Tuesday, June 29, 2004

SQL Server Best Practices Analyzer

Yes, I know, this blog is supposed to be about Team System, but since Team System will have a SQL Server backend, I thought I could digress quickly, because any developer worth his salt is going to want to take a look at this.

Yep, its just an app that analyzes your SQL Server for Best Practices. But its still cool. Here are some links:


Download BPA

SQL Server Developer Center

VS2005 Beta 1 announced

VS 2005 Beta 1 has been released. It should be available for download for MSDN subscribers within a couple of days.

Only the Team Architect portion of Team System is included with Beta 1. I have emailed a couple of people, asking what we are supposed to do if we want to continue being able to test the other pieces that were included in our May preview. I am afraid the answer is going to be have two different machines, one with the Beta on it, and one with the May bits on it. We'll see.

I was planning on starting to play with the coder coverage and testing areas of the May Preview, as that is what the walkthroughs at GotDotNet cover, but I may have to step back and go with the Architect piece. I'll wait and see.

Microsoft is also releasing what it is calling its Express Products. These are lightweight products for enthusiasts who want to experiment with MS tools and technologies, but don't have the cash to drop on a full-blown version of Visual Studio at this time. I think this is a great idea to suck new developers in, who otherwise would not be interested because they did not have access to the tools. I'll have to put playing with these on my list of things to do at some point.

Also, check out the MSDN Product Feedback Center. This is going to be a great way to help MS find bugs and provide feedback on what you think of VS2005.

Now I have to sit and wait on the Beta to be posted....

(EDIT: Infoworld Article, CNET Article)

Monday, June 28, 2004

Rob Caron Rocks..

That's what I get for not keeping up with my blog reading. Rob goes and gets all the cool links before I do. Wait, no, he was doing that even when I was keeping up with my blog reading.

Anyway, check out the following posts by Rob

SDTimes on Visual Studio Team System

Microsoft Research on Righting Software

Danger as a Teaching Mechanism

Keep up the great work Rob!

Reporting in VSTS...

Yes, I know I am behind the times, but Keith Rowe has a good blog on reporting and VSTS. I am really excited about how flexible the reporting system is going to be, and how much information you will have access to.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

It's Good To Be Back...

Yes! Its good to be back! Sorry for the long delay in posts. I've had several non-technology things pull me away (imagine that!). But I am back and ready to get back in the groove. Plus I have a cable modem now, so fast access at home. Woo Hoo!

There is a good interview with Harry Pierson at TSS.net. It doesn't focus on VSTS specifically, but its give you a good understanding of what Harry is trying to do.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

VSTS Blog Roundup....

Interesting tidbits from the blogs I read:

If you have a blog you think I should be reading, send it to me!

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Site Feed for my blog...

Ooops, with all the links I have added to my site, you would think I would have gotten this one up here by now. Sorry about that. Here is the link to the Atom feed (all the Blogger will do right now):


Thanks, Slavo, for pointing this out.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Class Designer, Part 3

Opened my class diagram, ClassDesignerTest.cd. I right-clicked on it and selected Show Base Class. This added a class to my designer called Object, with an arrow pointing from my class, HelloWorld, to this class, indicating that my class inherited from the Object class. If you move your cursor over the arrow, it displays the following message "ClassDesignerTest.HelloWorld inherits from System.Object". Very cool.

I right-clicked on my HelloWorld class, and selected View Code. This opened the HellowWorld.cs file, and, in what I think is a very cool feature of VS2005, it opened it on the LEFT-HAND SIDE of the screen. Very nice.

If the class you want to see the code for has focus in the designer, you can also press CNTL+ENTER to open the code view.

Whidbey Documentation Woes...

Ok, the Whidbey documentation is starting to REALLY irritate me. I can't get anything to open in it. The library will open, and I can browse the contents or do a search through the index, but when I finally find the topic I am interested in, it just sits there trying to open it. It will get about 4 green bars across the bottom and then continue to sit there. I let it run all day at work one day, but to no avail. What gives?

Anyone else having this issue?

Class Designer, Part 2

So, now I have my Class Designer page with one class on it, the HelloWorld class. I right-clicked (RC) on the object for the context menu, as I find this the quickest way to find out what all you can do with something. There were several different options, which we will investigate later.

I left-clicked (LC) the object to give it focus, and this displays the Class Details window at the bottom of the development environment. This window displays information on the Methods, Properties, Fields, and Events of the class. This information can also be displayed in the Class Designer inside the object on the page. Currently, my class is completely empty, so there is nothing there.

I decided to try and add a property to my class, so I RC on the object, and select Add->Add Property. I recieved the following error message:

"Microsoft Development Environment -> An error was encountered while creating the artifact."

I recieved the same error message when I tried to add any of the following:

  • Add Field

  • Add Method

  • Add Constructor

  • Add Destructor

  • Add Constant

The Add Events option worked though.

I shut everything down, rebooted, and tried again with the same results. So I did some research in the news groups and found this is a bug with the May build that we are currently using. I also found out that the code synch between the designer and code file is acting kinda buggy in this build as well. We'll see about that once we get that far.

I am very happy with the quick responses that the VSTS team is providing in the news groups. They are obviously monitoring everything and are very willing to help with pretty much any problem.

