But it works on my PC!

The random thoughts of Richard Fennell on technology and software development

Speaking at Microsoft UK next week

I will be speaking at Microsoft UK’s ‘Application Lifecycle Management for Independent Software Vendors’ event next Monday. I am one of four speakers, between us well all address a variety of subjects within ALM

  • Modern Software Delivery: The continuous delivery of high quality software - Colin Bird
  • Driving Quality Throughout the Application Lifecycle - Richard Erwin
  • Extending Testing into the Lab - Richard Fennell
  • The Secrets of Repeatable Success - Adam Gilmore

I believe there are still spaces available

More from the ALM Rangers - Lab Management Guide

The Build Customisation project was not the only ALM Rangers release over the weekend. The Lab Management Guide was also shipped. This provides scenario based and hands-on guidance for the planning, setup, configuration and usage of Visual Studio Lab Management, backed by custom VM Template automation for reference environments.

If you work with Lab Management, or would like, this is well worth a read





ALM Ranger’s Build Customization Guidance has shipped

I am really please to say that the first ALM Rangers project I have been involved with, the Build Customization Guidance, has shipped.

The project had the primary goal of delivering scenario based and hands-on lab guidance for the customization and deployment of Team Foundation Build 2010 activities such as versioning, code signing, and branching. You can find details at the Rangers blog,the project table of content or the codeplex site

I have certainly learnt a good deal working on this projects, thanks to everyone who made it such a interesting experience. Hope anyone reading the materials find them as useful.






My first serious problem with my WP7 device

My WP7 LG-E900 decided to do a factory reset last night. It locked while playing the XBox Live GEODefense game on a particular busy level I had just lost (so lots of graphic processing). The phone paused for a while then restarted and ran the first use wizard, in German. This is because it is one of the PDC units that seem, given the packaging, to have been sourced from Vodafone German.

This is the first failure I have had on the phone, not a real pain as once the phone was back running in English it was quick to setup and sync, but 15 minutes I would rather have not spent.

[Update 17 Jun 20011] What I had fogotten to setup

  1. I had to set the APN for mobile data (just the name 'internet' with no UID or PWD for Vodafone UK, but I had forgotten that too and of course could not chekc them on the internet). When I first got this phone I am sure mobile data just worked. Anyway I only found it was not working when stuck in a huge traffic jam and I could not use the maps on my phone to get an alternative route. At home data had worked as I had setup WiFi
  2. Pair my bluetooth headset, again only found this out when tried to make a call from the huge traffic jam to say I would be late. Turns out it is hard to pair a headset in a traffic jam full of bluetooth devices.
  3. And I keep finding I am missing application and I can't remember what they are called......

Using VSTO to access TFS

Have you ever thought ‘I know that you get the Team ribbon in Excel to manage TFS work items, and I can use Excel to as a SQL/OLAP client to run reports from the TFS warehouse but I want to do more….’?

Have you every considered using VSTO to create an ActionPane that uses the TFS .NET API?


In this example I have created an ActionPane that allows you to select a Team Project Collection, a Team Project and then a build definition. Press the button and it lists the builds that have run of this type using the TFS .NET API.

The code can be downloaded here, it is fairly basic, could be more exception handling for connection failures, but shows the principle.

Cannot connect to a Lab Management Environment using the MTM Environment Viewer

Today we had a problem that we could not connect to VMs within a Lab Management environment from the Environment Viewer in MTM. We had composed the environment from VMs independently create and tested on the HyperV host. The plan in the end is to have this as a network isolated environment, but for now it is a private domain that exists on our main LAN.

The first issue we had was that as this was a private domain the various hosts were not registered on our DNS, so we got a DNS lookup error for the VM host names. This is best fixed with network isolation, but for a quick fix we put some entries in a local hosts file on the PC we were using to resolve the name to IP addresses.

The next problem was one of concepts. The environment had been composed by one user (and could access everything via a host connection via Hyper-V, with no local host file fixes), but it was to be used by another user, a tester who was not the owner of the environment (yes again I know we should they should be provisioning their own network isolated version). This mean that a Hyper-V based host connection was not possible, as you have to be the owner to get a host connection.

This meant that the new user had to use a guest connection, a Remote Desktop Connection (RDC) created behind the scenes by the MTM Environment Viewer. This worked for the domain controller (a server OS) but failed for the other three VMs in the environment which were all running Windows 7 with a ‘lost connection to virtual machine error’


Turns out the issue was the level of security set for RDC connection in Windows 7. We remoted onto the VMs with the problems using the standard Windows RDC client (not MTM) and set the Allows connections from computers running any version of RD.


Once this was done the Environment Viewer could make guest connections and all was good in the world.