Best Feature of TFS 2015 Update 1

Shortly before Christmas 2015 was the TFS 2015 Update 1 released, within this release are some new features that bring more productivity to Team Development and DevOps.

Here are some of my favorites :

TFVC and Git in the same Team Project

Lots of my customers have TFVC (centralized version control) in TFS. When Git support came out, the only option they had if they wanted to switch to Git was to create a new “Git-based” Team Project and port source code over. Then they got into a horrible situation where work items were all in the TFVC Team Project, and the source code was in the new Git Team Project.

Now, you can simply add a new Git repo to an existing TFVC Team Project! Navigate to the Code hub in Web Access, click the repository drop-down (in the top left of the Code pane) and select “New Repository”:

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Enter the name of your repo and click Create. You’ll see the new “Empty Git page” (with a handy “Clone in Visual Studio” button):

imageThe Repository drop-down now shows multiple repos, each with their corresponding TFVC or Git icon:

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You can also add TFVC to a Git Team Project! This makes sense if you want to source control large assets. That way you can have your code in Git, and then source control your assets in TFVC, all in the same team project.

If you’re looking for alternatives to supporting large files in Git, then you’ll be pleased to note that VSO supports Git-LFS. Unfortunately, it’s not in this CTP – though it is planned for the Update 1 Release. As a matter of interest, the real issue is the NTLM authentication support for Git-LFS – the product team are going to submit a PR to the GitHub Git-LFS repo so that it should be supported by around the time Update 1 releases.

Query and Notifications on Kanban Column

Customizing Kanban columns is great – no messing in the XML WITD files – just open the settings, map the Kanban column to the work item states, and you’re good to go. But what if you want to query on Kanban column – or get a notification if a work item moves to a particular column? Until now, you couldn’t.

If you open a work item query editor, you’ll see three additional fields that you can query on:

  • Board Column – which column the board is in. Bear in mind that the same work item could be in different columns for different teams.
  • Board Column Done – corresponding to the “Doing/Done” split
  • Board Lane – the swimlane that the work item is in

image Not only can you query on these columns, but you can also add alerts using these fields. That way you could, for example, create an alert for “Stories moved to Done in the Testing column in the Expedite Lane”.

Pull Requests in Team Explorer

You’ll need Visual Studio 2015 Update 1 for this to work. Once you have Update 1, you’ll be able to see and create Pull Requests in the Team Explorer Pull Requests tile. You can also filter PRs and select between Active, Completed and Abandoned PRs. There are PRs you’ve created as well as PRs assigned to you or your team. Clicking a PR opens it up in Web Access:

 

  Team Board Enhancements

There’s a lot to discuss under this heading. If you’re using the Kanban boards, you’ll want to upgrade just for these enhancements.

Team Board Settings Dialog

The Board Settings Dialog has been revamped. Now you can customize the cards, columns, CFD and team settings from a single place – not a single “admin” page in sight! Just click the gear icon on the top right of a Backlog board, and the Settings dialog appears:

image

Field Settings

TFS 2015 RTM introduced field customization, so not much has changed here. There’s an additional setting that allows you to show/hide empty fields – if you’ve got a lot of cards, hiding empty fields makes the cards smaller where possible, allowing more cards on the board than before.

Customisable Styles

You can now set conditional styling on the cards. For example, I’ve added some style rules that color my cards red (redder and reddest) depending on the risk:

image You can drag/drop the rules (they fire in order) and of course you can rules for multiple fields and conditions. You can change the card color and/or the title color (and font style) if the condition matches. Here’s my board after setting the styles:

image
Tag Coloring

You can now colorize your tags. You can see the iPhone and WindowsPhone tags colored in the board above because of these settings:

image
Team Board Settings

Under board settings, you’ll be able to customize the Columns (and their state mappings, Doing/Done split, and Definition of Done. Again you’ll see a drag/drop theme allowing you to re-order columns.

image

The same applies to the swimlanes configuration.

