Plunging into .NET Development

Weblog Pieter Gheysens
Microsoft .NET Development - C# - Enterprise Library - Visual Studio 2005 Team System - Compuware DevPartner - ...

Friday, February 29

Into Software Factories?

Some of my colleagues at Compuware have started a focus group on Software Factories a while ago. Their blog is now live for a few weeks and I must say I'm impressed with the work they've done so far. You certainly need to check out their IntoFactories blog if you're curious about Software Factories! The content there is divided into four tracks : a domain-driven design column, guidance automation walkthroughs, software factory concepts and of course their journey to their final goal : a DDD software factory implementation. Very interesting stuff! Keep up the good work guys!


Tuesday, February 19

VISUG : Software Factories

For the VISUG session next Thursday on Software Factories by Olaf Conijn, we had a full house (60 registrations) - but due to some unsubscriptions, we still have some free seats! Register now!


Sunday, February 10

#3 - TFS Best Practices Analyzer

Category : Installing and Configuring Microsoft Team Foundation Server

TFS Best Practices Analyzer (TFSBPA) is part of the TFS Power Tools 2008.

The Best Practices Analyzer tool for Team Foundation Server uses configuration files to determine what information to gather from the Team Foundation deployment. The tool compares the data that it gathers to a set of predefined rules for Team Foundation settings and configurations. The tool then reports the issues and information that it collected and analyzed. You can use the Best Practices Analyzer tool for Team Foundation Server to accomplish these objectives:
  • Verify whether prerequisite software and system requirements are met before you install Team Foundation Server.
  • Verify whether the deployment of Team Foundation Server is configured according to recommended best practices and system requirements.
  • Review the full configuration of a deployment of Team Foundation Server in one easily viewed, drill-down tree report.
  • Identify and help resolve problem areas that might interfere with typical functions or cause poor performance in a deployment of Team Foundation Server.

The first time I installed the TFS Power Tools 2008, I couldn't find the Best Practices Analyzer Tool that should have been part of the Power Tools. Apparently I didn't check the prerequisites for the TFSBPA, because to run the TFSBPA you need to have installed Windows PowerShell and Windows PowerShell requires WS-Management.

Video : How do I use the TFS Best Practices Analyzer?


#2 - TFS Power Tools 2008

Category : Installing and Configuring Microsoft Team Foundation Server

After installation of Team Foundation Server 2008, it's hightly recommended to also install the Visual Studio Team System 2008 Team Foundation Server Power Tools.

The Visual Studio Team System 2008 Team Foundation Server Power Tools is a set of enhancements, tools and command line utilities that improve the Team Foundation Server user experience. The following tools are installed with this package:
  • Command line tool (TFPT.EXE)
  • Team Explorer IDE menu additions
  • Build Notification tool
  • TFS Best Practices Analyzer
  • Process Template Editor
  • Work Item Templates
  • Custom check-in policies

I'll come back to some of the Power Tools features in other posts, but it's key to have them installed as soon as possible because they contain very useful utilities - not only for power users! It's a pity that this still requires an extra installation. In the next version of TFS (Rosario), these features should belong to the standard setup of the product.


Thursday, February 7

VISUG 2008

I've just sent the longest VISUG Mailing to our members (+600). If you also want to be notified of the latest VISUG news or attend one of our events, register for free on

Hello *,

An update of what’s ahead of us and some news about our passed events …

Software Factories [Olaf Conijn] – February 21, 2008

The first VISUG session of 2008 will take place at Compuware on February 21, 2008. Olaf Conijn will deliver a presentation on Software Factories. Olaf is an independent software consultant who worked on the development team for Enterprise Library and has built up a solid experience with Software Factories. He will try to get you up-to-date on all the stuff you should know about Software Factories …

More information on our VISUG website. Registration is already possible – places are limited to 50 people!

VISUG @ TechDays (ICC Ghent) – March 11-12-13, 2008

The VISUG will once more be present at the TechDays 2008. We will have a small booth in the exposition hall, so come and see us over there. We would love your feedback on what we’re doing for the community in Belgium!

March 11 sees the official launch of brand new versions of Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 and Visual Studio 2008. But what the day is really about are the everyday heroes who transform our products into powerful products for solving real IT problems at work. In other words, YOU.

