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Preview: Team System Rocks!

Team System Rocks!

This blog is about my adventures into one of Microsoft's latest development tools, Team System.

Updated: 2015-09-17T01:23:04.262-05:00


Well, I've Done It...


I'm moving my blog. Go check out The direct link to my new blog is You need to keep the default.aspx appended to the end of the link for the time being, as I don't have everything configured quite right yet.

My blog, and the site, are currently a work in progress. For example, currently comments are not working on my blog. I hope to fix that soon. Give me a week or so to finish configuring the site, and establish the look and feel I want. You won't be disappointed.

Anyway, myself and few other people have a plan to turn into "THE" community site for Team System. And that starts with you, the community, letting me know what you want from the site. So don't be shy about giving me some feedback, positive or negative.

I hope to see you all at the new Team System Rocks! site!

Monday At Tech Ed: Here I Go


I'm excited. Today starts the first real day of Tech Ed, with Steve Ballmer's keynote address. Then I'm going to hit the Cabanas for a couple of hours, to see how I can help. Look for me: I'll be one of the only guys (other than Dave)not wearing an event staff shirt, but trying to act like you should come talk to me.

I think they may even be giving out books or something, and everyone needs more technical books!

My week will be made if someone comes up to me and mentions they read my blog. Please do!

Sunday At Tech Ed


Wow, people do read my blog! Shortly after I posted my previous post, I recieved an email from Ajay Sudan, letting me know about a meeting at 7 pm on Sunday for staff (basically orientation). Thanks, Rob Caron, for looking out for us!

I checked out the Book Signing. It was interesting, and I met a couple of authors, and bought a couple of books, of course.

Went to the orientation meeting, where I met up with Dave Bost, another guy like me who was invited to help out with VSTS. Orientation was your classic "don't be stupid", and they did have a good motivational speaker, who handed out a couple of tips on how to handle customers.

Afterwards, Dave and I went up to the gentlemen, whose name escapes me, but who basically planned the whole Tech Ed event, to ask about getting Event Staff shirts, since we would be working the cabanas. He was a very nice guy, and answered all my questions for me. He said that they only had enough of thoughs for the registered event staff, and unfortunately we were registered as Attendees. Kind of a bummer (you know how us tech guys like our shirts), but no big deal though. They are going to have buttons and such for volunteers like us to wear, so people will know they can come up and talk to us.

After orientation, I went to dinner with Dave and Marc (who, forgive me, I don't have his last name), and the Universal Studio's Walk. The place was packed. We ended up eating at Margaritaville. We had some great conversation and some good food too! My thanks goes to Dave Bost for taking the initiative and setting that up.

Just remember to watch out for the muscle shirts, especially the red ones! (Come ask me if you want to know more! ;) )

Monday starts the first real day of Tech Ed. Keep your fingers crossed.

TechEd - Check In and Ready To Go


Check in was a breeze! Mostly because I was a geek, and got there 2 hours early, so I was one of the first people in line. By the time they opened the doors, there were probably 600+ people in line. Basically, they scan in the card they send you in the mail, and that's all there is to it.

For people who are TechEd Alumni, you got a special credentials holder and a baseball cap, both of which say Tech Ed Alumni. Nifty little extra for the repeat customers.

They gave out a briefcase kind of bag this year as opposed to a backpack, which I definitly like more. Its a very nice bag, and they loaded it down with some cool stuff, including the latest Beta2 of VSTS.

I'm going to hit the Cabana tomorrow when it first starts, to see when they want me to help out. I figure I'm going to need one of these Event Staff shirts that I see people who are working the conference wearing, so hopefully someone at the cabana can hook me up. I never did recieved any specific materials to look at, so keep your fingers crossed that I don't say anything too stupid. Look for me. I'll be the guy with the Attendee badge, trying to act like he knows what he is doing!

All Dressed Up And No Where To Go


Well, its 6:30 am, I'm dressed and ready, but I have no where to be until 10. Yikes!

I'm wondering if there is supposed to be a certain dress code or anything for the people (like me) who will be working the Cabanas part time. I never recieved any kind of "You need to go to this training meeting" or anything, so I guess I'll just show up Monday and see what they need me to do. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

I'm looking forward to getting to help out at the Cabanas, and getting to meet some of the people I have been talking to via email, as well as helping to spread the vision of VSTS to the masses!

I'm going to be blogging about Tech Ed this week, so forgive me if some of the posts are un-VSTS related. I'll get back to that full-time next week.

Party With Palermo A Success...


I just got back from the Party With Palermo 2005, and I would have to say it was a huge success. We had about 15 people meet up to talk in the Lobby, and about 30-35 ending up eating at the diner. I met some really cool people, who I hope to catch up with again later this week. (I'd like to give a shout out to both Laura Hunter and Jean-Luc David.)

Thanks to Jeffrey Palermo for organizing the whole event. He should have pictures up on his blog soon. I say we set a goal for doubling the attendance next year!

I'm settled into my room at the Best Western, and its nice. Plus it has Wi-Fi access, which is a plus. Tomorrow brings Tech Ed Registration, some pre-conference stuff in the afternoon, and a Meet The Authors that evening. I'll probably use some time tomorrow to get my bearings at the convention center as well.

Tech Ed Bound...


Well, I am headed off for Tech Ed. I'll see what I can do about sending some updates, to let ya'll know what's happening out that way.

One cool thing I'll be doing is helping out at the VSTS Cabana. I'm not sure what times yet I'll be there, but feel free to stop by and say hi. We'll be doing demos, and talking about VSTS until you just can't stand it any more.

I'd love for someone to come up and tell me that they read my blog from time to time. That would make my week!

Hope to see you there!

Setting Permissions in Team Foundation (Beta 2)


Visual Studio Team System User Education Blog - Setting Permissions in Team Foundation (Beta 2)

Susan has posted a GREAT whitepaper, describing what permissions user need to be able to do things in Team Foundation, including what groups they need to be in, and step by step instructions on how to add them to those groups.

This is some great documentation, in my opinion, and is exactly what I was looking for a couple of weeks ago, when I was trying to research this very thing. Please give us more stuff like this!

I can't seem to get it to print, but I think that is more something on my end.

Class Designer Overview


Thom Robbins - Introducing The Class Designer

Thom has created a short, but very nice and informative, video demonstration of Class Designer. For those people who have been under a rock for the past year, Class Designer allows you a visual representation of your class objects, and allows you to make changes to methods and properties in the designer window, with the changes being automatically reflected in the code. Cool stuff.

Thom covers all the basics, including creating a new class using the designer, adding and modifying methods and properties, adding existing classes to a class designer window, and showing how changes made in Class Designer reflect in the code. And he does it all in about 5 minutes, without overwhelming you with information.

Like I said, check it out.

Party on Saturday Night At Tech Ed 2005...


Party With Palermo

If you are going to be in Orlando on Saturday evening, come join the fun. I think it would be great if we could get a couple of hundred people there personally. Hit the site and join in!

Dr. International


Dr. International has a blog going now. Check it out.

Now, who can give me any hints as to the team that actually makes up "Dr. International"? (Read his latest post if you're curious why I want this information. Just a hint to point me in the right direction, that's all I ask! I'm not ashamed to try and use my blog to get it! LOL)


Microsoft .NET 2.0 Framework May Break Apps


eWeek - Microsoft .Net Framework 2.0 Breaks Apps

Well, we always knew it was a possibility. In reading through the article, its not every app or anything. Its worth reading up on though.

Attended Memphis .NET User Group Meeting…


I attended the Memphis .NET User Group Meeting this past Tuesday night. Memphis is about an hour away from where I am in Tupelo, but it is 4-laned all the way, so the drive is not that bad. Jon Box was presenting an overview of Team System. Jerry Dixon was also there helping to run the meeting.

This is the first time I have attended a user group meeting, and I enjoyed myself. There were about 20 people there. Light snacks and drinks were provided. Jon gave a great overview talk on Team System, and some very interesting questions were asked on things I had not thought of. Jon did a good job of covering, at a high level, pretty much everything covered by Team System. It was really kind of eye-opening, when you see it like that, to realize exactly HOW MUCH STUFF is in this product.

I'm looking forward to attending more meetings, and trying to get more involved with the user group as time goes on. I'll keep you posted on how that goes. My thanks goes out to Jon for a great presentation, and to Jerry and Quilogy for hosting the meeting for us.

MSF Agile


MSF Agile is one of the software development processes that ships with Visual Studio Team System. It incorporates an agile software development process into some of Microsoft's proven practices for building software.

Randy Miller has a good post about using the MSF Agile Process: Agile Software Development for Projects Large and Small. He talks about how even large projects are usually broken up into teams of teams, and how this process can be used for very small projects are extremely large ones.

I've been a little hesitant about diving into this process, because there are several different roles, and I wasn't sure how to divide some things up, especially with some projects that I work on, the only person being the team is me. Then I read this, and something kinda clicked:

MSF for Agile Software Development contains six roles, the business analyst, project manager, architect, developer, tester, and release manager. To play any of these roles, you must simply possess the necessary skills. Your job title may be different. You may also play multiple roles. In other words, the MSF Team Model allows a lot of flexibility in the way that you organize your team.

Basically, you can cover multiple roles if you want/need to. Or, on a more fundamental level, make the process work for you, not you for the process. I realize this is probably REALLY evident to a majority of people out there, but for myself, who sometimes has tunnel vision, it was, for lack of a better term, a light bulb going off.