As a bonus, you can rename a Kanban column directly on the board by clicking the hearer:

image

Charts and General

Under “Charts” and “General” you’ll be able to configure the CFD chart as well as the Backlogs (opt in/out of backlogs), Working Days and how your bugs appear (Backlogs or Task boards or neither). These settings used to be scattered around the UI, so it’s great to have a single place to set all of these options.

Tasks as Checklists

If you use Tasks as checklists, then this is a great new feature. Each Story (or Requirement or PBI, depending on your template) card now shows how may child Tasks it has. Clicking on the indicator opens up the checklist view:

image

You can drag/drop to reorder, check to mark complete and add new items.

Task Board Enhancements

The Task board also gets some love – conditional styling (just like the Kanban cards) as well as the ability to add a Task to a Story inline.

More Activities Per Team Member

You can now set multiple activities per team member. I’ve always thought that this feature has been pretty limited without this ability:

image

Now you have a real reason to use the Activity field on the Task! The Task burn down now also shows actual capacity in addition to the ideal trend:

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As a bonus, you can now also add new Team members directly from the Capacity page – without having to open up the Team administration page.

Team Dashboards

The “old” Home page (or Team Landing page) let you have a spot to pin charts or queries or build tiles. However, you couldn’t really customize how widgets were positioned, and if you had a lot of favorites, the page got a little cluttered. Enter Dashboards. You can now create a number of Dashboards and customize exactly which widgets appear (and where). Here I’m creating a new “Bugs” dashboard that will only show Bug data. Once you’ve created the Dashboard, just click the big green “+” icon on the lower right to add widgets:

image

Once you’ve added a couple of widgets, you can drag/drop them around to customize where they appear. Some widgets require configuration – like this “Query Tile” widget, where I am selecting which query to show as well as title and background color:

imageHere I’m customizing the Query widget:

image

You can see how the widgets actually preview the changes as you set them.

To add charts to a Dashboard, you need to go to the Work|Queries pane, then select the chart and add it to the Dashboard from the fly-out menu:

image

Similarly, to add a Build widget to the Dashboard you need to navigate to builds and add it to the Dashboard of your choice from the list of Builds on the left.

Now I have a really cool looking Bugs Dashboard!

image

Test Result Retention Policies

There is a tool for cleaning up test results (the Test Attachment cleaner in the TFS Power Tools) – but most users only use this when space starts running low. Now you can set retention policies that allow TFS to clean up old run, results and attachments automatically. Open up the administration page and navigate to the Test tab:

image

Team Queries: Project-Scoping Work Item Types and States

If you have multiple Team Projects, and at least one of them uses a different template, then you’ll know that it can be a real pain when querying, since you get all the work item types and all the states – even if you don’t need them. For example, I’ve got a Scrum project and an Agile project. In RTM, when I created a query in the Agile project, the Work Item types drop-down lists Product Backlog items too (even though they’ll never be in my Agile Team Project). Now, by default, only Work Item Type (and States) that appear in your Team Project show in the drop-down lists. If you want to see other work item types, then you’re doing a “cross-Project” query and there’s an option to turn that on (“Query across projects”) to the top-right of the query editor:

image

Policies for Work Item Branch

Now, in addition to Build and Code Review policies for Pull Requests in Git branch policies, you can also require that the commits are linked to work items:

imageYou can also just link the PR to a work item to fulfill the policy.

Labeling and Client-site workspace mapping in Builds

The build agent gets an update, and there are some refreshed Tasks (including SonarQube begin and end tasks). More importantly, you can now label your sources on (all or just successful) builds:

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Also, if you’re building from a TFVC repo, you can now customize the workspace mapping:

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And Stay tuned, because will come some other features in Update 2 that are in VSO now like :

 

Build widgets in the catalog

As Karen wrote about in the dashboards futures blog, one area we’re focusing on is improving the discoverability and ease in bringing different charts to your dashboard. With this update, you’ll see a new option to add a build history chart from the dashboard catalog, and you’ll be able to configure the build definition displayed directly from the dashboard.

Adding a build history chart from the dashboard catalog

Markdown widget with file from repository

The first version of the markdown widget allowed custom markdown stored inside the widget. You can now choose to display any markdown file in your existing repository.

