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"I really like the way you can access your work items from within Outlook. I like the way you can bring up the full work item forms, make edits, and save immediately to TFS. It was great to create new meeting requests or mail messages from the work items."

Lori Lamkin
Product Unit Manager for Team Foundation Server at Microsoft

"These types of products are important to the industry."

Joel Semeniuk
CEO and co-founder of ImagiNET Resources Corp.

"I know of a good number of companies that will love having something like this - getting their timesheet management into TFS (so it can be reported on, especially) will make life a lot easier for them."

James Manning
Software Design Engineer for Visual Studio project at Microsoft

"I like the idea of being able to link work items to e-mails and meetings. I also like that it provides non-technical information workers the option of working with TFS in a more familiar environment. Congratulations to TeamExpand on the release!"

Jason Barile
Principal Test Manager for Visual Studio Team Foundation Server at Microsoft

"TX Chrono, by TeamExpand, allows users to easily track how they are spending their time, store that information in TFS, and make it available for reporting in the warehouse."

Brian Harry
Product Unit Manager for Team Foundation Server at Microsoft

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TFS Timesheet

Blog

VSTS Development: ALM Testing Feature Pack is Available

November 15th, 2010
by

Visual Studio ALM Feature Pack 2 has become available for download today, November, 15. This is a Testing Feature Pack that adds new functionality to VSTS development. It can be downloaded by VS Ultimate, VS Premium, and VS Test Professional customers with MSDN subscriptions. This Feature Pack focuses on enhancing testing capabilities in VS Application Lifecycle Management products. The new features for VSTS Development are:

Ability to Test Silverlight Applications

Now you can test Silverlight applications. There is support both for Coded UI tests and for record and playback in Microsoft Test Runner. You are able to record the execution of your Silverlight apps and gather rich bug data: action logs, video, environment info, etc. So far, Silverlight testing has supported only deployments for Silverlight 4.0 applications in Internet Explorer.

Run Tests Across Multiple Browsers

With a new Feature Pack, you can play back the recorded Web applications not only in Internet Explorer, but in Mozilla Firefox 3.5 and 3.6 as well. This applies to both Coded UI tests created with Visual Studio and automation recordings created with Microsoft Test Professional. This feature will enable you to create a set of tests once and use them on both Explorer and Firefox to make sure your changes don’t break applications across multiple browsers.

Managing Coded UI Test is Now Easier

The new coded UI test editor makes tweaking and customizing your recorded tests much easier. Using the Coded UI Test Editor, you can locate, view, and edit your test methods, UI actions and their associated controls in the UI control map.

With Feature Pack 2, the great new VSTS development features have been made available, especially around testing, code visualization and modeling. Feature Packs are compiled on the basis of the feedback received from VSTS developers; therefore they can be really helpful to all Visual Studio users.

Posted in VSTS Development, Microsoft | No Comments »

Team Explorer Everywhere: TFS Plugin for Eclipse

October 19th, 2010
by

It’s been almost a year since Microsoft purchased the Teamprise assets of SourceGear LLC. Teamprise’s TFS plugin is now a part of Visual Studio 2010. It enables developers to use Eclipse IDE and work on multiple operating systems to build applications with TFS. Let’s take a look on how software development organizations can benefit from this TFS plugin.

Team Explorer Everywhere is a TFS plugin that unites development teams across platforms. Team members can access Visual Studio Team Foundation Server to collaborate and track progress from within the Eclipse IDE to develop Java and .NET applications using any major OS, including Windows, UNIX, Linux, and Mac OS X.

The purpose of this TFS plugin is to make it possible for Java projects make use of such benefits as integrated services for work-item tracking, source control, build management, reporting, and a team collaboration portal.

Team Explorer Everywhere includes the following components:

TFS Plugin for Eclipse allows developers to perform all their source control, bug tracking, build and reporting operations from within Eclipse and Eclipse-based integrated development environments (IDEs), such as Rational Application Developer, JBoss, BEA Workshop, and Adobe Flex Builder.

Visual Studio Team Explorer combines all the functionality available to Eclipse developers using the TFS plugin into a stand-alone, cross-platform GUI application. It is a great feature for team members working outside of an IDE, such as graphic designers, testers, and project managers.

Cross-platform command-line client provides a cross-platform, non-graphical interface, making it perfect for scripting and building scenarios, as well as for developers who prefer a command-line interface.

Today, application development in heterogeneous environments often requires use of multiple, disconnected toolsets and skills for each platform, additional custom work to raise compatibility, and extra time to ensure successful teamwork. Team Explorer Everywhere TFS plugin will enable developers to use a single tool to overcome these challenges. With the simplification of important development processes, developers are now able to spend more time focusing on creating high-quality applications.

Posted in Microsoft, Best practices | No Comments »

TFS Outlook Integration

September 30th, 2010
by

Last week I told you how MS Outlook timesheets for TFS can enhance project manager’s performance. Today I will give a more detailed overview on how you can use TFS Outlook Integration.

You can choose various TFS add-inns to connect Outlook to your Team Foundation Server.
TFS-related items appear under a toolbar Add-Inns in Outlook. There are many TFS add-ins on the market and, naturally, some of them provide more features than others. Here’s a list of some of the handy features these tools can offer.

