December 2010 Entries
Adventures in Lab Management Configuration: CMMI Edition Part 1 of 3

I remember at one point someone telling me how close Migrate was to Migraine.

This was a process that included an environment from TFS 2008 to TFS 2010, needed to be migrated too as far as the process template goes.  Here we are talking about CMMI v4.2 to CMMI v5.0.  Now, the process to migrate the TFS Infrastructure is one thing, migrating the Process Template is a different deal, not hard … just involved.

Followed a combination of steps that came from a blog post as the main guidance and then MSDN (as suggested on the guidance post) to complement some tasks and steps.

Again, the focus I have here is CMMI.

The high level steps taken to enable the TFS 2008 CMMI v4.2 migrated to TFS 2010 Process Template are:

1)  Backup the Collection, Configuration and Warehouse Databases.

2)  Downloaded the Process Template using Visual Studio 2010.

3) Exported, modified and imported Bug Type Definition

4) Exported, modified and imported Scenario or Requirement Type Definition.

5) Created and imported bug field mappings.

Now, we can attempt to connect using Test Manager, and you should be able to get this going.

After that was done, it was time to enroll VMs that already existed in the environment.  This was a bit more challenging, but in the end it was a matter of just analyzing the changes that had been made to had a temporary work around from the time we migrated to the time we converted the Work Items and such and added fields to enable communication between the project and the Test and Lab Manager component.

There are 2 more parts to this post, the second will describe the detailed steps taken to complete the Process Template update and the third will talk about the gotchas and fixes for the Lab Management portion.

Posted On Wednesday, December 29, 2010 10:58 AM | Comments (0)
My Windows Phone 7 experience: 45 days in

November 13th, 2010 was the day I got my Windows Phone 7.  It was an exciting day, a lot of anxiety too.  Over a phone? Sadly, yes!

Being a Zune Pass subscriber, it was something worth looking forward too, being a consultant that relies and works with Microsoft technologies and having the option of OneNote (without converters and such) on my phone was a great thing too.

Has that changed over 45 days?  No, not really.  But I find myself at the very same place I was with my iPhone, I don’t really use the music player as I spend enough time in front of a computer where I have Pandora and the Zune Desktop.  Or in a car with Satellite Radio.  As for OneNote, that keeps me hooked and with access to my notes no matter where I take them.

The Device: Samsung Focus

Likes: OneNote integration, Zune capabilities (just note my comment above), fast and smooth interface, calendar, tiles, the device itself.

Dislikes: Heavy glitches in SharePoint interaction. And a very weird one I have experienced is, any pictures I get sent from an iPhone via email will register as an attachment but the pictures are not listed as the attachment once I open the message … weird!!  Then, of course, some apps have not made it to the platform (not sure they ever will … Pandora??!!??  Chase??!!??).  But those apps missing is not the phone, or Microsoft’s fault (IMO). 

In summary, I am happy with it, and some of the missing apps have made me shift the way I work with the products or features affected … meaning I rely on my desktop stuff for that.

Posted On Wednesday, December 29, 2010 10:24 AM | Comments (1)
Awesome Read: Buck Woody’s post on the proper use of the Windows Azure VM Role

I have heard some service providers (or cloud providers), hosting companies and such complain, criticize or even venture to call foul on Microsoft’s Azure VM Role.  The problem:  None of them have gone through the effort of truly understanding (or perhaps not wanting to know) what is going on there.  Many have jumped right into the “purist” definition of IaaS, or PaaS for that matter.

Ok, Buck’s post is a true gem (my opinion) in the sense it gives you parallels of what the VM Role is and is not.  And it brings Hyper-V and SCVMM to the forefront explaining what it is and what it also offers to the IaaS Microsoft offers.

Here is an excerpt of the summary, but please go on over to read his post it will clear a lot if you are wondering when and how to use the Windows Azure VM Role.

The excerpt:

“Virtualizing servers alone has limitations of scale, availability and recovery. Microsoft’s offering in this area is Hyper-V and System Center, not the VM Role. The VM Role is still used for running Stateless code, just like the Web and Worker Roles, with the exception that it allows you more control over the environment of where that code runs.”

