Wednesday, December 1, 2010

ALM + TFS 2010 + VS 2010 : Where to start ?

Where to start with your Application Lifecycle Management ?? based on Team Foundation Server 2010 and Visual Studio 2010

If you have feedbacks, please do so to improve this documentation

[updated] You could find complementary and/or similar information on Posts similar to this one:
. a handy spreadsheet by Terje Sandstrom
. and an MSDN one from Grant Holliday.

On large scale and critical projects, you can reach really high quality and standards :
  • by choosing a project management framework or combining them (as long as they are not incompatible: CMMI, ITIL, ISO, SCRUM, PMBOK, PRINCE2...)
  • by taking into account the user's needs (either by arranging the priorities or extend the existing contract),
  • by creating a great team,
  • by providing them great tools or resources, which is the matter of this Post. Moreover, most of them comes free of charge (indicated by the label  [Free]).
  • by blending with other great tools (that are not listed below, such as HP ALM 11 and its Quick Test Pro - Very expensive, but great),  
  • by taking into account your team's needs and feedbacks,
  • by adding some challenges (with regular independent audits),
  • by adding comments to this post so I can enhance it ;-)

0. Prerequisites
You obviously need VS2010 + TFS2010 : either get a 
.  TFS 2010 Ultimate trial  [Free],
. or get entire MS ALM (TFS 2010 +VS 2010 Ultimate with proper Service Pack and Powertools installed)    {for Virtual PC, for Hyper-V, ... that expires every so often. Google for "Microsoft® Visual Studio® 2010 and Team Foundation Server® 2010 RTM virtual machine"[Free],
. or have an MSDN account or proper license.

1. Compulsory Tools
. Microsoft TFS Power Tools (> March 2011) [Free],
. VS Productivity Tools add on [Free],
. TFS Sidekicks 2010 [Free - from Attrice Corporation],
Team Foundation Server Administration Tool  [Free - from CodePlex] (to administer easily accounts accross TFS, Reporting Services and WSS),
. FxCop/Code Analysis [Free - Comes with VS],
. StyleCop/Source Analysis (>v4.4) [Free],
. NDepend (if you think the 351 rules of FxCop and StyleCop are enough, trust me you're wrong !!! Get NDepend on the top of those two previous tools),
. MSI generator (VS Installer could be enough, else use WIX [Free]= Windows Installer XML),
. SoapUI to test your WCF Web Services [Free] or WCFTestClient [Free - Comes with VS]
[updated 2011.09.05] Fiddler Http Debugging Proxy  [Free]  and its Microsoft addon to decode Binary messages : WCF Binary messages inspector  [Free] .
[updated 2011.06.21] TFS Admin tools ( [Free], for eg. to add a user in both TFS, Sharepoint and Reporting Services in one click !

2. Highly recommended tools
. GhostDoc [Free - from Submain],
. Doxygen [Free],
. Inmeta Visual Studio Build Explorer will present your numerous Build definitions as a treeview [Free],
. VS Power Tools : Work Item Search, Work Item Visualizer [Free],
. WIX Edit  [Free]+ Votive  [Free] [to manage and generate automatically with TFS and for free your MSIs]
.  HP QTP (Quick Test Pro) [If you have a lot of money !],
   - or "cheaper" TELERIK WebUI Test Studio,
   - or Coded UI given in VS 2010 Ultimate.
[updated 2011.06.21] A GREAT tool to test Web Services (including WCF Binary used by Silverlight) : HP ALM-Service Test 11 (not free !!! $$$$$)
Fissum - A TFS tray icon client  [Free].

