How to configure a TFS proxy to work with Team Services

If you are using Team Foundation Version Control (TFVC) with Visual Studio Team Services, you can configure the Team Foundation Server Proxy to cache files for version control for your account. It’s very straightforward as the TFS configuration app will do the work for you. Let’s take a look at how to do that. I’m…

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Controlling exposure through feature flags in VS Team Services

One question that I often get from customers is how we manage exposing features in the service. Features may not be complete or need to be revealed at a particular time. We may want to get early feedback. With the team working in master and deploying every three-week sprint, let’s take a look at how…

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TFS 15 RC2 is available and ready for production use

We have now released TFS “15” RC2. We are using it in production internally. It is fully supported for production use. You can upgrade from TFS 2012 or newer to RC2. You can also upgrade the RC1 release to RC2, and you will be able to upgrade from RC2 to RTM (that should be a…

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Would you like SSH turned on for your Team Services account?

[Update 5/29/2016] We will be turning on SSH for all existing accounts once we finish deploying sprint 100 (hopefully by the end of this week). We are beginning to roll out SSH for Team Services accounts. If you would like SSH enabled for your account, please email me your account URL. We still need to…

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TFS 2015 Update 2: Gated checkin for the new build system (build vNext)

When we shipped the new build system with TFS 2015, we ran out of time to add gated checkin. A lot of customers depend on gated checkin for their workflows, and as a result they’ve been unable to move to the new build system. I’m happy to say we’ve now fixed that. Among the many…

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How to create a team project in the web UI in TFS 2015 Update 2

You no longer have to use the version of Visual Studio Team Explorer that matches your server to create a team project. For the first time ever, you can now create a team project from the web UI with Team Foundation Server 2015 Update 2 or newer. This is something you’ve been able to do…

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Using VS Team Services Web Hooks with Azure Functions

Today at the Build 2016 conference, Azure announced a new feature called Azure Functions. Here’s a quick description from the main page. Azure Functions is an event driven, compute-on-demand experience that extends the existing Azure application platform with capabilities to implement code triggered by events occurring in virtually any Azure or 3rd party service as…

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Using Zapier to email work items to my backlog in VSTS

I use the board view of the backlog in my VS Team Services personal account to keep track of my work. I’ve wanted to be able to email a work item to my backlog, and today I finally got around to doing it. It was really easy thanks to our Zapier integration. I signed up…

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Gated checkin for Git: Using Branch Policies to run a build in VSTS and TFS

Let’s start with what gated checkin is, which is a feature we shipped as part of TFS 2010. Gated checkin enforces that a change in a branch builds and optionally passes tests (and anything else you want to do as part of your build) before it is checked in and available to everyone else in…

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Git Credential Manager is now installed by Git for Windows

Beginning with version 2.7.3, Git for Windows includes the Git Credential Manager (GCM) that makes authenticating with Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS) a breeze with both Microsoft Accounts (MSAs fka LiveIDs) and Azure Active Directory (AAD) identities. Since GCM is installed by default, you’ll get prompted for credentials when running git just like you would…

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Tenth anniversary of Team Foundation Server

Today marks the tenth anniversary of shipping TFS 2005, which was our first version. We shipped nearly six months late – VS 2005 shipped in November 2005. The product has evolved an incredible amount since then. The most infamous part of the first version was how hard it was to install (we completely rewrote our…

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Caching: What could go wrong?

There’s an old saying about regular expressions that I’ve always liked. I think it applies equally to caching. Here’s my version. Some people, when confronted with a performance problem, think “I know, I’ll add a cache.” Now they have two problems. It’s so tempting to address a performance problem by adding a cache. After all,…

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NuGet packages for TFS and Visual Studio Online .NET client object model

For the past couple of releases we’ve released the Team Foundation Server/Visual Studio Online client object model as a downloadable installer (aka MSI). Additionally, the license for it did not include the right to package it in an application for redistribution. As a result, it was inconvenient for builds and added friction for installing an…

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Fix: Windows 10 upgrade couldn’t update the system reserved partition

Disclaimer: This is what worked for me, and it’s not guidance from Microsoft. It may not work for you. Since this involves resizing partitions, it could wipe out all of your data. You may want to create a backup first. Proceed at your own risk. Over the weekend I upgraded my machines at home to…

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How we deploy Visual Studio Online using Release Management

We use VS Release Management (RM) to deploy Visual Studio Online (VSO), and this post will describe the process. Credit for this work goes to Justin Pinnix, who’s been the driving force in orchestrating our deployments with RM. This documentation will help you get familiar with how RM works and how you can use it…

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Original Surface RT is a great digital photo frame

I have four Surfaces: the original RT, Surface 2 RT, Surface Pro, and Surface 3. When I got the original Surface RT, which Microsoft gave to every full time employee shortly after it came out, I bought the Type keyboard and stopped using my iPad. The device was sluggish, though, particularly with Outlook. I bought…

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Mainstream support for TFS 2010 ends in July

Time flies, and the end of mainstream support for Team Foundation Server 2010 is July 14th. Yep, we’re celebrating it on Bastille Day. If you are still using TFS 2010, now is a great time to upgrade to TFS 2013 Update 4. Also, our next public pre-release of TFS 2015 will be “go-live” (the current…

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Moving TFS to cloud cadence and Visual Studio Online

We get quite a few questions from customers on how we made the transition to shipping both an on-premises product and a cloud service. We moved from shipping every 2-3 years to shipping Visual Studio Online every three weeks and TFS every 3-4 months. You’ve probably seen the great set of vignettes at Scaling Agile…

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Visual Studio Online reliability improvements

We’ve had a number of outages and other serious incidents in recent months. It’s clear we haven’t done enough to invest in reliability of the service, and I want to give you some insight into what we are working on that will be coming in January and beyond. First I want to give you a…

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