Selecting a markdown file for display in the widget

Or add the file to any dashboard in your team project directly from the Code Explorer.

Displaying a markdown file in a dashboard

Check out all the January features in detail for Visual Studio Team Services:

https://www.visualstudio.com/news/2016-jan-25-vso

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Windows 8 RTM

 

Windows 8 reached Release to Manufacturing, Windows 8 is now being issued to all PC OEM and manufacturing partners.

More details http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2012/08/01/releasing-windows-8-august-1-2012.aspx

  • August 15th: Developers will be able to download the final version of Windows 8 via your MSDN subscriptionsand DreamSpark Premium
  • August 15th: IT professionals testing Windows 8 in organizations will be able to access the final version of Windows 8 through your TechNet subscriptions.
  • August 16th: Education institutions with existing Microsoft Software Assurance for Windows will be able to download Windows 8 Enterprise edition through the Volume License Service Center (VLSC), allowing you to test, pilot and begin adopting Windows 8 Enterprise within your organization.
  • August 16th: Microsoft Partner Network members will have access to Windows 8.
  • August 20th: Microsoft Action Pack Providers (MAPS) receive access to Windows 8.
  • September 1st: Volume License customers without Software Assurance will be able to purchase Windows 8 through Microsoft Volume License Resellers and Academic License Resellers.

So over the next few days/weeks you will see the availability of exciting new models of PCs loaded with Windows 8 and online availability of Windows 8 on October 26, 2012.

More details http://windowsteamblog.com/windows/b/bloggingwindows/archive/2012/08/01/windows-8-has-reached-the-rtm-milestone.aspx

Also, Windows Server 2012 has been released to manufacturing.

On September 4.  That’s when Windows Server 2012 will be generally available for evaluation and download by all customers around the world.  On that day we will also host an online launch event where our executives, engineers, customers and partners will share more about how Windows Server 2012 can help organizations of all sizes realize the benefits of what we call the Cloud OS.  You will be able to learn more about the features and capabilities and connect with experts and peers.  You’ll also be able to collect points along the way for the chance to win some amazing prizes. You don’t want to miss it.  Visit this site to save the date for the launch event.

More details http://blogs.technet.com/b/windowsserver/archive/2012/08/01/windows-server-2012-released-to-manufacturing.aspx

Introduce the Windows 8 Beta

 

A reimagined Windows

A day ago in Barcelona, was announced the release of Windows 8 Consumer Preview, available to download  for anyone interested in trying it out.

With Windows 8, the whole experience of Windows has been reimagined. It’s designed to work on a wide range of devices , from touch-enabled tablets, to laptops, to desktops and all-in-ones.MS designed Windows 8 to give instant access to  apps, files, and the information care about most so spend less time navigating and more time doing what you actually want to do. Move between Windows 8 PCs easily and access the files and settings from virtually anywhere. Touch a first-class experience and navigating with a mouse and keyboard fast and fluid. And just like Windows 7, reliability and security features are built in.


This is still just a small preview of what you’ll find in Windows 8. If you want to see more, check out our Windows 8 In Depth series,

Update 29.02.2012:  Downloads of  Windows 8 Consumer Preview are available same as Windows 8 Server.

Download Windows 8 Server Beta als 64Bit-ISO
Download Windows 8 Server Beta als englische VHD
Download Windows 8 Consumer Preview als deutsche 32Bit-ISO
Download Windows 8 Consumer Preview als deutsche 64Bit-ISO

andere Sprachen

Serial NR. für Windows 8 Consumer Preview: DNJXJ-7XBW8-2378T-X22TX-BKG7J

Some things you should know before installing Windows 8 Consumer Preview

Before you start the download, there are a few things to keep in mind.

First, this is a prerelease operating system

The Windows 8 Consumer Preview is just that: a preview of what’s to come. It represents a work in progress, and some things will change before the final release.

Second, should be pretty comfortable with new technology

If you’re used to running prereleased software, you’re OK with a little troubleshooting, and you don’t mind doing a few technical tasks here and there, then you’ll probably be OK giving the Windows 8 Consumer Preview a spin. If a list of hardware specs is a little overwhelming for you, or you’re not sure what you’d do if something unexpected happened, this might not be the time to dive in.

