Give your feedback for next version of Visual Studio ALM

As in any agile process, the Visual Studio ALM team, prioritize the features and improvements for next versions of the products from the users, as you all know, feedback is an important part of building new versions.

And how can you give your feedback? well there is a UserVoice site they have set up, so you can give your feedback for the next version of:

– Visual Studio Ultimate

– Visual Studio Test and Lab Management

– Team Foundation Server

You can access it here:

Creating Work Items “tickets” (i.e.: for Call Centers) without needing Client Access License for TFS

Hi all, recently I came over a consult of a friend, on a situation he wanted to solve in his company. Basically was that they had a call center, external to them, those who wanted to give access to the Team foundation Server, but only to register and keep track of the Work Items created by the users of the call center (each user their own nothing else).

Posed me questions about, whether to publish Sharepoint portal, digital licensing, etc.

The thing is relatively simple, and we will support in two things, the publication of the website (not the Sharepoint) of Team Foundation Server, that has a url such as http://TFSSERVER:8080/tfs, and an exception in the licensing of TFS, which allowseWe have users, who can create Work Items, and keep track of those (only) Work Items created by them, without having to leave. This exception, from TFS 2010, applied both to internal users and external to the organization.

But we are going step by step, the first thing is to publish the website of TFS, as many already know, TFS is installed in IIS as a web site, Team Foundation Server name, so first thing, and I am not going to explain here, it is to publish this web site, to make it accessible from outside, either HTTP or HTTPS (the most recommended).

The next step is, in the TFS server using the Management Console, (start | Programs | Microsoft Team Foundation Server 2010 |Team Foundation Administration Console), in the Application Tier section, have a link to change the URL:


When you click that link, on the next screen, you will ask the Notification URL and the URL Server, just change the notifications, so that when issuing notifications by email for example, the links to Work Items, etc. point to the external Url. The next step is to add the users you want to have this feature, the Group of Team Foundation Server Work Item Only View Users, do this also from the management console, using the link Group Membership:


On the next screen shows all the global groups in Team Foundation Server, we select the Work Item Only View Users, and click on Properties, select on the next screen Windows user or group:


Already we can, with the Add… button Add call center users, or those who wish, also, from Visual Studio 2010, in the properties of the Team Project that we want to give access, we also have to add these users to the Group of Contributors, so they can connect with the Team Project.

When these users from accessing, you will see the web portal of only management of Work Items, which can only see their own work item:



Several reminders, to do all this, you need to be administrator of TFS, and connect remote TFS server desktop, that the management console can only be used in local.

And, of course, if users have access to source code, reports, documentation, or any other type of information to TFS, this not you worth, because they need a Client Access License (CAL) of TFS 2010.

Installing TFS 2010 and Visual Studio 2010 SP1 on Lab Management environments

As I am sure that almost everyone will remember, recently announced that Service Pack 1 for both Visual Studio 2010, and for Team Foundation Server 2010.

And one of the questions I have received lately, it’s "ok, but I have ridden Management Lab, with several virtual environments, what and where I have to install each service pack (TFS and VS)?"

The answer is simple, in part, so let it.

Team Foundation Server and Team Build 2010

The easy part, is the Team Foundation Server itself where, if we do not have Visual Studio installed on the same server, we only need SP1 for Team Foundation Server. And if we have Visual Studio 2010 also installed, you need the Visual Studio SP1 as well.

This also apply to our servers with Team Build 2010.

Test controller 2010

In our Test Controller 2010, install the Visual Studio 2010 SP1 only (siemppre and when we do not have more components of TFS).

Virtual Environments

This is where we have more work to do, because, depending on the capabilities that we have assigned to our surroundings we have to install either (or both) SP1.

Let’s first recall the capabilities we can allocate our virtual environments:

  1. Ability to execute automated tests through a Test Agent 2010 and Lab Agent.
  2. Ability to execute workflows, to deploy the application using Team Build 2010 and Lab Agent.
  3. Network isolation, to create duplicates and isolated environments at the network level. With Lab Agent.

