Thursday, November 13, 2014

TFS 2013 Update 4 finally released

For those of you who do not know, Microsoft released TFS 2013 update 4 with their Connect(); event yesterday/last night.

Some of the really cool stuff that I have been waiting for is the introduction of the Stakeholder licensing and Trend charts.

They also gave us a sneak peak of what is in the pipeline, and I for one am once again getting really excited.

One thing that caught my eye was some vNext features, for example the new build infrastructure that is going to be introduced. YES the build agent is finally going cross platform…
As per Brian Harry's post:

Sneak peek – Updated build service

I (Brian Harry) showed a preview of a major update to the VS Online/TFS build service that we’ve been working on.  We believe it will address a large portion of the suggestions to improve it that we’ve received.  Improvements include:

  • A much simpler customization experience that doesn’t require XAML/Workflow – just a simple sequence of tasks to execute.
  • A real time build output window to easily track the progress on your build
  • Build definition versioning/auditing so you can know who changed your build definition, what changes they made and why.
  • A web based editing/administration experience
  • The ability to share build agents across projects and collections, making shared build pools far more viable.
  • A cross platform build agent so that you can automate builds for Mac and Linux too (or even builds than span a PC, Mac and Linux).

See more exiting new from Brian's post.

Aaarrgghh; the wait…

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

4 Years of TFS and ALM…

In August 2014 Team Foundation Consulting celebrated its 4th anniversary. As the only consultancy in SA focussed solely on ALM it certainly puts us in a unique position as we really service a very specific target market.

VS_Progession

I will be the first to admit that when it all started in 2010, TFS was not as well received as it is 4 years on. Clients were apprehensive having consistent problems with Visual Source Safe and then trying to install TFS 2005 and TFS 2008. TFS 2010 slowly had clients coming around as they were finally able to get what they expected out of TFS. TFS 2012 and 2013 have made my job much, much easier.

The value that can be derived from the new versions of TFS are clear. The integration with Git, the value add of Release Management and the adoption of a much shortened release cycle for updates has seen TFS rise to the occasion…and without saying anything I can tell you that some of the VS talks and projects that we are doing at the ALM Rangers makes me really excited to see how TFS will evolve a year or 2 down the line!

To keep it short, I decided to share with you my 4 lists of 4 for our 4th anniversary;

My 4 favourite moments so far…

  1. Starting the ALM days SA event
  2. Seeing the demand for our services growing year on year
  3. This is a personal one but becoming a Visual Studio ALM Ranger has long been an ambition of mine… so glad to be a part of this passionate community since 2013
  4. Presenting at local events…I still love to engage with those who actually use the toolset every day, even if it is just for source control

4 things I did not expect when I started Team Foundation Consulting…

  1. Some of you think I work for Microsoft!
    While I do partner with MS SA to bring you so many ALM events each year, I neither “sell” their products nor am I employed by them. I am what you may call independent and free to share my own thoughts and opinions (as I occasionally tend to do…)
  2. The demand for TFS training in South Africa was unexpected
    I thought consulting would be at the core of the business, but it is our on-site training that has the most demand
  3. After hours and weekend upgrades
    Not all clients can have the luxury of a test environment or being able to shut down production during office hours… upgrades happen after hours – it’s a fact.
  4. TFS is being used in a wide variety of industries…
    You may think that most of my clients are dev houses, but these days it seems everyone has a dev department and many of them are using TFS to manage their work. Apart from the companies who develop solutions, some of the industries I’ve done business with include; mining, banking and financial /insurance provider, law, recycling, health, government, retail systems, call centres, logistics, entertainment, aerospace/arms, food stuffs, FMCG, fashion houses, clothing and textile, vehicle tracking, tourism, online booking systems, education tertiary, credit bureaus…to mention a few.

4 sad ways TFS gets used in large companies…

  1. Installed and being looked at wondering “what now?”…sad Sad smile
  2. 1 team out of 12 …very sad Sad smileSad smile
  3. Source control only …too sad Sad smileSad smileSad smile
  4. As a pilot project that was never completed…crying now…Crying face

4 ways TFS and VS is better now than it ever has been…

  1. Features features features
  2. Usability
  3. Customisability
  4. Reporting Mechanisms (keeping management happy)

Thank you to all my clients for their support throughout the years, I'm excited about the future!

image

Friday, October 10, 2014

Move from GIT to TFS Version Control

I have dealt with a couple of clients recently who were very keen to get into the GIT repo's that are available in TFS 2013. The unfortunate truth is that GIT is not the "same" as the widely used TFS Version Control (TFSVC), SVN, VSS source control systems. Some teams tend to have a problem with this and, after numerous missing changes/files and problems with branching, commit vs pushing and merging issues, will inevitably ask : "How do we go back to what we know?".

