More great resources from Microsoft


Announcing the Microsoft Cloud Roadshow

This is a free, two day technical training event for IT Professionals and Developers that provides best practices and insight from those who run cloud services across Office 365, Micros oft Azure, and Windows 10.

Developer Interview Series #1 -

In this interview series, we bring you best practices, anecdotes, and insights from developers who are building creative solutions using Microsoft technologies.

The Power of Cross Platform Development with Universal Apps and Xamarin

We're on the road to self-driving business applications

A blog by Steve "Guggs" Guggenheimer on self-driving ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning software)

Memory Compression in Windows 10 RTM

The OS is doing some clever optimizations that allow your processes to trim some of the memory but not necessarily page it out to disk.

Managing hidden apps, beta apps and visibility of in-app purchases in Dev Center

The unified Dev Center introduced several new options to manage the visibility of apps and in-app purchase.

Looking for some good resources for Windows 10 and VS 2015?


You're welcome.

Join Live Q&As and interact with the architects and engineers who are building the latest features. 

Great blog for Universal Windows Platform (UWP) devs to understand .NET Native

The latest Windows 10 developer training contents

How Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer 11 on Windows 10 work better together in the Enterprise

Download any Visual Studio skus, including VS 2015

All the info developers may need to write apps

Great site to get online courses on Windows 10

Another great online resource for Windows 10 related videos


tf.exe (Team Explorer) vs. tf.exe (Team Explorer Everywhere)

I recently had an interesting experiencing writing post build PowerShell script for a client. The client wanted to check in certain files into source control after the build is finished. Sounds easy, right? You can use either good old tf.exe command line utility from Visual Studio command tools. Or, you can use something more current like PowerShell to write a simple script that will check in pending changes for you. The problem is that the client also wanted to associate work items with the check in. Not a big deal, right? Well, apparently it is a big deal. You cannot associate work item with the check in using tf.exe command tool. And, what's even stranger, I could not find a way to associate work item with the check in using PowerShell. I got stuck with figuring out how to make WorkItemCheckinInfo[] parameter in Workspace.Checkin method to work properly.

This is how I learned that apparently you can associate work item with TFS check in, but you have to use tf.exe command from Team Explorer Everywhere. Apparently, even though the names are the same, those are very different command line utilities. When you use tf.exe from Team Explorer Everywhere, you can associate work item with the check in using a simple command:

tf checkin ItemSpec -associate:WorkItemIds

It's that easy. I just wish –associate option was available in common tf.exe command from Visual Studio command tools. I would also wish that those two seemingly identical tf.exe commands would actually do the same thing (the same way), or at least that those commands would have different names to avoid the confusion. By the way, there are also other differences between those two commands with the same names. You can get them form the links provided in the post. I'm too upset to list myself L

Ways to learn how to develop Windows 10 applications

Here is a bunch of links to resources that will help you get up to speed on what's new for developing Windows 10 applications.

Want to download Visual Studio SKU's including VS 2015 click here

Everything you needed to know to write applications using MS Tools

    Windows 10 and what's new

    Get Started




Want to take Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA) Windows 10 Courses click here

Channel 9 has some great windows 10 related videos here


Toronto Enterprise DevOps User Group

I have started a new user group with the focus on Enterprise DevOps. DevOps is getting significant attention in the industry. Many organizations don't understand what DevOps is, how to adopt DevOps practices effectively within the organization, and are not aware of what DevOps tools to use. Toronto Enterprise DevOps User Group is focused on applying DevOps practices in the enterprise environment. This group is for people in the Greater Toronto Area who are interested in continuous deployment/integration, release management, infrastructure as code, change/configuration management, load testing & auto-scale, performance/availability monitoring, capacity management, automated testing, automated environment provisioning/de-provisioning, self service environments, automated recovery (rollback & roll-Forward), and many more of constantly evolving DevOps practices. Every level of experience is welcome, all we ask is that you come with an open mind and are excited to share your knowledge.

