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August 2011 Entries
BizTalk 2010 Training for Admins and Devs

Microsoft released downloadable training materials for BizTalk 2010 for both Administrators and Developers.

Training for Developers: http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=14865

Training for Administrators: http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=27148

Posted On Monday, August 29, 2011 10:44 AM | Comments (0)
What can TFS do for me, as an IT Pro? An Overview. Part 1 of 3.

Let’s define what this should mean and be about. How can I as an IT Pro be able to use TFS for the tasks and activities I normally do.  Whether it is controlling a project or creating scripts and such.  The vision while it goes into execution with TFS, will include a process with SharePoint somewhere in there too.

Scenario #1: Change Control, Change Management or Specific no-code Project Control.

As an IT Pro, what do I do?  Change Control, Change Management, Project Management. The problem?  Yes, we follow ITIL, but we really don’t document.  Now, in no way I am saying that TFS is the immediate answer, but it does offer options we may want to make use of.

TFS does not work if it does not have a Project Collection and a Project.  Those are the physical and logical repositories.  Physical in the form of a Database, logical in the form of a grouping for all items related to the Project I am working on.

On to the features, once the Project Collection has been setup using the TFS Administrator Console, we can go into Team Explorer (or Visual Studio for that matter) and create the Team Project.  Then make use of User Stories or Requirements, and then define the Tasks that go with each User Story or Requirement.

You may be thinking, why use TFS for this when I can use Microsoft Project or Excel to chart this.  True!! But having it centralized is a key point perhaps, and not on an individual’s desktop.  Not saying this is the “silver bullet”, just an option.  The other part of this that I should make clear is the fact you do not have to use Visual Studio.  You can be using the web interface for TFS, Microsoft Project or Microsoft Excel and sync up to TFS, or SharePoint Technologies that have the TFS web parts and services synchronized with it.  So, options?  Yes, a number of them.

Scenario #2: Script Repository.

TFS as a product offers a great way to work with Source Control/Version Control.  The fact we could, by saving to a controlled repository, have history for our scripts.  What would be needed?  We do not need a full blown Visual Studio deployment.  Again, using Team Explorer we can achieve this (mind you this is installing and using the VS Shell). Then we need the TFS Power Tools, why?  This gives us integration components between Windows Explorer and TFS. This will also give us the option of having our workspace synchronized to a local directory on our desktop.  Then going to that local directory and see the following:

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Being able, then, to add files and folders, and then add them to the repository and check them in or out.  It expands the possibilities we have available.  Working with PowerShell scripts?  Great way of creating a repository.

In Closing … for now.

My intention with this post is just to get things started, is TFS the only option?  No, but if your organization already has it in place or is in the plans, this should be part of the expected value as well.

The next posts will go into the specifics of what is needed and a step by step on how to get those two scenarios in place.

Posted On Friday, August 26, 2011 9:43 PM | Comments (1)
Microsoft releases Developer Tools Deployment Planning Services

If your question is, what is this? or perhaps more around … what does this mean?  Let me explain a bit about it.

Microsoft has been providing this type of services through partners within a given competency to clients that are looking to deploy and implement Microsoft products like SharePoint, Exchange or the strategy behind Windows and Office deployments.  The way it works, well you purchase your products and perhaps those products come with Software Assurance and they have training/service credits.  Those credits then can be used to cover the deployment planning services based on the number of days the credits convert to. With that said, there are SharePoint Deployment Planning Services, Exchange Deployment Planning Services, and so on.  Now, this has been released to cover the deployment of Developer Tools.

The Services are as follows:

  • Team Foundation Server Deployment Assessment – This is a five-day assessment that provides a detailed overview of the steps required for a successful deployment of Team Foundation Server 2010.
  • Visual SourceSafe Migration Assessment – This is a three-day engagement that provides a detailed overview of the steps required to migrate from Visual SourceSafe to Team Foundation Server 2010.
  • Visual Studio Quality Tools Deployment Assessment – This is a five-day assessment that provides a plan to simplify and streamline test planning and manual test execution processes by utilizing Team Foundation Server 2010 with Test Professional 2010.

If you are a customer, you will need to contact your Microsoft rep to get the details, but know this gives a standardized process to deploy TFS based on your requirements and needs.  There is plenty that will be discovered during the discussions. You can find more information here: http://tk5bpsweb01.partners.extranet.microsoft.com/en/DTDPS/pages/about.aspx

If you are a partner and are looking to offer this: You need to have the ALM Gold Competency, and become very familiar not only with the materials, process and tools, but also with the items you will need to deliver and the documentation and quality of it the client will need to receive.  More information here:

Service Description

Competency Requirements

Make sure you take advantage of this extremely valuable resource.

