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.


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

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
Date:    15 September 2014
Venue:    Microsoft Johannesburg Office,
3012 William Nicol Drive,
Time:    09:00 - 16:00
RSVP:    Click here to RSVP
Event ID: 1032593593
Call: 0860 22 55 67

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 ( 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.


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Release Management Event


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


Rational Team Concert

Requirements Management

Project Management

Change Management

Configuration Management

Build Management

Test Case Management

(MS Test Manager)

(Rational Quality Manager)

Software Deployment


(VS Ultimate)

(Rational Software Architect)

Release Management (Release Management) (Rational Build Forge)

Feature / Component


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


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.