Maung²'s Technical Adventures

Visual Studio Lab Management Released!

Last week, Microsoft pushed their last piece of ALM 2010 – the Visual Studio 2010 Lab Management, out the door after polishing it to the highest possible quality.  Oh wait! You might be thinking “Didn’t they release VS2010 on 12th April?” Well… you might not be aware that the Lab Management components were left in the beta testing while the engineering team is doing all the necessary performance optimization, at the time VS 2010 and TFS 2010 were RTMed early this year.

What to upgrade

If you already have a VSLM environment setup using pre-release bit; i.e., still using the Lab Management components which were available as at VS 2010 RTM, you may simply upgrade your infrastructure by installing this update on the below machines.

Below is the list of boxes which will require an upgrade if you want to reap the performance and stability benefits of newly released VSLM 2010.

  • Team Foundation Server 2010
  • Build Machine (only if you configured the Build Service on a separate box)
  • Test Controller (only if you configured it on a separate box)
  • All the VM templates and existing VMs in all the Lab Environments (this is where Lab Agents are installed) – good luck!!!
  • And finally the testers’ machines where the Microsoft Test Manager is installed

Why would you upgrade

Beside the performance improvement in several key functional areas of Lab Management, there are three other major improvements which I personally love to see.

  1. Support multiple host-based connections
    This makes troubleshooting of VM startup/shutdown/connectivity issue much easier. RDP-based connection does not allow us to access the virtual OS till the VM is fully launched and ready (client-machine running Test Manager must be able to access the VM via TCP/IP)
  2. Use Expression Encoder to capture video for the manual test runs
    This means we no longer need to rely on the Windows Media Encoder which has been retired in mid-2010.
  3. More meaningful error messages
    Well, I don’t need to elaborate this point. If you have played with beta, RC, and the pre-release bits of VSLM, you exactly knew how it is like to troubleshoot issues related to build workflow, and test agent connectivity, etc.

Still don’t know what I am talking about??? If you have not test-driven the Lab Management before, here is your chance to try out the build-deploy-test experience without having to go through the hassles of setting up the entire infrastructure, AD, SQL, TFS, SharePoint, Hyper-V, SCVMM, and whatnot, all by yourself.

Setting up a new VSLM infrastructure?

With the RTM release of the Lab Management, the updated TFS 2010 DVD ISO, which now includes the RTM bit of VSLM 2010, is available to download from MSDN if you are planning to setup a new TFS cum VSLM environment. I have not seen an updated DVD ISO for VS 2010 Agent as yet and I hope that it will be refreshed so that we won’t have to apply patch – an extra step, in all the new VMs we create.

And I assume we won’t be seeing a refreshed DVD ISO for VS 2010 Ultimate and VS Test Professional 2010 as Microsoft may be assuming everyone (testers and lab administrator running the Test Manager) has Internet connection to download and install the required hotfix. I haven’t seen a hotfix package coming through Windows Update for this KB983578 though.  Test Manager should display the build number - 10.0.30319.344 @ 7/30/2010 12:59:20PM after the successful upgrade.

Also to make sure you read this step-by-step guide (4 parts series) on setting up a new VSLM infrastructure.

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/lab_management/archive/2010/03/29/setting-up-various-topologies-to-test-with-visual-studio-team-lab.aspx

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/lab_management/archive/2010/04/23/setting-up-various-topologies-to-test-with-visual-studio-lab-management-part-2.aspx

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/lab_management/archive/2010/05/07/setting-up-various-topologies-to-test-with-visual-studio-lab-management-part-3.aspx

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/lab_management/archive/2010/06/02/setting-up-various-topologies-to-test-with-visual-studio-lab-management-part-4.aspx

Imagine Cup 2010 Awards Ceremony

IC Awards Ceremony_300X250JPG Join us for Imagine Cup 2010 Awards Ceremony @ Marina Bay Sands, Singapore to root for the young innovators who will represent Singapore at worldwide finals. Awards Presentation by Steve Ballmer, CEO, Microsoft Corporation!

Yes, it will be on the same day and held at the same venue as our Visual Studio 2010 Launch event!

See you there!

