DDD5, thoughts the day after………..

After not really enough sleep it seems a good time reflect on DDD5.

My session

I felt my session went well, and the initial feedback was good. It is always good to be asked question all day about your session, proves it got people thinking; I certainly learnt a few tricks for TFS from these conversations.

A common question I got was ‘I am using Product XYZ should a change to TFS?‘. To this my answer is always a question ‘Does your system, whether off the shelf or home grown work for you?‘ If it does then don’t rush to change it. Certainly look at TFS and see if it is better solution for your project needs – if it is not don’t change to TFS. If you don’t a working system to manage software development certainly look at TFS, or anything for that matter. Good software only comes out of a structured process, whether the process is Agile or Formal in style all the team must know what it is and adhere to it.

For those at the session I would apologize again about the projector problems that caused the slides to be offset a bit to the right. Unfortunately I did not know about the super secret adjustment knob under the floor panel in Memphis until after I had finished.

Also I was certainly glad I had taken two laptops,I had intended one for PowerPoint and one for VPCs, but only one would sync with the projector. I have see this before with Vista, but it was strange as they were virtually identical Acers with the same ATI chipset and our standard Vista install image. Anyway I think  got away with one PC, who needs to see their speaker notes anyway?

Other sessions  went to

As is so often the case, when you present at a conference you miss half the sessions with your own prep and follow-up conversations. I did manage to make it to two, both very good:

  • Colin Angus Mackay’s An introduction to Unit Testing with Mock Objects
  • Abid Quereshi’s Windows Workflow Foundation for Your Automated Build

Abid’s particularly addressed the interesting issue of automation, but not from the more common TDD/CI side but to provide a flexible means for creating deployment tools. Something I had not considered before.

Next DDD

In the wrap up notices it was mentioned the next DDD might be in the North, this caused an interesting mixture cheers and boos, plus one voice ‘where is the north?‘.

It will be interesting to see how much backing any moving of the location around the country gets. After yesterday’s drive from Yorkshire, a full day at the conference then a drive back, I certainly would appreciate less distance to travel, as I sure others would.

My next DDD Session

After chatting to a few people I think I will propose a general introduction to Scrum for the next DDD, based on the http://www.scrumalliance.org/ materials I got on my Certified Scrum Master course.

In my last two sessions at DDD I have mentioned Scrum, but I realize now that quite a few attendees have little experience of Scrum, just knowing it as a name, so a good general overview would be a good idea. I think I will like this to using Scrum with TFS

Am I right would this be of session of be interest?


Technorati Tag 

DDD5 Presentation – Team Foundation Server

I have just got back home from today’s DDD5 conference. Time for some more considered posting later, it has been a long day, but I thought I would get my slide stack up as quick as I could.  You can find the Power Point stack (with the speaker notes included) at http://www.blackmarble.co.uk/SectionDisplay.aspx?name=Publications&subsection=Conference Papers, along with previous DDD presentation.

Thanks to everyone who attended my session, I look forward to hearing some feedback, but now some sleep I as up at 5am……

Technorati Tag 

eScrum 1.0

I have been looking at eScrum and first impressions are good. This is not the first Scrum process template for TFS, there is also the one from Conchango.

My feeling over the Conchango one was that it seemed very like the standard MSF Agile template, more a terminology rename. Hence it felt a bit ‘clunky’ to use and not too agile. Sticking to a ‘post-it notes on a white board’  model seemed a better way to manage a Scrum sprint.

Now eScrum provides a revised project portal web site as well as the template, this seems about a light weight as you might managed with a computer based Scrum management, worth a serious look as a whiteboard alternative.

Attrice Team Foundation Sidekicks and Teamplain on TFS Orcas release

If you want to install TFS add-ins, such as Attrice Team Foundation Sidekicks and Teamplain, on the TFS Orcas release you have to install the TFS V8 Client (the one which is shipped with Team Foundation Server 2005). If you don’t have this version both products fails to start/install as they claim they cannot find the correct assemblies.

Once you have installed the V8 client (as well as the Orcas V9 ones) both products work fine with Orcas.

And another point on TeamPlain

I just realised that TeamPlain also makes external access easier for remote users outside your firewall. The problem with external access to TFS from VS Team Studio is that you have to open up the TFS server and the associated WSS 2.0 server ports in your firewall. Not a major issue but opening ports is something you want to minimise, or at least your firewall manager will want to minimise.

After I installed TeamPlain as a virtual directory under the main TFS server web site (port 8080, 8433 by default) you can access the WSS hosted documents and the Reporting Services reports (by default on 80, 433) via http://www.myserver.com:8080/teamplain, so no need consider the default web site at the firewall at all.

So that should make the firewall manager happier

Wow… TeamPlain is easy to install

As I am sure you have seen Microsoft have purchased devBiz and made their TeamPlain product free to all TFS customers. I have just installed the new free release of TeamPlain on our TFS system and I must say what a pleasant experience it was; run the MSI answering a few questions, go into the newly created TeamPlain admin web page, enter the URL of the TFS server and that’s it. Really easy and it just works. Compared to the the fun I have had with other bits of TFS this is joy.

I think this is a really cool product, it fits the hole that project managers, and really any project member who does not cut .NET code, do not want to have to use Visual Studio Team Edition to do day to day tasks. This is exactly target community that TeamPlain addresses.

If you are a TFS user, and have not done so already, download TeamPlain and have look.

Changing TFS user account passwords

If you change the domain\tfsservice and/or the domain\tfsreports as you would expect your TFS server to stop, and it does. To get it back working you have to reset the passwords in:

  • The various TFS AppPools on the frontend server need the new tfsservice password
  • The datasource in ([frontendserver]/reports) on the reporting services need the new tfsreports password.

After that all should be OK

More on TFS Access from the Internet

Time for a bit of a follow up on my server name issues with TFS. As expected there is correct way to alter the names of the various TFS servers, it involves editing the contents of one of the TFS database tables, not any config file.

The best documentation I have found is that for setting up the new ISAPI filter provided with TFS Service Pack 1 to assist in authentication. Have a look at http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-gb/library/aa833872(…  the section ISAPI does detail how to alter the names in various locations.

Though I have this ISAPI filter in place I still do not have Internet access to reports or documents in Team Explorer outside my office (though they work in a browser), I still get the small red crosses, but I am still looking for a solution. More later I am sure.