Sorry, Oculus, but HoloLens gets my money

 The battle between headsets you strap to your heads is being brought to a rolling boil this week, as Microsoft’s HoloLens Dev Kit and Oculus Rift both start shipping to customers. Being a lover of cutting-edge tech, you’d expect I’d be in lust with both technologies, but no. HoloLens did something to me that Oculus never managed: It made me think I was leaping into the… Read More

Notification mirroring and Universal Dismiss coming to Windows 10, Mobile, and Android

Today at Build it was revealed that Notification Mirroring and Universal Dismiss are coming to Windows 10, Mobile, and Android devices. The service is an upgrade to the Windows Notification Service (WNS) and, for now, will work through Cortana, but later will go through the OS. The news was revealed in a session entitled ‘Notification Futures: Action Center in the Cloud and the Windows Notification Platform’ and details about how the Notification Center is moving to a Cortana-MSA mediated system.

A quick tease at the new, richer Notification Center for Windows 10 and Mobile

At a Build session today a quick preview of the new Action and Notification Center coming for Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile. The tease was at the Notification Center in the Cloud session, but more will be revealed tomorrow including details about the changes. What can be discerned from the image is a much richer and detailed notification and information presented to users along with a focus on more graphics and pictures for context.

Xamarin CEO Nat Friedman on getting acquired by Microsoft

 Microsoft announced in February its plans to acquire the cross-platform development platform Xamarin; the deal closed about two weeks ago. Even though the ink on the contracts has barely dried, Microsoft already made Xamarin the center of attention at its annual Build developer conference today by announcing its plans to roll Xamarin into every Visual Studio tier, including the free… Read More

Microsoft’s new tools let businesses integrate Skype into their own web and mobile apps

 Following yesterday’s news about bringing bots to the Skype platform, Microsoft today unveiled two more SDKs for its Skype platform that will allow businesses and application developers a way to integrate Skype’s capabilities into their own applications. On stage at its annual Build conference, the company took the wraps off two new toolkits for developers: the Skype Web SDK and… Read More

savvia: When the big guys #recognize your #hardwork. Thnx @Office365 for looking at our #blogs on #cloud! #YEGbiz #Office365

savvia: When the big guys #recognize your #hardwork. Thnx @Office365 for looking at our #blogs on #cloud! #YEGbiz #Office365

Microsoft gives developers new options to plug into Office 365

 At the Build Developer conference in San Francisco today, Microsoft announced a series of new Office 365 developer tools designed to enhance how they interact with Office 365 platform. Microsoft outlined three new ways for developers to work with Office 365 including Graph APIs to provide intelligent integration inside third party applications using content from the Microsoft Graph,… Read More

Release Management in TFS 2015 Update 2

With the release of Team Foundation Server 2015 Update 2 at //Build 2016, you get all the new Release Management (RM) features integrated right into TFS. The Release hub in the TFS web interface is your entry point to managing and tracking all of your application deployments.

Here is a quick run through of the various features in Release management.

Deploy a variety of apps to a variety of cloud or on-premises targets. See examples.
Orchestrate the deployment of your apps across various environments. Understand environments.
Deploy artifacts that are published by Team Build or Jenkins. Understand artifacts.
Track builds, commits, test results, and work items for every release and deployment. Understand tracking.

What is the pricing model for the new RM features in TFS?
Since RM is part of TFS, you have to be a valid user of TFS to use Release hub. The good news is that, for Update 2, we are making all the features of RM available to all users of TFS at Basic access level in Trial mode. If you are a Basic user, then you can now author release definitions as well as manage releases. To approve or reject releases, you just need to be a Stakeholder.
So, you might ask, what will be the cost of RM once the Trial mode is over? We are still working on this, but if you are a user with the following licenses, you can expect to have all the features of RM.
·         Visual Studio Enterprise with MSDN
·         Visual Studio Enterprise – annual
·         Visual Studio Enterprise – monthly
·         MSDN Platforms
·         Visual Studio Test Professional with MSDN
We have a few challenges that we still need to solve with this approach, and that is why we haven’t gone to this model yet. First, in addition to the above licenses, we would like Basic users to get all the features by simply buying an extension in the Visual Studio Marketplace in an ala-carte/monthly rental model. We are yet to finalize the price and implementation of this extension. Secondly, we would like to provide a way for Basic users to “try” Release management without having to pay (either for the extension or for the licenses above). We are exploring some models for this. Once we have a solution to these challenges, we will announce the final pricing model.
What about the server-client (WPF) version?
If you are a user of the earlier server-client (WPF) version of RM, we have a 2015 Update 2 for that version as well. You can expect one more minor update of the server-client version, and after that, we do not plan to ship any more releases of this. Although we will continue to support this version for quite some time, this is a good time for you to think about moving to the new web-based version. There is no automatic migration from the server-client version to the web-based version. However, there is some guidance on how to manually migrate from the server-client version to the web-based version here.
As you compare the earlier version with the web-based version, you will notice a ton of new features in the new one, and that the new version is a lot easier to use. However, at present, you may also find three apparent gaps – manual intervention, rollback support, and configuration transformations in an environment. While we can certainly improve upon the experience for these features, you can certainly meet these requirements now. In place of manual intervention, simply split your environment into two environments with an approval in between. In place of rollback, use the guidance documented here. For tokenization of config files in an environment, use the Tokenization task in this extension.
If you have questions or would like to get updates, follow us on Twitter @vsreleasemgmt. Happy DevOps!