Posted: May 04 2010, 01:54 PM by MaungMaung | with no comments
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Announcing SQL Server 2008 R2 RTM

imageWe are pleased to announce the release of SQL Server 2008 R2 - the industry’s most complete information platform for managing, accessing and delivering information today.

Built on SQL Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 R2 delivers higher mission-critical scale, more efficient IT, and expanded reporting and analytics through self-service business intelligence. SQL Server 2008 R2 introduces two new premium editions to meet the needs of large scale datacenters and data warehouses.

  • SQL Server 2008 R2 Datacenter
  • SQL Server 2008 R2 Parallel Data Warehouse

SQL Server 2008 R2 and new premium editions showcase continued commitment to mission-critical workloads, providing key enhancements in this release including:

  • Managed self-service business intelligence for reporting and analysis
  • Enterprise-class scalability and greater IT efficiency
  • Platform integration spanning the datacenter to the cloud

Take a digital tour of what’s new and cool with SQL 2008 R2 now.  If you have guts, go ahead and download the full-version English evaluation and give it a spin.

And not forgetting the free e-book on SQL Server 2008 R2.

Join SQL Server Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/sqlserver

Silverlight 4 Launch Together with Visual Studio 2010

Scott Guthrie will launch Silverlight 4 at the DevConnections/ASP.NET and Silverlight Conference in Las Vegas on April 12 - 14. And this event is the global launch of not just Silverlight 4, but also Visual Studio 2010 and .NET 4.0! In other words, it's the perfect place to dive into Silverlight 4 and how it's supported in Visual Studio 2010 - not to mention all the improvements in ASP.NET 4.0, AJAX, and MVC 2.

You can also find out more about the Visual Studio 2010 Global Launch events from http://www.microsoft.com/visualstudio/en-us/visual-studio-events.  The nearest launch event for us would be at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.  At the KL launch event, Dave Mendlen – Senior Director Developer Tools will be sharing with us the new and exciting features in VS 2010 and how these enable us to develop scalable and high quality solutions more effectively and efficiently.

Putting all these exciting launch events aside, the not-so-cool thing is that Silverlight 4 developer tools will only be released as out-of-band product; i.e., the Silverlight 4 designer and tooling will not be baked into Visual Studio 2010 installer. :(

Considering that we are 12 days away from the launch, if you still do not know what’s new with Silverlight 4, shame on you.  Go ahead and spend 10 min of your time browsing the Silverlight 4 contents from http://www.silverlight.net/learn/.

Follow-up from March UG Meeting Silverlight 4 Talk

Thanks for spending the evening with us at the UG gathering to learn more about Silverlight 4 and Bing Map capabilities.  As promised during the talk, here I am sharing the resources to get you up to speed with developing the line of business application using Silverlight 4.

Silverlight_h_rgb

Get the latest Silverlight 4 runtime and tools for Visual Studio 2010 RC, Expression Blend 4 Beta, and the Control Toolkit from the below site. You can also find many links to a series of videos, guides and documentation on Silverlight 4.

http://silverlight.net/getstarted/silverlight-4/

Here is the link to the “must-try” Silverlight 4 Line of Business Application Development Hands-on Lab - comprehensive and 108 pages step-by-step guide, published by Swiss DPE team.

http://blogs.msdn.com/swiss_dpe_team/archive/2010/01/19/hands-on-lab-silverlight-4-line-of-business-application-using-wcf-ria-services.aspx

You probably have heard from MIX10 that Silverlight is now supported on Windows Phone 7 Series; in fact, it is the de-facto development platform for the next generation of smart device applications.  Find out more about Silverlight on Windows Phone 7 Series here. http://developer.windowsphone.com/windows-phone-7-series/

Silverlight Rough Cut Editor

Do you want to empower your editorial and creative teams to speed up the process of content creation by assembling rough cuts before passing them on to final post-production?

Do you need to be able to produce highlights of live events in near real-time?

Do you need to simply replace ads for redistribution of content through a different channel, or simply insert markers, comments and custom meta-data for better coordination between production and post-production teams, broadcasters in specific, and media organizations?

Now, you can do that at ease with the newly released, cross-platform, web-based, open-source, Microsoft Silverlight Rough Cut Editor (RCE)!