The first meeting is on September 10th, 2015. We'll start with a discussion of What is DevOps? DevOps is a term for a group of concepts that, while not all new, has catalyzed into a movement and is rapidly spreading throughout the technical community. Like any new and popular term, people have somewhat confused and sometimes contradictory impressions of what it is. Is it "Quality" or "Agile,"? Well, DevOps is a large enough concept that it requires some nuance to fully understand. DevOps is the practice of operations and development engineers participating together in the entire service lifecycle, from design through to the development process to production support. We will cover what DevOps is and is not during our first user group meeting.

Visit our website for more info. See you there.

Teaching Students how to program with Python @ Synergy

Next week I will be going back to school. Well sort of.

I am going to teach a one day seminar on programming to students grades 6-12 at Synergy.

Synergy is a summer experience program offered by the DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University for students in grades 5 -12.  It affords students the opportunity to experience business as a field of study in a post-secondary setting.

I'm teaching the class using Python and Visual Studio.

Should be a lot of fun.

OpsHub Visual Studio Online Migration Utility

I recently got to use OpsHub Visual Studio Online Migration Utility to help the client move from on premises TFS environment into the awesomeness of Visual Studio Online. OpsHub Visual Studio Online Migration Utility is actually pretty good and solid tool. The migration was very smooth and relatively painless. I thought I share some of the things I have come across when using VSO using OpsHub Visual Studio Online Migration Utility:

  • OpsHub Visual Studio Online Migration Utility is free and can be downloaded from Visual Studio Gallery here (
  • OpsHub Visual Studio Online Migration Utility can only be installed on 64 bit Windows machine
  • During the installation, you will be required to fill out the registration info. Please make sure that you have provided a valid email address since you will need a verification code to proceed with the installation that will be sent to the email address you provide during the install. Usually, it takes a couple of minutes for an email to come through. Check your Spam folder in case if the email was mislabeled by your spam filter
  • If you are using proxy servers to connect to the internet, you will need to do the following to get the installer working. Please note that even if you follow the instructions, and even if you get passed the registration page to next page (Verify Email page), which to a normal person mean that the registration process was successful and that you should receive verification email, it does not necessarily mean that you will get an email. The reason for it could be that your proxy is blocking the installation wizard from sending the registration info to Opshub. Very frustrating. As a workaround, you can run the installation wizard on any other machine that is not going through the proxy, fill out the registration email, wait for an email, then use the verification code that you have received to install OpsHub Visual Studio Online Migration Utility on any other machine in your network. From what I can tell, verification code is not tied to machine that you're installing on in any way
  • If you have installed OpsHub Visual Studio Online Migration Utility while your machine was going through the proxy to get to the internet, and then managed to convinced your IT to allow you to bypass proxy, you will need to uninstall OpsHub Visual Studio Online Migration Utility, remove any changes you've made as per and then reinstall OpsHub Visual Studio Online Migration Utility. Sounds silly, but it's true. By the way, I strongly recommend that you spent some time and convince your IT to allow the machine that is running OpsHub Visual Studio Online Migration Utility to bypass the proxy, it just makes things a lot easier. Especially when you start configuring the migrations.
  • Before you start configuring migrations, you will need to:
    • Pre-create empty team projects (with matching process templates) for the team projects that you will be migrating from on premises TFS
    • Add users to your Visual Studio Online account and grant them some permissions on the team projects. One of the steps in configuring the migrations is map local users to VSO users, so you'll need users to be in place before you start the migration
    • Add VSO account that you will be using to migrate to Project Collection Service Accounts group in VSO
  • Remember that you can migrate one project a time. You don't have to move the entire project collection from on premises to VSO
  • If you're migrating work items then you might have to deal with template discrepancies. Be patient.
  • OpsHub Visual Studio Online Migration Utility is provided by a company called OpsHub, Microsoft partner. Their support is pretty good. You can reach them via email or via StackOverflow using hashtags #opshub and #visual-studio-online. Please keep in mind that the company is located in California, USA, and take into account the time difference when awaiting a response.

That's all.