Optional :
. [Just as R&R tools] : Pex  [framework Free] but PEX with Integration into VS2010 requires MSDN + Moles,
. [updated 2011.06.21] Extand TDD with BDD (Behaviour Dev Driven) and generate your tests based on T4 : SpecFlow Pragmatic BDD for .NET  [Free],
.  NArrange [Free],
. en_visual_studio_2010_pex_0.94.51023.0_power_tools_x86_598803.exe
. en_visual_studio_2010_pex_0.94.51023.0_power_tools_x64_598803.exe

3.0 Required updates
As per today, install at least the following :

. TFS 2010 SP1 Cumulative Update 1 - KB2536929 (version June 8th 2011)  [Free] 
. VS10-KB2345133-x86-FixScrollingContextMenu.exe

. VS10-KB2268081-x86-Find and Replace Dialog Growing.exe
. VS10-KB2251084-x86 Cut or Copy displays 'insufficient memory' error.exe
. en_visual_studio_2010_fp2_x86_604352-FeaturePack-14nov2010.msi
You could use the Microsoft Web Platform Installer (WPI) to do so easily, and always have the latest available updates.

3.1 Required TFS addon
. TFS 2010 additional Checkin Policies [Free]

4. To read / watch necessarily : Branching and Merging
A must "have" : VS ALM Ranger :  [Free]
. --> Start here
. TFS_Branching_Guide_Q&
. TFS_Branching_Guide_2010_Complete_Package_v1

[updated 2011.06.21] Check Brian Harry's blog (see below) to have latest updates on ALM Ranger's work,

• Webcast - Excellent [Free]: (Eric Swanson, Sept 2010)

• Webcast - Very good [Free]: Understanding Branching and Merging in Team Foundation Server 2010, (Brian Randell, MVP VS ALM, @ TechEd Nov. 2010),

• MSDN "Using Version Control" [Free] :

• Webcast - R&D on Branches with TFS 2010 [Free] : (Brian Keller, Oct 2008)

5. Other recommended Resources
Any questions ? Find an answer on the following specialized forum  [Free]

Blogs to check out [Free]:
  . (Brian Harry) IMPOSSIBLE to miss out, with PLENTY of information

• Webcast of TechEd 2010 : DEV405-Deep Dive into TFS 2010 Server Reporting

• Books on TFS 2010, for instance :
. Professional Application Lifecycle Management with Visual Studio 2010 (Wrox Programmer to Programmer)

• WebCasts (prioritized) [Free] :
. Check the Webcasts on TechEd (US and Europe) using the search / filters to get excellent informations and practical cases, by talented/famous speakers [Free]. For instance :
--> Neno Loje (MVP) : Best Practices Using Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010,
--> Brian Harry is a Microsoft Technical Fellow and Product Unit Manager for TFS
PDC 2008 Team Foundation Server 2010 : Cool Next Features
--> Before developing TFS 2010, Matthew Mitrik, program manager for Team Foundation Server, explains how Branching and Merging should be

• Other  [Free]:
 . Start to read more about TFS Integration :
(developped by the MS TFS product group and the Visual Studio ALM Rangers).
 . In order to create Great reports based on the TFS Datawarehouse, check this out :
 .  Books / online books on .Net and ALT.Net and Agile :

6. Working with the Build Process Template (Workflow Foundation 4) - Team Foundation Build Activities : 
. Recent documentation (dec. 2010) :
[updated 2011.09.12Create easily Build version :
 . [updated 2011.10.05]

7. To go deeper
• Get a TFS 2010 certification : Exam 70-512: TS (Admin)

• Concerning the Builds :
. Microsoft Developer Network > Visual Studio Team System Forums > Team Foundation Server - Build Automation

• Information on my Blog, such as this one,
For your information, here is a list of companies that are both using TFS 2010 AND are referenced with Microsoft :

• If you want to integrate Project Server 2010 (and Sharepoint 2010) WITH TFS 2010, here is the Beta (as per today). It comes with a 'Go Live' license :

• Since reflector is not free anymore, use :

8. ALM - Performance Testing aspects
• Here is a link that summarizes tools / help on performance testing :
• Based on Fiddler quoted above, check the additional extensions (security, load, performance, ...)
     . Security :    [Free],


  1. I really like this post :)

    I am currently installing a new server, and it is really helpful!
    Thanks :)

  2. I really like this post too, and I am often using it every time I'm setting up a new ALM !!

    I keep it up to date as often as possible.

  3. You've got another version here, presented in a table :

  4. Well for TFS 2011, I cannot present it better than what is already here LOL:


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