Visual Studio 11 (2012) On Line Event Summary

We held the Visual Studio 11 (Now known as Visual Studio 2012 as the Release Candidate shipped between announcing the event and delivering it) on-line event yesterday afternoon. To recap, we’d provided links to 5 videos covering Agile development, what’s new in Visual Studio, Team Foundation Service preview, Coded UI Testing and TFS for non .NET developers. These were “pre-reading” and then the presenters from each of these videos were available on-line for a Q&A session.

It was great to have a good number of you able to make it, and thank you to everyone that asked questions and also to Danny Crone from nFocus and Richard Fennell from Black Marble.

We wanted to make the slides we used available, and summarise the questions and answers that we covered. I’ve para-phrased some of the questions slightly:


The slides we used in the event can be found here.

Release Details for Visual Studio 2012, TFS 2012 & Team Foundation Service

Q. When is Visual Studio 2012 (and TFS 2012) being released?

A. We don’t have a release date to share.


Q. Are any costs announced for Team Foundation Service? Included in MSDN subscription?

A. No, the licencing model, release date and costs for Team Foundation Service have not been announced.


TFS 2012

Q. Does the new TFS agile tooling include a task board screen to display on-going agile work items?

A. Yes, there is a built-in task board in the Agile planning tools (MSDN overview here)

Q. Can we have a look at the UI of what's new on the Agile Scrum Template?

A. Yes. In the session we showed a quick demo, but to see the Agile tools you can also view this video.

Q. Do you have planning poker there also?

A. No, but we are aware of some partners working on these kind of add-ons.

Q. Will this work with third-party SVN tools, such as Ankh SVN?

A. You can use the Agile planning tools alongside another source control system, but there is no built-in integration, for example associating code with tasks at check-in. It would make more sense to use the source control in TFS and gain the benefits of deep integration.

Q. Is there any integration with MS Project?

A. Yes. TFS integrates with Project out of the box, allowing synchronisation of work items with Project activities, and we also introduced Project Server integration fairly recently as well.

Q. Is there a TFS Windows Phone client?

A. We don’t provide one but there are 3rd party tools available. For example, Black Marble have published their TFS Phone Explorer.

Q. How does the Taskboarding/sprints/etc deal with and visually represent blocks?

A. There is  no specific visualisation of block or impediments in the tools.

Q. The Agile tools are web-based - is it still fully available via the Visual Studio IDE?

A. No, the Agile tools are in the web access client, but all of the underlying data can be accessed from work item queries and My Work in the Visual Studio IDE.

Q. Is there an out of the box timesheet facility?

A. No, but there are 3rd party time sheeting integrations for TFS available.

Q. Is there a way of seeing how team members capacity changed during a sprint for assessing impact of interruptions?

A. No, there is no direct support for this.

Q. Does the new TFS permit renaming of Projects, or effective splitting/merging of collections?

A. You can rename project collections, but not projects. There is no change in the management of project collections.

Q. We are using TFSDeployer off codeplex to manage deployment on build quality change. Is there any built-in alternative or recommendation?

A. No, there is no built-in deployment tooling included in TFS but there are 3rd party products like Nolio and RepliWeb that provide this capability.

Q. Are all Lab Management capabilities now available for VMWare/ESX? i.e. create templates, start/stop, network isolation, build deployment?

A. In TFS 2012 you can create a Standard environment without SCVVM and manage VMware images in that environment. However, a standard environment does not support creating from VM templates, start/stop/snapshotting the environment or network isolation. See the MSDN overview.

Q. Is there a way to upgrade the existing project portals in TFS 2010 to the new portal designs?

A. There is no difference in the SharePoint portals and therefore there is no need to upgrade them as such.

Q. From the TFS web access is there a way to access the SharePoint documents without going to the project portal?

A. No, there isn’t a direct link provided.


Visual Studio 2012

Q. What are the new features in Visual Studio 2012?

A. The MSDN overall summary is here. For a slide summary take a look at the slides from the event as well.

Q. Will the grey motif persist? Its a bit bleak.

A. The feedback from the Beta was noted and acted upon, and the RC has a revised look and feel. For a summary of what and why, see this blog post from the Product Group.

Q. Do you plan to improve the UI functionality (like useful keyboard shortcuts to see method definitions/usages, refactor etc.) or we will still have to use Resharper for that?

A. There are no significant changes in this area.

Q. Does the Editor window allow collapsing of code blocks (such as if, for, etc)

A. There was a way of doing this that was introduced in Visual Studio 2010.

Q. Does Suspend and Shelve require a work item to operate against?

A. No. Optionally you can associate a work item but it’s not required.

Q. Is Code Clone Analysis in Premium and above?

A. Yes. The latest feature matrix can be found here.

Q. I notice that Code Analysis and Performance Analysis are in Pro RC, will they also be in Pro at release?

A. Yes, although note that Premium/Ultimate includes Tier Interaction Profiling

Q. Are there any new features in Visual Studio 2012 that aids parallel computing?

A. Yes, this blog post provides an overview

Q. Are there any updates to the .edmx designer tools?

A. I don’t believe so.

Q. Is the Windows Phone Developer Kit 7.5 compatible with VS2012?

A. There are no announcements on this.

Q. I heard there will be extended support of HTML5 development - will you cover that later?

A. The new HTML editor offers full support for HTML5 elements and snippets. The CSS editor offers full support for CSS3, including support for CSS hacks and snippets for vendor-specific extensions to CSS. We didn’t cover this in the session but could do so in the future.

Q. Any SQL Server relevant feature? I heard that the roles DBA and developer are coming closer.

A. There are some changes to the Visual Studio tooling, and it’s also worth being aware of the new SQL Server Data Tools.


Team Foundation Service Preview

Q. Do you know if Team Foundation Service is going to have alternative authentication providers other than live accounts (e.g. OpenID)?

A. I believe that this is being considered by the product group but there is no specific commitment, news or details on that.

Q. Does the TF Service provide customisation of the Build Process, such as to add deployment tasks, etc?

A. Yes, the build process works in exactly the same way, using Windows Workflow, and can be customised in exactly the same way.


Unit Testing

Q. Will there be any out-of-the-box dependency injection framework to help with unit tests?

A. Microsoft Fakes has been introduced, which supports Shims and Stubs for this purpose.

Q. Including mocking the DB?

A. No.

Q. Is there any support for BDD (Business Driven Development)?

A. No. There are however a number of BDD tools that integrate with Visual Studio. e.g SpecFlow


Testing Tools

Q. When can we expect cross browser support to become available for CUIT?

A. It’s high on the backlog but there is no specific information on when this will be available.

Q. Are there any webservice integration testing tools?

A. Not specifically, but the unit test frameworks can be used to achieve this, including performance and load testing.

Q. Do data diagnostic adapters (Test Impact for example) also work if the code is compiled in a third party build system like TeamCity, etc.?

A. Yes. The Diagnostic Data Adapters are independent of the build system.


Q. Will the UI tests fail if a text field is moved to another point in the page? or renamed but not moved? 

A. Typically no, as the test engine isn’t just looking for a position for a control. There are situations where you might want to fail a test, for example if a control moves off the visible screen, but by default moving or renaming a control will not break the test.


The approach we took for this event was something of an experiment, in providing a mainly Q&A session rather than a specific demo or presentation. We feel it worked well, and know that providing the videos to watch first helped, but we’ll also plan to include short demos in future versions of this event.


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