There are tools to move from VSS & SVN to TFSVC and there are instructions to move from TFVC to GIT, but what about GIT to TFSVC? Well luckily, for a simple migration, you do not need any commercial or "3rd party" tools.

You do need to get your hand on GIT-TF and optionally the git client, and you are "a" for away.

1) Clone the repository

git clone http://<<servername>>:8080/tfs/<<Project collection>>/<<team project>>/_git/<<repo name>>

2) Replace the repository bindings

git remote rm origin
git tfs configure http://<<servername>>:8080/tfs/<<Project collection>>     $/<<team project>>/<<destination folder path>>

3) Finally check in the changes

git tfs checking --deep

Remember the --deep parameter - this will replay the commits as check-ins in TFS


The only thing you should be aware of here is that the check-ins will happen in chronological order, but the time will reflect the time and date that the check-in is occurring and not when they were committed into the GIT repo.


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

A Day of DevOps, Release Management, Software Quality and Agile Project Requirements Management Recap


Thank you for everyone attending the Microsoft event. There was a huge turnout which led to some interesting discussions.
My session around Work Management using TFS I mentioned some tools. I highly suggest that you go and browse the VS ALM Rangers solutions in general, but the work plug in that I used was Word4TFS.


I have also uploaded the slides here for the couple of people that asked for them:



 

Friday, September 5, 2014

TFS 2013.4 Stakeholder access

The stakeholder access has been mentioned a couple of times here and here by Brian Harry.

If you recall correctly the Limited access group means that if you are in that group, you do not need a CAL to access TFS Web Access. It also meant that you can only see a very scaled down version of web front end which basically  gave you access to the work items that you created.

image

Things have changed.. Now you have power!
Instead of the previous "Limited Access" group, there is now a Stakeholder group.
The allowed features have gone from "View My Work Items" to :

  • View, add, and modify items on the backlog
  • View team home pages and portfolio backlogs
  • View, create, and modify work items such as stories, features, and bugs
  • View, create, and save queries
  • Sign up and receive alerts when changes are made to work items.

Where TFS has  been hiding in the developer realm within corporates, this move IMHO opens up TFS to adoption in big business, where getting everyone on board from a licensing perspective can be a huge expense.

Don't get me wrong, trend charts and pull requests in TFS 2013.4 CTP 1 are big, but you can have all the charts in the world, if the bar to entry for the stakeholder is too high, it is not going to give you the benefit that you need.
I can't wait until the CTP2 when the Stakeholder licensing is suppose to be finalised!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

A Day of DevOps, Release Management, Software Quality and Agile Project Requirements Management.

Microsoft is organising two events for September, one in Cape Town and one In Johannesburg. If you are interested in seeing what TFS has to offer, feel free to register and come and have a look.
For those of you who will be joining us at the Cape Town event, I will be presenting the session just after lunch: Managing Work, Projects and Requirements with Team Foundation Server.
I'll be delving into:
  • Requirements and Backlog Management
  • Task Allocation, Prioritisation and Planning
  • Agile Portfolio Management
  • Task Boards and Kanban Boards
  • Reporting and Integration
  • Test Case Integration
  • Project and Excel Integration
Hope to see you all there!

A Day of DevOps, Release Management, Software Quality and Agile Project Requirements Management
Are you looking to improve the way you manage software projects or release software? Perhaps you need some better processes for managing test cases and bugs?
Join us for 2 half-day sessions in Cape Town and Johannesburg where we will focus on these topics and more.

Morning Session:
Getting Started with DevOps, Continuous Delivery and Release Management
Audience: Developers, IT Professionals, IT Decision Makers, Testers, IT Managers
Release management and DevOps have become an important part of the modern application lifecycle.
This session will cover:
  • Release Management and Automation, Release Pipeline and Approvals
  • Treating Configuration as Code
  • Working with Chef, Puppet and DSC
  • Application Insights
  • Cloud-Based Load Testing
  • Production Debugging and Monitoring
  • Leveraging Azure for DevOps and Dev/Test Environments
  • System Center and TFS Integration

Afternoon Session:
Improving Software Quality and Requirements/Project Management Practices 

Audience: Business Analysts, Testers, Product Owners, Scrum Masters, Developers,
IT Managers
Delivering high quality software that meets users' requirements is a risky undertaking. Development and quality assurance managers, along with product owners and business analysts, need to be in a tight partnership in the war against software bugs.
This session delves into this and is broken into two parts.
1. Managing Work, Projects and Requirements with Team Foundation Server
Team Foundation Server provides a wide set of capabilities for managing requirements and work. These allow you to implement your own practices, or incrementally adopt the most agile or other practices that best fit your team.
Topics that will be covered include:
  • Requirements and Backlog Management
  • Task Allocation, Prioritisation and Planning
  • Agile Portfolio Management
  • Task Boards and Kanban Boards
  • Reporting and Integration
  • Test Case Integration
  • Project and Excel Integration
2. Improve Software Testing with Team Foundation Server
Topics that will be covered include:
  • Planning and Managing Test Suites and Test Cases
  • Running Test Cases
  • Logging and Managing Defects
  • Web-Based Test Case Management and Execution
  • Exploratory Testing
  • Automated Testing

