Steve’s Development Tools Newsletter – April 2011

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!


  • Happy Birthday to Visual Studio 2010!  Ah, how time flies when you’re having fun!  Check out Soma’s blog for more fun information about Visual Studio 2010’s birthday.
  • The Team Foundation Server Integration Platform (think: plumbing which can be used to build integrations/synchronizations/migrations) has been updated.  This update is primarily bug fixes, but still an important release if you’re rolling your own migration tool for TFS.  Brian Harry lists the bug fixes here.
  • Do you have lots of build definitions in TFS 2010?  Is your build node in TFS starting to look a little too lengthy/busy?  I recommend you take a look at Inmeta Build Explorer in the Visual Studio gallery.  It uses a naming convention to help visually organize your build definition into a more navigable structure
  • A new book on TFS entitled “Professional Team Foundation Server 2010” has just recently been released.   It’s a great read which goes into how to get the most out of the capabilities of TFS across the board (including customizing and extending).
  • Oracle and .NET now play even better together with Oracle’s release of the ODAC for EF and LINQ and Quest’s Toad Extension for Visual Studio.  Now you can query Oracle easily using LINQ and Entity Framework, and leverage the Toad Extension for enabling change management for the development of Oracle databases.
  • We’re making it easier for Eclipse developers to take advantage of Windows Azure with the CTP release of the Windows Azure Plugin for Eclipse.  Take a look at this blog post for more details!

Events & Training

MIX11 is NOW!

If you’re not one of the lucky ones to be able to attend in person, you can still catch it live online at

MSDN Events Presents:  Understanding Azure

Cloud Development is one of the fastest growing trends in our industry. Don’t get left behind. In this event, Rob Bagby and Bruno Terkaly will provide an overview of developing with Windows Azure. They will cover both where and why you should consider taking advantage of the various Windows Azure’s services in your application, as well as providing you with a great head start on how to accomplish it. This half-day event will be split up into 3 sections. The first section will cover the benefits and nuances of hosting web applications and services in Windows Azure, as well as taking advantage of SQL Azure. The second section will cover the ins and outs of Windows Azure storage, while the third will illustrate the Windows Azure App Fabric.





April 15, 2011

Tempe, AZ

1:00 PM – 5:00 PM

April 18, 2011

Bellevue, WA

1:00 PM – 5:00 PM

April 19, 2011

Portland, OR

1:00 PM – 5:00 PM

April 20, 2011

Irvine, CA

1:00 PM – 5:00 PM

April 21, 2011

Los Angeles, CA

1:00 PM – 5:00 PM

What Event Do You Want?

We’re doing some initial planning for our developer & platform events in the summer and fall.  What would you like to see, especially from a development tools perspective?  Some thoughts we’re currently considering:

  • Agile Database Development
  • Lab Management
  • Architecture with Visual Studio 2010

Let me/us know what grabs you!


  • If you have Visual Studio Ultimate, you have access to unlimited load testing (previously your limit was 250 v-users).  You can configure multiple load agents to ramp up your load.  Any VS Ultimate user can leverage them.
  • This is a know issue in Test Manager that when building a test case if you go beyond 10 steps the steps window shrinks. This makes it harder to see multiple steps at the same time.  You can try restoring the Test Manager window from Maximize and then manually change window size.
  • When doing a schema compare, remember that the Compare Settings->Ignore Objects dialog lists items for you to check if you want to ignore them, not include them.  By default, Extended Properties are ignored (checked).
  • If you’re losing IntelliSense in database projects, it’s most commonly related to online/offline availability, insertion points, and specific conditions in the T-SQL Editor.  One way to help troubleshoot is to create a new, simple database project and see what IntelliSense experience you have.

Final Thoughts

Please continue to send me your ideas for items to include in this monthly newsletter.  Some have requested more information about the different roles in the developer & platform evangelism (DPE) division at Microsoft, which I’m happy to do!

Others have inquired about the best way to reach me to ask simple, one-off questions.  While direct email is always fine, I do also use Formspring, a question and answer service.  You can find my profile page on Formspring (and ask me a question) here:

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