Build v.Next–What do we know?

Visual-Studio-2015As announced at Microsoft’s Connect(); event a couple of weeks ago, the company is working on several enhancements to their ALM stack. One of the changes announced is a major overhaul to their build system, currently referred to as Build v.Next. Although pieces of the new build functionality has been demoed on stage, we do not yet have access to the bits to try things out for ourselves.

With that said, what do we know today about Build v.Next?

DISCLAIMER: The details below have been gleaned from various Connect(); sessions and blog posts. The bits demoed are in an early, pre-release stage, and are subject to change before being released to the public. The screenshots shown below are sourced from Connect(); sessions.

One of the first things you’ll notice with Build v.Next is that you can create your build definitions completely within Visual Studio Online (VSO). In the image below, you can see there are currently five build templates available.

Build v.Next-2

Much like TeamCity (a competing build product from JetBrains), in Build v.Next, you assemble a build definition by adding a sequence of tasks to be executed in sequence. You can see a subset of some of the build tasks that are currently available in the screenshot below.

Build v.Next-3

The build tasks provided out of the box by Microsoft will be open sourced with plans to accept tasks from the community as well. There have been multiple attempts over the past several years, with varying success, to create a community around XAML/Workflow-build activities. However, these attempts have never seen the same type of success as seen by other communities, such as the one built up around Jenkins – which currently sports over 1,000 plugins!

Also new, will be the ability to view differences between versions of your build definitions:

Build v.Next-5

Although you can currently view differences between versions of the underlying XAML that comprises a build definition in Team Foundation Server today (assuming you track your XAML in version control), it is not a good experience. The XML that makes up the XAML is constantly changing (e.g. as you move things around on the XAML design surface) which makes it very difficult to “diff” only what’s important between versions. Having the ability to view changes built directly into the build system will be a huge time saver.

In case I haven’t made it obvious to this point – Build v.Next  DOES NOT UTILIZE XAML in your build definitions! However, all your existing XAML/Workflow-based builds will continue to run just as they do today. The two build systems can exist in harmony, side-by-side.

Once you start a build, you will now be able to view the build log in real-time directly from within VSO:

Build v.Next-6

With Build v.Next, you will also be able to share all your build agents across team projects and team project collections (TPC). No longer will you need a dedicated controller for each TPC.

Adding to that, the new Build v.Next agents are cross platform compatible so you can run your builds on Windows-, Mac- or Linux-based machines (or a combination of all three). The cross-platform build agent is based on Node.js and, therefore, will run anywhere Node.js runs. This means that you will now be able to build your Java/Android, Mac or iOS apps using VSO.

One last bit of information that is known at this point… Build v.Next can also be used to build source code that lives outside of VSO. For example, in the Connect(); demos, GitHub is shown as being an available repository type. Currently, GitHub is the only non-VSO repository type shown but I can only assume there will be others.

Finally, Brian Harry stated, in his Connect(); keynote, that he hopes to have a public preview available early next year. I, for one, am definitely looking forward to these new features within VSO and TFS. How about you?

You can watch and read more here:

  • Connect(); – Day 1 – Evolving software engineering practices (Build v.Next demo starts at ~37:00)
  • Brian HarryNews from Connect(); – Toward the end of the post under “Sneak peek – Updated build service”
Posted in Build v.Next, Visual Studio Online | Leave a comment

MSDN Subscriptions and Pluralsight

As announced at Microsoft’s Connect(); event last week, MSDN subscription benefits now include access to Pluralsight training. Depending upon your MSDN subscription level, you get a set number of curated Pluralsight courses, for 12 months, as follows:

MSDN Subscription Level Pluralsight Courses
Professional 10
Premium 20
Ultimate 30

You also get access to the more advanced Pluralsight features such as offline viewing via mobile apps, pre- and post-course assessments, downloadable course exercise files, and course discussion forums.

To sign up for your Pluralsight benefits using your MSDN subscription, go to: http://aka.ms/mymsdnbenefits.

