Steve’s Development Tools Newsletter – August 2010

This is my first of hopefully many newsletters I want to create for you, my customers.  I receive a lot of email each week from you asking very specific, and valuable questions.  It’s my hope that a newsletter like this will help me communicate important announcements, tips/tricks, and other items to help you and your team ultimately be more successful!  Whenever I post a new newsletter, I will send email notifications to those of you who would like to be contacted.  If you don’t want to receive email notifications, just let me know!

I plan to create a newsletter at the beginning of each month, highlighting notable items from the previous month and what to look for in the coming month.


Visual Studio LightSwitch – An incredibly simple way to create business applications for the desktop and the cloud.  Formerly-named “KittyHawk”, LightSwitch removes a lot of the tedium of creating applications, such as data sources, screen building, and validation.

Visual Studio Scrum 1.0 Template is Released – This is a Microsoft-developed Scrum template for Team Foundation Server 2010.  It enacts Scrum in a lightweight, flexible manner.  And it’s free!  Accentient will be doing a 2-part webcast to introduce you to this new template. 

Upcoming Events & Training - For a comprehensive listing of upcoming events and webcasts in your area, including development tools, MSDN, and TechNet, visit the Got Team System website.  You can subscribe to RSS feeds, or simply bookmark your area’s landing page.  This site covers the entire Western United States.  Quick links:  Denver, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City

Visual Studio 2010 Accelerated Learning Program – [DENVER] Think of it as a boot camp for Visual Studio and .NET 4.0, with Microsoft certification as the end goal.  Registration is open now, and the course starts on September 18th.

2-Day Remote Training Course on Testing 2010 – Provided by Northwest Cadence, enroll today!  By the end of the course:  Testers should be able to start testing software with Microsoft Test Manager and TFS. Test Managers will have enough knowledge to manage testing activities with MTM and TFS. All participants should understand the workflow between developers and testers and understand the benefits of MTM and TFS. In addition, all participants will understand the reports generated by TFS relating to quality and be able to report on application quality on the Cube.

I’m looking for ideas for events this Fall!  (Read more below)

Other Things to Know

Patch for Upgrading to TFS 2010

If you are preparing to upgrade to TFS 2010, please read this Microsoft Support article first!  It discusses an issue with the upgrade process in 2010 which could create the following conditions:

  • Labels that were created before the upgrade are missing files or folders. Labels might be completely empty.
  • The Merge wizard in Visual Studio does not display all valid merge targets for a given source path/branch.
  • During merging, merge candidates are shown for changes that were already merged before the upgrade

Read the entire article to see if you may need the patch.  This patch as been placed on the MSDN Code Gallery here.


QuickAnswers is a section where I plan to provide brief answers or bits of knowledge based on conversations with you, my customers, over the past month or so.  Who knows, maybe one will apply to you?

  • Lab Management does not run on Azure.  It’s designed to leverage virtualization on your hardware in your environment.
  • Team Web Access (TFS browser client) is included with TFS 2010.  It’s installed automatically.  The work item-only client is shoved into the full web client, and is enabled (or stripped down to) based on the user’s permissions.
  • How do you pronounce Azure
  • Yes, you can run TFS on a non-Server OS like Windows 7, but you lose SharePoint and Reporting Services.  And it’s not a good idea if for more than just a few people.  I run TFS 2010 on my Win7 machine at home, but hey, it’s only me using it.
  • If you need to use a partner, but don’t know which one to contact, ping me first.  Each partner in your area has slightly different areas of focus.  Contact me and I can help align the right resource for you.
  • In a test case (in Test Manager, or MTM), parameter values are only in the test case, and aren’t data driven from external data sources.  Once you automate a test case (into a Coded UI Test), you can elect to either continue using the test case’s parameter values, or wire it up to an external data source (such as a CSV, XML, or database table).  This holds true for any automated test in Visual Studio (Coded UI, Web Performance, or Unit).
  • Try TestScribe.  TestScribe is a free utility which cranks out a nice Word document representing your test plan. 

Thoughts on July

Thanks to all of you who attended “The Full Testing Experience” event series in Denver or Phoenix.  The feedback was very positive, with a lot of interest in doing an even deeper dive into the Microsoft testing tools in a future event.  We’re looking into it, so stay tuned!

On the topic of events, I’d love to hear what events you’d like to see roll through your town.  July and August are big planning months for my team, so now is a good time to speak up if you have a topic in mind!

If you didn’t know, the VS ALM Rangers is a team at Microsoft dedicated to advancing adoption and capabilities of our ALM tools.  I’ve been on that team for almost 4 years now, and it’s incredibly rewarding (I was a contributor to the Requirements Management Guidance on CodePlex).  More on the Rangers here, including my brief profile.

Thanks for reading!  Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any needs around Microsoft’s development tools.

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