Running Selenium Tests as part of your release with VSTS Release Management

  It’s always a good idea to have a set of automated tests execute after you’ve performed a deployment to validate your application, perform smoke testing, sanity-checking, and otherwise ensure you haven’t utterly broken everything. For web applications, Selenium is the standard. VSTS can run these tests for you very easily as both a part…

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Internetting all the Things with ESP8266 and Azure Event Hubs

  The ESP8266 is an amazingly cheap and super powerful chip made by Espressif Systems that can be used to internet-enable virtually anything. For around $3 you get an wifi enabled chip that can be used to create sensor networks, create home automation solutions, etc. For a few bucks more you can get an ESP8266-based…

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Using Azure Automation to automatically shutdown your dev VMs

  Azure Automation is a great way to perform routine maintenance on resources that are provisioned in Azure. As more and more dev teams move to Azure for their dev and test environments, I’m often being asked how I can shut down a set of VMs automatically (for instance, after-hours when no one will be…

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TFS 2013 – Renaming the Features Portfolio Backlog to Epics

One of the great Agile Planning features of TFS 2013 is the ability to use a hierarchy of backlogs. Out of the box, the “Features” backlog sits atop the Product Backlog, and you can associate PBIs and User Stories to Features.  One common request I hear from customers is, can I rename the “Features” backlog…

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Where is the Release Management Build Template? (ReleaseDefaultTemplate.11.1.xaml)

If you’re setting up the Release Management Server to work with TFS 2013, you might be wondering where the Release Management Build Process Template (ReleaseDefaultTemplate.11.1.xaml) resides.  It is not installed in TFS by default so it won’t appear as an available build process template until you add it, but you will find it on the…

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Using Assert::ExpectException with Native Unit Testing in VS11

  The native unit testing capabilities in VS11 beta are very cool indeed.  Being mainly a managed code developer, I was left wondering how to pass a test if an expected exception is thrown (a al the [ExpectedException] attribute I’ve used with MS-TEST in managed code unit tests.  With the native unit testing capabilities in…

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Useful Windows and SQL Azure Whitepapers

Below is a collection of useful whitepapers on Windows and SQL Azure that have been recently released.  I plan on updating this page as others are released.  Developing and Deploying with SQL Azure Brief Description This document provides guidelines on how to deploy an existing on-premise SQL Server database into SQL Azure. It also discusses…

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Trying and Retrying in C#

I sometimes encounter a requirement where we want to execute some code and, if that method throws an exception, we want to retry executing it several times until some limit is reached.  In this scenario, the thrown exception was expected at times by the application, and could be ignored. The operation was something that failed…

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WPF Attached Behavior Example – Watermark Text

I’ve been working on a relatively simple WPF application lately, in an effort to effectively follow the MVVM pattern, I’ve been working with custom attached properties.  In my app, I have some textboxes that I want to contain some default text that is removed when the user tabs into the control: Unfocused: Focused: I could…

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ASP.Net AJAX – Seadragon AJAX Control – making it work with DeepZoomPix

The latest version of the AJAX Control Toolkit includes a new SeaDragon control that allows you to DeepZoom images with pure JavaScript.  This is very cool, however, the instructions for embedding the viewer seem to already be out of date. The instructions tell you to “copy the URL that appears at the bottom” after you…

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