Posts Tagged ‘Cloud’

Author: Tobias Zimmergren
www.zimmergren.net | www.sharepointdiscussions.com | www.pointbird.com@zimmergren

Introduction

What can I say; Microsoft is doing a killer job with Office 365 and their cloud offerings in general. Today during the SharePoint Conference 2014 Keynote, they discussed some of the highlighted new features for SharePoint, Office 365 and related technologies. It is a clear message that cuts across all channels, blogs and presentations alike: Cloud comes first, on-premises may or may not be kept up to date.

Let’s dig into some of the announcements.

Office 365 is the fastest growing product in Microsoft’s history

As quoted from the Keynote presentation from the SPC14 conference, Office 365 is now the fastest growing product in Microsoft’s history. A few years back I was very proud and glad that I got to work with SharePoint, which was the fastest growing product in Microsoft history back then. It was a great feeling when Microsoft announced today that Office 365 now is the fastest growing product in the history of the company. The feelings are the same as when I worked exclusively with SharePoint and they announced it as the fastest growing product ever – safe to say, we work with the right technology.

I’m also happy to hear that the Office 365 investments that Microsoft are pushing are actually delivering results; Some of the companies I’m involved with have now successfully migrated to Office 365 and we’ve never been happier to get rid of the infrastructure and be able to pay full attention to the actual content and format of the data, instead of allocating resources to connect cables and setup servers.

Fun fact about Office 365:

60% of the Fortune 500 companies use Office 365

Introducing Office Graph

Office Graph is an Office 365-only feature and is based on the concept of the Yammer Enterprise Graph, but for Office 365. It gives you the possibility to map relationships between people and information. Based on how you utilize your Office 365 information (likes, replies, posts etc) it gathers information and makes available in a neat graph that shows you a visual interpretation of how you are connected to people and information.

OfficeGraph
(Image from blogs.office.com)

Look out for more information about the Office Graph in the near future. This is a step in the right direction, and I can see a lot of uses for these types of information-linking and visualizations.

Introducing Oslo

Oslo is a new app which taps into the Office Graph API’s and presents you with the information that the Office Graph has collected. So based on the information (again; Likes, Replies, Uploaded Documents, Posts and other data collected) by the Office Graph engine you are presented with the information that is most relevant to you. Making it searchable and workable with less effort for the user. Oslo looks very slick and promising – I’m predicting a LOT more to come in this area, and the Office Graph is one heck of an awesome introduction to the existing toolset by Microsoft.

Oslo
(Image from blogs.office.com)

Introducing the "Groups Experience" and "Inline Social Experiences"

Building onto the story of Office 365 enhancements, we can now enjoy something referred to as "Groups Experience". This is essentially a feature derived from Yammer’s social groups.

Over the years Yammer found that the value of enterprise social goes up exponentially when people organize themselves into smaller groups focused on a specific process or deliverable. This simple Groups Experience is so powerful, in fact, that we’re making it a cross-Office 365 concept that will unify people, profiles, conversations, email, calendars, and files across the entire set of Office 365 applications

This means that if you create a new social group in any of your Office 365 applications, that group and it’s conversations will be available across all applications. For example if you’re creating a new group for discussing a new product launch, you can access the discussions, people and content of that group no matter if you’re in your Outlook application, Calendar, Yammer site or SharePoint sites. Simply put: Integrate social group interactions across the Office 365 suite.

OulookGroupsExperience

The "Inline Social Experiences" is where they’re tying it all together with social interactions across their product suites. Office 365, Dynamics or other LOB-applications. Yammer conversations are being added to documents in SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business and other similar additions. The future holds additional integration points and will be interesting to follow. Keep an eye out for future releases in this area – integration with Office 365 and related technologies will blossom.

Feature availability

These new features will become available during 2014, without any more detailed specifications.

Summary: Cloud-first becomes an immediate reality

It becomes immediately clear that the cloud-first approach that Satya Nadella mentioned in his first e-mail to the Microsoft employees is already becoming a reality. It doesn’t come as a surprise to me, given that Microsoft have pushed in this direction for several years now. I do believe it’s an important thing to bring to light though, that even if there’s going to be a next version of SharePoint Server for on-premises, that doesn’t mean that it will have feature parity with the services in the cloud.

A quote from Jarod Spataro on Office 365:

While we’re committed to another on-premises release of SharePoint Server—and we’ll maintain its social capabilities—we don’t plan on adding new features. Our investments in social will be focused on Yammer and Office 365, so that we can innovate quickly and take advantage of the viral user adoption that is so important to the natural network effect that makes social so powerful.

Enjoy!

Author: Tobias Zimmergren
http://www.zimmergren.net | http://www.tozit.com | @zimmergren

Introduction

A while back an announcement was made that TFSPreview.com had been made available for general testing. Various bloggers at Microsoft put an invitation token in their MSDN blogs so everyone can have a go at it.

In this article series we’ll take a very quick look at what the hosted TFS solution by Microsoft looks like.

