Hiding Unused Services within VSTS

Visual Studio Team Services
New Navigation (Preview) Last month, Microsoft announced some navigation UI changes coming to Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS). In short, the VSTS UI now places the primary navigation controls vertically, along the left side of the page. For example, once enabled, the default page for a project in VSTS might look something like this: The vertical navigation changes are still in preview*, so you will need to enable the preview to get the new behavior. To do this: Sign in to VSTS and click on your profile picture in the top, right-hand corner of the page. Click on the Preview features option. Click on the slider next to New Navigation to enable the preview feature. As an additional bonus, you might see some preview features that you didn't realize were…
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Base64 Encode/Decode Visual Studio Extension

API, Extensions, Visual Studio
If you’ve followed any of the API articles that I’ve published then you know that anytime we have the need to include a Personal Access Token (PAT) as part of the Authorization header we have to Base64-encode it first. While it’s pretty easy to jump into your favorite search engine and find an online Base64 encoder (Bing has one built into the search engine!) sometimes it’s nice to not have to leave the Visual Studio IDE. For this reason, I created a simple Visual Studio extension that can Base64 encode/decode text.The add-in is pretty easy to use and shows up as a tool window that you can dock wherever you like. In the screenshot below, I have it docked at the bottom alongside the Output and Error List windows.To use…
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Adding VSTS-Users to VSTS-Tools Samples

API, Visual Studio Team Services
It’s been about two years since I originally created the VSTS-Tools project on GitHub. The original release had two command-line tools included with it: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. Not only were the tools meant to be somewhat useful (I used them then and still use them today) but they were also meant to act as yet another set of examples on how you might make use of the Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS) APIs.Recently, I posted some examples on how to get a list of VSTS users via API calls. For the sake of completeness, I have now…
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Connect(); 2017 – Day 1 Recap

Conferences, TFS, Visual Studio 2017, Visual Studio Code, Visual Studio Team Services
Day 1Day 1 of Connect(); 2017 is in the books! If you didn’t get a chance to watch the live streaming event earlier today you can catch up on the various presentations and announcements here.There was a lot of exciting announcements made at Connect(); today. While I have no doubt missed several of them I have made an attempt to include most of the highlights below. If your favorite announcement isn’t in the list, please include it in the comments section below so we can all learn about it!Come back to the same location tomorrow at 11:00 AM EST to catch all the action of Day 2!AnnouncementsTFS/VSTS/DevOps Related Items (from Brian Harry’s blog)Team Foundation Server 2018 (final release). This release includes a lot of functionality, including:Mobile Work Item Experience -…
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Installing the Cloud Load Test Agent On-Premises

Performance Testing, Visual Studio Team Services
In the first post of this series on Cloud Load Testing with Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS) I showed you how to quickly get a cloud load test up and running. In the post we created a test than ran within the cloud and not on-premises. If you have a desire or need to run your cloud load tests using an on-premises test agent, the agents are very easy to setup and configure.If you don’t want to read each of the required steps for installing the agent, there are only a few, I have created a video that will walk you through the process. For those that would rather just see the steps, here they are:Download PowerShell script from here: http://bit.ly/InstallVSTSTestAgentCreate a Personal Access Token (PAT) in VSTSInstall the Agent…
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Creating Your First VSTS Load Test

Performance Testing, Visual Studio Team Services
A few weeks ago I gave a talk on Performance Testing with VSTS. Since I received so many questions during the talk, I thought I’d put together a series of blog posts on the subject. I hope to address some of the questions that were asked and will hopefully even answer a few that weren’t asked!At this time, I’m thinking the series of posts will include something along these lines:Creating Your First VSTS Load Test (this post) Setup Your VSTS Load Tests Even Faster!Installing the Cloud Load Test Agent On-Premises (video)Running VSTS Load Tests On-PremisesCreating VSTS Load Tests from an HTTP ArchiveCreating Load Tests with Visual StudioVSTS Load Test Pricing and Other InformationWhile this seems like a good place to start, I reserve the right to change the list of…
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Performance Testing with VSTS

ALM, Performance Testing, Visual Studio Team Services
Earlier today I gave a talk at this year’s Tulsa TechFest (love this conference!) on Performance Testing with VSTS On- and Off-Premises. In this session, covered the various types of load tests that can be executed with VSTS, including:URL-based TestsHTTP Archive TestsVisual Studio TestsJMeter TestsIn the demos that accompanied each of these test types, I showed where they could each be run in the cloud using VSTS and well as on-premises, also using VSTS (with the exception of JMeter which isn’t yet supported in all scenarios). I plan to cover each of these in a series of blog posts starting within the next week or so. I am hoping to get a few videos created along the way as well.For now, click on the image below to view the slides…
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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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