Mathias Olausson [MVP]

Archive for the ‘11561’ Category

Community TFS Build Extensions – December 2011

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We’ve just released a new release of the Community TFS Build Extensions.

This time it’s a pretty big release many new activities as well as a new power-tool, the Community TFS Build Manager. I will come back to the Build Manager later but here’s a sneak-peek at what it looks like:


In short it’s a Visual Studio extension that allows you to things you can’t to in the regular Build Explorer, such as batch updating build definitions and clone a build definition to a branch.

I’ll write more about the goodies in this release in a later post.

Written by Mathias Olausson

December 22nd, 2011 at 5:15 pm

Posted in 11561,12010,13219

Updated Visual Studio 2010 RTM Virtual Machine with Sample Data and Hands-on-Labs

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Here’s a reminder to all using the “Brian Keller” demo VM for TFS: The VMs expired November 1 but Brian has once again updated the VMs to run for another six months (April 9 2012).

More details here:

Written by Mathias Olausson

November 8th, 2011 at 9:20 am

Posted in 11561,12010

Multi-line test steps available in Microsoft Test Manager

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A new patch for Visual Studio 2010 and MTM 2010 is now available that among other things brings a multi-line control to the MTM test step editor! This is a top request from most testes I’ve talked to so great to see it’s made it into the product in this release!

The patch is also gives improved support for the hosted TFS Preview (“TFS on Azure”) so if you’re using VS 2010 against the TFS Azure service you should get this update too.

Read more about this QFE here:

Written by Mathias Olausson

October 23rd, 2011 at 11:55 am

Posted in 11561,16409,16410

New VM for testing out TFS and Visual Studio Dev11

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Brian Keller has done it again! To help us all get to try out the Dev11 tools quick and easy he has put to together a VM with the Visual Studio and TFS tools.

And not only is the Dev11 bits on the machine, there’s also a demo project and sample data install. Plus a number of hands-on labs! From Brian’s post:

There are six hands-on-labs for you to take a scripted approach towards learning this content. These labs double as demo scripts in case you want to show off these features to others:

Get the VM here:

Written by Mathias Olausson

October 8th, 2011 at 5:07 am

Posted in 11561,16409

TFS Build Extensions v.1.0 released!

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Today the v.1.0 release of the TFS Build Extensions was released by Mike Fourie. I’ve had the opportunity to help out in the later part of this project and it’s great to see the TFS build activities finally come out. I know these activities will be much welcomed by anyone working with the TFS 2010 build system! There are many great activities in this 1.0 release and more is to come in the next couple of months.

Release Notes

This is our first Stable release providing in the region of 100 Activities / Actions

  • This release contains assemblies and a CHM file.
  • We anticipate shipping every 2 to 3 months with ad-hoc updates provided to the documentation.
  • We welcome your candid and constructive feedback and look forward to improving the quality with and for you.

Go over to the project site and take a look and get your hands on the bits.

If you don’t find the activity you’re looking for don’t hesitate to add it to the list in the discussion area. And should you encounter any issues with the release use the issue tracker at the project site (or leave a comment here).

I hope you find the activities helpful. I know I will!

Written by Mathias Olausson

July 4th, 2011 at 2:30 pm

Posted in 11561,12010

ALM Rangers Lab Management Guide v1 Released!

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This week there’s been lots of celebration for the Visual Studio ALM Rangers! Today the project site for the Lab Management Guide went live, which is really exciting. Now there’s finally a comprehensive document available that describes the many details of using the TFS Lab Management tools. Having worked with the project and the product for a good while I’m really happy to see this guidance come out.

So head over to the Rangers Lab Management Guide at Codeplex and take a look!

The v1 release contains the following:

The content is packaged in 3 separate zip files to give you the choice of selective downloads. The default download is the first of the listed packages:

  • Guidance, which includes scenario based practical guidance and frequently asked questions.

  • Hands-on Labs (HOL), which includes the HOL documents that provide walkthroughs of the technology, based on the guidance

  • HOL Package, which includes a HOL environment setup package which allows you to setup the HOL environment in your own environment

The Epics included in the guidance are:

  • Epic – Visualisation of the guidance using quick reference posters
  • Epic – Advanced golden image management using the VM Factory for Lab Management
  • Epic – Provide guidance on setting up Test environments with respect to pre-defined personas
  • Epic – Provide Guidance to enable large and small teams to setup and configure both automated and manual tests
  • Epic – Provide practical guidance for managing and maintaining a Lab Management environment
  • Epic – Provide practical guidance to enable teams to quickly setup and configure their lab management environment

Written by Mathias Olausson

June 18th, 2011 at 3:31 pm

Posted in 11561,12010,13219

Just Released: ALM Rangers Build Customization Guide

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The Visual Studio ALM Rangers, which I’m a proud member of, today released v1.0 of a new set of guidance for TFS 2010 Build Customization. This is a project that has been under development for quite some time and includes lots of great material related to build management using the TFS 2010 build system. We’ve tried to focus on real-life scenarios so I think this guide will contain stuff interesting to anyone working with TFS builds.

If you just want to go and get the release then get it from the Rangers Build Customization Guide at Codeplex.

