Deprecating XAML Builds in VSTS

Team Build, Team Foundation Build, Team Foundation Service, Visual Studio Team Services
Last year, I wrote a post titled Hosted XAML Builds Ending Soon. Roughly nine months has passed since that post and, as of today, Microsoft has provided a bit more detail around their plans to deprecate the XAML build functionality within VSTS. Here’s an excerpt from the post:Deprecating XAML build support in future versionsTFS – In our next major TFS release, we will take the next big step in deprecating XAML Build support.  We will remove all support for XAML builds.  We will not ship updated installers and we will remove support for connecting XAML agents/controllers.  We will also be removing all support for creating/editing XAML build definitions from future versions of Visual Studio.  A customer that really needs to continue to use XAML builds will need to stay on…
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Visual Studio 2017 – A lot of new goodness!

Visual Studio 2017
On March 7th, 2017, Microsoft officially launched Visual Studio 2017. There were a lot of new features announced in Visual Studio 2017 and several partner-related announcements as well. While this blog post does not cover everything announced (that would be a rather large post!) it does provide you with a taste of what is available. If you’re curious about everything else that was talked about, you can watch the keynote and other sessions online at the Visual Studio 2017 Launch site. One of the first things you might notice is that there is a brand new Visual Studio icon (as shown above). This makes it much easier to distinguish when you have multiple versions of Visual Studio pinned to your task bar. Plus, it’s always refreshing to see an updated…
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TIP: Use Notepad++ to Count File Types

Tips, Visual Studio Team Services
A few days ago I found myself wanting to figure out how many filenames being written to a log file were JavaScript files. One of the build tasks for an automated build (in VSTS) was logging the names of every file, recursively, beneath the source folder. In this case, there were a total of 15,475 lines written to the build log file. The question I needed to answer was, how many of these files are JavaScript files? While there are likely many ways to answer this question, I decided to make use of Notepad++ since I already had it installed (it’s my go to text editor). So, how did I use Notepad++ to get the answer? Simple… Step 1 – Copy Results to Notepad++ Open the build results for the…
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MRU List in VSTS

Tips, Visual Studio Team Services
Yesterday, I posted an article about Controlling Preview Features in VSTS. In that article, we saw how you could enable the new VSTS account landing page experience. Not only does this change the landing page experience but it also updates the icon in the upper left hand portion of the menu bar as shown below. Before the new experience: You can see the drop-down menu in the above screenshot for the “old” experience. You can also see the contents of the drop-down menu below, which includes a most-recently used (MRU) list of team projects. After the new experience: Once you enable the new experience, you can see that the drop-down menu no longer exists, as shown in the screenshot above. Clicking on the project name simply takes you to the…
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Controlling Preview Features in VSTS

Visual Studio Team Services
If you have signed in to Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS) recently then you might have noticed a banner something like this one:In this case, it is letting you know that you can try out a new feature enabling an improved landing page experience for VSTS. If you enable this feature, you will get the new landing page experience the next time you navigate to the home page of your VSTS account.However, did you know that you can also disable preview features (while they are still in preview) as well as enable them? Adding to that, you can enable/disable preview features for your individual user account or all users within the VSTS account (assuming you have the appropriate permissions).To enable/disable features:First, click on your profile picture to display the drop-down…
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Connect(); 2016 – Announcement Recap

Azure, Conferences, Events, General News, TFS 2017, Visual Studio 2017, Visual Studio Team Services, VSTS, Xamarin
The second day of Connect(); 2016 wrapped up today. While there is one more day left, it is dedicated to on-line training. This means that pretty much all the planned announcements have been, well, announced ;-)If you’ve been watching Connect(); over the past couple of days you have likely come to the realization that, wow!, there was a lot of stuff demoed and talked about and a TON of announcements! To help you sort through some of the announcements, I’ve attempted to capture most of the highlights and related links below. If you were too busy watching and digesting all the cool things Microsoft was demoing and talking about rather than taking notes, you’re in luck!While I doubt I was able to capture every single announcement in the list below…
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Free Xamarin Training

Training, Xamarin
Yesterday I published a reminder about next week’s Connect(); event. What I didn’t mention in that post is that if you register your e-mail address to receive Connect();-related information you will receive a free, extended 60-day trial of Xamarin University. This offer is twice the length of the 30-day trial that is typically offered!Xamarin University provides unlimited access to live, online classes led by mobile experts in your time zone and on your schedule. With almost 70 classes offered across 8 learning tracks, Xamarin University offers everything you need to stay up-to-date in today’s constantly evolving mobile landscape.Start your free 60-day trial today to access our Self-Guided Learning, Lightning Lectures, Guest Lectures, and two introductory courses which count towards becoming a Xamarin Certified Mobile Developer.Signing up is as easy as…
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Connect(); 2016–Next Week!

Starting next Wednesday, November 16th, Microsoft is holding it’s third Connect(); event!If you make use of any of the development tools provided by Microsoft, Xamarin (now part of Microsoft), the .NET Foundation, etc. then you should tune in to see what’s coming next from Microsoft. The on-line event lasts Wednesday thru Friday with the 3rd day focusing on training.The addition of a training day is new this year for the Connect(); event and looks to provide a couple of options:Option 1:Join Microsoft Virtual Academy expert instructors for free virtual training on Day 3 including in-depth explorations of the innovative technologies announced and discussed in Connect(); 2016 Day 1 and Day 2. Register at 2:Join the Xamarin University team for free virtual training on Day 3 of Connect(); 2016, where…
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Visual Studio “15” Preview 5

Visual Studio, Visual Studio "15"
A little less than a week ago, Microsoft released Visual Studio “15” Preview 5. If you haven’t had a chance to check out the yet-to-be-named version of Visual Studio there are a ton of new features! While I’ve included the short list below you can check out the full list, including details, here.What’s New?New Installation ExperienceVisual Studio FeedbackVisual Studio IDELive Architecture Dependency ValidationDeveloper Command PromptDebugging and DiagnosticsVisual C++C# and Visual BasicF#R and Python ToolsJavaScript and TypeScriptXAML DiagnosticsVisual Studio Tools for Apache CordovaVisual Studio Tools for Universal Windows App DevelopmentXamarinNuGetDeveloper Analytics ToolsTeam ExplorerSQL Server Data ToolsOffice Developer Tools for Visual StudioVisual Studio Software Development KitAzure SDK for .NETWhile there are a lot of new features, the first difference you are likely to notice is the new install experience. In the new…
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Learning to Live with Android

Android, Windows Phone
So, it’s been just over four months since I switched to Android (from Windows mobile) and I’ve slowly but surely been learning to live within the Android ecosystem. While I still appreciate the vast selection of apps available in the Google Play Store there are still plenty of things I’m not overly excited about when it comes to Android. In my post, Android:Two Weeks In, I talk about the Good, the Bad and the Ugly. While I can’t resolve all the “bad and ugly” issues, I’d like to highlight one app that has helped me cope a bit better than I would have otherwise 3…2…1… Launch!One of the best features of Windows mobile is the various ways you can size and arrange the tiles on the home screen. I also…
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