Steve’s Development Tools Newsletter – September 2010

Visual Studio 2010I 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 - I mentioned this announcement last month.  Now LightSwitch Beta 1 is now available for download!

Visual Studio Database Guide – The latest product of the ALM Rangers team, the VS Database Guidance provides practical guidance for Visual Studio 2010 Database projects, focusing on 5 areas:  Solution and Project Management, Source Code Control and Configuration Management, Integrating External Changes with the Project System, Build and Deployment Automation with Visual Studio Database Projects, and Database Testing and Deployment Verification.  This release includes common guidance, usage scenarios, hands on labs, and lessons learned from real world engagements and the community discussions.

Window Phone 7 Developers – That’s right, it’s getting closer!  Windows Phone 7 just RTM’d.  What does that mean for you?  It means that more content, training, and toolkits are on the way for developers.  In fact, I just blogged about upcoming developer launch events around the West.   If you’re not local to an event, you can still watch the event streamed live on October 12th (just register first).

Agile Lean Users Group - Hey Phoenix, check it out!

TFS Re-Release:  Team Foundation Server 2010 has been re-released to include QFE KB2135068, which addresses an upgrade issue I mentioned in last month’s newsletter.  If you’re already using TFS and never encountered any issues upgrading, then you don’t need to do anything about it.

Upcoming Events & Training

Hands On Lab: Improving Software Quality with Visual Studio Team System 2010 – This lab is coming to Denver and Phoenix later this month.  This two-day instructor-led course provides students with the knowledge and skills to use the latest testing tools provided by Visual Studio Team System 2010 to improve their ability to manage and execute test plans. Test case creation and management will be covered, as well as test execution and automation practices. Creating and managing virtual lab environments using Lab Management will be discussed within the context of test plan and execution. By the end of the course, students are equipped to begin planning the implementation of Visual Studio 2010 for improving testing practices within their organizations. This course is currently taught using Visual Studio Ultimate 2010.  Details:  Denver | Phoenix

Lots of Webcasts! – There are quite a few webcasts coming soon that will cover all sorts of topics.  Stay updated here.

I’m busy planning a couple other events which I hope to have delivered by the end of this year.  My goal is to create a couple of unique event series this year – hint:  maybe we’ll host an event at a brewery?

As always, we maintain a pretty up-to-date listing of events in your area (including MSDN and TechNet) at


  • Test Professional can't create action recordings for EVERYTHING (same goes for Coded UI Tests).  When a recording is made, it's not done via screen-scraping and X/Y coordinates.  It uses MSAA.  As a result, not every application in the world can be recorded because not every application (or control, widget, etc.) fully uses MSAA.  There is an article on MSDN that lists all the supported platforms and technologies.
  • TFS and Requirements:  It works remarkably well as a requirements management tool, but is not designed to be a tool to help with elicitation and authoring.  For example, TFs is not going to automatically do an ambiguity review for you.  There are several good partner tools that hook into TFS that can help you on the elicitation/authoring side.  For more details, check out the Requirements Management Guidance.
  • TFS Build Extensions are a terrific solution for easily enabling TFS to build Java projects.  It puts hooks into Team Build 2010 to allow you to leverage Ant or Maven builds and run them from TFS.
  • The Team Members piece of the TFS Power Tools is a great way to collaborate with people on your team.  This includes IM, email, sharing queries & links, and viewing check-in history or existing shelvesets.
  • Want to play back action recordings using Firefox?  There’s a power tool for that.

Final Thoughts

Keep sending topics you’d like to hear more about, either via an event or blog posts.  I’ll see what I can do!

For those of you in Colorado, it looks like I’ll be presenting at a couple upcoming user groups:

  • October 25 – Denver:  I’ll be presenting an overview of Visual Studio LightSwitch, and what it means to developers.
  • November 9 (or Possibly December 14) – Colorado Springs:  I’m slated to present “VS 2010 Testing: So Easy a Developer Could Do It”

Reminder:  If you’d like me to email you when I post a newsletter, just send me a note at  I won’t email you directly otherwise!

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