As with pre-release software in general, there won’t be official support for the Windows 8 Consumer Preview, but if you have problems, please share them with us. You can post a detailed explanation of any issues you run into at the Windows 8 Consumer Preview forum.. In addition, the Windows 8 Consumer Preview FAQ on the Windows website has information that could help you out and make the Windows 8 experience more productive .

And finally, you’ll need the right hardware

Windows 8 Consumer Preview should run on the same hardware that powers Windows 7 today. In general, you can expect Windows 8 Consumer Preview to run on a PC with the following:

  • 1 GHz or faster processor
  • 1 GB RAM (32-bit) or 2 GB RAM (64-bit)
  • 16 GB available hard disk space (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
  • DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver
  • 1024 x 768 minimum screen resolution

However, there are some additional requirements to take into consideration in order to use certain features in Windows 8. In order to use the Snap feature, you will need a PC with a 1366×768 resolution or higher. If you want to use touch, you’ll need a multitouch-capable laptop, tablet, or display. Windows 8 supports up to five simultaneous touch points, so if your hardware doesn’t, you may find typing on the onscreen keyboard and using certain controls more of a challenge. You’ll also need an Internet connection to try out the Windows Store, to download and install apps, and to take your settings and files with you from one Windows 8 PC to

Performance Increases

First Look at What's New in Windows 8

One of the issues that’s been on our minds since they previewed this new interface was whether this will keep bogging Windows down with more running processes, and whether running a full Windows desktop on a low-powered tablet was really a good idea (after all, we’ve seen Windows run on netbooks).

Microsoft knows the fears, and has addressed them: Windows 8 is slated to have better performance than Windows 7, even with this metro interface running on top of a desktop. I ran a few tests back when the the Developer Preview came out and found that to be the case, especially when it comes to boot times. Tablet users and netbook users especially should notice a fairly significant performance increase with Windows 8. Especially considering that any of your tablet-based apps will suspend themselves when you jump into the traditional desktop, so they don’t take up any of your resources.

The following tests were performed on an (overclocked) 3.8 GhZ i7 machine with 6GB of RAM, a 2TB hard drive, an Nvidia GeForce 9800 GT, and connected to the internet over Ethernet at a maximum speed of 20mbps.

Windows 8
Windows 7

Boot Time (Windows Screen to Desktop)
0:10
0:35

Compress a ~700MB File
0:29
0:32

Decompress a ~700MB File
0:11
0:12

Duplicate a ~700MB File
0:01
0:02

Encode a Movie in Handbrake
8:06
8:15

Cold Start 9 Applications
0:46
0:46

Open 10 Tabs in Chrome
0:07
0:07

3dmark10 Score
6470 (5218 Graphics, 23098 CPU)
6455 (5199 Graphics, 23448 CPU)

Total Time
9:56
10:29

The Lock Screen

First Look at What's New in Windows 8

Windows 8’s lock screen is pretty much what you’d expect: it’s got a beautiful picture along with a few little widgets full of information, like the time, how many emails you have, and so on. However, after swiping to unlock, Windows 8 shows off some pretty neat touch-based features, particularly a "picture password" feature. Instead of using a PIN or a lock pattern to get into your system, you swipe invisible gestures using a picture to orient yourself (in the example they showed, the password was to tap on a persons nose and swipe left across their arm). Android modders might find this similar to CyanogenMod’s lock screen gestures.

The Home Screen

First Look at What's New in Windows 8

The home screen is very familiar to anyone who’s used Windows Phone. You’ve got a set of tiles, each of which represents an application, and many of which show information and notifications that correspond to the app. For example, your email tile will tell you how many unread emails you have (and who they’re from), your calendar tile will show upcoming events, your music tile will show you what’s playing, and so on. You can also create tiles for games, contacts, and even traditional Windows apps that will pull you into the Windows desktop. The tablet-optimized apps are all full screen and "immersive", though, and you can rearrange their icons on the home screen easily (just as you would on any other tablet platform).

