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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Tulsa TechFest–Slides

API, Conferences, Extensions, Visual Studio Team Services
I first presented at the Tulsa TechFest in 2007, the second year for the conference. Since then I have only missed presenting one or two times (that I can recall). My oldest son (12) was able to attend this year as well and he really enjoyed the Gaming/Dev/Design track! The conference is really done well. I recommend you check it out next year if you’re in the area.This year, I had the pleasure to present two talks:Using REST with VSTS & TFSTeam Foundation Server (TFS) has been around for over a decade now(!) and Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS) has been around for several years. One of the reasons TFS/VSTS has been successful for so many years lies in the extensibility model provided by Microsoft. VSTS/TFS provides a large set…
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VSTS-Tools ‘Keep’ Build Extension

Extensions, Visual Studio Online
If you are making use of Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS) to manage your automated builds then you are likely already aware that completed builds are kept for a maximum of 10 days by default. You can increase the default up to 30 days but no longer (using TFS on premises gives you more control over the retention). If you want to keep your build artifacts longer than the maximum 30 days allowed, you must set the retention for the build to “keep forever”. There are some cases where it makes sense to automate this task – e.g. you’re calling out to a 3rd party deployment tool (e.g. Octopus Deploy) from your build definition and you want to set the retention to “keep forever” for production builds.Adding to the VSTS-Tools…
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