Once you sign in, you’ll be greeted with a page similar to the following:

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Click on Activate your Pluralsight benefits and you will be taken to Pluralsight’s landing page for MSDN benefits.

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Under Course Catalog you will see the list of courses available to you. Expanding Visual Studio and ALM will display the following list:

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Since I have an Ultimate MSDN subscription, I see a total of 30 courses listed if I expand all categories. I can only assume that if you have a Professional or Premium subscription then you’ll see a total of 10 and 20 courses, respectively.

To complete the activation of your benefits, click on the Activate your Pluralsight benefits button on the above screen. This will take you to Pluralsight’s web site where you can register.

If you decide that the curated set of courses is not enough for you, you can also get a 15% discount on the full course library as well.

For links to the Pluralsight mobile apps, click here. It’s worth noting that this page lists apps for PC/Mac, iPhone, iPad, Android Table, Android Phone, and Windows Phone. It does not include a link to the Windows Store app but searching for Pluralsight in the Windows Store brings it up for you.

If you’re lucky enough to have an MSDN subscription then your benefits have just gotten better!

Posted in General News, Training | 3 Comments

What Features are in Visual Studio Community 2013?

In case you missed it, Microsoft announced a new, FREE version of Visual Studio at their Connect(); event this past Wednesday – Visual Studio Community 2013. This is a brand new edition that will likely replace the Express SKUs available today.

You can use the Community edition for FREE in the following scenarios:

  • Any individual developer can use Visual Studio Community to create their own free or paid apps.
  • An unlimited number of users within an organization can use Visual Studio Community for the following scenarios: in a classroom learning environment, for academic research, or for contributing to open source projects.
  • For all other usage scenarios: In non-enterprise organizations, up to 5 users can use Visual Studio Community. In enterprise organizations (meaning those with >250 PCs or > $1MM in annual revenue), no use is permitted beyond the open source, academic research, and classroom learning environment scenarios described above.

As for features, well, Visual Studio Community 2013 is essentially the Visual Studio Professional 2013 edition with usage restrictions listed above.

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You can view the full list of features for the Professional edition here. This page will display the following breakout:

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Expand each section to get an idea of the specific features included.

What’s abundantly clear is that Visual Studio Community 2013 is a full-featured IDE that provides you with all the tools necessary for building some outstanding customer experiences.

You can download Visual Studio Community 2013 for free at http://www.visualstudio.com/.

Happy coding!

Posted in Visual Studio 2013 | Leave a comment

Getting Started with Microsoft’s Dev. Tools for FREE!

free-codeSo you’ve decided you want to get into software development for the first time or, maybe, you currently develop software for non-Microsoft/Windows platforms (e.g. Java/Android, Objective-C/iOS, etc.) but you are concerned the cost of development tools might be insurmountable. Well, I have some great news for you… you can actually get started developing using Microsoft development tools for NO cost – i.e. totally FREE!

Let me show you how…

Get an IDE!

The first tool you need to acquire is an Integrated Development Environment or, IDE. There is no better IDE on the planet than Microsoft’s very own Visual Studio. Visual Studio comes in various editions along with various features (in general, the higher the cost for the edition, the more features you get). As of yesterday, Microsoft announced a brand new edition for Visual Studio – Visual Studio Community 2013. The great thing about this edition is that it is completely FREE!

Visual-Studio-2015

You can use the Community edition for FREE in the following scenarios:

  • Any individual developer can use Visual Studio Community to create their own free or paid apps.
  • An unlimited number of users within an organization can use Visual Studio Community for the following scenarios: in a classroom learning environment, for academic research, or for contributing to open source projects.
  • For all other usage scenarios: In non-enterprise organizations, up to 5 users can use Visual Studio Community. In enterprise organizations (meaning those with >250 PCs or > $1MM in annual revenue), no use is permitted beyond the open source, academic research, and classroom learning environment scenarios described above.

When you look at the above restrictions, it’s actually very generous for the average developer out there creating applications outside the enterprise.

