Tuesday, November 29, 2016

VSTS - RM & PM in GA, Search for a file and Microsoft Teams

This month we had not one, not two but even three feature release of Visual Studio Team Services!

I had to choose between so many new features to have my top 3 list this month, so it means that they are the very best.

Package Management & Release Management General Availability

Package Management now hosts NuGet and npm packages and helps you manage the lifecycle of your packages with new features like release views. It continues to offer best-in-class support for the latest NuGet updates and great integration with Team Build.

Packages enable you to share code across your organization: you can compose a large product, develop multiple products based on a common shared framework, or create and share reusable components and libraries. Package Management facilitates code sharing by hosting your packages, sharing them with the people you select, and making them easily accessible to Team Build and Release Management.
The Package Management extension is available in the marketplace

Release Management is also available in GA in VSTS and TFS 2017. Using Release Management, you can fully automate the delivery of your software all the way to production. It is an essential element of DevOps that helps your team continuously deliver software to your customers at a faster pace and with lower risk.

To use Release Management, first create release definitions and then configure environments and specify automation steps in each environment to deploy the software and run tests against it. You can set up automatic deployment to the environments as soon as the build is available to deliver value continuously to your customers. You can also configure approvals on each environment.

Search for a file or folder in commit history

Similar to the files tab, users can now search for a file or folder in a repository and see the history of commits for that file or folder. For any Git repository, go to the path control box on the History tab and start typing to initiate a history search experience for the file or folder you are looking for.

Microsoft Teams integration

Microsoft Teams is a new chat-based workspace in Office365 that makes collaborating on software projects with Team Services a breeze. Team Services users can stay up to date with alerts for work items, pull requests, commits, and builds using the Connectors within Microsoft Teams. Starting November 9, users will also be able to bring their Kanban boards right into Microsoft Teams.

Monday, November 28, 2016

WorkItems History: My first extension for VSTS and TFS

I'm very excited and proud to share with you the first version of my very first Extension for Visual Studio Team Services and Team Foundation Server: WorkItems History.

WorkItems History is an extension that adds a "History" hub to the Work section of VSTS/TFS and allows you to see the history of the added/modified work items.

Working in a team is not always easy, especially when you need to have "things under control". With this extension, you can have a little more control of what is happening on your work.

Other info
I decided to release this extension as Open Source Software.
You can have a look at its GitHub page (https://github.com/n3wt0n/WorkItemsHistory) and, if you wish, you can contribute to the project. Please refer to Contribution guidelines and the Code of Conduct for more details.

Usage, support and Feedback
The extension is publicly available on the VS Marketplace, at this link: https://marketplace.visualstudio.com/items?itemName=DB.WorkItemsHistory

You can take a look at the GitHub repo to find more information on usage or installation of the extension.

If you encounter any issue using this extension, please let me know through the Issues page on GitHub and I'll fix the problem as soon as possible!

I'm waiting for your feedback :)

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Data and News from Connect(); 2016

On Wednesday, November 16, 2016, Microsoft demonstrated at Connect(); 2016 its vision of enabling the future of development with solutions that serve any developer, any application and any platform.

They have also shared some very interesting data about services and products adoption:
  • More than 20 million Visual Studio 2015 installs (with the free Community edition representing more than 14 million of those)
  • 1 million Visual Studio Code monthly active users (MAU).
  • 4.6 million registered Visual Studio Team Services users
  • More than 25,000 developers from 1,700 companies have contributed to .NET Core and related open source repositories, with nearly 2/3 of the contributions coming from outside Microsoft.
  • 1 million Visual Studio Dev Essentials members
  • Half-a-million more Xamarin users since the acquisition, a 3x increase over the company’s previous growth rate.
  • 20,000- registrations for the SQL Server on Linux private preview, including over 50% of the Fortune 500.
  • 1.6 million Azure SQL Databases in the cloud and over 100 billion queries per day
  • More than 120,000 new Azure subscriptions/month
  • Approximately 1 out of 3 VMs on Azure are Linux
  • 35% month over month growth of Microsoft Graph in past year.
  • 47,000 active third party applications built using Microsoft Graph and more than 1 billion API transactions on Microsoft Graph
  • More than 400M Windows 10 devices
  • The Windows 10 Cortana search box now has over 141 million monthly active users
Brian Harry has written a very good blog post (read it here) with all the announcements about TFS and VSTS. Take a look at it!

Monday, October 31, 2016

VSTS - Scheduled release, Azure and XCode build

One more month, one more exciting release of Visual Studio Team Services.
These are my top 3 new features of this month:

Multiple schedules in releases

Want to schedule your releases to be created more than one time in a day? You can now configure multiple scheduled triggers in a release definition.

Simplified Azure endpoint creation

In an earlier sprint, VSTS team made it easier to create a new Azure Resource Manager service endpoint from Team Services. That experience only worked in accounts that are backed by an Azure Active Directory. In this deployment, they are bringing the same simplified experience for all the other accounts that are not backed by an AAD. So, if you are a MSA user and have an Azure subscription that you would like to deploy to from Team Services, you can create an Azure endpoint without having to run tedious Powershell scripts or following a blog.

Xcode 8 signing and exporting packages in the Xcode Build Task

The Xcode build task now supports building your projects using Xcode 8 automatic signing. You can install the certificates and provisioning profiles on the build server manually, or have the task install them by specifying the File Contents options.

Xcode 8 requires specifying an export options plist when exporting an app package (IPA) from an archive (.xcarchive). The Xcode task now automatically identifies the export method if you are using Xcode 8 or Xcode 7. You can specify the export method or specify a custom plist file from the Xcode task. If you are using an Xcode version older than Xcode 7, the task falls back to using the old tool (xcrun) for creating the app package.

Friday, September 30, 2016

VSTS - Manual deploy, Git imports and Queues

Here we are for a new episode of my personal "top 3 new VSTS features" series. Let's talk about September.

Deployment manual intervention

You can now pause execution during deployment to an environment. Including a Manual Intervention task enables you to pause a deployment, perform manual steps, and then resume further automated steps. You can also reject the deployment and prevent further steps from executing after a manual intervention.

You should note that a manual intervention task splits the overall execution into three phases. 

  • The first phase runs on an agent, and after it is done, the agent is released. 
  • The manual intervention phase does not require any agent. 
  • After it is completed, any tasks following the manual intervention task are run in the third phase, possibly on a different agent. The artifacts are downloaded during both the agent phases, since different agents may be used for both of them. You should not assume that the state from the first phase is available during subsequent phases.

Import Git repositories

We can now import a Git repository from GitHub, BitBucket, GitLab, or other locations, into Visual Studio Team Services. You can import into either a new or an existing empty repository.

To import into a new repository, from the repository selector drop-down, click Import repository. 

If the source repository is a publicly available repository, then simply provide the clone URL of the source repository and you are good to go.
However, if the source repository is a private repository and can be accessed using basic authentication (username-password, personal access token, etc.), then check the “Requires authorization” check-box to provide the corresponding credentials.

Instead, to import into an existing empty repository, on the Files page, click the Import repository button and provide the clone URL. You will need to provide credentials if the source repository is private and requires authentication.

Build queue tab

They've implemented a new design for the Queued builds page that shows a longer list of queued and running builds, and in a more intuitive fashion. Looks good...