This should already be a little clearer, so let’s see the three cases:

  1. We just need the Visual Studio 2010 SP1, as it is all part patched client.
  2. We need the Visual Studio 2010 SP1 to patch the Lab Agent, and SP1 of Team Foundation Server 2010 to patch the components of Team Build.
  3. We just need the Visual Studio 2010 SP1 to patch the Lab Agent.

And that’s it, now, encouragement, and to update our environments.

[Slides] Testing in agile teams with Microsoft Test Manager 2010

I hope all the people who came to my session where happy with it, the fact is that all demos worked perfectly, and there were so many people, I’m happy with it, lot of interest around MTM.

Tha bad thing … the event was late in time, and they “inserted” another 10 minutes session (I won’t say anything about this fact, sorry), so our 2h session, ended with only 1h15m, so I didn’t have time to show all the slides and finish the complete demo as slow as I wanted.

But anyway, we are happy with it, and we are happy to announce we are planning a deep dive workshop about Microsoft Test Manager and Lab Management 2010, we will announce the dates soon.

And well, here you have the slides, published in our Testhouse Slideshare:

News: SP1 for Visual Studio and Team Foundation Server 2010 and unlimited Load Testing

Two great news today for MSDN subscribers Smile

First one, the Service Pack 1 for Team Foundation Server and Visual Studio 2010 is available from today, as always, it has some improvements, but also hundred of bug fixes, so, if you are using any of this tool, go to MSDN Download Site, and start downloading them for installing. The SP1 for Visual Studio 2010 also includes bug fixing for Microsoft Test Manager, if you have used it, you will know it has some memory leaks, as well as other bugs.

To check what includes this updates, you can check this links:

And the other great news is a change in the virtual user licensing for MSDN subscribers. Till now if you want to do load testing with more than 250 virtual users, you had to buy additional packs of virtual users license, but now, in your MSDN subscription you have the option of getting a key to access unlimited virtual users for load testing with Visual Studio 2010.

This is the 5th feature pack of Visual Studio 2010, so enjoy it, I’m already enjoying it. Just look for “Visual Studio 2010 Load Test Feature Pack Deployment Guide” on your MSDN Download Site and get the key and instructions to enable it.

[Event] Testing in agile teams with Visual Studio 2010

When we talk about testing in agile environments, we quickly think about unit testing, integration testing, or some more code-level tests, of course, there are teams that already use tools like Selenium, or Cucumber for more functional testing, but doesn’t cover so well al the test cycle.

Recently, with Team Foundation Server 2010, and Visual Studio 2010, we have new tools which cover more scenarios about testing applications, from a functional point of view.

All based in the agile principles we will take a look on how to use the tools in agile teams, taking a look at agile testing concepts like automatize, or the testing quadrants from Brian Marick.

Starting from one of the nearest to agile concepts applied to testing with the exploratory testing, we will learn how to use the tools run the tests and promote communication with the developers with the actionable bugs with rich information for developers, even discovering how developers code changes affects our tests.

We will review how Coded UI tests will help us in the process of automatize the testing effort, so we can go more agile while testing.

At last we will see how to automatize our build-deploy-test cycle with Lab Management, so we can get quicker deliverance of software.

With my new job in Testhouse (well maybe this is topic for another post), as Microsoft ALM Division Manager, I will be the responsible of driving this conference.

And when will this be? it will be on Thursday 9th, in Madrid, during the ALM Sessions 2011, which this year is shared with the Cloud Day, so if you happen to be in Madrid this day, maybe you are interested in coming to see how to do this, you can register and see more info here:

It will be on the second track, from 11:30 to 13:30.

Testing improvements and editing Coded UI tests with Visual Studio 2010 Feature Pack 2

Recently, for MSDN Subscribers, Microsoft has launched the Visual Studio 2010 Feature Pack 2, which, also contains all new features included in the first Feature Pack. It can be downloaded here:

Apart from a lot of improvements in the modeling tools, there are new cool features for testing applications, two big improvements are the support of being able to record one coded UI or manual test in Internet Explorer and playback it in Mozilla Firefox, a really must-have for all web developers, also they have introduced the possibility of test Silverlight 4 applications with coded UI tests or action recordings, cool.