The source and post:  Buck Woody -

Posted On Tuesday, December 28, 2010 4:05 PM | Comments (0)
Great finds: TFS Guides

If you are or know someone who wants to get more information in the “How do I work with TFS” from a user perspective this is a must visit and read.

Posted On Tuesday, December 28, 2010 7:47 AM | Comments (0)
TFS Backup Plan Wizard Tool

With the release of the “September – 2010” TFS 2010 Power Tools, came an addition to the Team Foundation Server Administration Console.  This addition is the Team Foundation Backups Tree item. 


The tool is used to create backup plans and to work with it you run through a wizard, just like you would in configuring TFS or any of the extensions it has.


The areas covered through the tool include:

Backup to a Network Backup Path, retention configuration. Under Advanced Options, the extension to be used for the Full and Transactional backups.


The capability to include external databases, meaning, include the reporting databases and SharePoint databases as part of the plan.
[UPDATE: Note the documentation on Brian Harry’s Blog on this.  There is a bug that will render your SharePoint in an unsupported state if using the tool.  In the meantime refer to my other post on SharePoint and Windows Server backup]


There are further options as you can see, that includes being able to define a task scheduler account, be able to set alerts for notifications on execution of the plans, and last the option to configure the schedule for the plan execution.  All in all a very good tool and great way to safeguard the investment you’ve made.

Posted On Tuesday, December 28, 2010 7:30 AM | Comments (0)
SharePoint 2010 and Windows Server Backup

A couple of months ago, a friend found a bit of information on TechNet that has proven to be quite useful.

See, I am of the opinion SharePoint allows for smaller deployments to be made, and with that said, I am talking about SharePoint Foundation 2010 being used for the most part.

But truly the point here is not to discuss whether or not a deployment of SharePoint Foundation 2010 or SharePoint Server 2010 is right or not.  The fact is they do take place and happen.  And information will reside there.

Now, the point of this post is to raise awareness on options available for companies that have implemented it and maybe are a bit “iffy” on how to protect the information being placed in libraries and lists.  In many cases I have found SharePoint comes first and business continuity becomes an afterthought. 

The documentation piece from TechNet states:

“You can register SharePoint Server 2010 with Windows Server Backup by using the stsadm.exe -o registerwsswriter operation to configure the Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) writer for SharePoint Server. Windows Server Backup then includes SharePoint Server 2010 in server-wide backups. When you restore from a Windows Server backup, you can select Microsoft SharePoint Foundation (no matter which version of SharePoint 2010 Products is installed), and all components reported by the VSS writer forSharePoint Server 2010 on that server at the time of the backup will be restored.

Windows Server Backup is recommended only for use with for single-server deployments.”

Even in the event of single-server deployments you will have options to safeguard your data.

The process will require that after you have executed the stsadm command above, you will then use Windows Server Backup to do a Full Server Backup.  Then when the restore operation is needed you will be able to select specifically the section that has the SharePoint technologies backup.

The restore process:







Hope you find this to be a helpful post.  I have found this to be specially handy in SharePoint deployments that are part of a Team Foundation Server deployment and that are isolated from any other SharePoint farm and such.


Credits:  Sean McDonough for passing along the information available on TechNet.

Posted On Friday, December 24, 2010 7:55 AM | Comments (2)
TFS 2008 to TFS 2010 moves and some issues

There have been many things going on this year around TFS.  Most of them had to do with migrations (I don’t call them upgrades for the most part since it involved new hardware and such).  Many were implementations using the Conchango SfTS template (now EMC).

But there were others that were CMMI or Agile 4.0. Everything would move just fine, no issues.  That was until you attempted to run Test Case Management or run the last configuration steps for Lab Management.

There is an error that states a project is not ready to run or integrate with Test or Lab Management.  And while there was some documentation on how to adjust and update the Agile WITs to work with it, there was still some disconnect to making it work with CMMI.

Now there is a great post on how to run the “fix” from end to end.

Check the post here: 

TFS 2010: Enable Test Case Management for upgraded Team Projects

Posted On Thursday, December 23, 2010 10:58 PM | Comments (0)
Conferences: Starting the round for 2011 with Mix

There are several conferences lining up for 2011.  There are some private conferences I will be participating in and some other where there is an invitation to submit content for consideration.  That is the case with Mix 2011.

The date:  April 12-14, 2011
The venue: Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas

Here is the general information:

To submit content:

Posted On Thursday, December 23, 2010 10:28 PM | Comments (0)
TFS and Project Integration

Recently there have been more and more requests on how to have TFS 2010 and Project 2010 together.

Most of the requests have been around working with Agile and Scrum projects and templates.

There are some guidance documents that have become available and also labs and Virtual Machine configurations to work with the different scenarios.

TechNet Virtual Lab: Microsoft Enterprise Project Management - Project and Portfolio Management with Project 2010

Announcing Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010 and Project Server Integration Feature Pack Beta

Posted On Thursday, December 23, 2010 10:12 PM | Comments (0)
Unofficial Prep guide for TS: Microsoft Lync Server 2010, Configuring (70-664)


Managing Users and Client Access (20 percent)




Configure user accounts
Deploy and maintain clients
Configure conferencing policies
Configure IM policies
Deploy and maintain Lync Server 2010 devices
Resolve client access issues


Configuring a Lync Server 2010 Topology (21 percent)




Prepare to deploy a topology
Configure Lync Server 2010 by using Topology Builder
Configure role-based access control in Lync Server 2010
Configure a location information server
Configure server pools for load balancing


Configuring Enterprise Voice (19 percent)




Configure voice policies
Configure dial plans
Manage routing
Configure Microsoft Exchange Unified Messaging integration
Configure dial-in conferencing
Configure call admission control
Configure Response Group Services (RGS)
Configure Call Park and Unassigned Number
Manage a Mediation Server pool and PSTN Gateway


Configuring Lync Server 2010 for External Access (19 percent)




Configure Edge Services
Configure a firewall
Configure a reverse proxy


Monitoring and Maintaining Lync Server 2010 (21 percent)




Back up and restore Lync Server 2010
Configure monitoring and archiving
Implement troubleshooting tools
Use PowerShell to test Lync Server 2010
Posted On Thursday, December 23, 2010 10:01 PM | Comments (3)
Great finds: More TechNet Survival Guides

It has been some time now since Windows Server 2008 R2 arrived, but the features and capabilities in many cases are just now starting to surface with company’s implementing or looking at using.

Here is a link to the Survival Guide on TechNet:

The other item that is coming stronger and stronger is PowerShell.  I mentioned before the need to learn and get into using it as it is a great tool.

Posted On Thursday, December 23, 2010 9:04 AM | Comments (0)
Great finds: Hyper-V Survival Guide

Virtualization and “the Cloud” have gained visibility  over the last 5 years (at least).  Diving into Hyper-V requires dedication and a very good understanding of what goes on with the different layers that need to interact.  In browsing through the TechNet Wiki, I ran into the Hyper-V Survival Guide.

Here is the link to the resource:

Posted On Thursday, December 23, 2010 7:23 AM | Comments (0)
WordPress for Windows Phone 7

Slowly but surely apps have been coming out for Windows Phone 7, I must admit that was my biggest concern on moving from the iPhone to the Windows Phone.  Not the fact apps would come slowly, but when they would come.  The iPhone side of things had very nice apps, and moving into a not so populated app landscape was an interesting thought.

Anyway, yes there are apps I miss … but now it is one less!

WordPress released the “for Windows Phone 7” app. Great experience and layout for the tool.

If you are now on Windows Phone 7, check it out.

Posted On Saturday, December 18, 2010 6:29 AM | Comments (0)
ALM Catalyst Workshop: How to use TFS to Manage the SharePoint Life Cycle

The session is going to cover and discuss the role TFS can play in the management of SharePoint implementations, custom development and delivery of solutions.