Class Designer, Part 1

Well, I have decided to take on Class Designer initially. First, let me point out that I can't upload images to blogger.com, so I don't have screen shots to go along with this. Until I find some other place to blog, you'll just have to make do with my text descriptions. If anyone has any suggestions of other places to blog, let me know

I started up VS2005 and created a C# console app project called ClassDesignerTest. It created the project for me and a C# file called Program.cs. I decided I wanted to build a class called HelloWorld (I know, really original), with two fields, msg1, and msg2, and a function, OutputMessage. (Ok, given the fact that my organization does not have ANY naming standards, and I have not found anything yet that tells me what my naming standards should be with .NET, I'm just kinda making things up as I go along. Feel free to point me to some resources.)

I right-clicked on the project, selected Add, then New Item. From the Visual C# Project Items, I selected Class Diagram. I named it ClassDesignerTest and clicked Add. A file called ClassDesignerTest.cd was added to my project for me.

I double-clicked the file to open it. The Class Designer toolbar lists several different objects that can be used to create Class Diagrams. I dragged a class object from the Toolbar onto the page. This opened a New Class Dialog box, where you enter the following information:

  • Class Name - HelloWorld (Typing here automatically filled in the next line)

  • File Name - HelloWorld.cs

  • Access - Public (This is a Drop Down List Box that you pick from)

I clicked OK and it created a class object on the page named HelloWorld and a file in my project called HelloWorld.cs

Monday, June 07, 2004

Work Items...

kkelly has a great blog on work items. Definently something to get you thinking on how they could be used with VSTS and your organization.

VSTS and Methodologies

Keith Rowe has a good post on this. He also hints at a version of MSF called MSF Agile, for smaller development shops. This has me licking my chops, and I would love some more information or links to this.

Why Unit Testing in VSTS

Jason Anderson answers this question on his blog. I love the idea of how all these different items are going to be integrated. The potential boggles the mind.

Code Snippets

James Newkirk has uploaded several code snippets to the TDD workspace. I think they are worth checking out.

More Videos...

More Feature videos for Team Developer. I'll let ya know what I think once I watch them.

TechEd General Session Demo of Team System

Thanks to Chris Lucas for pointing out this link. I'm downloading it now, so I'll give you my thoughts on it once I watch it, as I missed this session at Tech Ed.

Friday, June 04, 2004

Overview of UI Elements in Team Test

Chris Lucas has a great blog on an overview of the UI Elements in Team Test and a starter on how to extend them. Takes about 10 minutes to read, but is chock full of good information and screen shots.

You'll have to scroll to the bottom of the page to see it though, as it has some kind of formatting issue.

Interesting Take on Unit Tests

Brian Malcolm has an interesting take on Unit Tests which has actually made me stop and think for a little bit. Basically he say to write unit tests and have a policy in place so that no one can check code back in until it passes all the unit tests. This way, if someone writes or modifies some code that breaks your code, they can't check it in, and then you have to come behind them and fix the problem.

That is actually a good idea, and I have never really thought about it from that perspective. Like all developers, testing is always the last thing I normally do, except for some spot testing during development. It might be interesting on my next project to try creating the unit tests up front and see how this goes.

Profiler and the BSOD

Angry Richard has a couple of blog entries related to the profiler and using Virtual PC. BSOD, for those who don't remember the 90's, refers to Blue Screen Of Death, basically Windows completely hosing up on you. Apparently there are some issues using Profiler and VPC, because of the way the counters are used, which can cause a BSOD.

I have to agree with Richard that I don't really see the point in doing this. Because VPC is already creating some overhead on your machine, you aren't going to get a true representation of performance.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Team System Diagram

Here is a diagram showing what Team System is expected to deliver. Thanks to Darren Jefford for the link to this.


Well, the documentation was not much help. But I should have expected that, since one of the focus groups I went to at Tech Ed mentioned that very little Team System documentation had been written. There are links in the index, but they never open anything. So I am going to rely on some of the Microsoft Bloggers on the Team System team to get me started.

I've decided to start out my journey into Team System with the Class Designer. I'll crank it up later today and have a go-round with it, and see what happens.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Install Complete

Ok, the install is complete. Adding the MSDN library was another 2GB of data. So total install took about 2 hours.

Time to crack open some documentation and figure out where to start!

James Newkirk and his first unit test with Team System

Ahh, the classic "Hello World". Dang, he beat me to it. I'll have to come up with something else now.

Really Big Install

Wow! Not that I should really be surprised, but the install is REALLY BIG! 2.4GB to be precise. It is installing the following components:

  • .NET Framework 2.0 Beta

  • J# 2.0 Beta

  • Visual Studio 2005 Beta

  • Device Emulator Version 1.0

My First Post

So here I am, about to try and seriously (I really mean it this time) undertake a blog. I just returned from Microsoft Tech Ed 2004 in San Deigo, and my technical and developmental juices are flowing (get your heads out of the gutter people!). One of the things they introduced at Tech Ed was Microsoft Team System, which is a complete system for development including modeling, project management, and testing. Its kinda like the Office Suite, except for developers.

This blog will be my journey (probably my long, painful journey), to get a better understanding of this system. It is currently in the Alpha stage right now, so this should be interesting, and rather entertaining too, I would suspect.

Right now I am reformatting a spare laptop and installing Windows XP on it. Once I have it patched and running, I will install the Community Technology Preview of VS2005, which is supposed to include Team Studio (I recieved this on a DVD at the conference, but it can also be downloaded from the MSDN website. Links to follow later on.)

Hold on, this is going to be a very bumpy ride, but by the end we should all have learned something!