The MSF Agile process may still be a bit overkill for a really small team (aka 1 person), but I'm interested enough now to delve into it some, to see how I can modify it to make it work for me, instead of me working for it.

"Hawaii" is announced...


eWeek - 'Hawaii': A Visual Studio Paradise for Developers?

I haven't even gotten my head around VSTS yet. Still, its nice to know what they have coming down the pipe, even if it is a minimum of 5 years out.

When can we expect the first CTP? ;)

VSTS Pricing...


Rick LaPlante - Listening To Customers

Rick gives an update to how pricing will work for VSTS. He talks about how they listened to the customer feedback.

One good thing that has come out of this, is a 5-user license of Team Foundation with each role edition of VSTS. That is good news for small development shops.

Read on down into the comments of the post. Rick give a pretty good answer to how pricing will work, using retail pricing as an example. Volume licensing pricing will be different, obviously, but in general should be less.

Visual Source Safe vs Team Foundation...


Somasegar - Source Control in VS2005

I think most people understand the difference, but here is a quick and easy blog post which explains it.

PDC 2005 Site is up...


Check It Out!

Unfortunantly, it does not look like I will be able to go at this time, but you never know. Right now I am gearing up for Tech Ed 2005 (Thanks Ajay!). I'll be helping out at the Cabana and some other things, so look me up!



David Gray - Off Road Profiling of ASP.NET Applications

This is a good post if you want to get your hands dirty with profiling. David overviews the basics of how the "click and go" profiling works, and then shows you how you can dig into the profiling to make it really work for you.

One good tip is that usually, the recommendation is to use sampling profiling initially, and then follow up with instrumentation profiling. However, with ASP.NET apps, the framework can get in the way of the sampling. As such, he recommends starting with instrumentation profiling, and the following up with sampling profiling.

check out the Profiler Team Blog for more detailing information on the different types of sampling, as well as the profiler in general.

A Great Permissions Explanation...


I messed around with the permissions in Beta1, and have started to in Beta2, to try and understand what permissions and groups you needed to be in, to be able to do different things with Team Foundation. Specifically, what kind of rights do you need to be able to create a team project. Needless to say, it was mostly a hit and miss affair, and I haven't put a whole lot of work into it.

Well, Mike Attili has, and he has put together a great post Simplify Authorization for Team Project Creation. He explains what types of authorizations make up the current Beta2. As well, he gives you a step-by-step guide to setting up a group in your AD, so that members of that group can create projects in Team Foundation. This is an especially cool thing to do, since ADAM will not be in the final release of VSTS.

(Thanks to Buck Hodges for the link to this post by Mike)

Free VSTS Beta 2 Event


Anand Iyer is helping to host an all-day free VS2005 Team System Beta2 event, in San Jose, California on 6/2/2005.

I have attended several of Anand's webcasts, and he is a GREAT presenter. If you live in the area, it will definitely be worth you time to attend. I wish I could be there.



So, I've got my Data Tier and Application Tier all installed and ready to go. I install all the prerequisites on the Client Tier. Everything is going great.

I pop in the DVD I created of VS2005 Team Suite Beta 2, and begin the install. 30 minutes into the install, the DVD starts throwing errors. But never fear. Anticipating that Murphy might show up, I start again with the backup DVD. The install begins to run again.

Someone obviously doesn't like me. When I check the install after a little bit, it is failing in a different spot. Again, a problem with the DVD. And I have already deleted the downloaded ISO file. That'll teach me.

So I'm back to square one, downloading Beta 2. Only 18 hours to go!

(Feel My Pain!)


Overview of MSBuild


Mitch Denny - The Road To MSBuild

Mitch gives a good overview of what MSBuild is:

MSBuild, like NAnt is an application of XML and has .NET extensibility points, but despite the crys of “ripoff” the MSBuild team has done something interesting here – instead of making just another XML scripting language, they’ve built a transform engine – they’ve gone back to their “makefile” roots (take that you proceduralists!).

This is a great read if you don't know anything about MSBuild. It certainly brought me up to speed pretty quick.

Creative Use For One Note


Rob Rohr - Ask and ye shall recieve

Thanks to Julia Lerman for this link.

This makes me want a Tablet PC even more. I remember trying to keep my schedule at Tech Ed up to date last year, using my Pocket PC, and that was kind of a pain. By the middle of the week I had given up. Rob sounds like he is really onto something, using the API and the Tech Ed RSS feed. I'm anxious to see how it works out.

Anyone got a spare Tablet PC I can borrow? I'll give it back, I promise!

A Big Thank You To Rob Caron...


This is a big THANK YOU to Rob Caron. The installation documentation worked perfectly for me. Great Job! We really appreciate all the hard work you put into this.