Microsoft completes acquisition of InRelease software

TFSWhile I was at the ALM Summit in January, Claude from InCycle (now with Microsoft) was doing demos of their InRelease software.  The deployment software allowed for a massive amount of deployment configuration, moving a build between labs and retaining environment-specific configurations using a tokenized language.  The workflow definition for how the build should flow from environment to environment also allowed for accepting or rejecting the build.

I was impressed at the time, and obviously Microsoft was as well, since they started the process for acquiring the product a few months ago.  As of July 10th, the acquisition is official.

This means InRelease will soon become a full part of Visual Studio and Team Foundation Server 2013.  The preview download is available from the InCycle website.


TFS as perfect tool for Scrum (Part 1) – Introduction in Scrum and TFS

I’ve been using TFS 2010 and 2012 as an ALM tool for the last year and a half, and this blog post summarizes my thoughts on the good parts of the platform perfectly!

I will note that I don’t think TFS is a “perfect tool”.  Any tool has ways in which it can improve, and you can just look at the competitors in the ALM space to see where they are trying to differentiate themselves in order to see where TFS might fall short, or be missing some polish.  However, I haven’t seen any other ALM tool that covers as many aspects of the application lifecycle.  TFS may not be best-in-breed at any one task (bug reporting, source control, build management, etc.) but it can do it all in one product, which is what I like best about it.  Having a “single truth” to what is happening, instead of having it spread across multiple disparate tools.

The Road to ALM

This year I was invited again to present at Microsoft TechDays. This event is held every year in the World Forum in The Hague. This year I spoke about why TFS is the perfect tool for Scrum.

My session was about how to use TFS as tool for Scrum. I talked about the different stages of Scrum, and what TFS can do in these stages. For example, Where to put the Sprint Goal, How to Split up PBI’s etc.

For the people who speak Dutch, my session can be found on Channel 9 and the slides can be viewed here.

For all people who do not speak Dutch or who do not want to see slides or video alone this blog will be the answer. In the upcoming weeks, I will blog about this session. I will talk about how TFS can support the implementation of Scrum and…

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Dungeons and Dragons TFS Process Template

TFSThere was no way that I could resist downloading the D&D process template posted by the TFS product team on their blog.  I absolutely NEEDED to see what had been done inside here.  The blog post was very bare on the details, but it seems that with a few configuration changes this process template can help to make your daily work a little more fun.

Here’s what I was able to find by digging through the files in the ZIP that you can download:

Continue reading “Dungeons and Dragons TFS Process Template”

Automating Sitecore Deployments with TFS and TDS

During development, your team makes a lot of changes to fields, templates, presentation details, and various other elements that need to be tracked, verified, and deployed.  You need a way to source control those database changes, and then make them available to your team to test.  Here’s how to accomplish that using Team Foundation Server (TFS) and Team Development for Sitecore (TDS)!

Sitecore content items in source control

Our teams use Team Development for Sitecore from Hedgehog Development to create .NET TDS projects to source control the changes we make in the Sitecore database.  There’s a great guide from Hedgehog to start with, and I’ve previously written a post on some project configuration basics.

Automating deployments of Sitecore content items

With your content items now in Source Control, you can start getting your database changes deployed along with your build.

Note: This assumes you are automating your file deployments to push code changes out to your environments.  If you aren’t yet, you should be!  Look for my upcoming posts on setting up deployment build configurations.

In order to get TFS to be able to deploy, there are a few things you need:

Continue reading “Automating Sitecore Deployments with TFS and TDS”

Managing the Agile Process

Managing the Agile Process

Managing the Agile Process

Aaron Bjork made a great presentation at ALM Summit 2011.  I’ll be providing my insights into using TFS 2012 on projects in some upcoming posts, but I think Aaron did an awesome job of explaining some of the agile management issues, as well as showcasing some of the new features for agile management in TFS 2012.

Video here: