis for the Product Ownership, and details how every sprint should be managed. The first section is not just for beginners: there are concepts which even after a years-long seniorship, could be hard to fully understand. Do not underestimate how these concepts might be similar but different: after these the destiny of your project can be strictly dependent.

Then we have a chapter for everyone of the four classic pillars of Software Development, using Team Foundation Server: Architecture, Development, Build and Lab, Test. But do not expect anything ‘classic’ here: the content is extremely fit to the topic of the book, and it’s really comprehensive.

The last two chapters are not product or methodology focused: one is about the lesson learned at Microsoft – inside the Developer Division – and believe me, every word is worth of notice because it clearly explains what happens in a huge division like DevDiv, and what are issues and stop factors you might find in a real world scenario like that.

The other is on how to integrate the Continuous Feedback inside the usual workflow of the team, not technology focused but more on the theoretical side of the problem.

The target is pretty clear - Product Owners, Scrum Masters – but, again, not just for beginners: concepts explained here are not just Visual Studio ALM tied or step-by-step tutorials, they are just declined on the product, but agnostic on their side.

The book has lots in common with the previous release, it’s normal as it’s on methodologies and practices, but it has been broadly update for Visual Studio 2012 – so don’t expect a mere copy&paste. In the end, it’s a great resource for people working with planning, prioritizations and code quality.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Candidate Changes with Local Workspaces

As with the Local Workspaces we can work offline in a easier way than before, there’s another really useful side-effect of this: the so-called Candidate Changes.

When we add a file or delete something outside Visual Studio (in Windows Explorer for instance), regardless of the connection to the Team Foundation Server, it recognizes there’s something different:


Those changes are not included by default, as it was not an action done with Visual Studio, so another confirmation is required – I tried deleting the Program.cs file:


If I rename a file, it’s like every file renaming in Visual Studio: a delete followed by a add operation. If I select both, it can understand it and treat these two operations as a rename – in my case I renamed the App.config file to Appfile.config:


It’s a really powerful feature, both with and without connection to the Team Foundation Server, which allows us to keep tidy our operations outside Visual Studio (but not including those made with the Windows Explorer Shell Extension of the PowerTools).

Friday, 9 November 2012

Visual SourceSafe Upgrade to Team Foundation Server, the new way

Some minutes ago the Visual SourceSafe tool for migration to Team Foundation Server and Team Foundation Service. It is already available inside your Team Foundation Administration Console or from the Visual Studio Gallery. Beware, it requires a reboot of the server.

The installation is pretty straightforward: next next finish Smile


After you launch it, it’s going to ask you for what repository you are going to use, and which projects you’d like to migrate. You have to manually use Analyze, before of doing so. And you may select just some projects, if needed:


After this you have to select the destination for the Team Project…


…and the SQL Server to use as a storage, together with the migration type, full or tip:


At the end of the migration the tool is going to provide you a report like the one you were used with vssconverter.

Inside the MSDN library you can find the documentation about it, which is pretty comprehensive and includes how to use the command-line VSSUpgrade – the underlying command line tool you can use when you need to automate the migration or in some borderline cases (like when you have a huge database and you want to prevent errors caused by network connectivity disruption) – and the most common troubleshooting operations.

Friday, 2 November 2012

Review - Professional Application Lifecycle Management with Visual Studio 2012


If you have to start approaching the Application Lifecycle Management, this is going to be your bible.

Written by Mickey Gousset (Visual Studio ALM MVP), Brian Keller (Microsoft Senior Developer Evangelist ), Martin Woodward (Microsoft Program Manager for Team Foundation Server) the book starts with a six-chapters-long introduction to Team Foundation Server, describing in detail what’s this mystical object and how it can be useful for us Smile That’s different from the 2010 version, but I really like it because it enables the reader to fully understand the platform, instead on focusing on a series of tools and practices. It’s detailed but introductive, perfect for the target audience.

After that, it describes how to gather feedbacks from stakeholders, and how to let them participate in the requirements management phase.

The Project Management section is comprehensive, rounding from Work Items to Dashboards, describing all the tools involved in a complete ALM process. It’s not just about the tools and how to use them, several pages are dedicated to process and methodologies, making it a manual in the manual for Project Management with Team Foundation Server.

After these first three parts, the following are more code-focused: Architecture, Software Development and Testing. They fully cover the new features but always with the process companion. Really useful for both novice and experienced people who might want to have a reference.

Despite it has the same title of the 2010 version, several parts have been redone both after feedbacks and to have a different approach. I really liked this book, it’s a must-have for everyone.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Upgrading Team Foundation 2012 Express

It can happen that you have to migrate from a TFS Express installation (reasons can be various) to a full featured one.

It’s pretty easy: as the Team Foundation Server database is the same regardless of the edition installed, it’s just a matter of upgrading the Application Tier in order to enable all the missing features.

The first thing to do is to uninstall Team Foundation Server Express if you’re doing an in-place upgrade, otherwise the installer is going to notify it to you:


Then, after the Team Foundation Server installation (again, in case of an in-place upgrade, otherwise after attaching the databases), the only required step is the Application-Tier Only procedure inside the Wizard.

After the Welcome screen, we just have to select the database instance and list the resident databases:


So we have to select the Service Account, in order to run the services:


Then we review the configuration…


…and scan for the readiness:


After clicking Configure, the Application Tier is going to be added and your database are going to be fully functional.