Running Apps

First Look at What's New in Windows 8

Running a basic app works as you expect—you tap on its home screen icon and it goes full screen. The browser has lots of touch-based controls, like pinch to zoom and copy and paste, and you can access options like search, share, and settings through the Charms bar, which you can get by swiping from the right edge of the screen or pressing Win+C. Apps can share information one another easily, such as selected text or photos. After picking your media from one app, you’ll then be able to choose which app you want to share with, and work with it from there. For example, you can share photos to Facebook, send text from a web page in an email, and so on.

None of this is brand new to touch-based platforms, but what is new is the ability to not only multitask, but run these apps side by side. Say you want to watch a video and keep an eye on your news feed at the same time. Just like in Windows 7 for the desktop, you can dock an app to one side of the screen while docking another app at the opposite side, which is a seriously cool feature. Imagine being able to IM and play a game at the same time, or browse the web while writing an email. It’s a fantastic way to fix one of the big shortcomings of mobile OSes, thus allowing you to ignore the full desktop interface more often and stay in the touch-friendly, tablet view.

The Desktop

First Look at What's New in Windows 8

The traditional desktop is still there, though it may be a tad different than what you’re used to. First and foremost, there’s no start button to speak of. Your taskbar merely shows the apps you have pinned, with your system tray on the right, as usual. You can jump back to the start screen (that is, the Metro screen) by pressing the Windows key or by moving your mouse to the bottom left corner of the screen. Other than that, everything looks pretty similar (though the windows no longer have rounded corners). The Control Panel has been updated a bit, as well as the Task Manager and Windows Explorer, which we’ll discuss below.

A New Task Manager

First Look at What's New in Windows 8

Microsoft’s finally redesigned the task manager, and it looks pretty great. You have a very simple task manager for basic task killing, but if you’re a more advanced user, you can bring up the detailed task manager filled with information on CPU and RAM usage, Metro app history, and even startup tweaking—so you can get rid of apps that launch on startup without going all the way into msconfig. For more information on the new Task Manager.

Windows Explorer

First Look at What's New in Windows 8

Most of it isn’t new information: we’ll have native ISO mounting in Windows Explorer, a new Office-style ribbon, and a one folder up button like the old days of XP (thank God). It also has a really cool "quick access" toolbar in the left-hand corner of the title bar, that gives you super quick access to your favorite buttons from the ribbon. For more info, check out in-depth look at the new Windows Explorer.

Other Features

First Look at What's New in Windows 8Along with these cool features, Windows 8 also comes with other features we’ve come to know and love in our mobile OSes. It’s got system-wide spellchecking, so you don’t have to rely on a specific app to keep your writing top-notch, as well as a system-wide search feature, that lets you search anything from your music library to your contacts to the web itself. It also has a really cool feature for desktop users that lets your run the Metro UI on one monitor while running the traditional desktop on the other.

It also has a really cool feature called "refresh your PC", where you can do a clean install with the tap of a button. Whether you’re selling your machine or just want a cleaner, faster installation of Windows, you can do it all in one click. You can even set refresh points, similar to restore points, so you can refresh your PC to the way it was at a certain point in time.

The Windows Store

First Look at What's New in Windows 8

The Windows Store, which is now available in the Consumer Preview, looks much like the home screen, with tiles that correspond to different categories and featured apps. From there, you can look at a more detailed list of the available apps in a given section. And, the store contains not only touch-based apps for the tablet interface, but some of the more traditional desktop Windows apps you’re used to, so you have one portal to discover all your Windows apps no matter what interface you’re using.

Right now, the Windows Store is full of free apps from Microsoft and its partners, so you can check out some of the upcoming apps now. When Windows 8 officially releases to the public, though, you should find many more apps in the store, including paid ones. What’s really cool about the app store is that you can try apps before you buy, and then download the full version without losing your place in the app or reinstalling anything.

Sync All Your Data to the Cloud

First Look at What's New in Windows 8

The cloud is taking center stage, with your Microsoft account driving all the syncing in Windows 8. Your address book, photos, SkyDrive data, and even data within third-party apps can sync up to the cloud, and you can access them on any Windows 8 device—even a brand new one. Just sign in, and you’ll have access to everything (not unlike Chrome OS, which immediately loaded your themes and extensions when you logged in—great for lending your computer to a friend). The address book also syncs with other services like Facebook and Twitter as well. You can even sync all of your settings from one Windows 8 PC to another. Just sign onto your Windows 8 with a Microsoft account and you’ll get all your themes, languages, app settings, taskbar, and other preferences will show right up. It’s a pretty neat feature if you have multiple Windows 8 PCs and don’t want to set them all up separately—just a few taps and you’ve got all your preferences ready to go.

Charms let us work faster

In Windows 8, are built new, fast ways to get around the operating system and do common tasks. They’re called charms. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen or move your mouse to the upper-right corner, and the charms bar appears (you can also use the Windows key + C). The charms are the quickest way to navigate to key tasks in Windows 8. You can go to the Start screen, or use the charms for quick shortcuts to common tasks.

Charms appear on the right side of the screen

Search

Just like in Windows 7, with Windows 8, you can easily search for apps, settings, or files on your PC. And with the Search charm, searching now goes even deeper. You can search within apps and on the web, so you can find a specific email quickly in the Mail app, or see what a friend has put on Facebook using the People app. You can also get search results from within apps right from the Start screen. If the info you need is on the web, just choose Internet Explorer in your search results, and Search brings the results right to you. Apps designed specifically for Windows 8 can use the Search charm easily, so as you install more apps, you can find movie reviews or show times, opinions on restaurants, or even stock prices (just to name a few), without having to hunt around. If you’re using a keyboard, you can also search right from the Start screen – just start typing, and the results will appear. You can filter results to view apps or settings, or to search within individual apps.

The Search charm lets you search within apps like Internet Explorer
Share

When I read something great on the web or see a picture that makes me laugh, I like to pass it on. The Share charm makes it incredibly easy. And just like with Search, apps can hook into Share easily, so you don’t have to jump in and out of an app to share great content. You can quickly send wise words with the Mail app or share a photo on SkyDrive. The apps you use most often are listed first for quick access, and you can choose whether to share with just one person, or with all of your contacts at once.

Sharing the Windows Phone website via Mail with the Share charm

Devices

The Devices charm lets you get to the devices you want to use so you can do things like getting photos from a digital camera, streaming video to your TV, or sending files to a device, all from one place. For example, if you’re watching a movie in the Video app and want to share it with everyone in room, the Devices charm lets you stream a video right to your Xbox to show it on your TV.

Samsung SUR40 for Microsoft Surface 2.0 Now Available for Pre-order!

 

The next generation of Surface, the Samsung SUR40 for Microsoft Surface, is now available for pre-order through Samsung resellers in 23 countries worldwide, including the United States. Automotive, education, finance, healthcare, hospitality, and retail are just some of the industries that will soon be able to take advantage of Samsung SUR40’s PixelSense technology, new, sleeker form factor and horizontal and vertical orientation options. Many new and existing customers, such as Dassault Aviation, Fujifilm Corp. and Royal Bank of Canada, have big plans for the Samsung SUR40 and are preparing to deploy units in locations early next year.

super cool

Building Windows 8 Blog Launched

 

      Now Windows and Windows Live Division President Steven Sinofsky is back in the spotlight, kicking off the inaugural post on Microsoft’s new Building Windows 8 blog. Inspired by the Engineering Windows 7 blog that traced the team’s development of and decision-making around the Windows 7 operating system during its build phase, the new Building Windows 8 blog (or B8, for short) offers developers a voice in the process. I expect the blog will prove a valuable source of insight for developers seeking to grasp the changes Microsoft has implemented as it – and I quote Sinofsky here — "reimagines Windows."

In his post, Sinofsky urged readers to provide input via blog comments or email. As he wrote: "In any case, we’ll work hard to have constructive conversations with you, share the data, and, when the situation calls for it, make thoughtful changes." Microsoft is also maintaining a B8 Twitter feed, @BuildWindows8, to keep subscribers up to date on the latest posts .