Check it out here and register …

Posted On Friday, December 17, 2010 8:04 PM | Comments (0)
PowerShell for breakfast, lunch and dinner

Actually, for snacks too, and it is nearly everywhere I turn.

If I do Microsoft Exchange work, I know I will run into it.  Active Directory, SQL Server, TFS, SharePoint, Azure and most recently Lync.

All have provided a way to work with PowerShell and it has taken off (as it should).

The question many will have is, How do I get started?

A couple of ways are available.

There are books, sites and blogs that will help you along the way.

This will be the start of a series of posts that, my intention at least, will highlight and focus on the main features I have been using with the different products I interact.

Here are some useful links to get started …

The Master PowerShell book from Dr. Tobias Weltner

Script Center @ Technet

Posted On Saturday, December 11, 2010 1:52 PM | Comments (0)
The betas are coming … the betas are coming

Yep!  Another round of stuff to test out, I am referring to the Visual Studio 2010 SP1 related Betas.

They are out, and available.  The always present warning that normally comes with installing Beta stuff is true here too.

Scott Hanselman does a fantastic job on describing what is new, gains, fixes and such.

The download links:

Visual Studio 2010 SP1 Beta:

.NET 4.0 SP1 Beta :

TFS 2010 SP1 Beta:

Posted On Friday, December 10, 2010 1:55 PM | Comments (0)
Updated Virtual Machine for VS/TFS 2010

If you had downloaded the previous version of the virtual machines, then you are likely aware they are set to expire soon (12/15/2010).

Brian Keller announced yesterday (blog post here) the availability of a vm refresh (new expiration set for 6/1/2011).

What is part of the refresh?

Here is the excerpt from Brian’s post:

“ The version of this virtual machine which was refreshed on December 9, 2010, includes the following additions:
· Visual Studio 2010 Feature Pack 2
· Team Foundation Server 2010 Power Tools (September 2010 Release)
· Visual Studio 2010 Productivity Power Tools (these are disabled in VS so that the screenshots of the hands-on-labs still match; you can quickly enable the Productivity Power Tools via Tools -> Extension Manager from within Visual Studio)
· Test Scribe for Microsoft Test Manager
· Visual Studio Scrum 1.0 Process Template
· All Windows Updates through December 8, 2010
· Lab Management GDR (KB983578)
· Visual Studio 2010 Feature Pack 2 pre-requisite hotfix (KB2403277)
· Microsoft Test Manager hotfix (KB2387011)
· Minor fit-and-finish fixes based on customer feedback
· A new expiration date of June 1, 2011”

The links to download the Virtual Machines are:


Windows Virtual PC (Win 7):

Posted On Friday, December 10, 2010 1:03 PM | Comments (0)
Installing SQL Server Denali CTP

In keeping up with the releases this fall, I have gone through the exercise of installing Denali CTP on my Windows 7 dev machine.

Started by running the installation center


Selected a New SQL Server Installation


Went through the installation of support rules and files.

Selected the edition.


Accepted the License Agreement.


Installed Support Files.


Reviewed Support Rules.


Selected SQL Server Feature Installation


Selected the needed features.


Reviewed results from Validation Rules


Accepted defaults for Instance Configuration


Validated Space Requirements


This next step is key in production environments, make sure you selected and provide service accounts and if you are going to follow specific requirements based on security guidelines.


Configured the Authentication Mode for the Instance and also provided the initial Admin Account information for the RDBMS Engine and SSAS Engine.



Configured SSRS.


Accepted defaults for Error Reporting.


Validated installation rules.


Confirmed installation options.


Take note of the path where the ConfigurationFile.ini will be located for use in future installations and being able to automate the process.


Installation process will take place, and process will complete.

Posted On Wednesday, December 1, 2010 10:11 PM | Comments (0)
Windows Azure Platform Tools and Training Kit

As we have transitioned into a new release of the Azure Platform with added features, like the VM Role among other great things, it is time to get some additional functionality into Visual Studio as well.

Below you will find links to the tools refresh and also the new training kit for November.


Training Kit

Posted On Wednesday, December 1, 2010 6:53 AM | Comments (0)
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