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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


TFS Development: More ALM Capabilities in vNext

May 24th, 2011

Microsoft introduced the enhanced ALM features of the next Visual Studio release (vNext) at its Tech-Ed conference. The strategy of the ALM offering focuses on helping TFS developers, testers, and project managers collaborate in very tightly integrated ways. TFS development emphasizes the actionable feedback, diverse work styles, and transparent agile process to cover the entire cycle of creating apps.

Cameron Skinner, general manager of Visual Studio Ultimate, provided an overview of vNext ALM features that will include the following:

    • PowerPoint Storyboard Assistant tool that addresses issues of miscommunications between stakeholders and TFS development teams. It lets teams use the familiar presentation tool to imitate a user interface and allows customers to visually participate in setting user requirements.
    • Dealing with Agile components via the TFS Web portal. The TFS Web portal gives a rich view into the current backlogs and their priorities. You can manipulate TFS work items in real time just by dragging and dropping the priorities.
    • A new unit testing framework is aimed at making it as easy as possible to use different testing frameworks in one workflow.
    • Context management, such as saving and retrieving the “state” of a VS project, so it can be captured with the click of a Suspend button and then brought back up with the same files, breakpoints, window positions, and so on.
    • A new Taskboard feature added to the TFS dashboard. It gives an integrated view into work and time estimates, assignments, approvals, completed projects, and more.
    • Code clone analysis allows searching for similar code in projects. Users can select different levels of matching, such as exact, strong, medium, and weak.

Visual Studio vNext is another major step in TFS development to cover the lifecycle. These features are aimed at bringing the team together by creating trustworthy bridges that improve the flow of information across the entire team, eliminating the most common risks.

Posted in Best practices, TFS Development | No Comments »

TFS Development: Now in Java

May 16th, 2011

Team Foundation Server extendibility is a core design feature that provides great capabilities for TFS development. Up until recently Microsoft provided a .NET library only for interacting with TFS. From now on you can also use Java for TFS development, as Team Foundation Server SDK for Java was made available for download.

This is going to enable teams using Team Explorer Everywhere to fully customize their development environment, in or outside Eclipse. ISVs can enhance their TFS add in offerings with this new Java SDK for TFS development. The SDK includes the following features:

    • A redistributable JAR file containing the TFS API. It provides access to version control, work item tracking, and other TFS functionality from the Java-based application.
    • The native code libraries used by the TFS API.
    • Full API documentation in Javadoc format.
    • Code samples: custom check-in policy; custom work item controls; a set of console applications utilizing build and version control capabilities; a series of simple snippets demonstrating aspects of the API; instructions to get TFS developers started with this SDK.

This TFS development SDK for Java is a next step in making TFS an open platform that anyone can use with their favorite development tools. This is yet another proof of TFS being a profound ALM solution for heterogeneous teams.

Posted in TFS Development | No Comments »

TFS Development: Building Mobile Apps for TFS

April 28th, 2011

Microsoft has made access to the TFS object model available via the open source OData protocol, which is a great break through for the TFS development. This initiative is aimed at making it easier to build applications for multitude of devices (such as smartphones and tablets) that use data stored in Team Foundation Server.

OData exposes a way to work with data over the Web. It uses interfaces similar to REST which allows manipulating data from any device or application stack that HTTP requests.

The sampler was also provided, so that developers can already start playing with this new TFS development feature. OData Service is hosted on Windows Azure (WAZ) for the Codeplex TFS projects. This endpoint acts as an intermediary for your clients, such as a browser or a Windows Phone Device. The various clients can reach TFS using OData protocol without having to worry about either the TFS Web services or the TFS object model.

There is also a sample Windows Phone 7 application included and WebMatrix Helpers, which show developers how to get started building applications which consume OData service. This TFS development solution extends TFS in new and interesting ways and also serves as a showcase for the TFS developer community.

Posted in TFS Development | No Comments »

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