Steve’s Monthly Newsletter – November 2011

I receive a lot of email each week from you asking very specific, and valuable questions. It’s my hope that a newsletter like this will help me communicate important announcements, tips/tricks, and other items to help you and your team ultimately be more successful!

Upcoming Office Hours

Yep, I’ve added virtual office hours to my plate in an effort to get your questions answered!  I’m holding them for an hour every 2-3 weeks – I hope you stop by sometime!  My next office hours are next Friday, 11/18 at 9:30am Pacific.


If you’re using using Visual Studio 2010 and TFS 2010 (and possibly Test Professional 2010), you may want to download and take advantage of the “Visual Studio 2010 SP1 TFS Compatibility GDR” update, now available.  It contains several fixes, and even the addition of a highly-requested feature in MTM (multi-line test steps)! 

The OData Service for Team Foundation Server 2010 is not officially released!  Brian Keller has more here.

If you’ve been playing with the VS 2010 virtual machine with labs and sample data, it’s been refreshed with a new expiration date.  Again, see BrianKel’s blog for details.

Did you know you can “fake” a TFS build ? This is useful if you don’t actually use TFS as a build system, but still need build numbers to load into TFS to help associate items together (i.e. changes between “builds” for testing purposes).

Want to get access toTFS Preview but don’t have an invite code?  Ping me, let’s talk.

Are you going to the ALM Summit next week in Redmond?  I am, and I hope to see you there!


November 17, 2011 Coffee Talk: Scrum-damentals (free webcast)

November 28, 2011 LIVE event in Edina, MN: Double Feature: Testing & ALM for Agile Development For Details or to Register, Click Here

November 29, 2011 LIVE event in San Diego, CA: Double Feature: Testing & ALM for Agile Development For Details or to Register, Click Here! 

November 30, 2011
Visual Studio 2010 ALM Tools Live Roadshow Denver, CO

Don’t Forget!

My team has access to programs (and funds to help pay for them) to help you and your organization get ramped up on all sorts of topics and technologies:

Send me a note and let’s see where I can help!


  • In MTM, if you don’t see test results not showing up in the “Analyze Test Runs” area in MTM, it’s usually because either a test run isn’t actually completing a test run (i.e. exiting a test run without saving), or not filtering the view properly (this is most common). Try setting the “Start date range:” filter to “All”, and try toggling the “Show manual runs” button to see if your rest run results show up.
  • BIDS and Visual Studio 2010 are separate products, and while there is definitely overlap in functionality (schema object creation, for example), with BIDS being based on Visual Studio 2008 there are several areas that are specific to BIDS that Visual Studio 2010 will not do (and vice versa, for that matter).  The simplest way to differentiate between the two is that because BIDS is based on VS 2008, support for the below project types are only supported in BIDS: BIDS Integration Services, Report Services, and Analysis Services.  Many customers simply use Visual Studio 2010 Premium or Ultimate side-by-side with BIDS, so that SSAS packages (for example) can be worked on in BIDS, and other object creation, change management and testing functions can be performed in VS 2010.
  • When you remove a test case in MTM, the test case is not physically removed from the system but rather disassociated from its test suite. That’s why it will still show up on the Organize tab. This helps you identify overall test volume, and find potential test cases created by others that should be included in your test plan. Click here for more information.
  • Want to export information from MTM?  You have a few options.  First, you can use TestScribe, a free add-in for MTM that allows you to generate documentation for either a test plan or test runs.  You can also export your test cases to Excel, either from Team Explorer or by using Excel itself. For more, see: Create, Open, and Modify Work Items Using Office Excel or Refresh Work Items and Change the List Type in Office Excel.  Finally, in Team Explorer (and in TFS Web Access, our browser-based client), you can elect to print one or more test cases directly from TFS. See: Print Work Item Results or Forms

Parting Thought

Why is 'abbreviated' such a long word?