The Microsoft Silverlight Rough Cut Editor has the following capabilities:

  • Assemble & edit video, audio, images and XAML overlays with time code accurate control.
  • Search & filtering capabilities
    • Can be integrated with existing DAM systems
  • Clip trimming (Mark In/ Mark Out)
  • Edge clip trimming on Timeline
  • Comments insertion
  • Ad Opportunities insertions
  • Markers insertions
  • Easy to use user interface
    • Three skins to choose from
    • Ability to customize look and feel
  • Titles (lower third titles, title cards or simple credits)
  • Output generation
    • XML format
    • Can be integrated with encoding systems
  • Assets Metadata Display
    • Customizable metadata to accommodate existing customer metadata
  • Load/Save projects.
  • Support for VOD/Live true HD smooth streaming content
    • Slow Motion, Fast Forward, Rewind, Frame by Frame
  • Supports multiple audio tracks
  • Standard Player Controls
    • Pay, Pause, Stop, Rewind, Forward
    • Move to Start,  Move to End.
    • Frame Forward / Frame Backward
  • Common Timeline Operations
    • Split, Mark In / Mark Out, Undo / Redo, Frame-by-Frame
  • Extensible architecture allows to
    • Add new features
    • Remove existing features.
    • Replace out of the box services with custom implementations

Here is a sample screenshot of what a Rough Cut Editor looks like.

clip_image001

If you want to deploy the Microsoft Silverlight Rough Cut Editor with your customization of look and feel, integrate it with your own infrastructure such as DAM or Encoding systems, or even extend it to meet other custom requirements, the binaries, source code, and documentation are in the process to be published to http://rce.codeplex.com/ and http://code.msdn.microsoft.com/RCE.

Pex & Moles

I know this exactly sounds like an upcoming 3D animation movie title.  Sadly Gladly, no, it is not!

Pex and Moles are two new Visual Studio 2010 Power Tools, which were released from Microsoft Research, to help you with unit testing .NET applications. 

Pex automatically generates test suites with high code coverage. Right from the Visual Studio code editor, Pex finds interesting input-output values of your methods, which you can save as a small test suite with high code coverage. Microsoft Pex is a Visual Studio add-in for testing .NET Framework applications.

Moles allows you to replace any .NET method with a delegate. Moles supports unit testing by providing isolation by way of detours and stubs.  Because Moles works at the method level, it offers an alternative to mocking when the target API does not support it.  SharePoint is a popular example of an API that benefits from isolation, but does not directly support mocking.  Moles can also be used for fault injection, as it makes it easy to inject arbitrary behavior on your code under test.

Pex is available for commercial use for MSDN subscribers. The Pex installer includes Moles. Moles is also available separately for commercial use without requiring an MSDN subscription. In addition, a version of Pex is available for academic and non-commercial use.  Here is the link to the download page- http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/projects/pex/downloads.aspx.   You can read more about the tools at the following sites.

If you have questions, comments or suggestions, please use the Pex & Moles forums at http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/pex/threads/.

Hooray... one more added MSDN Subscription benefit!

Mobile is Dead – Long Live Windows Phone!

Happy Lunar New Year to all!

Have you been enjoying your holidays?  You might have missed out the great news of Microsoft’s next-generation Windows Phone – Windows Phone 7 Series.  Yes, that’s correct, the word “Mobile” no longer exists and suffix “Series” is must for a full product name.

WP_7_Grn_v_rgb At Mobile World Congress 2010 on 15th February 2010, Microsoft announces its new strategy and show off the new UI with integrated experiences of Windows Phone.

See it for yourself what is cool and new with Windows Phone 7 Series here.

But we have yet to talk about the development platform for the applications and games for Windows Phone 7 Series and we are leaving it till Game Developer’s Conference and MIX 10 – both happening in coming March 2010.

Follow @ckindel on Twitter and subscribe to his blog; when we have something to say he’ll be one of the first to say it. So, make sure you are the one who gets the updates first, too ;)

Announcing Visual Studio 2010 & .NET Framework 4 Release Candidates

Today, Microsoft ships Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4 Release Candidates and RC bits are currently made available to MSDN Subscribers.

They will be available for public download from 10th Feb onwards.  Stay tuned for the public download here.

