VSTS and Sitecore NuGet feeds

SPECIAL NOTE: This article is a lead up for my November 30th #SCUniversity session on Continuous Integration and Deployment. Register for the webinar now!

When you are setting up your Continuous Integration build definition in Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS, formerly Visual Studio Online) you will get a NuGet Restore step that by default will work with any standard NuGet feeds. However, if you try to build your solution with Sitecore NuGet references it can’t download the packages. Time for your NuGet.config!

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Using TDS with Visual Studio Online build server

HedgehogRecently I needed to get builds running in Visual Studio Online (VSO) that contained Team Development for Sitecore (TDS) projects. Since I cannot install the TDS software on the VSO build server, I needed another way to get these projects to compile with a VSO build definition.

The following blog post has very detailed instructions on how to change your TDS project to use Hedgehog DLLs and a license file within your source control and helped immensely:

http://www.experimentsincode.com/?p=586

Important!

The referenced post indicates that you should update a file named TDSLicence.config in order to provide your TDS licence key. This file does not exist by default, so you will need to create it. The file name is important! I accidentally created the file with the American spelling ‘TDSLicense.config’ and the build server was unable to validate the file. Hedgehog support helped me out by pointing out my typo, but also explained that version 5.1 and up will support both spelling variations.

Visual Studio Online agile options are opening up

VSORecently, Aaron Bjork wrote about some of the goodies coming down the pipe for Visual Studio Online (VSO) agile project management options. I still remember my first forays into TFS 2010, trying desperately to use it to manage my agile projects.

Needless to say, I was frustrated at the time, but today is a new day!

There are a lot of things coming like Kanban board improvements, hierarchical backlog management, and task customizations. Fun goodies to play with for all 🙂
Continue reading “Visual Studio Online agile options are opening up”

Visual Studio Online Stakeholder licensing is live

TFSAbout a month ago, I mentioned that Visual Studio Online was making some licensing changes to better integrate the greater project team into the tool. The Stakeholder licensing changes were announced as live this past week. Of course this happened while I was away on vacation!

I have a theory: the best way to make something happen is to go do something else. So I spent the last couple of weeks road-tripping, hence the lack of new content the last few weekends. Lo and behold, the Stakeholder licenses arrive! Continue reading “Visual Studio Online Stakeholder licensing is live”

Upcoming VS Online licensing changes greatly helping Microsoft’s position

TFSLast week, Brian Harry announced on his blog some upcoming changes to the Visual Studio Online licensing.  Word is that the changes should be coming in the next few months (an August-like timeframe is mentioned).  The announced changes are going to be a great help in positioning Microsoft against some of their competition in the Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) sphere. How they went about deciding what change to make is just as interesting.

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How Visual Studio Online won me over in under 90 minutes

TFSFor the last year or so, I’ve been living in a mostly Atlassian world: JIRA OnDemand, BitBucket, SourceTree… likely more before the year is done. Sure, I still use our on-premise TFS 2010 at work along with Visual Studio of various editions, but my ALM world has really been rocked by those gorgeous tools from Atlassian. This past Friday I should have been doing something productive (like writing a blog post) but suddenly I was captivated by the world of Visual Studio Online. Continue reading “How Visual Studio Online won me over in under 90 minutes”

Getting started with Agile ALM for Sitecore

application-lifecycle-managementOver the last few years, I’ve been trying to iteratively improve our own processes at nonlinear to deliver better Sitecore solutions and set our clients up for maintainable and sustainable ALM processes. Some of my posts on automated Sitecore deployments with TFS or TeamCity outlined some of the initial steps we took in automated deployments.  Recently, we posted a brief series to help folks getting into Application Lifecycle Management:

The first new piece of content I put together on this was a slideshare introducing ALM concepts of tool and process improvements, just to get people thinking about where they are in the process and what they need to change. I also covered how to achieve this with continuous improvement model, instead of trying to do a big-bang delivery.

The second piece I wrote covers why ALM matters for Sitecore (and pretty much any web application).  The post covers some of the primary benefits of ALM, as well as how to apply ALM processes during your Sitecore implementations.

The third piece, written by my colleague Mauro, highlights some tips for automated testing of Sitecore implementations, specifically with Selenium. He’s been doing some really awesome things with automated testing of Content Editor, Page Editor, and the end-user flows.

The recommended reads:

A starters guide to Git for TFS GitWits…

This is a great blog post for those users who have hesitated adopting TFS as an ALM tool because of their dislike of TFS source control. René covers the advantages of using Git with TFS, and also maps it out for users who want to make the transition.

The Road to ALM

When I started my development career way back in 1999, the first Source Control System I ever used was Visual SourceSafe. After a few years I switched to SVN for a while and I liked that. The, in 2005 came Team Foundation Server and I embraced it, including the Source Control of course. And since then I must say, I really like TFS Source Control. You need to remember that the server must always know what you are doing, but once you know that and practice that it is simply a great and easy to use Version Control System.

When TFS 2012 introduced Local Workspaces, it became even better, because now all the advantages of TFS and all the advantages of a system like for example SVN were combined. The perfect world !

But then came Git. And I must say that is something different. When I first heard…

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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.

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