And for those interested in more about what’s in the release, here’s the overview from the project site:

The solution is divided in separate packages to give you the choice of selective downloads. The default download is the first of the listed packages:

  • Guidance contains scenario based practical guidance, frequently asked questions and quick reference posters
    • Selected PDF contains guidance and quick reference posters in PDF format only.
    • Complete contains guidance, quick reference posters and localization files in all available formats.
  • Hands-on Labs (HOL) includes:
    • HOL documents that provide walkthroughs of the technology, based on the guidance
    • HOL Package contains a HOL environment setup package allowing you to setup the HOL environment in your own environment
    • BRDLite Build Process Reference Template walk-through.
  • Samples contains sample build process templates used by the team as part of the guidance.
  • Videos which showcase the guidance in quick 5-10min videos.

The Epics included in the guidance are:

  • Practical guidance and tooling to simplify the customization of Team Foundation Build
  • Practical guidance to use Team Foundation Build process templates to automate build and non-build scenarios in Microsoft environments
  • Practical guidance to enable simple and flexible deployment of applications and their data stores
  • Practical guidance for Activities to empower developers and build engineers
  • Quality hands-on labs that complement the guidance and effectively guide the user through the features
  • Visualization of the guidance using quick reference posters

Written by Mathias Olausson

June 18th, 2011 at 3:18 pm

Posted in 11561,12010

How to create a new project for the TFS Build Extensions

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If you’ve been working with TFS 2010 build workflows you might have come across a community-developed set of custom activities on Codeplex called the Community TFS Build Extensions. This is a great add-on to the built-in activities but the documentation is still under development so starting to work with the activities can be a bit more work that necessary.

The steps below should help you get create a new .NET project for developing custom build templates with the TFSBE activities:

  1. Download and extract the latest Community TFS Build Extensions release.
  2. Create a new Workflow Activity Library.
  3. Make sure target framwork is set to .NET Framework 4
  4. Add a reference to System.Drawing
  5. Add references to Microsoft Team Foundation Server assemblies:
    • C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 10.0\Common7\IDE\ReferenceAssemblies\v2.0\Microsoft.TeamFoundation.dll
    • C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 10.0\Common7\IDE\ReferenceAssemblies\v2.0\Microsoft.TeamFoundation.Build.Client.dll
    • C:\Windows\Microsoft.Net\assembly\GAC_MSIL\
    • C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 10.0\Common7\IDE\PrivateAssemblies\Microsoft.TeamFoundation.TestImpact.BuildIntegration.dll
    • C:\Windows\assembly\GAC_MSIL\Microsoft.TeamFoundation.TestImpact.Client
    • C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 10.0\Common7\IDE\ReferenceAssemblies\v2.0\Microsoft.TeamFoundation.VersionControl.Client.dll
    • C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 10.0\Common7\IDE\ReferenceAssemblies\v2.0\Microsoft.TeamFoundation.VersionControl.Common.dll
    • C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 10.0\Common7\IDE\ReferenceAssemblies\v2.0\Microsoft.TeamFoundation.WorkItemTracking.Client.dll
  6. Add references to TFS Build Extension components.
  7. Make a copy of the default build template and add it to the project.
  8. The completed solution should look something like this:clip_image003
  9. Open the template and add a new Tab to the Visual Studio Toolbox
  10. Select the new tab and choose to add new toolbox items
    1. Browse to the TFS Build Extension component you want to use and add the activities to the toolbox tab
  11. The new toolbox tab should list the selected activites:
  12. Now you are ready to extend the workflow by adding new TFS Build Extension activities to the template!

A sample project with the above references added can be downloaded here:

Written by Mathias Olausson

June 13th, 2011 at 3:41 pm

Posted in 11561,12010

OData Service for Team Foundation Server 2010

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Yesterday Microsoft released a beta of a new interesting extension to TFS 2010 – the OData Service for Team Foundation Server 2010. This is a new way to get to the data in TFS using the Open Data Protocol (OData, instead of the web services and .NET object model. This means it will be much easier to consume TFS information from any device on any platform which supports HTTP requests.

If you have a project hosted on Codeplex there’s already a cloud-hosted service up for using OData to get to your TFS project there. Go to for documentation on how to use that.

See Brian Keller’s announcement of the OData Service plus a link to a video demonstration of what you can do with the service.

I’m installing the bits now, let’s see what we can do with it. To be continued…

Written by Mathias Olausson

April 9th, 2011 at 1:46 am

Posted in 11561,12010

Visual Studio and TFS 2010 Service Pack 1, Feature Packs and Power Tools Downloads

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VS/TFS 2010 SP1 has just been released! SP1 rolls up most of the post RTM hotfixes and updates but it does not include Feature Packs and some other updates.

Here’s a list of the current stack of tools and patches that should be applied to a new Visual Studio/TFS 2010 environment:

See Brian Harry’s detailed post on what should be installed where.

If you’re looking for a comprehensive list of what’s in SP1 look at Brian’s Visual Studio SP1 announcement post.

Written by Mathias Olausson

March 13th, 2011 at 3:42 pm

Posted in 11561,12010