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!

Conferences
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 http://aka.ms/connect-2016-day-3Option 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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Editing Markdown in Visual Studio 2015

Add-ins & Extensions, Visual Studio 2015
It seems that every day I find myself editing markdown files more and more. I like the simplicity of markdown when it comes to creating documentation. While I realize that markdown isn’t nearly as flexible as full-on HTML I like that it forces me to keep my documents simple and clean.I’ve tried a LOT of markdown editors. I’ve tried on-line editors as well as editors I’ve installed on Windows. For me, personally, I prefer to have the editor installed on my machine in case I want to edit documents offline.Lots of Choices!For the past couple of years I’ve been using a tool called MarkdownPad 2. While this is a capable editor it doesn’t seem to be updated any more. If you want it to work on Windows 10 you have…
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VSTS Build Agent Selection Demystified

Team Foundation Build, Visual Studio Team Services
One of the (many!) features I like about Visual Studio Team Services is that, while I can create my build definitions in the cloud-hosted service, I do not have to rely on the hosted build agents to run my builds. This is important because my builds might rely on specialized software that isn’t installed on the hosted agents. It’s also possible that my build processes rely on access to other resources on my local network that is not exposed to the Internet. In the case of the company I work for, we have several on-premises build servers each running multiple build agents.When we first setup the new build servers and agents and registered them with our VSTS account it didn’t take long for us to notice something a bit odd…
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PSA: Hosted XAML Builds Ending Soon

Team Foundation Build, Visual Studio Team Services
Earlier this year, Microsoft posted/updated some information on the Hosted Pool (i.e. where you run your automated builds in Visual Studio Team Services – i.e. VSTS). One item of interest in that post is that the hosted XAML build controller is planned to be shut down sometime next month (September, 2016).For accounts created after on or after April, 2016, access to the hosted XAML build controller was never provided, so this should not be an issue. However, if you have XAML builds running in VSTS, or were planning on migrating XAML builds to VSTS, you should take note.Here is the excerpt I am referring to (emphasis is mine):I'm looking for the hosted XAML build controller. Where did it go?In September 2016 we plan to shut down the hosted XAML build…
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