Team System 2008 SP1 Virtual PC/Virtual Server and Hyper-V images are live

Brian Randell just announced his holiday surprise: New Virtual PC/Server and Hyper-V images with VSTS and TFS and a 12/31/2009 expiration date.

As part of the refresh and extending the expiration date, Brian have updated the images to include the following (naturally some items only appear in the “all-up” images):

  • the latest virtual machine additions or integration services components
  • all of the latest Windows Updates as of December 1, 2008
  • Team Foundation Server 2008 SP1
  • Visual Studio 2008 Team Suite SP1
  • Team System Web Access 2008 SP1
  • Team Foundation Power Tools, October 2008 update
  • the latest MSSCCI provider
  • Team Explorer 2005 (this allows you to work with TFS from Visual Studio 2005 which is installed so that you can edit and customize TFS reports)
  • the GDR for the product formally known as Visual Studio 2008 Database Edition (aka Data Dude)
  • current Process Explorer, Process Monitor, and Background Info

You can download the images from:

 

Read Brian’s full post here.

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How to set up TFS 2008 SP1 to use TSWA links in checkin notification emails

Buck Hodges has created a great post on this commonly issue here.

<TestContainer> Works With WebTest & LoadTest In Team Build 2008 With SP1

The new <TestContainer> item in Team Build 2008 in a great way to run tests without test metadata file (*.vsmdi).

You can specify the following to run all unit tests found in assemblies matching the pattern *.Tests.dll and even specify .LoadTest and .WebTest files as well:

<ItemGroup>
  <TestContainer Include="$(Outdir)*.Tests.dll" />
  <TestContainer Include="$(Outdir)WebTest1.webtest" />
  <TestContainer Include="$(Outdir)LoadTest1.loadtest" />
</ItemGroup>

But if you try to run it in Team Build 2008, you will get an error like: Could not load file or assembly.

That’s because the task tries to do an Assembly.LoadFrom() on whatever files you include in the <TestContainer> item. This obviously fails because .LoadTest and .WebTest are XML files, not assemblies.

This problem has been solved in TFS 2008 SP1. All you need to do is to apply the TFS SP1 patch to the build machine (If you don’t want, it’s not necessary to install TFS SP1 on TF Server to get the fix).

Team System Web Access 2008 SP1

The Team System Web Access team had released SP1 last week.

Some of the cool new features include:

  • Ability to run multi-language in a single TSWA instance.
  • 10 languages supported
  • Work Item only view for users without a CAL!!
  • more

Ed Hintz’s announcement to see what’s new in this release:http://blogs.msdn.com/edhintz/archive/2008/08/29/team-system-web-access-2008-sp1-power-tool.aspx

Download: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=3ECD00BA-972B-4120-A8D5-3D38311893DE

Visual Studio 2008 Service Pack 1 and .NET Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1

Introduction

Visual Studio 2008 and the .NET Framework 3.5 enable developers to rapidly create connected applications that deliver high quality and rich user experiences. Visual Studio 2008 enables organizations of every size to rapidly create secure, manageable, and reliable applications that are optimized for Windows Vista™, SQL Server, the Microsoft 2007 Office system and the Web.

Visual Studio 2008 Service Pack 1 (SP1) and .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 continue Microsoft’s investment in market leading development tools and developer platform. SP1 addresses issues that were found through a combination of customer and partner feedback, as well as internal testing. These service packs offer customers improvements in responsiveness, stability and performance.

Overview

.NET-based Windows application development benefits from increased Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) designer performance and updated components for Visual Basic and Visual C++ (including a MFC-based Office 2007 Ribbon).  Web development improvements include enhanced the client-side script tooling (JavaScript IntelliSense). In addition to IDE performance improvements SP1 fully supports SQL Server 2008 and the ADO.NET Entity Framework.

The .NET Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1 (SP1) delivers more controls, a streamlined setup, improved start-up performance, and powerful new graphics features for client development and rich data scaffolding, improved AJAX support, and other improvements for Web development. Additionally it introduces support for the ADO.NET Entity Framework and ADO.NET Data Services, which simplify data access code in applications by providing an extensible, conceptual model for data from any data source and enabling this model to closely reflect business requirements.

Visual Studio 2008 SP1 delivers:

  • Improved WPF designers
  • SQL Server 2008 support
  • ADO.NET Entity Designer
  • Visual Basic and Visual C++ components and tools (including an MFC-based Office 2007 style ‘Ribbon’)
  • Visual Studio Team System Team Foundation Server (TFS) addresses customer feedback on version control usability and performance, email integration with work item tracking and full support for hosting on SQL Server 2008
  • Richer JavaScript support, enhanced AJAX and data tools, and Web site deployment improvements

The .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 delivers:

  • Performance increases between 20-45% for WPF-based applications – without having to change any code
  • WCF improvements that give developers more control over the way they access data and services
  • Streamlined installation experience for client applications
  • Improvements in the area of data platform, such as the ADO.NET Entity Framework, ADO.NET Data Services and support for SQL Server 2008’s new features

Additional Details

WPF and visual designer improvements

Cold startup performance improvement ranging between 20-45% depending on application size without needing to modify any code.