As far as features go, there’s no shortage. Essentially, the Community edition contains the same features as Visual Studio Professional 2013. Nice! With Visual Studio Community 2013, you can create the following types of applications:

  • Web Services and Apps
  • Windows Store apps
  • Desktop (e.g. WPF) apps
  • Console apps
  • Windows Phone apps
  • Cross-platform Mobile Apps for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone apps using Apache Cordova which is provided out of the box with Visual Studio

You can read more about Visual Studio Community 2013 here.

Protect, Plan and Collaborate!

You might be creating your apps by yourself or you might be collaborating with other developers. Regardless, you will want to protect your source code (and related artifacts) in a version control system. Visual Studio Online (VSO) provides you with a first-class version control system, and much more! As with the Visual Studio IDE, there is also a FREE plan for VSO.

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The FREE offering of VSO provides the following features:

  • 5 FREE Basic user licenses
    • View and customize dashboards
    • Create and edit work items
    • Code repos (using Git or Team Foundation Version Control repos)
    • Manage backlogs
    • Sprint planning
    • Task and Kanban boards
    • Code comments on changesets/commits
    • Build automation (CI)
    • View portfolio backlogs
  • Unlimited Stakeholder licenses
    • View dashboards
    • Create and edit work items
    • Task and Kanban boards (read only)
  • Unlimited team projects and private code repos
  • 60 minutes/month of build
  • 15K virtual user minutes/month of load testing
  • PREVIEW for application monitoring and analytics

VSO provides you with a great place to store and version your source code, track user stories, tasks and bugs, automate your builds, etc. There is a ton of features made available by VSO for no cost!

You can read more about the cost and benefits of VSO here.

To the Cloud!

It’s all well and good to build apps but, if you’re providing web services (or web sites) that need to be accessed by other apps (or users) then you’ll need a place to host these services and sites – preferably at no cost (since we want to get started for FREE!) Well, once again, Microsoft does not disappoint with Microsoft Azure!

microsoft_azure

As with the above services, Microsoft offers a subset of features within Azure for FREE (some limitations apply). These include:

  • Web Sites – you can create and publish up to 10 web sites for FREE within Azure.
  • Mobile Services – you can run up to 10 Mobiles Services with a 20 MB SQL database for FREE.
  • Notification Hubs – you can send up to 1,000,000 Pushes per month for FREE.

With the FREE services provided in Azure, you can be up and running in the cloud in no time. The Azure integration in Visual Studio is also excellent.

You can read more about Azure and get started by creating a FREE account here.

Sidebar

If you happen to have an MSDN subscription (not free but, if you have one, then…) you have access to more Azure features because you get a certain amount of money to spend toward Azure services each month. For example, based on your MSDN subscription level, you get the following “allowance” (USD) per month:

Extension, Extensions, and More Extensions!

One of the great features of Visual Studio is its extensibility. This allows other developers to create reusable tools, controls and templates that can be uploaded to the Visual Studio Gallery where they can be searched and downloaded by other developers. Some of these extensions are offered for a premium but the vast majority of them are offered for FREE!

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As of this writing, there are 5,115 extensions in the Gallery. If you have a need for a particular tool or component in Visual Studio, before you set out to write it yourself, check the Gallery first. You just might find what you’re after.

You can also access the gallery directly from within Visual Studio by clicking on Tools->Extensions and Updates:

image

Free Components and Libraries!

Along with the need to extend Visual Studio, sometimes (lots of times) you will have the need for a custom library or framework to simplify, or speed up, the task of writing code. Fortunately, there is a strong community around .NET that can be leveraged from within Visual Studio.

This community provides a plethora of components via NuGet packages. The default location for obtaining NuGet packages is nuget.org. As of this writing, there are just over 29,000 unique NuGet packages available!

There are multiple ways to pull NuGet packages into your Visual Studio projects directly from within Visual Studio. One of the ways of doing this is to simply click on Tools->NuGet Package Manager->Manage NuGet Packages for Solution. This will display a window similar to this:

image

From here, you can select alternate NuGet sources or search for specific packages. For example, searching for the term “AngularJS” will return multiple packages for working with AngularJS in your web applications.