Save Outlook e-mails directly to any work item you select. You can use Outlook mail as an attachment to a work item in TFS to track all of the correspondence associated with any work item at anytime. This TFS Outlook feature saves you a lot of time when searching for the important information, such as requests to change something, reports, invoices, etc.

Forward mail with work items to your colleagues. You can also send comments and details. This feature enables you to notify your team immediately about the new assignments and events to enhance the working process.

Create, edit, and assign a work item directly from Outlook to save you time, doing it in TFS. This way, you can work within a single environment, which is really very convenient. I can’t bu admit, that TFS Outlook integration is a great tool to optimize your everyday activities.

Plan the entire project using the Outlook calendar. You can link the work items to certain dates and set alerts. Schedule work items to make queries on large amounts of work items directly in Outlook. These features will help you stay on top of the development process.

Create, submit and approve TFS reports through Outlook. You can store all the relevant information in one place and it is sure to increase your productivity.

TFS Outlook integration has much to offer for enhanced project manager’s performance and usability. You don’t do that much clicking and switching, save time, and stay informed about the development process at any moment. I think, this type of TFS add-inns is something that every project manager should consider applying.

Posted in TFS Management, Microsoft, Best practices | No Comments »

On Some TFS Related

August 3rd, 2009
by Olga Belokurskaya

Hi there!

Haven’t been here for quite a time, and missed some interesting events, including the availability of Silverlight 3 and announcement of Expression Blend 3. Haven’t you forgotten, that last year it was promised (Brian Harry did it in his blog) to create more seamless integration between TFS and Expression Blend?

That was done. TFS integration is in the top ten of new features in Expression Blend 3. The team workflow is now available for designers, TFS now ensures safe, up-to-date designers work available to the whole team. Everyone’s happy (after they get the patch to Team Foundation 2008 to ensure the integration to work).

Besides, there are lots of nice useful things there, such as improved UI to increase productivity, the possibility for designers and developers to work simultaneously on both the design and code aspects of the application, possibility to edit code directly in Expression Blend 3 through A full code editor with XAML, C# and VB Intellisense, and many more.

P.S. By the way, our TeamExpand guys have not been resting upon their oars as well. So watch the news :) .

Posted in TFS Management, VSTS Development, Microsoft | No Comments »

Making Secure Code Easier: SDL Process Template

May 26th, 2009
by Olga Belokurskaya

Not so long ago the Microsoft Security Development Lifecycle team announced the release of Microsoft SDL Process Template for Visual Studio Team System. This new template is designed to work with TFS 2008 and makes writing secure code much easier. The new SDL template has a solution that reduces the barrier to entry for SDL adoption, provides auditing for satisfying the security requirements, and helps demonstrate security return on investment.

There is a short overview of its options:

The Process Guidance page provides a security owner with five steps for Getting Started on an SDL project, and details on customizing the template and extending it for third party security tools.

The SDL Process Guidance

For developers, who care about security, but want it to be intuitive, the SDL Process Template includes check-in policies. These policies ensure every check-in of code is taking advantage of the SDL required compiler/linker flags and Code Analysis features already in Visual Studio. This will eliminate entire classes of security weaknesses from the code!

Setting Check-in policies

Testers want to be able to emphasize the importance of a security bug and properly communicate the impact to their product. The default “bug” work item now has customized security fields so one can identify security severity, and security cause/effect (using STRIDE), and mark a bug as “Blocking” or “Not Blocking.” This feature allows tracking and searching for security-specific bugs.

Identifying a bug as a security issue

For the management team there are the Final Security Review Report and Security Bugs Report, which provide an auditable set of artifacts that details security work completed as well as deferred tasks.

Final Security Review

Actually, the new SDL template addresses the challenge of making the code more secure. More deailed overview may be found here.

Posted in VSTS Development, Microsoft | No Comments »

Visual Studio 2010 Beta 1 Announced

May 18th, 2009
by Olga Belokurskaya

In his Friday’s blog post, Jihad Dannawi, Microsoft developer tools solution specialist, announced the release of the beta 1 of the long-awaited Visual Studio 2010. The release is planned for Monday, May 18, i.e. for today.

“Visual Studio 2010 Beta 1 (Professional, Suite and Team Foundation Server) will be available to MSDN [Microsoft Developer Network] Subscribers through MSDN Subscriber Downloads and to the general public on Wednesday, May 20th through Microsoft Downloads,” he wrote.

When VS 2010 was first announced last autumn, it was said that there would be a try to democratize the application lifecycle, by allowing all contributors on a software project to participate throughout the lifecycle.

About a week ago, Jason Zander, manager for Visual Studio’s developer division, shared some of the changes they made responding to the users’ unpopular feedbacks. One was to abandon triangles from the outline mode, which most users found a bad idea. Zander also provided some updates done to the performance area – the subject that worried the users greatly, according to their feedbacks.

Posted in TFS Management, VSTS Development, Microsoft | No Comments »

VSTS 2010 New Features Revealed

April 10th, 2009
by Olga Belokurskaya

Hi there!

Again I’m with news about Visual Studio 2010.

Well, everything indicates that the coming VSTS 2010 will be a really great release. Brian Harry in his latest blog post announces new awesome features of Team System 2010 stressing that VSTS 2010 marks a significant departure from 2008.

According to Brian there will be 3 really “new” areas. Investments in the testers’ tools, that help make them amazingly productive, a new area of investment called “Lab Management” - a set of features that makes it very easy for one to deploy and test software in many different configurations and then to debug and fix issues that the testing finds and a new area in architecture tools.

Here’s a list of what Brian calls “just new features in VSTS 2010”:

    Architecture

    • Architecture Explorer
      Layer diagram
      Use case designer
      Activity designer
      Component diagram
      Logical class designer
      Sequence diagram
      Modeling project system
      UML Model explorer
      Architecture validation during build
    • Development & Database

    • Historical debugging
      Test impact analysis
      Improved code analysis
      Improved profiling (especially multi-tier)
      Database extensibility
    • Lab Management

    • Multi-tier Environment creation and management
      Automated deployment
      Easily manage machine pools
      Network fencing
      Checkpoints
    • Test

    • Test planning
      Test case management
      Test prioritization
      Run management & reporting
      Project quality reports
      Manual test execution
      Diagnostic recording (environment, video, etc)
      UI Automation recording
      Coded UI tests
    • TFS

    • Work item hierarchy & linking
      Improved Agile template
      MOSS & WSS Dashboards
      Simplified reporting
      Improved support for parallel development
      Rollback
      Build queuing and pooling
      Gated checkin
      Simplified setup
      Scale out of web and data tiers
      Admin console
      Project move/archive/restore
Posted in VSTS Development, Microsoft | 1 Comment »

Visual Studio 2010 New Look Revealed

March 23rd, 2009
by Olga Belokurskaya

Hi there!

As you may have already known, Jason Zander, the General Manager for the Visual Studio team in the Developer Division at Microsoft, uncovered the new look for Visual Studio 2010 in his latest blog post. He announced several improvements and new features for the new Visual Studio UI:

VS 2010 UI

  • Reduced clutter and visual complexity by removing excessive lines and gradients in the UX and modernized the interface by removing outdated 3D bevels
  • Introduced multiple monitors support
  • Placed focus on content areas by opening negative space between windows and drawing attention to the current focus with a dominant accent color and a distinctive background
  • Added an inviting new palette to make VS 2010 more distinctive
  • Triangle glyphs in the margin are used to collapse or expand your code blocks
  • Collapsed sections of code are marked with an empty triangle (pointing straight) as well as a set of ellipses
  • Colors on the margin indicate edits that have been made
  • New Project dialog has updated to include online template viewing, a search box, and easier navigation
  • New Extensions Manager to improve searching and installing VS extensions
  • Amazing, but as it comes from the comments to his blog post, the most appreciated feature is the possibility of using multiple monitors.

    Posted in VSTS Development, Microsoft | No Comments »

    MS Visual Studio 2010: “The next gen of next-gen applications”

    March 11th, 2009
    by

    As you probably have heard, Microsoft Team System Development Center is working on the new Visual Studio version, Microsoft Visual Studio 2010. According to the VSTS team, “Rosario” (code name of the VSTS 2010) will feature the following functionality:

    · the new Architecture Explorer
    · extended use of multiple diagrams
    · improved tools for better documentation
    · the new Test Impact View
    · enhanced version control capabilities

    To add more, Microsoft Team System developers emphasize that user experience is the key factor in any VSTS project, that is why they put so much effort into the so-called “democratized ALM” (Application Life cycle Management). But what exactly do they mean by “democratized ALM?” Microsoft Visual Studio Team System 2010 is going to provide some new functions and capabilities, which embrace the needs of users in the life cycle. To be more exact, it will provide better cooperation between architects, developers, project managers, testers, and other project members.

    VSTS 2010

    Another good news is that next year Visual Studio is also expected to support an interactive designer for Silverlight (fully editable) and a tool support for data-binding.

    Posted in TFS Management, VSTS Development, Microsoft | No Comments »

    Peeking through the Keyhole of …Visual Studio Team System’s Website

    February 16th, 2009
    by

    The illustration of the new framework

    After continuous discussions, customers’ claims, and useful feedbacks, the Microsoft Team System Development Center finally announced the fair verdict: “The VSTS website must be changed.” And it was.

    In fact, the website of Team System was “put on a diet,” as the number of pages was massively shortened from 418 to 92. This, the VSTS webmasters believe, will enhance usability and improve search engines’ results.

    Secondly, VSTS customers will enjoy the new site framework and layouts. There have been numerous complaints on behalf of broken paths, and webmasters admitted, people simply couldn’t find the information they had been looking for. The improved navigation framework (which is fixed by rebuilding the primary and secondary navigation framework, and addressing information architecture issues throughout) is likely to change things for better.

    The Microsoft Visual Studio Team System website is going to morph throughout several months and everyone is welcome to leave their feedback.

    Posted in TFS Management, VSTS Development, Microsoft | No Comments »




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