Schedule TFS releases

I have been asked if TFS 2013 Release Management allows you to schedule TFS releases. Yes, you can schedule TFS release. What I mean is TFS allows you to schedule the deployment time of the release during the acceptance step of the release path. It's that easy.

But what if you want to schedule release to happen on a regular basis, for example you would like to automatically deploy/release the latest code to the development environment every Monday/Wednesday/Friday nights. TFS 2013 Release Management does not really have that feature. Luckily, we have reach TFS API and PowerShell. So, here is a PowerShell script that triggers release of the last successful build with the build quality set to "Ready for Deployment" (obviously, you can use any other filter to get the build you want):



    [string] $tfsCollectionPath = "http://SERVERNAME:8080/tfs/COLLECTIONNAME",

    [string] $tfsProjectName = "PROJECTNAME",

    [string] $buildDefinitionName = "BUILDDEFINITIONNAME",

    [string] $releaseTemplate = "RELEASETEMPLATENAME"



# Clear Output Pane



# Enforce coding rules

Set-StrictMode -version 2.0


# Loads Windows PowerShell snap-in if not already loaded

if ( (Get-PSSnapin -Name Microsoft.TeamFoundation.PowerShell -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue) -eq $null )


    Add-PSSnapin Microsoft.TeamFoundation.PowerShell








[Microsoft.TeamFoundation.Client.TfsTeamProjectCollection] $tfs = get-tfsserver $tfsCollectionPath


$tfsCollection = New-Object -TypeName Microsoft.TeamFoundation.Client.TfsTeamProjectCollection -ArgumentList $tfsCollectionPath


$server = new-object Microsoft.TeamFoundation.Client.TfsTeamProjectCollection(New-Object Uri($tfsCollectionPath))

$buildServer = $server.GetService([Microsoft.TeamFoundation.Build.Client.IBuildServer])

$buildDetail = $buildServer.QueryBuilds($tfsProjectName, $buildDefinitionName)


$foundBuilds = $buildDetail | where {($_.Quality -eq "Ready for Deployment") -and ($_.Status -eq "Succeeded")} #| sort $_.BuildNumber


if ($foundBuilds -eq $null) 


    Write-Host "No builds found"




#$foundBuilds = $build | select BuildNumber, SourceGetVersion, Quality, DropLocation


    $LastReadyForDeploymentBuildNumber = $foundBuilds[-1].BuildNumber

    $LastReadyForDeploymentBuildDropLocation = $foundBuilds[-1].DropLocation

    Write-Host "Triggering build " $LastReadyForDeploymentBuild


    &"C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 12.0\Release Management\bin\ReleaseManagementBuild.exe" release -rt $releaseTemplate -pl $LastReadyForDeploymentBuildDropLocation



As you can see from the script, script first connects to TFS, finds the proper build definition, then looks for last successful and "Ready for Deployment" build, then uses ReleaseManagementBuild.exe to trigger the release for that build. Obviously, the script could be improved, for example, to include the exception handling, but it should enough to get you started.

Now that you have the script, you can use Windows Task Scheduler to trigger the release outside of the Release Management client. As often as you need it, whenever you feel like it.

TFS/Visual Studio Online API

As I was looking for API reference for TFS Release Management, I came across this useful link that I wanted to pass along. Visual Studio Online REST API Reference page ( includes API reference for TFS components like build, work item tracking, version control/GIT, load test, test management, shared services, etc. Basically, it includes reference for all existing API hooks for TFS/VSO.

I have also found this blog post (, which includes the API reference for TFS release management. It includes sample code that allows you to create a user, environment, release path, release definition, etc. Please note that release management (like build) is changing quite a bit in TFS 2015, so it's safe to assume that the API for build and release management will also be changing. Visual Studio Online REST API Reference page should have the latest changes, so just use it as a reference :)

If you haven't already seen it, look at the information on getting started with these APIs.

Gartner’s Public Cloud Storage Services


Microsoft Named a Leader in Gartner's Public Cloud Storage Services for Second Consecutive Year

Check out the details in Nicole Herskowitz's Blog.