Custom Build Task Permissions in VSO

Team Foundation Build, Visual Studio Online
Following up on my Custom Build Tasks in VSO post I wanted to quickly show how you grant a VSO user permissions to upload build tasks into your VSO account. On Microsoft’s Build Tasks web page, it states that you need to be in the top level Agent Pool Administrators group to manipulate tasks. To view the Agent Pool Administrators: Sign in to your VSO account. Click on the Settings (gear) icon on the upper-right side of the page: Click on Agent pools and then Roles: Notice the Agent Pool Administrators group under Roles. This is NOT the group you are looking for!Instead, click on the All Pools node on the left: You will see the same Roles appear but this time they apply to all pools in the account.…
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Enabling Verbose Output in Team Foundation Build Logs

Team Build, TFS, Visual Studio Online
There are a lot of great new features available in the new Team Foundation Build (formerly knows as Build v.Next) such as version history, web-based build definitions, open source build tasks, and much, much more. However, sometimes you simply want to accomplish something that you’re currently doing with your “old” XAML builds such as setting the logging verbosity to diagnostic. In TFS this was a simple property you could set when queuing a build. However, that property is nowhere to be found in the new Team Foundation Build system. There is, however, a way you can set logging verbosity to diagnostic in your new build definitions. In your build definition, navigate to the Variables tab and add a new variable named system.debug and set its value to true. Save your…
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Updating Your Team Foundation Build Agents

Team Foundation Build, Visual Studio Online
One of the many improvements with the new version of Team Foundation Build is the ability for the build agents to self-update. This is a HUGE time saver for anyone that has lots of build agents spread across multiple build servers! There are a couple of ways to trigger an update to your build agent(s): The build agent gets updated automatically when a build task demanding a newer version of a build agent is executed. For example, if a task demands the build agent be from sprint 84 or higher (more on that in a moment) and your build agent is still on the sprint 83 release, then the agent will be instructed to update itself - automatically. Sweet! You can also manually update all build agents within a pool…
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Team Foundation Build References

TFS 2015, Visual Studio Online
As I’ve been working with the new “vNext” version of Microsoft’s build technology, I’ve collected a few links along the way to some useful resources. You can probably find everyone of these links using your favorite search engine but sometimes it’s nice to be able to see them all in one place. That said, here’s a few links you might find useful… Read All About It If you’re looking to read about the new build system, check out these links: Team Foundation Build (on MSDN) – from here, you can get to information on deploying build agents (on Windows and/or Azure as well as non-Microsoft platforms). You can also read about how to setup build definitions as well as customizing the build process. Predefined Variable – lists the predefined variables…
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Visual Studio 2015 Tag Admin Extension

Add-ins & Extensions, TFS 2013, Visual Studio Online
If you are currently using Visual Studio 2015 Preview, and you make use of the Tag feature within Team Foundation Server (TFS) and/or Visual Studio Online (VSO), then you will want to give the Tag Admin for Visual Studio 2015 extension a go!This new extension is brought to you by the same folks that created the Team Rooms Extension for Visual Studio 2013 and supports both TFS (2013 Update 3 and greater) and VSO.The features enabled by this extension include:View Active TagsOnce you’ve installed the extension, click on the Tag Admin link on the Home hub of the Team Explorer pane:This will display a list of tags for the currently selected team project (in the above example, I have the “Moonspace Labs” team project selected):You will notice that I currently…
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Visual Studio Online/TFS Features & Roadmap

TFS, Visual Studio Online
If you’ve been using and/or following Visual Studio Online and/or Team Foundation Server, you’re likely already familiar with the Features Timeline published by Microsoft. For those not familiar, it is essentially a running history of features that have been delivered via successive sprints (roughly every three weeks). Not only does it list available features but also shows what version of TFS the features is in (e.g. 2013.4) or whether it is VSO only (e.g. Future update). Here is a partial screenshot of the current timeline: The features in today’s release are shown at the top for 17 Dec 2014. You will notice that they are flagged as “Future update” which indicates that they are available in VSO (once the rollout has completed) but not yet available in TFS (on premises).…
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Visual Studio/TFS 2013 Update 4 RC Available

TFS 2013, Visual Studio 2013
In 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…
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Extending TFS and Visual Studio Online eBook–Update 1

eBooks, TFS, TFS API, Visual Studio Online
Back 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…
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Extending TFS and Visual Studio Online eBook

eBooks, TFS, TFS API, Visual Studio Online
Last week, at TechEd North America, Microsoft announced the availability of a new API being provided by Visual Studio Online. This API is based on REST, OAuth, JSON, and Service Hooks. While this new API is still in preview mode there is still a lot of functionality that can be taken advantage of by your custom applications. While a great deal of documentation is being provided by Microsoft, I and Mike Douglas (a fellow Visual Studio ALM MVP) have started writing a book on this very topic titled “Extending Team Foundation Server and Visual Studio Online”. 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,…
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Migrate from Visual Studio Online to On-Premises TFS

TFS, Visual Studio Online
If you have logged into your Visual Studio Online account recently you might have seen the notice in the image on the left. Essentially, what this is telling you is that if you would like to move your Visual Studio Online team projects to an on-premises version of Team Foundation Server, then you have until May 20th, 2014 to get it done. As might be expected, there are a few caveats: The on-premises version of TFS must be Team Foundation Server 2013 Update 2 This is a one-way move (from Visual Studio Online to an on-premises TFS). You cannot move an on-premises project to Visual Studio Online using this technique. This feature is available for a limited time only (see date above) and must be enabled by sending an e-mail…
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