FREE Training, Please!

You now have access to a great set of tools, libraries, and example source code… but what if you want to jump into some training on a specific subject? Is there anywhere you can go for FREE training? Well, there are a few options…

  • Microsoft Virtual Academy – Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA) offers free training on many topics, including development, for FREE! You can create custom training plans and track your progress, all from within the MVA website. Be sure and check this resource out, it’s outstanding!
  • Code School – if you prefer a more hands-on approach, then check out Code School’s offerings. Although they do have a premium (i.e. not free) program, they do offer many courses for FREE. This is a great resource for trying things out directly in your browser as you learn about them.
  • Pluralsight – Pluralsight provides great self-paced, on-line training for a premium. However, they do offer on occasion, some FREE courses.

There are many other training resources on line but these will get your started on the road toward mastering software development.

Summary

As you can see, there is a LOT you can do with Microsoft’s development tools for FREE! Although we covered a lot in this post, there are a lot more FREE components and other resources available on the web. Check out popular open source sites such as GitHub and CodePlex to find example projects, libraries, and frameworks.

Happy developing!

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Connect(“Day 1 Recap”);

Yesterday, Microsoft streamed live its first ever Connect(); event.

imageConnect(); is a cloud-first, mobile-first, code-first virtual event focused on current and future technologies for developers creating applications across a variety of platforms. Build on your current skills, unleash your creativity, and expand what’s possible to deliver unprecedented innovations.

If you didn’t have a chance to watch the live streaming of Microsoft’s Connect(); event yesterday, you can watch the session videos here – http://aka.ms/connectondemand.

You can watch day 2’s live stream here: http://aka.ms/connect

The Announcements

There were lots of great announcements yesterday. Here is a summarized version of most of them:

  • OSS – The .NET Core Framework stack is now open source!
  • Cross-Platform: Microsoft commits to providing an official .NET Core Framework distribution for Linux and the Mac operating system (read more)
  • Visual Studio Community 2013 edition – a new, free version of Visual Studio that supports all project types and extensions. This version is completely free for the following scenarios:
    • Any individual developer working on a commercial or non-commercial project
    • Any developer contributing to an open source project
    • Anyone in an academic research or course setting (e.g. students, teachers, classroom, online course)
    • Any non-enterprise organization with 5 or fewer developers working on a commercial/non-commercial project together
    • Read more and download at www.visualstudio.com.
  • Visual Studio and Team Foundation Server 2013 Update 4 – Update 4 (RTW) is now available for download here.
  • Visual Studio 2015 and .NET 2015 Public Preview – a public preview of the next version of Visual Studio and the .NET Framework are now available for download here.
  • Release Management for VSO – Microsoft’s Release Management tool now provides support for Visual Studio Online.
  • CodeLens – CodeLens, a Visual Studio Ultimate 2013 Update 4 feature (and later), now supports Visual Studio Online projects.
  • “Smart Unit Tests” – a new feature integrated into Visual Studio 2015 that can be used to inspect your code and generate tests that exercise all branches of your code.
  • Git Improvements – several enhancements have been made to improve the Git experience in Visual Studio 2015.
  • Web-Based Editing – (coming soon) you will now have the ability to edit files directly within the Visual Studio Online (web) interface. This will make the editing of Markdown files extremely easy in VSO.
  • Build v.Next – (coming soon) a new, web-based, cross-platform build service was demoed. The web-based interface is much simpler to use than the current XAML/Workflow-based build system (no more Workflow!)… you “compose” a build definition by selecting from a set of available tasks and setting the respective parameters accordingly. If you’ve worked in other build systems such as TeamCity or Jenkins, it will be an easy transition. The new build agents will support Linux and Mac operating systems as well (yes, you will be able to create VSO-based builds that can build your Android and iOS apps!)
  • Code Search – (coming soon) a new code search feature (finally!) is being built into Visual Studio Online. This capability is built on top of Elasticsearch and provides “smart” search options – e.g. the ability to search in class names only, methods only, comments, specific file types, etc.

