Tag Archives : Visual Studio 11

Team Foundation Server 2012 – Release Candidate (Installation) – Part 2


Following on from the previous article, where I installed the Visual Studio 11 Release Candidate on a Windows 8 Release Candidate, I’m now going to step through the process to set up a complimentary ALM capability – Team Foundation Server 2012 (Release Candidate).

As per the previous article, links to the downloads for all products mentioned are listed in the following article.


I’ve installed a copy of the Windows Server 2012 (Datacenter) Release Candidate as the host for my TFS installation.  This configuration will not support SharePoint Foundation 2010 – so this is not a recommended configuration if you want to use Team Projects/Team Sites.

As I was preparing to install TFS, I copied the .ISO files across from my SAN, and noticed something interesting on Windows Server 2012 RC – the file copy dialog reveals a lot more information on the progress of the file copy operation:


Once you have mounted and run the initial TFS 2012 RC installer, there is an initial configuration of the base setup files, followed by the TFS configuration screen.

initial-screen install-screen

The initial option is to display the “Standard Single Server” configuration option:



I’ve pre-installed SQL Server (so I can add reporting services later), but I’m going to use the “Basic” TFS configuration, since I won’t have SharePoint configured.  If you also want to pre-install SQL Server, the configuration you are likely will require is per the below screenshot:


Once again, it is always a good idea to familiarise yourself with the TFS prerequisites which can be found in the TFS install guide which is found in the root of the TFS disc.

The Basic Configuration

Anyhow, continuing onwards – as I mentioned earlier, I’m picking the “Basic” configuration (I’ll do a series of articles on setting up a complete solution once Team Foundation Server 2012 goes RTM).


This leaves us with very few things to configure.  Literally, all I need to do is decide whether I’ll let the installer use SQL Server Express, or to point at an existing SQL Server instance.


The configuration is verified, and once you hit the “configure” button, the configuration is executed:

installing verifysuccess


When the configuration is complete, you should be able to connect to TFS from Visual Studio 11 directly (no need to install Team Explorer separately!).  In my case, I connected as an Administrator, but you would obviously want to create some users and groups.


In the next article

Now that we have Visual Studio 2012 connected to TFS 2012, we can create a Team Project and begin a project!  I’ll go back and establish Reporting capabilities in a later article.

Big Release Candidate Day – Microsoft

Today was a big day if you happen to enjoy Release Candidate builds from Microsoft.  Not only did we see the RC release of both Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 (and Hyper-V Server), but it also coincided with the release of RC editions of the Visual Studio 11 developer platform (including Team Foundation Server, Test Manager and Test Agent packs).

Naturally, releasing such a wide range of products simultaneously means there’s a whole lot of ground to cover.  I naturally like to whet my appetite across client OS, server and developer tools in equal measure – but this is going to be some effort this time around!

I’ve been looking ahead at the changes expected in the Visual Studio 11 RC already – and there figures to be a lot of discussion around the changes to the VS user interface, especially when compared to the beta.  I’m also going to focus on the changes in .NET 4.5 and what we can expect in the RTM versions.

It looks like you can suppress the ALL CAPS menus in Visual Studio 11 RC with a registry key – props to MVP and scrum fiend Richard Banks for the tip.

REG_DWORD value: 1

Lastly.. Windows 8 RC.  In my experience, the RC is very close to the RTM edition, so we’ll be expecting this release to be something you could run on bare metal.  Same goes for Windows Server 2012.

I sincerely wish I had the money to outlay for a new server-spec machine, as I’d be extremely keen to give the new Hyper-V Server 2012 a run on bare metal.  I’ve been hearing very, very good things about the upcoming release and how Hyper-V has overcome some of the annoying limitations of the previous version.

Anyhow – here are links to the downloads.  If you enjoy Microsoft RC products, start your downloading! 



Windows 8 RC 1


Windows Server 2012 Datacenter RC 1


Visual Studio 11 RC 1/
Team Foundation Server 2012 RC 1


TFS Branching and Merging Guide v2 1

Earlier this month some very useful guidance documentation was published on Codeplex
The topic?  Build and versioning guidance, from Microsoft’s ALM Rangers group.

The guides are broken down into a number of PDF files.  In the main documentation archive (which you can download from Codeplex) are a number of files:

  • Branching and Merging Guide – Cheatsheet Advanced Plan.pdf
  • Branching and Merging Guide – Cheatsheet Basic Branch Plan.pdf
  • Branching and Merging Guide – Cheatsheet Picking a Strategy.pdf
  • Branching and Merging Guide – Cheatsheet Standard Branch Plan.pdf
  • Branching and Merging Guide – Cheatsheet Terminology.pdf
  • Branching and Merging Guide – Illustrations.pdf
  • Branching and Merging Guide – Illustrations.pptx
  • Branching and Merging Guide.pdf

Which, all said, cover a fair amount of material. 
Also packaged are some Hands on Labs which provide a useful set of demonstration examples, and can be used with the Beta version of TFS.

According to the main PDF (Branching and Merging Guide.pdf) the following bullet points describe the new content covered in the beta documentation:

  • The guidance will have some new verbiage and recommendations around some of our existing branching
    plans, as well as add some coverage for new branching plans.
  • This guidance introduces you to local workspace which is a new concept in Team Foundation Server 11.
    Local workspace enables you to continue working even when network access is intermittent or
    unavailable thereby providing increased bandwidth availability and client optimizations. 
  • We provide new guidance around effectively managing shared resources in source control by discussing
    various common scenarios and describing the pros and cons with each approach.  This guide lays a solid
    foundation for implementing sharing for your development efforts in your Team Foundation Server
  • Branching and merging with database projects is discussed in detail. 
  • There is in-depth coverage of merge improvements in Team Foundation Server 11. There has been
    enhancements made to the product that brings a whole set of improvements in the area of merging,
    primarily fewer conflicts that require user interaction when merging, new merge tool for conflict
    resolution in merging, new file comparison tool, baseless merging from the UI, and merging available on
  • Different scenarios for baseless merging are discussed in this release of the guidance. Baseless merges are
    not ideal but may be required on occasion.  The Pros and Cons of baseless merging are pointed out with
    coverage on the enhancements made in Visual Studio 11 around baseless merging. You can now perform

There are separate diagrams within the “Branching and Merging Guide – Illustrations.pptx” PowerPoint side deck, enabling ease of access for reuse. 

You might recall, I published my own (similar) version of this diagram here on Sanders Technology not that long ago:



This diagram is an excellent representation of how to branch and merge for multiple feature sets, keeping the main trunk in synch, as well as the features in release order. 

The diagrams get quite a bit more sophisticated, here is another which illustrates my own rules for dev/branch and patch management:


What I quite like about these diagrams is that it underscores how important merging and branching are to a mature development lifecycle.

This model allows parallel development as well as maintenance on the released product.

I won’t go into too much detail – there’s a lot to read – suffice to say that if you have a vested interest in learning or understanding application lifecycle management (be it on Team Foundation Server or an alternative), this isn’t a bad place to start.

The guidance could easily be applied to other source control and lifecycle management tools.

Handy Links:

Download the Team Foundation Server 11 Branching and Merging Guidance
Download the Visual Studio 11 Beta
Download the Team Foundation Server 11 Beta
Download the Team Foundation Server 11 Beta Power Tools