Thursday, 23 January 2014

New sprint, new release for Visual Studio Online

Microsoft just released a new sprint of Visual Studio Online, the first one of the new year.

Three small but valuable items contained inside: Tags Querying, the possibility of removing weekends from the Burndown Chart and finally, Configurable CFD Dates!

I wanted to highlight the first one: it makes the usage of Work Item Tags extremely powerful now - adding this feature means we can now have another level of sorting, completely independent from the hierarchy.

One example? You can have a quantitative analysis of your Work Items, grouping them by a specific tag. Or, if you use a single Team Project approach in a consultancy scenario, using tags to create an independent sorting label for customers.

The latter two instead are very helpful for reporting purposes – removing weekends is essential to have a clear view of your sprint, instead of applying some kind of correction because you have weekends in the middle, and the Configurable CFD Date makes possible to drill down on your CFD in a snap.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Groups Synchronization in Visual Studio Release Management

Why can’t I see my updated Active Directory groups in Visual Studio Release Management?

It is a fairly common question. And the answer is pretty easy: by default, there is no automated synchronization.

In order to manually sync them up, you should press the Refresh button in the Manage Groups section of the VSRM client.

But what if I want to have an automated synchronization?

The setting to change is the AD/TFS-Based Group Refresh Interval.


Set it to something different than 0 (minutes), and VSRM will start synchronizing your accounts every interval you defined.

Easy peasy Smile

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Find hidden information in the Visual Studio Online Application Insights portal

No, I am not talking about something secret or left around. I am talking about when you skip the adventure to, for instance, set up Usage Monitoring of an application and you cannot find the code snippet anymore. Or the Instrumentation Keys. Or…:) You may struggle to find them, and do not use the same snippet of another application – you will monitor the right one in the wrong place. So, here they are:

Just by clicking the Control Panel button:


You will find all you need for each application you want to instrument:


In the Keys and Downloads tab you will be able to regenerate each key as well, in case you might need it.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Custom Synthetic Monitors in Application Insights

We know it is extremely cool being able to monitor a website’s availability using the Windows Azure data centres all around the world,


but what if I would want to monitor a specific usage pattern? It is extremely easy – I would create a multistep web test.

Just create a new Web Performance Test:


Once I am ready, I can start recording my usage pattern:


That’s all! Once saved, from the Application Insight Availability Hub I can then add it, as a Multistep Web Test:


Now I have to upload it, and the only missing step would be selecting the required locations I want to use as a test site, the test frequency and an alert email if needed.


Thursday, 2 January 2014

Visual Studio ALM MVP, again

Every year since 2010, the first day of the year is marked by the email from the MVP Award, and this year is no exception: I have been reawarded this year as well, for the 5th year in a row on Visual Studio ALM again :)

It is a huge pleasure and I am really honoured by this, and moreover this year with the relocation and all the other changes it has been harder.

I definitely need to thank Claire, my CPM, and the whole Visual Studio ALM team for this.

I will always do my best for the technical community all around the world, as it is something I really enjoy doing, so let’s see what happens during this 2014!