Although this covers the majority of yesterday’s vast list of announcements, there are a ton of details behind each of these. I’ll be writing more about the new features in the coming weeks. Lots of great stuff here!

Remember, you can catch today’s sessions live here: http://aka.ms/connect

Posted in Conferences, Events | Leave a comment

Microsoft Connect(); What’s Up Microsoft’s Sleeves?

image

Do you make use of Microsoft’s developer tools and/or Azure – or, are you simply interested in what Microsoft might have up their sleeve for up-coming releases? If you answered yes then you definitely do not want to miss this week’s (FREE) Connect(); on-line event!

Connect(); is a cloud-first, mobile-first, code-first virtual event focused on current and future technologies for developers creating applications across a variety of platforms. Build on your current skills, unleash your creativity, and expand what’s possible to deliver unprecedented innovations.

The event will be held on-line this Wednesday and Thursday, November 12th & 13th. Here is the full agenda (times are in Eastern Standard Time):

image

Visit http://aka.ms/connect for full details where you can also add each day’s sessions to your calendar.

Posted in Conferences, General News | Leave a comment

Visual Studio/TFS 2013 Update 4 RC Available

imageIn case you missed it, Visual Studio 2013 Update 4 RC (Release Candidate) is now available for download. Also, this is a “go-live” release which means you can use this update in production environments and there will be a supported upgrade path from the RC to the final release (RTM) version.

What’s in Update 4?

You can view the details of this release here along with some of the ALM-specific improvements here, and web-specific enhancements here. However, here are some of the highlights:

  • CodeLens improvements
  • Lots of updates to Release Management
  • Review and merge code with Git pull requests
  • New lightweight chart features in TFS
  • Improved JSON editor
  • Better JavaScript IntelliSense when loading modules with RequireJS
  • Support for SQL Server 2014
  • Much more…

Download Links

  • Visual Studio 2013 with Update 4 RC – the Visual Studio 2013 Update 4 download is currently available via web installer only. See Creating a Full Installation Set below for instructions on how to obtain the full set of installation files.
  • Team Foundation Server 2013 with Update 4 RC – the TFS installation is available via a web installer or as a disk image (ISO).
  • Other products are available for update as well. Click on the Visual Studio 2013 with Update 4 RC link above and then click on the Details button to see a list of other products that can be updated.

Creating a Full Installation Set

The Visual Studio 2013 Update 4 is available as a web installer (1.8MB); However, you can run the installer with the /layout switch if you would like to download the entire set of installation files (e.g. to install the update on multiple machines while downloading it only once).

For example, press Windows+R and enter: {path}\VS2013.4 RC.exe /layout(replacing {path} with the download path where the installer has been saved) and press Enter. This will cause the setup program to prompt you for a download location:

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For the Visual Studio 2013 Update 4 RC, the complete file set takes up about 5.5GB of disk space.

Posted in TFS 2013, Visual Studio 2013 | 1 Comment

Mastering Multiple Desktops in Windows 10

Some Quick Background Information

For years, Windows has had the ability to easily switch between running applications by pressing the ALT+TAB key combination. As one would expect, this still works, just as it always has, in the Windows 10 Preview. Also, since Windows Vista, the WIN+TAB key combination provided an alternate view for switching among tasks – one that takes advantage of hardware graphics acceleration.

image

What’s New in Windows 10

With Windows 10, there is also now an option of creating and switching among multiple desktop configurations. Firstly, to create an additional desktop, you can press WIN+CTRL+D. Doing so will create a new, “empty”, desktop and immediately switch over to it.

To switch between desktops, press WIN+TAB. This opens the new Task View and displays a list of open desktops from which you can select one.

image

Use the LEFT/RIGHT arrow keys to navigate among the open apps for the selected desktop. Pressing ENTER (with a particular app selected) will take you directly to that app. Press TAB to jump to the desktop images at the bottom of the screen. Pressing ENTER on a particular desktop will take you directly to that desktop. You can also click on the “+” icon at the bottom of the screen to create an additional desktop (if you prefer to use the mouse over the keyboard shortcuts).

