Markdown to WordPress Extension Published

Azure DevOps, Utilities
While I will always be a developer at heart (have been more many, many years!) by day I lead an enterprise architecture team consisting of four enterprise architects and four enterprise applications developers (along with an assortment of other contractors that help out with various development and architectural "hygiene" tasks). One area I continually push my team to excel in is communication. One of the various conduits we make use of is a WordPress-based site (hosted internally within our organization). For various reasons I won't go into in this post, we chose WordPress over SharePoint as the repository for the various guidance documents our team produces. Along the way, several other teams have also adopted WordPress for their respective team blogs. While WordPress is a very effective platform for creating…
Read More

VSTS-Tools now on GitHub

API, Utilities, Visual Studio Online
Several of the past few posts that I have published have revolved around various Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS) REST API calls (you can click on the “View API Articles” button to the right to view the list of articles). Rather than relying purely on blog posts to provide example source code for these REST API calls, I thought I’d start making them available in a GitHub repo.Introducing VSTS-Tools!You can find the initial release on GitHub here: initial release contains code examples for two command-line utilities:VSTS-Get – CLI to download a single file or entire folder tree from VSTS (only Git is supported at this time).VSTS-Keep – CLI to set (or remove) the “Retain Indefinitely” retention flag for a given build.You can find documentation on how to run the…
Read More

VSO Status Inspector Extension for Visual Studio

Utilities, Visual Studio 2013, Visual Studio 2015
If you are a long-time user of Microsoft’s Visual Studio Online (VSO) then there is a decent chance that you’ve had to endure one or more “hiccups” over the past year or so. Today, if VSO seems to be running a little slow – or not at all – you probably go out to the VSO Support page to check the current status of VSO. There, you will see something like this at the top of the page: Clicking on the Visual Studio Service Blog link will take you to a page with more details (if there are issues being investigated). Although the above works, as developers we like to stay within our toolsets as much as possible – e.g. Visual Studio. Well,now you can! From the makers of other…
Read More

Bing Developer Assistant for Visual Studio

Utilities, Visual Studio 2012, Visual Studio 2013
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: If you happen to be on an API that doesn’t have any code samples,…
Read More

TFS 2013 Power Tools Released

TFS, Utilities, Visual Studio
As of today, you can download the just-released Team Foundation Server 2013 Power Tools (compatible with TFS 2013 RC). If you’re not familiar with the TFS Power Tools, and you spend any amount of time working with TFS on a day-to-day basis, I highly recommend you check these out.This release is comprised of four separate downloads:Microsoft Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2013 Power Tools - this is a collection of multiple tools, including:Best Practices Analyzer (TFS application tier only)Check-in PoliciesProcess Template EditorStoryboard ShapesTeam Explorer EnhancementsTeam Foundation Power Tool Command Line (tfpt.exe)Test Attachment CleanerWindows PowerShell CmdletsWindows Shell ExtensionsWork Item TemplatesMicrosoft Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2013 Build Extensions - the Team Foundation Build Extensions provide the ability to execute Ant or Maven 2 builds from Team Foundation Server 2013 and publish…
Read More

TFS Build Manager for VS 2013 Updated

Add-ins & Extensions, TFS, Utilities
Today, the Community TFS Build Extensions on CodePlex released an update to the Community TFS Build Manager VS2013 add-in. If you spend any time at all managing multiple build definitions, build results, and/or build servers, then you need to give this add-in a try.Updates & fixes include:NEW - Search and replace workspace mappings NEW - Filter Build Definitions via text NEW - Access build logs in web access NEW - Build Duration and Agent Name columns NEW - Friendly Trigger Names NEW - Easily queue high priority builds NEW - Clone to Project FIX - Case insensitive comparisons when changing drop location of existing builds FIX - Invalid Project Reference issue FIX - Only change & save the new process template only if it's a different one FIX - UI…
Read More

TFS Agile Poker for Windows 8

ALM, TFS, Utilities, Windows 8
If you have been involved with agile software development in any form or fashion, chances are you’ve spent some time estimating effort or relative size of user stories.  This is often done by selecting a card from a special planning poker deck.  A typical planning poker deck is based on a Fibonacci sequence (e.g. 0, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8…) though the sequence is sometimes modified after 13 for even numbers (e.g. 20, 40, 100).  This process works fairly well when all participants are located relatively close to each other (i.e. in the same room).  What if the team members are geographically separated?It just so happens that a fellow Visual Studio ALM MVP, Mike Douglas, has recently released TFS Agile Poker for Windows 8 that works with Microsoft’s Team Foundation…
Read More

Team Foundation Sidekicks for TFS 2012

TFS, Utilities
If you make use of Team Foundation Server and you don’t have Attrice’s Team Foundation Sidekicks in your toolbox, you should!  I have been using the Team Foundation Sidekicks for years now and would hate to be without them.  As of today, Attrice has made available a new version compatible with Team Foundation Server 2012 – both the on premises version as well as the Team Foundation Service (i.e. Microsoft’s cloud offering for TFS). From their blog: This release functionality is mainly identical to the version of Sidekicks for Visual Studio 2010, with support of TFS both on premise and in-the-cloud (Team Foundation Service). For 2012 we support both stand-alone client application and Visual Studio integration package; the latter uses VS 2012 extension registration mechanism and is available through VS…
Read More

Get TeamCompanion for Free (if you act fast)!

Utilities, Visual Studio
With the launch of Visual Studio 2012, Ekobit sim-ships TeamCompanion 4.7.  If you are not familiar with TeamCompanion, it integrates many of the Team Foundation client features within Microsoft Outlook.  For example, with TeamCompanion, you can easily create Work Items with an e-mail (or vice- versa).  You can also create new Outlook Tasks from Work Items.  There are many other features, such as scheduled Work Item queries, available within TeamCompanion that can simply make life easier for those of us who spend their days working with TFS (click here for further details). If you act fast – i.e. between now and Friday, September 14th at midnight PDT (UTC-7:00) – you can get a free TeamCompanion license!  There are three ways in which to do this: Follow TeamCompanion on Twitter and…
Read More