Posted On Thursday, August 25, 2011 7:47 PM | Comments (0)
Training Kit for Team Foundation Server 2010 is now available

A couple of days ago, Microsoft release a Training Kit for TFS 2010.  The training kit contains presentations, demos and labs to get to know the platform better and understand the purpose and capabilities of the product.

The download is available here:  http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=27152

Posted On Thursday, August 25, 2011 3:32 PM | Comments (0)
Introduction to LightSwitch Presentation from EVVDNUG

Here is the slide deck I used

 

The following are the links I made a reference to in addition to those in the deck.

MSDN LightSwitch Samples

Printing from LightSwitch (Michael Washington)

LightSwitch Help Site

Posted On Wednesday, August 24, 2011 8:20 PM | Comments (0)
Requirements Management: From Vision to Mission to Success Presentation at SharePoint Saturday The Conference

Yesterday I presented at SPSTC, had an absolute blast, and I truly hope the attendees to my session did as well!  That was my requirement!

We discussed the reasons for failed requirements management, scope creep and other pitfalls.  But the main goal behind this is how to enable an effective Requirements Management Engine by using SharePoint Technologies and Team Foundation Server.

Keep posted as there is much more to come in this space about that thought process.  In the meantime, here is the deck I created.

Posted On Saturday, August 13, 2011 11:35 AM | Comments (0)
Does Visual Studio LightSwitch have a place in the SharePoint space?

Recently, I have found myself using Visual Studio LightSwitch more and more.  And needless to say, it got me thinking about a strategy for LightSwitch in a SharePoint environment.  Yes, the product positions itself as a tool to develop LOB apps in a rather fast fashion.  There will be those that will deem it as a prototype tool, many RAD tools end up being that.  But, LightSwitch had this “je ne sais quoi” about it.  Actually, I feel I know what it is.

If you are still with me, step into this thought with me.  What if, Visual Studio LightSwitch had the possibility of going to an area were InfoPath should have gone?  What if we built smarter forms?  Forms that could be delivered to a Windows Azure environment/repository?  Forms where SharePoint was abstracted from the regular view, but still store the information?  It is a strange thought.  But here is my reasoning.  If I am a customer that has not bought into Office365 for whichever reason, but I have a SharePoint Foundation service on prem or hosted how can I leverage the use of Web based Business Forms?

Not looking to stir the pot or start a revolution (not good at that), but rather open the possibilities of what LightSwitch can offer in this space.  Create a list in SharePoint Foundation, connect and design through LightSwitch, connect the SharePoint deployment to Windows Azure though Azure Connect, deploy the LightSwitch application to Azure.  Not saying this is the only way, but looking at the options available.  It also not about using buzz words, but rather solutions.

Obviously, this post is just the start of a thought process, but I see many opportunities to make it a reality.  Many pieces are starting to fall into place.  From the offerings of companies like Infragistics and ComponentOne with their controls and such, to the amount of work the LightSwitch Team (Beth Massi comes to mind) has put around making sure everyone is up to date and understanding what this tool can do.

I feel and believe the perfect representation of my thoughts would be through some webcast/demo. That will be my next step in this adventure worth taking a look into. Until then … happy coding!

Posted On Wednesday, August 3, 2011 5:29 PM | Comments (1)
SharePoint Saturday The Conference is getting closer

I am all set, have my presentation ready. Excited, can hardly wait!!

SPSTC-Badge

Don’t miss the early bird special for SharePoint Saturday The Conference in DC! Ends Aug 7! http://bit.ly/nXVwgm

Posted On Tuesday, August 2, 2011 6:22 AM | Comments (0)
Lync Training Plans

Ever since I started working with SharePoint, I have always felt the “standard” grouping most training organizations make for people are the same old three: Admins, Devs and Users.  True it fits most molds, but not as effective as truly understanding the value of roles.  Now, the title of the post is in fact Lync Training Plans.  The Lync Team has put together some guidance in the form of (drumroll!) Training Plans based on roles that go beyond your “User” grouping.  You can download it here

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It is an Excel workbook with the different roles.

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Each section has a categorization of the resources, resource type, link and a recommendation.  Each category has a description.  Very well done!!

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Posted On Tuesday, August 2, 2011 5:59 AM | Comments (0)
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