 
CAPE TOWN
Date:    10 September 2014
Venue:    Crystal Towers Hotel & Spa,
Century City,
Cape Town
Time:    09:00 - 16:00
RSVP:    Click here to RSVP
Event ID: 1032593595
Call: 0860 22 55 67
Email: saevent@microsoft.com
JOHANNESBURG
Date:    15 September 2014
Venue:    Microsoft Johannesburg Office,
3012 William Nicol Drive,
Bryanston
Time:    09:00 - 16:00
RSVP:    Click here to RSVP
Event ID: 1032593593
Call: 0860 22 55 67
Email: saevent@microsoft.com


Thursday, August 21, 2014

Delete Test Manager Test Settings

I was looking for a way to remove old test settings in Microsoft's Test Manager but was not having any luck finding a way to delete them.

I knew there was a way through the expensive API that TFS has, so I eventually resorted to creating my own little utility.
If you were stuck with the same problem, feel free to give this a go.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

TFS 2013 Pre Build Script Assembly Version Updates

I was looking at a "simple" way to update the TFS build definitions and adjust the Assembly versions of the projects being compiled. I came across this article (http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn376353.aspx) leveraging the pre and post build scripts that are available in the newer build definitions.

The problem I had with the scripts included in the TFS Build Extensions is that it uses the Build Number or Label. This does not really make sense to me so I started hacking at it.
Fortunately it was not as big a task as trying to delve into the new build definition's workflow and trying to find the variables that "used to" exists.

If you are interested, I have posted the resulting PowerShell.
Simply add this to the TFS repository, and then reference it as a pre-build step in your build definition and you will notice that your AssemblyVersionInfo.cs files are updated before the build, replacing the revision to the changeset number.
This will give you a reference from the actual assemblies back to the code or changeset that they originate from.



Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Release Management Event

Full_Small

Last week Microsoft hosted a Release Management for Team Foundation Server 2013 talk where I ran through managing releases using Release Management.

I am pleased to say that there was literarily not a seat available, and the audience was responsive and interested. This is obviously a topic that is on a lot of people's minds.

For more information, you can visit the official site.Full_Small2

If you are interested, I have uploaded the slides here.

We will have to try and schedule a similar event shortly Smile

Thank you to all those that attended and participated, and to Microsoft for making it possible.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Comparing TFS and Rational Team Concert

A while ago I did a comparison between TFS and Rational Team Concert.
It came up in a discussion amongst the ALM Rangers and I posted it here for information purposes.

ALM Discipline

TFS

Rational Team Concert

Requirements Management

Project Management

Change Management

Configuration Management

Build Management

Test Case Management

(MS Test Manager)

(Rational Quality Manager)

Software Deployment

Design

(VS Ultimate)

(Rational Software Architect)

Release Management (Release Management) (Rational Build Forge)

Feature / Component

TFS

Rational Team Concert

Automated Testing

Visual Studio & MS Test Manager

Rational Functional Tester

Visual Studio Integration

(VS 2012 as of v4.0.1)

Build Infrastructure

Windows Workflow Foundation and MSBuild

MSBuild

Check-in policies

Code review workflow

(TFS 2012)

Branching & Merging

This is a very high level and brief overview, if you have any comments corrections or additional information, feel free to give me a shout.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Release Management Event in Cape Town

Getting to know Release Management…

In partnership with Microsoft SA, Team Foundation Consulting will be bringing you an afternoon focussed on Release Management.

Join us and see how to manage your deployment to create better value.

This event is free and seats are limited.

Please reserve your seat now.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Visual Studio Online Pricing

Seems Microsoft has finally released the pricing model for Visual Studio Online!

Edition Note Intro Price Actual Price More info
Basic 5 users free $10.00 per additional user $20.00 http://www.visualstudio.com/en-za/products/visual-studio-online-basic-vs
Professional Incl VS Pro $22.50 pp $45.00 http://www.visualstudio.com/en-za/products/visual-studio-online-professional-vs
Advanced   $30.00 pp $60.00 http://www.visualstudio.com/en-za/products/visual-studio-online-advanced-vs

The interesting thing here is that the Professional subscription actually includes a "rented" version of VS Professional for the duration of the subscription. The downside is that you can only have up to 10 pro users on your account.

For an overview go and look here: http://www.visualstudio.com/products/visual-studio-online-overview-vs