Continuous Learning and Sharing of Team Foundation Server and Application Lifecycle Management RSS 2.0
# Monday, December 21, 2015

Announcing the immediate release of the new ALM Ranger guidance, Continuous Testing - A practical guide with concepts and approaches.  This guidance provides a great overview of test automation concepts and guidance based on real world experience.  This guidance provides the foundation for establishing your test automation strategy.  Download your copy today.

I’m proud to have served as the project lead for the project and had the honor of working this very talented team.  Thanks to everyone that helped make this quality release especially Willy Schaub and Gopinath Chigakkagari.  Let us know what you think by providing comments and review the release.



Monday, December 21, 2015 10:23:00 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)  #    Comments [0] -
ALM | Automated Testing | Rangers | TFS | Visual Studio Team Services

# Sunday, August 04, 2013

Who says the sequel can’t be as good as the original?  Packed with new features and UX improvements, Version 2 of the ALM Readiness Treasure Map has been released and is available for download in the Windows 8 Store App.  For those of you that are not familiar with the first version, the ALM Readiness Treasure Map is a one stop shop for all of the ALM Ranger content organized so you can quickly find the needed guidance and tooling.  Even as an ALM Ranger, I have found it a challenge keeping track of the all the releases.  This tool makes it really easy to find, read, and track all of the releases.

Some of the improvements in v2 include:

  • Progress Tracking
  • Up-to-date News
  • Updated Ranger Releases
  • Favorites
  • Many UX improvements


One thing I really like is to put the application in snapped mode so you can view the content side-by-side in IE.

Download it today from the Windows 8 Store and let us know what you think through the ratings and comments.

Take a look at the MSDN article from earlier in the year on V1 and Willy’s Reflections for more info.  We have already started on 2.1 so look forward to even more improvements in the future.  I had the opportunity to help out towards the end with some development and testing.  I’m looking forward to continuing helping the next versions.


Sunday, August 04, 2013 8:04:00 PM (Central Daylight Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] -
ALM | Rangers | Windows 8

# Sunday, May 05, 2013


The ALM Rangers heavily leverage the power of Team Foundation Service (TFService) for all of our projects.  While TFSService doesn’t contain all of the features found in on-premises Team Foundation Server, for most projects and applications that we build, the features available within TFService are sufficient.  For this project we are working on the V2 of the ALM Readiness Treasure Map, a Windows 8 Store App.  If you are not familiar with V1, read the article, A Treasure Hunt Through ALM Readiness, in the MSDN magazine and download the app from the Windows 8 Store.  With this project, there are two features that we can’t accomplish with TFSService.  TFService does not include symbol server support.  In addition Windows 8 Store apps cannot be built with Team Foundation Service.  If we were to use an on-premises build server with Team Foundation Service, we could support building the application.  Read the Building and Validating Windows Store Apps with Team Foundation Service article in the April 2013 edition of MSDN Magazine for a great walkthrough on creating an on-premises build server for TFService to build Windows 8 Store apps.

Since we are using a pure TFService solution, we will need to store the symbols, binaries, and the app package in source control for released and internal builds. Below is the solution enabling and using the debug symbols and also storing binaries and packages for release and internal builds.  This is our initial plan and it may evolve as the project progresses.  In addition, hopefully in the future TFService will support both of these features. Be heard and vote for Windows 8 Build Support and Symbol Support on Visual Studio User Voice. As always, we always appreciate your feedback and your ideas for this solution.

Enabling and Using Debug Symbols

Enable full debug symbol information for the release build configuration in addition to the debug build configuration.  This will allow us to have detailed stack information about the error that include line numbers of the errors and debug the application without the source control.


Also ensure that the include public symbols, if any, to enable crash analysis for the app option is checked when creating the app package.


To be able to use the debug symbols within the application, perform the following steps.  The TreasureMap application’s namespace begins with Microsoft, so you need to remove the Microsoft.* exclusion from the options.


Once the symbols have been included, if you wish to debug the issue from production, use Visual Studio to debug the application by choosing Debug Installed App Package… option.


Choose the installed app package to debug


From within Visual Studio, you will be able to hit exceptions and step through the application’s code.


Storing Release Builds

When a release candidate version has been accepted by the Windows app store, take the output from the packaging and binaries and put it into the following folder structure.  Then check-in all of the files into source control as shown below:






Storing Internal Builds

Internal Only releases should be built locally and stored in the Drop folder in TFService.  Use the following folder structure and naming convention.  Under varTreasureMap_Dev, create a new folder using the format [Date].[Build Number]. In this folder, copy and check in the binaries / output from the build into the Binaries folder.  Also create the app package files locally by choosing Project > Store > Create App Packages.  Be sure to choose No when asked if you want to publish to the Windows Store.  After going through the wizard, copy the output to the PackagedOutput folder under the build folder and check in these files.  Send an email to the team letting them know a new internal version is available for side loading to test.


Sunday, May 05, 2013 8:01:00 PM (Central Daylight Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] -
ALM | Rangers | Team Foundation Service | Visual Studio 2012 | Windows 8

# Monday, July 02, 2012

Have you downloaded the latest Visual Studio 2012 RC and Team Foundation Server 2012 RC and looking how to start taking advantage of all of the ALM features?  Look no further then the SIMultaneous SHIPping of the ALM Rangers Visual Studio 2012 RC Readiness wave of releases. This Readiness wave includes a number of guidance and tools to help you get the most out of Visual Studio 2012 RC today.  Download and start utilizing these releases!

Practical Kanban Guide

Practical Ruck Guide

Team Foundation Server Planning Guide

Team Foundation Server Process Template Customization Guide

Team Foundation Build Customization Guide

Team Foundation Server Upgrade Guide

Team Foundation Service Practical Guide

Test Release Management Guide

Visual Studio ALM Rangers Personas and Scenarios

Visual Studio Coded UI Microsoft Word Plug-In

Visual Studio Test Tooling Guide

Visual Studio Lab Management Guide

Visual Studio Quick Reference Guide

Visual Studio Architecture Tooling Guide

VM Factory Guide

and more coming soon!

All of the information is detailed on the Visual Studio ALM + Team Foundation Server blog.

We are trying to reach 500,000 downloads by the end of FY13.  Help yourself to all of this useful and practical information and help the ALM Rangers reach our goal! 

Monday, July 02, 2012 9:30:00 PM (Central Daylight Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] -
ALM | Rangers | Visual Studio 2012

Visual Studio ALM MVP
Microsoft Visual Studio ALM MVP
<May 2016>
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