Notes from my 2/13 Virtual Office Hours

Thanks to those of you who joined my office hours earlier today!  It was great to chat!

I’ve noted some of the more direct questions asked during our time, and have included some information below to help answer them.

Q: What’s coming for the build system for TFS?

Chris Patterson blogged about this very topic just yesterday, but in short, a lot is changing!  In short, the model of XAML-based builds, while still supported, is getting shifted to a much more open, extensible one.  Additionally, the team is not re-inventing the build wheel - rather, they’re looking to embrace all the other great build engines out there, such as MSBuild, Ant, Maven, script, etc.  This means several things:  You get access to build for multiple platforms right out of the box (not just Windows!), using a Web UI if you want, and get full real-time access to the build’s progress.

Q: Can I capture my own telemetry with Application Insights?

Certainly!  Once you understand all the metrics options for Application Insights, you can insert a little code here and there in your application to capture whatever telemetry you want.  More here.

Q: I like all the Azure benefits I get via my MSDN subscription. How can I share my Azure “stuff” with others, since the resources are bound to my MSDN-based Azure subscription?

Great question.  While you can’t currently pool together benefits/credits from multiple MSDN subscriptions, you can certainly share resources.  For example, Bob can create a VM in Azure using his MSDN-based benefits and share access to it with Sally, Tom, whomever.  No restrictions there.  The only item to remember is that since Bob created it, the VM’s consumption will go against his MSDN monthly credits, and no one else’.  For a more collaborate environment that’s all billed collectively, consider a corporate Azure subscription, or an Enterprise Agreement (more on pricing & options).

If you’re not familiar with Azure benefits you get with your MSDN subscription, check out this short video.

Q: Visual Studio Online is great, but it seems to be changing quite frequently. How can I keep up on what changes have occurred, and what ones are coming?

Simple.  Go to the Features Timeline page on the Visual Studio site.  It gives you a great list of features that have been released (and their release dates), as well as features that are mid-flight.  It pays to be prepared!


Again, thanks for joining.  And I hope to talk to you again in a couple weeks!