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

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

TFS 2013 Update 2 Gems

Just been busy installing and playing around with TFS 2013 Update 2 RC and just off the bat noticed two little gems…
1) You can now specify the TFS server's cache as part of the install. So you are able to put it on a non-system drive
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2) Looking at the upgrade process there were a couple of hints, and I finally tracked it down in the test area… It would appear that you are - or at least will be able to share parameters across test cases -- very cool…
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You will also notice that web access is looking a lot closer to Visual Studio Online
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And yes, if you look close enough you may notice some indication that it is in fact a RC and some polishing for on-premise purposes may still be needed...
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Wonder when the application insights will become available on-premise Smile

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Free books from Microsoft

I found a great resource for free ebooks from Microsoft.
Go see for yourself : http://www.microsoftvirtualacademy.com/ebooks

I have been delving into Azure Pack and DSC recently and this helped a great deal…

Monday, February 10, 2014

TFS Build "Machine"

The TFS Build environment can be a bit complex with a couple of things playing on each other. Let's see how everything fits together.

TFS Build

Let's start with the basic build… When you install TFS, and you "Configure Build" using the TFS Admin console, you are in fact setting up 3 components. The build service, controller and as many agents as you may need.

The build service is a communication mechanism between TFS and the build components. You need to have a service running on every build machine, whether or not that machine only has agents or contains a build controller and agents. The controller (as its name implies) controls the agents and manages which builds are being handed off to which agents. Finally, the agents preform the work.

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The controller and or the agents can run on separate machines. So you could have an instance where TFS in on Serv1, the controller and potentially one agent is on Serv2 and another 2 agents are on Serv3. One thing to note is that a TFS Project Collection can have multiple controllers associated to it, but a controller can only service one project collection.  You can also only have one controller installed on a machine.

You may also be tempted to have multiple controllers to a team project collection, but in most cases you should only require one controller and then a number of agents spread across multiple machines.

Lab Management

Lab Management brings with it a bunch of additional resources and components. More specifically it has its own Test Controller and Test Agents.
You would use test controllers and agents when you want to "run tests remotely, distribute tests across multiple machines or run load tests".

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Unlike the test agents in the previous section, you would only have a single test agent deployed on a machine. These components form part of the BDT (Build, Deploy and Test) workflow.

Release Management

The new kid on the block, Release Management, leverages the default build to obtain compiled artefacts. In fact it has a custom build template that actually instantiates a release pipeline in Release Management.

Recap

So to recap, TFS has the primary build (Team Build) infrastructure that consist of a build controller and build agents. This is used to compile and do initial tests on the code that is in version control. Then Lab Management with its test controllers and test agents takes this a step further and allows some deployment workflows and once again adds test capabilities.

Monday, February 3, 2014

ALM days South Africa 2014

January 23rd 2014 saw the launch of ALM days SA in Cape Town.

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This event was organised and sponsored by Team Foundation Consulting, South Africa’s only consultancy focussed solely on ALM, TFS and Visual Studio.

Attendees came to learn about updates to Microsoft’s Application Lifecycle Management offerings which enable software development teams to be more productive and to collaborate more effectively.

The event aimed to provide insight, advice, strategies and techniques to improve quality and ensure that the final application meets the needs and expectations of users

A HUGE thank you to all who attended and participated in the first ALM days!!

We had a lively crowd of about 40 people, all of whom chose to spend their day learning something new.

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Some of the positive feedback from those who attended…

“Broad coverage of topics, well done”
Keynote was excellent, Agile was interesting, looking at new tools & features was great…”
“Great presentations, very informative. Awesome keynote…”
“…Lunch awesome & venue great. Thank you for taking the initiative of organising this day. Much appreciated.”
“Would be nice to see this every year.”
“Nice mix of topics – technical & theoretical.”
“Good speakers, good content, good location, learned a lot.”
“Hope you host TechDays 14.”
“Great food!”

Thank you to all our SPEAKERS who helped to make this event possible!

Roderick Lim Banda, our Keynote speaker, set the tone for the day and got everyone thinking about the future of IT and the people who are involved in the industry.

”Awesome keynote…” “Enjoyed Roderick’s views on CPT IT industry.” “Keynote was excellent…”

Cara Turner gave us some insight into a real world business situation where Agile proved invaluable.

Daniel van Wyk showed us how to incorporate SQL in the development process.

Dawie Snyman showed us a few of the cool features in TFS 2013.

Niel Zeeman provided insight on how to incorporate Quality Management & Enablement in day-to-day processes. He also showed us what is possible when it comes to Continuous Deployment as a key concept in Velocity Culture and how it all comes together.

A special thank you to Ahmed & Michelle from Microsoft SA who kindly organised the Visual Studio 2013 info sheets as well as the 2 books and Visual Studio USB’s which were given out to participantsDSCN0385

At Team Foundation Consulting, we saw the need to have
an ALM event where developers and members of the IT community could share experiences, learn new concepts, have access to experts and engage with likeminded individuals.

Judging from the feedback from those who attended…we were right!

We are proud to have launched ALM days, and we look forward to making the next one even better!

imagewww.alm-days.co.za

We are currently in the process of gathering slides and will make them available on the ALM days site. Keep an eye out for updates either on http://www.alm-days.co.za , or on this blog.