After trying out the release candidates, please spend a moment to give us your valuable feedback through our survey site below.

image

Have fun exploring what you can do with Visual Studio 2010 and how you can be a  better developer!

Updated (10-Feb-2010): For the existing beta 2 testers, here is one of the motivation factors to try the RC.

Updated (12-Feb-2010): For the existing TFS 2010 Beta 2 users, here is the upgrade guide written by Bryan  Krieger.

Updated (17-Feb-2010): Training Kit is updated for Visual Studio 2010 Release Candidate, too.

Follow-up from February UG Meeting Lab Management Talk

I had a great evening sharing how Visual Studio Lab Management 2010 helps reduce the overhead of setting up multi-tier test environment, raises the quality bar of your software by eliminating “no-repro” bugs, and enables frequent software releases for testing/user preview with its end-to-end build automation.  I hope the audience has also witnessed how a tester can use the Test Manager 2010 to perform the manual testing and report a rich bug – attaching video, IntelliTrace log file, and system information, etc., to the developer. 

The PowerPoint deck used during my talk is attached in this blog post.

image

Those who want to learn more about installation and configuration of Visual Studio Lab Management 2010, you may want to visit this site - http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/vstudio/ee712698.aspx.  As mentioned during my talk, Lab Management team blog is something you shouldn’t miss out if you want to get latest updates and learn the tips and tricks about how to work with the product.

Not forgetting that Hyper-V and System Center Virtual Machine Manager play an important role in providing virtualized environment for Lab Management 2010.  Learn more about these technologies from the below links.

Virtualization with Hyper-V: http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/en/us/hyperv-main.aspx

SCVMM on TechNet: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/scvmm/default.aspx

SCVMM team blog: http://blogs.technet.com/scvmm/

Happy testing and fixing bugs!

Updated Visual Studio 2010 Launch Countdown Gadget

Rob Caron revealed the revised VS 2010 launch date in his short and sweet blog post.  Visual Studio 2010, originally targeted to be on March 22, 2010, is now set to officially released on April 12, 2010.

Here I am sharing my updated countdown gadget which I promised in my earlier blog post.  As of writing this post, below is what my countdown gadget shows me.

image

Happy waiting while coding in Beta 2!

More Visual Studio 2010 Guidance Packages on CodePlex

Last week, I blogged about the Visual Studio 2010 Quick Reference Guidance released by the Visual Studio ALM Rangers team.  The same team has released the Visual Studio 2010 Team Foundation Server (TFS) Requirements Management Guidance and also updated the version control branching guide previously released for TFS 2008 to use the latest TFS 2010.

Requirements Management Guidance

This package focuses on the People, Process, and Technology guidance for Requirements Engineering (RE) using Team Foundation Server. The goal of this guidance is to provide formalized Microsoft field experience in the form of recommended procedures and processes, Visual Studio Team System and Team Foundation Server configurations, and skill development references for the Requirements Engineering discipline of your application lifecycle.

Go get your copy of Visual Studio 2010 Team Foundation Server Requirements Management Guidance from CodePlex now!

Branching Guide

As you probably knew, branching and merging of source code for an enterprise project environment is no trivial matter. This guide focuses on applied and practical examples of branching that anyone can apply whether or not Team Foundation Server is the version control repository.  This updated 2010 release includes discussions around branching concepts and strategies but also focuses on practical hands-on labs (and yes, you will need Team Foundation Server 2010 for this hands-on labs)

Go get your copy of Visual Studio Team Foundation Server Branching Guide 2010 from CodePlex now!

Rangers shipped Visual Studio 2010 Quick Reference Guidance

Visual Studio ALM Rangers team has published the Visual Studio 2010 Quick Reference Guide on CodePlex.  The package includes posters and overview documents to keep you updated with various aspects of ALM capabilities provided in Visual Studio 2010 and TFS 2010.  Cheat sheets  in this package are good discussion topics for your 5-min coffee breaks with your techie colleagues.