But there is one new tool I have been using these days, the new Coded UI Test Editor. If you have been using coded UI tests, you will know, after creating the tests, doing some changes in them, manually, is almost a pain.

So how can we use this new tool? Ok, in the project we have our coded UI tests, we have a file called UIMap.uitest just double-click this file, or with the right button select open, and it will open a window like this one:


Here we have in the left side, the UI actions recorded and asserts, you can notices the icon difference between them, and, in the right side we have the controls which have been mapped from the recordings.

And what can we do? here you have a complete tutorial of the possibilities of this tools:

This includes options like delete an action we don’t want anymore, divide an action recording into several methods to be more easily maintained, extract one complete method to another class file, rename methods, a lot of things.

But here comes the downsize of this tool, let’s imagine we rename the action “Abrirurl” (sorry for the Spanish), to “OpenURL”, well we are used to refactoring tools inside Visual Studio, but this time, when we choose to rename, it will be only renamed in the UIMap.uitest file, so, we will have to go manually to all UI tests which used that method, and change to the new method name, not so good, as it is a feature (renaming methods) which has been so long in Visual Studio.

It happens also if we decide to break one long recording into several methods, let’s say we have this action recording method:


Almost everyone will agree is a long action recording, and can be more readable i f we break it into several methods, so we right click on any action inside it, and choose Split into a new method:


It will break this method in two, and all the actions from the one we selected will go into a new method, but here is the downsize, in the place we used the original method, we will have to go, and manually, add the call to the newly created method.

It happens with some more options of this tool, but don’t worry too much, the tool will always advise you about this kind of things, so take care to read any pop-up which will appear when using this tool.

Conclusions? Well, I really like this new tool, and all the new advantages of the Feature Pack 2, but take care when using it, as it involves some manual work in some cases, that’s all. Maybe in a future Feature Pack, all this things will be done automatically.

[TFS2010] Change the default action to “Associate” during check-in

Surely many of which you use TFS 2010, and you have the good habit of associating Work Items during the check-in, you have asked more than once if the default action, which is now "Resolve" the Work Item, you can switch to simply "Associate" because many times, with a single check-in, is not enough to close a task or whatever reason is in your case.

Well this is already possible with Team Foundation Server 2010 and Visual Studio 2010, and only need to change the registry key ResolveAsDefaultCheckinAction found in HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Microsoft \ VisualStudio \ 10.0 \ TeamFoundation \ SourceControl \ Behavior, set it to False, and problem solved in the next check-in, when associated with a Work Item, see how now the default action is "associate" instead of "Resolve".

This must be done on any computer with Visual Studio 2010 in which we want this behavior, since it is at the client, not server.


Who am I and what I pretend here

Hello you all, so, if you arrived to this blog, and you only speak English, you will be asking, who is this guy?, I have been writing here for some time, and now I have decided to start writing in English (I have also Spanish blog here).

So, my name is Luis Fraile, and I am a Spanish software developer enthusiast and Microsoft MVP for Visual Studio ALM . so far, I have been  in the software development industry for about 12 years, working as software developer, project manager, trainer, coffe-maker, and so on.

Currently I am a freelancer around Visual Studio ALM, and agile methodologies in general,  so if you are interested you can even contract me, hehe.

Of course my main interests are around it, so you will read here about Team Foundation Server, Visual studio tools, and agile methodologies like Scrum or Kanban. I am very pragmatic however, I firmly believe there are no silver bullets in software development, no tool, no methodology, nothing at all works for all environments, or all teams, so we need to have a creative and critical thinking about everything we learn, and I also think we must always learn for everyone we meet, and for every experience we have.

More or less this is what I do, and what I will write here about, if it is of your interest, great, I really appreciate it.

And now … let’s start.