Thursday, August 02, 2007

New Videos on ASP.NET for VSTS

Visual Studio Team System provides many ways for developers to extend the application build process, and in these videos they demonstrate how to automate builds, automate tests, and automate deployments.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Team System Web Access Power Tool Available!

Team System Web Access Power Tool is released the as the first "official" power tool release of Team System Web Access. It can be downloaded from here.

When Microsoft first acquired DevBiz, they provided v1.0 of TeamPlain for download. Based on customer demand, they uploaded a preview of TeamPlain 2.0. Neither were supported by Microsoft customer support but both were available for download by all TFS licensed users.

With the release of the Team System Web Access Power Tool, several things have changed.

This version is based on the TeamPlain 2.0 code base but a great deal of work has gone into it since March.

Although, it is still not yet an officially released Microsoft product it has taken some great strides, including:

  • Microsoft Customer Support Services will now support it.
  • The code has been run through the Microsoft release process which is an extensive gauntlet of checks that help ensure quality. Among the more important ones is a security review to make sure the code is not susceptible to attack.
  • MS have tested it to a moderate degree (including internally dogfooding it for a couple of months).
  • It contains numerous bug fixes beyond what was in the last available download. Some notable ones include:
  • Because of dogfooding they have made substantial additional performance improvements - particularly on first page load and work item load and save.
  • They have re-branded it as Microsoft Visual Studio Team System Web Access
  • They have improved some of the graphics and visuals.
  • They removed all of the old licensing code that required separate keys to be entered.
  • Improved error logging and added Dr. Watson support so reports of any crashes you experience can be sent to MS for investigation.

It also includes most of the features originally on the TeamPlain 2.0 feature list, including:

General Improvements

  • Better, faster and easier with the new Ajax user interface
  • Dramatic performance improvements for large team projects with a lot of work items, queries, area paths, and people
  • Theme support for the user interface (and a new Olive theme)
  • Manage alerts, subscribe to custom alerts
  • Home page customizations
  • Many dialogs open in their own window now, such as the work item editor, report viewer, file viewer and build results

Work Item Tracking

  • Ajax style design to avoid page reloads and to provide live feedback about the status of the work items
  • Work item type icons
  • Context sensitive menus for work items
  • Improved web controls to handle large datasets better
  • Improved query editor with grouping
  • Edit multiple work items at once (bulk editing)
  • Add related work item
  • Create copy of a work item
  • Send work items and query results as email
  • Copy queries between team projects


  • There is a new "Build" tab in this release, allowing to manage team builds.
  • View the list of builds, and apply filters
  • Start a new build
  • Monitor build progress live
  • View build logs, errors or warnings
  • Stop running builds
  • Delete a build
  • Change the quality of a build

Source Control

  • Faster browsing
  • Visual Diff for text files
  • Annotate (a.k.a. Blame)
  • Download the latest or a previous version of a file