What is in the package?
The download package consist of three seperate ZIP files containing a number of quick reference posters and quick reference sheets in XML Paper Specification (XPS) format:

  • Visual Studio 2010 Quick Reference Guidance – Overview (Default Download)
    • An overview of the guidance and focus areas, contained in one index table and overview quick reference poster.
  • Visual Studio 2010 Quick Reference Guidance – Basic Guidance
    • A collection of basic guidance sheets, focusing on the “what” are the key features and “why” to consider them.
  • Visual Studio 2010 Quick Reference Guidance – Supporting Guidance
    • A set of documents and quick reference posters, supporting the basic guidance sheets.

Kudos to Steven van Niekerk (Technical Lead / Architect, BB&D South-Africa) who initiated this unusual project with his question “Can you tell me about TFS and VSTS in 5 minutes?”, Willy-Peter Schaub who lead this Ranger project with many other unsung heroes (including MVPs) who have contributed to this guidance in one way or another.

Santa Brought TFS 2010 Virtual Machine this Christmas!

For those who want to try Visual Studio Ultimate and Team Foundation Server 2010 but didn’t have the time or resources to set it up, here is a little something from the Santa!

clip_image001Visual Studio ALM Team has released a VM which includes everything you will need to evaluate and learn the ALM capabilities of Visual Studio 2010 Beta 2 (with the exception of Lab Management) this Christmas. So, staying home and not out for partying to count down the New Year 2010 is not a bad thing after all.

This VM is made available in the virtualization platform of your choice (Hyper-V, Virtual PC 2007 SP1, and Windows [7] Virtual PC). Hyper-V is highly recommended for its performance benefits and snapshot capabilities. These images will effectively expire on April 9, 2010 when the SQL Server Trial expires. You will also receive Windows activation messages while using this VM – this is because of the way Windows Server 2008 trial behaves and is to be expected, and you can ignore / cancel these activation dialogs when prompted. If you want to get rid of these activation warnings you can activate the image using your own product key (e.g. from your MSDN Subscription). You may want to do the same for the copy of Office which is installed.

Here are links to the VMs with the various virtualization platforms.  You only need to get one as per your choice of platform.

Visual Studio 2010 Beta 2 (Hyper-V)
Visual Studio 2010 Beta 2 (Windows [7] Virtual PC)
Visual Studio 2010 Beta 2 (Virtual PC 2007 SP1)

And don’t forget to check out Brian Keller’s post on how to use a download manager to grab these files in a faster and more robust manner.

To get you up to speed with Visual Studio and Team Foundation Server 2010 enhancements, Brian has also posted a preliminary set of 7 hands-on-labs (compatible with this VM) on his SkyDrive.  Stay tuned as there are more in the works. Note that each lab/demo is designed to work in isolation from the other labs, so be sure to have a rollback strategy in place (VPC undo disk / Hyper-V snapshots) prior to working on a lab. To download these labs please visit http://cid-8c96cc4d0756cacb.skydrive.live.com/browse.aspx/Public/Blog%20Attachments/2010%20Beta%202%20Labs?uc=3 (you can click on “Download as ZIP file” to grab everything at once). These labs will be making their way into a refresh of the Visual Studio 2010 Training Kit soon.

Wishing all of you a Merry Christmas & a Blessed New Year !!!

and ... Happy Holidays !!!

PS: For those who have not gotten over with Visual Studio Team System 2008, we have also released the updated version of VMs with the extended expiry date - January 31, 2011.

Visual Studio Team Suite 2008 + Team Foundation Server 2008 (Hyper-V)
Visual Studio Team Suite 2008 + Team Foundation Server 2008 (VPC 2007 SP1)
Team Foundation Server 2008 ONLY (Hyper-V)
Team Foundation Server 2008 ONLY (VPC 2007 SP1)

Visual Studio 2010 Launch Delayed!

Visual Studio 2010 was set to be released on 22nd March 2010 and the news was announced during the SharePoint Conference 2009

Last week, S. Somasegar - Senior Vice President, Developer Division announced in his blog post that the launch has been pushed back by a few weeks as the engineering team needs some time to address the reported performance issue relating to virtual memory usage.  The good news is that there will be a public Release Candidate (RC) of Visual Studio 2010 with a broad “go live” license in Feb 2010 timeframe for us to have another round of preview and provide feedback before it goes live.

So, I will be updating my Visual Studio 2010 Launch countdown gadget once the new release date is announced from the product team.

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