We are calling it Heroes Happen Here. And we're proud to invite miracle workers like yourself, not only to the launch itself, but also to our TechDays 2008. A series of technical sessions that take place on 12th and 13th March, during which IT professionals and developers alike will get the chance to go into every single aspect of each pack. So if you'd like to boost your powers even further, this is one event you don't want to miss.

We also have a free ticket for one of our VISUG members. More details how to win this free ticket will follow soon!

Because good traditions must be kept, we will organize again the VISUG Geek Bowling on March 12. Don’t miss this social event after the technical sessions at TechDays. Register online now!

Did you know that 6 VISUG Members are speaking on TechDays?
- Steven Wilssens (Applied Service Oriented Architecture + VSTS Application Lifecycle Management)
- Bart De Smet (What’s new in Windows PowerShell 2.0 for IT Pros? + WPF Futures + LINQ To Anything + …)
- Yves Goeleven (VSTS Application Lifecycle Management)
- Gill Cleeren (Next Generation Web Applications with Visual Studio 2008)
- Peter Himschoot (An Overview of Visual Studio 2008 + The ABC of building services with WCF)
- Wim Verhaegen (Building Rich Web Experience with Silverlight using Expression Blend and Visual Studio)

Windows Communication Foundation [Juval Lowy – IDesign] – April 3, 2008

On April 3 we will have the pleasure to present Juval Lowy as a speaker on a WCF evening session. The date and topic have already been fixed, more details about the location and exact time will be communicated in the coming weeks. We will host this event together with Microsoft Belgium.

Juval Lowy is a famous software architect and the principal of IDesign, specializing in .NET 3.0 architecture consulting and advanced .NET 3.0 training. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to meet a software legend!

Demonstrating WCF – Beyond the Endpoints

WCF is more than just the next generation platform for building connected systems. In many respects, WCF is the next development platform for Windows applications, providing system features that are presently crafted by hand on top of .NET and Windows. This session shares the power and productivity of WCF, demonstrating it as a 'Better .NET'. The sessions will focus on the on the key system features of WCF, enabling you to make educated decisions on aligning your product roadmap with WCF, and assess its benefits and advantages. The session starts with a brief overview of what is WCF and the WCF architecture, and then proceeds to demonstrates multiple aspects such as data contract tolerance, instance management, one-way calls, transaction propagation, automatic synchronization, queued calls and automatic security.

Juval Lowy is in Belgium that week for delivering his Architect’s Master Class at Compuware Belgium. People looking for the best training on Software Architecture can still register for this course at

Other VISUG news

Good news for those who were planning to participate in the European Silverlight competition : The contest end date is moved! The final date for uploading your entry is now February 14th! So, it’s still not too late to win one of the fantastic prizes.

Winners JetBrains ReSharper license (VISUG VSTS Event December 2007) - Tom Pester - Kristof De Causemaeker

Best regards and see you at one of our next events!

Pieter Gheysens
vice-president VISUG


Tuesday, February 5

#1 - TFS Version Detection

This post will be the first in a number of posts about VSTS / TFS Best Practices. They will appear on my blog in a random order. I will try to provide each time a main category for the tips & tricks.

Category : Installing and Configuring Microsoft Team Foundation Server

A utility (TFSVersionDetection) has been posted by Brian Harry of Microsoft to detect which version of Team Foundation Server (+ SQL Server) has been installed.

If you've installed the 90-day Trial of TFS it will also show you the remaining days of your trial. You won't get notified that your trial will expire - after 90 days TFS just stops! This might come as a surprise for many people and you might lose some valuable data! Well, the nice thing about this tool is that it gives you the opportunity to extend your trial by 30 days.

If you are within 10 days of expiration of a Trial Edition install, an "Extend" button will show up in the lower left hand corner. Pressing it will extend the expiration another 30 days. For Trial Edition the "Extend" button will show up again when your 30-day extension nears an end. Pressing it at this point will bring up a dialog that asks for a new Trial ID. It is possible to extend it another 30 days if absolutely necessary. To do this, you will need to contact your Microsoft sales rep and ask them to help you get a new Trial ID.