Additional WPF support for text and graphics, and media to deliver better performance. For example, effects like DropShadow and Blur were implemented using software rendering; with SP1 these are now implemented using hardware acceleration. Other examples include:

  • Text, especially when used in Visual and DrawingBrush, is substantially faster,
  • Scrolling improvements with Container Recycling, improved working set with TreeView virtualization
  • A much improved WriteableBitmap that enables real-time bitmap updates from a software surface,
  • Designer support for the event tab within the property grid for control events,
  • Toolbox support within source mode.

.NET Framework 3.5 SP1 Optimized Client Runtime

SP1 provides a .NET Framework install version that is optimized for .NET-based client applications. The size of this optimized runtime is less than 28 MB.

New ADO.NET Data Features

ADO.NET Entity Framework

The ADO.NET Entity Framework is the next evolution of ADO.NET, raising the level of abstraction at which programmers work with data, and allowing the database structure or data source to evolve without significant impact to the application code.

Rather than coding against rows and columns, the ADO.NET Entity Framework allows the definition of a higher-level Entity Data Model over your relational data, and allows developers to then program in terms of this model. Developers get to deal with the data in the shapes that make sense for the application, and those shapes are expressed in a richer vocabulary that includes concepts like inheritance, complex types, and explicit relationships.

Use LINQ to Entities with the Entity Framework for queries that help create easy to maintain code that retrieves and works with strongly typed data objects or business entities.

ADO.NET Data Services

The Microsoft ADO.NET Data Services framework provides a first-class infrastructure for developing the next wave of dynamic internet applications by enabling data to be exposed as REST-based data services that can be consumed by client applications (ASP.NET, AJAX, Silverlight) in corporate networks and across the internet. Easily build applications using a comprehensive set of Microsoft .NET libraries and client components, accessing data through uniform URI syntax and using standard HTTP verbs to operate on the resource.

ADO.NET Data Services provides a framework to build data services for relational data sources, such as Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, DB2, and Oracle, using the built-in support for the ADO.NET Entity Framework, or for non-relational data sources using the pluggable provider model.

TFS improvements

A number of improvements have been made to Visual Studio Team System 2008 Team Foundation including:

Version Control

  • Simplified the user experience through cleaner “Add to Source Control” dialogs, drag and drop support to the Source Control Explorer and a much easier to use “Workspace” dialog for working folder mappings.
  • Version control now automatically supports non-solution controlled files.
  • Various changes to the Source Control Explorer such as a new checkin date/time display column, local path hyperlink support and en editable source location field.

Work Item Tracking

  • Microsoft Office 2007 integration is now done using the standard Office “Ribbon” delivering a cleaner and easier to use integration to the different Microsoft Office 2007 products.
  • Email integration for work items and links for Team system Web Access to make it easier to use email as part of the development lifecycle.

Visual SourceSafe migration tool

  • The migration tool has been dramatically improved through many performance and reliability improvements. SP1 provides support for the elimination of namespace conflicts, automatic solution rebinding, improves timestamp coherency and increases the amount of migration logging information available.

Additional Features

  • Support for using SQL Server 2008 with Team Foundation Server.
  • Team System Web Access provides “live” links to work items and checkin emails. This improves the customer experience for users who do not use Team Explorer.
  • Scripting support for the creation of Team Projects.

Performance and scalability

  • With SP1 a large part of the focus was to improve the performance and scalability of Team Foundation Server through changes such as faster synchronization with Active Directory, improved checkin concurrency, a faster way to create source tree branches, online index rebuilding for less maintenance downtime and better support for very large checkin sets.
  • Improvements in the number of projects a server can support that make not only the scalability of the server better but also the client experience when connecting to a server with a large number of projects on it.

from http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/vstudio/products/cc533447.aspx

Team Foundation Server 2008 SP1 Preview

Brian Harry just posted about the many new impressive features and changes coming out in TFS 2008 service pack 1. It is quite a comprehensive blog post and well worth the time to read through it. Check it out at “Team Foundation Server 2008 SP1 Preview“.

List of features:

Version Control

  • Add to Source Control
  • Drag & Drop
  • Version control of unbound files
  • Simpler working folder mappings
  • Checkin date/time column
  • Local Path is now a link
  • Editable source location
  • Download files to a stream

Work Item Tracking

  • Ribbon support for Office 2007
  • Easily email work items

TFS Build

  • Easily locate TFSBuild.proj file
  • Conditionalize builds on the trigger
  • Detect test result
  • Dynamically created properties
  • Reduce build log noise
  • Query build definitions across Team Projects

Visual SourceSafe migration tool (vssconverter.exe)

  • Elimination of namespace conflicts
  • Automatic solution rebinding
  • Correction of timestamp issues
  • Improved logging

Other areas

  • SQL 2008 support
  • Team System Web Access links
  • # of projects per sever
  • Create Team Projects with a script

Performance & Scale

  • Improved syncing identities from Active Directory
  • Improved checkin concurrency
  • tf branch /checkin
  • Online index rebuilding
  • Team build support for very large checkins
  • Faster security manager
  • tf get /remap

You can’t download any prerelease version of the Service Pack yet, but it shouldn’t be too long now.

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