Note: I do not know what the maximum number of desktops is that can be created. The list of desktop images at the bottom of the screen is limited to about 9 1/2 desktops (the image for the 10th desktop is clipped by the edge of the screen on my PC). However, I created about 15 desktops without any (obvious) issues. This is something that might be more obvious in future releases of Windows 10 as feedback is provided on the Preview version.

You can get a preview of the apps open in a particular desktop by hovering your mouse over the desired desktop image at the bottom of the screen. Clicking on a desktop will select and open that specific desktop.

Note: You can also open the Task View with the mouse by clicking on the Task View icon in the task bar as shown below:

image

Running Multiple Instances of Apps Across Desktops

One issue you might run into immediately while setting up additional desktops is the ability to run multiple instances of various apps. For example, on your default desktop (the one that is created for you automatically when you first start Windows 10), open your favorite web browser (e.g. Chrome, IE, Firefox, whatever). Then create a new desktop by pressing WIN+CTRL+D. Open the same browser again and you will be taken directly to the previous desktop where you opened the browser for the first time.

You might be thinking this is less than useful if you want multiple desktops with their own, independent instances of an app (in this case, a web browser) open. There is a simple solution… Go back to the new desktop that you just created (press the WIN+CTRL+LEFT/RIGHT keys to quickly navigate amongst your desktops). Once there, press SHIFT+App Icon/Shortcut (e.g. if you’re opening Internet Explorer, Press SHIFT+IE Icon/Shortcut). This will open a new instance of that app within that desktop. Neat, huh?

If you happen to have icons pinned to your task bar, you will notice a special indicator under any icon that happens to have an instance open in another desktop. For example, in the screenshot below, you will notice several icons indicating that they are open in other desktops.

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Keyboard Shortcuts for Multiple Desktops

Here is a complete list of keyboard shortcuts that apply to multiple desktops:

Keyboard Shortcut Description
WIN+TAB Opens the new Task View
WIN+CTRL+D Creates and opens a new desktop
WIN+CTRL+F4 Closes the current desktop
WIN+CTRL+LEFT/RIGHT Navigates among open desktops

What About Windows 7 & 8.1?

You might not realize it but Windows has provided support for multiple desktops since Windows XP/Windows Server 2003 (and possibly since before then, I’m not sure). However, Microsoft did not provide an interface for making use of, and switching among, multiple desktops. However, that did not stop Mark Russinovich and Bryce Cogswell, from Sysinternals (now owned by Microsoft) from creating a utility to take advantage of this capability.

If you’re still running Windows XP(!), 7, or 8.1, the utility, simply called Desktops, can be downloaded and installed from here.

The Desktops utility allows you to setup keyboard shortcuts for switching between four separate desktops.

desktops

Although you can take advantage of multiple desktops in Windows XP, 7, and 8.1, the integration is not as clean as what is now offered in Windows 10 Preview. However, if you’re not ready to jump on the Windows 10 Preview, you can at least still work with multiple desktops if you so desire.

Although I’ve only been using multiple desktops in the Windows 10 Preview for a few days now, I have a feeling I’ll find it hard to live without them very soon :-)

Posted in Windows, Windows 10 | Leave a comment

Bing Developer Assistant for Visual Studio

Microsoft has introduced a new Visual Studio extension – Bing Developer Assistant for Visual Studio (currently tagged as Beta). This extension allows you, the developer, to locate millions of code snippets and sample projects from within the Visual Studio IDE. Essentially, this extension combines the features of two previous extensions: Bing Code Search and Sample Browser.

Code Snippets in IntelliSense

The Bing Developer Assistant extension provides some nice additions to the Visual Studio IntelliSense experience. Most notably, it can provide you with a code snippet that is relevant to the API you are actively coding against. For example, in the screenshot below, I am looking at the IntelliSense for the Send method of the SmtpClient class:

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If you happen to be on an API that doesn’t have any code samples, you’ll see something like the following:

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The cool part is that you can opt to share some of your own code samples if nothing is found. Nice!

Sample Browser

Taking the code snippets one step further is the Sample Browser. This feature allows you to search for multiple code examples at once as well as for sample projects that can be downloaded and opened in Visual Studio.

Playing off the above examples, let’s say you want to find some examples of how to send e-mail using C#. In the Bing-powered Code Samples toolbar, enter “send mail” and press Enter. A new tab will be opened looking something like this:

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Offline Searching

One final feature of the Bing Developer Assistant is the ability to perform your searches while offline. You can configure the folders that are indexed via the Tools->Options->Bing Developer Assistant->Code Snippets options. For example:

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Caveats & Observations

  • The new IntelliSense features are currently available for C# only – other languages will likely be supported in the future.
  • The new IntelliSense features do not work in conjunction with ReSharper’s IntelliSense features — you must choose one or the other!
  • I’ve noticed some “quirks” when searching for sample projects – e.g. sometimes sample projects will be listed in the search results but clicking on them to view the details does not work (these tend to be at the end of the list).
  • The Code Samples search box is included in the “Standard” toolbar – i.e. it cannot be turned off or moved to another area of the IDE without dragging along the entire “Standard” toolbar. A comment on the extensions web site implied that the search box will have its own toolbar at some point down the road.

All that said, I can definitely see the potential usefulness of this add-in and plan to keep it turned on for now to see if it truly makes a difference. Now if we can only figure out how to tie the searches into Bing Rewards Winking smile

Download Links

Posted in Utilities, Visual Studio 2012, Visual Studio 2013 | Leave a comment

Extending TFS and Visual Studio Online eBook–Update 1

TFSBookLogoBack in May, I wrote about the initial release of Extending TFS and Visual Studio Online, an eBook that Mike Douglas and I have been working on. To reiterate, the primary focus of this book will be to provide scenario-based examples on how to utilize the new REST-based APIs and Service Hooks. Based on our everyday experiences with TFS and Visual Studio Online, along with feedback from our readers, we plan to provide a book that will be simply indispensible for anyone wishing to extend TFS or Visual Studio Online using the new API.

Although our original plan was to publish updates every few weeks, the typical summer schedule has gotten in our way a bit (e.g. vacations, activities, nice weather, etc.) so it’s taken a little longer than originally anticipated to get the first update out.

That said, I’m happy to announce that Mike and I have just published the first update to the book! Although we have made several tweaks throughout the book (based on our readers’ feedback!) the major update to the book includes the completion of two chapters: Ch. 15 – Service Hooks and Ch. 17 – Using OAuth.

The current table of contents is as follows (though, still subject to change):

  • Foreword
  • Introduction
  • Part I – The Basics
    • Chapter 1: Overview of Team Foundation Server
    • Chapter 2: A History of Team Foundation Server APIs
    • Chapter 3: A REST Primer
  • Part II – Using the Team Foundation APIs
    • Chapter 4: Our First REST API Call
    • Chapter 5: Work Items
    • Chapter 6: Team Foundation Version Control
    • Chapter 7: Git
    • Chapter 8: Build Definitions
    • Chapter 9: Builds
    • Chapter 10: Workspaces
    • Chapter 11: Team Room Management
    • Chapter 12: Team Room Activities
    • Chapter 13: Reporting and Charts
    • Chapter 14: Projects and Teams
    • Chapter 15: Service Hooks
  • Part III – Other Resources
    • Chapter 16: Using Fiddler
    • Chapter 17: Using OAuth
    • Resources

The chapters listed in bold have been at least partially completed. The chapters in blue are the most recent chapters completed for the latest update.

If you have an interest in extending Team Foundation Server and/or Visual Studio Online, then this is (will be) the book for you. Purchasing the book now locks in all future updates for only $4.99!

You can read more about the book and purchase it here. Please utilize the feedback section on the book site if you have any questions and/or suggestions. We welcome any and all feedback – especially if it helps us to provide a better, and more useful, book for everyone.

Learn More

Posted in eBooks, TFS, TFS API, Visual Studio Online | Leave a comment