Articles currently in the series:

Steps to hook up a project to your new build server

This article obviously assumes that you’ve already followed along with the previous articles and hooked up a build configuration for  your TFSpreview account. Now we’ll take a look at how we can get our projects hooking up in a CI/Automated Build scenario with Team Foundation Services.

The steps from this point onwards are basically the same as if it would be an on-premise TFS server in your own domain. Your build server is configured, your code is hosted in TFS and all you’ll need to do is connect your project to the actual TFS and then create a new build definition.

Create a new project (or connect an existing one) and connect to TFS

We’ll start from the beginning and create a new Visual Studio 2010 project (in my case it’ll be an Empty SharePoint Project), and remember to tick the Checkbox "Add to source control":
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Make sure that the project is connected to your TFS server, check in the source and we can get started:
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Create a new build definition

At this point (if you’ve followed the articles in this article series) you should have a TFS server, a connection from Team Explorer to your TFS server and also a new project hooked up in your repository. Now its time to create our first build definition so we can automate the builds and deployments.

Start by navigating to your Team Explorer and right-click on Builds and then click the "New Build Definition…":
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This will give you the following new dialog where you can specify details for your build:
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Move on to the "Trigger" tab. In my case I want to enable CI (Continous Integration) for my project:
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Move on to the "Workspace" tab. In my case I’ll leave the Source Control Folder as the default root as seen below. You can choose to specify a specific TFS project if you don’t want to include all.
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Move on to the "Build Defaults" tab. You’ll need to specify a build controller (you should have one here since we created one in the previous article). You will also need to specify a drop folder, where your binaries are going to be delivered upon the build: 
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Move on to the "Process" tab. This is where things get really interesting. You can from this dialog specify a variety of different variables for your project when it builds. I’m not going to dig into details here because my good mate Chris O’Brien have covered all of that in his article series about automated builds.
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Save the build definition and validate that it appears in the Team Explorer:
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Test the build configuration

In order to validate that our setup now works with TFSpreview.com and our own build server and to validate our newly created build definition, simply make some changes to your project and check it in and have it automatically schedule a new build (We chose Continuous Integration, which will build on each check in). You can see that the build is now scheduled and currently running:
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And after a while you can validate that it is Completed:
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The final validation is of course to see the drop folder that we specified and make sure that it now contains our newly built sources:
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Voila. Build seems to be working.

Summary

This post was intended to give you an overview over the simplicity of creating a simple build definition and getting started with automated builds in TFSpreview (hosted Microsoft TFS). Pretty neat and it seems to be working just the way we want.

Obviously there’s some apparent questions like:

  • What if I want to output my .wsp files as well?
  • What if I want to execute a specific script upon the execution of the build so I can automate test-deployments?
  • Etc. etc.

My first recommendation is to visit Chris O’Brien and read all the posts in his CI/automation series which is simply amazing.

Author: Tobias Zimmergren
http://www.zimmergren.net | http://www.tozit.com | @zimmergren

Introduction

A while back an announcement was made that TFSPreview.com had been made available for general testing. Various bloggers at Microsoft put an invitation token in their MSDN blogs so everyone can have a go at it.

In this article series we’ll take a very quick look at what the hosted TFS solution by Microsoft looks like.

Articles currently in the series:


Getting your first scheduled build up and running

In order to get a scheduled build that talks to your TFSPreview repository, you’ll need to follow these steps and make sure the prerequisites are fulfilled.

Prerequisites

Note: If you don’t have SharePoint 2010 installed, the installer have an option for installing SharePoint Foundation 2010 for you. In my case however, I’ve got SharePoint Server 2010 Enterprise running already.

Installing the package

First of all, launch the ISO file that was extracted from the downloaded package and you should see this screen:
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We want to install Team Foundation Server before we proceed, so choose the first option under the Install headline, which will bring you to this dialog:
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You’ll need to accept the EULA and if you’re awesome you’ll keep the second checkbox checked so Microsoft can review any issues that may be encountered during the process so they can have a look at them pre-RTM. Click Continue and then click Install Now in the dialog that follows:
ScreenShot1300

You may or may not need to reboot the computer while it’s performing the installation, depending on whether you’ve had some of the prerequisite artifacts installed prior to the installation or not.

Now just sit tight for a while as the installer takes care of the installation for you. Grab a newspaper, get a coffee, check some important stuff on Twitter or simply multitask with other things while you wait.

When it’s done, you’ll have a few options of what type of installation you want to do:
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Please note: At this point you have several options for how to proceed with your installation. You can now choose one of the following installation options:

  • Configure Team Foundation Application Server
  • Configure Team Foundation Server Proxy
  • Configure Team Foundation Build Service
  • Configure Extensions for SharePoint Products

In my case I’ll be choosing the "Configure Team Foundation Build Service" since I only need the actual Build Agents and Build Service – the TFSpreview.com is hosting the actual TFS server.

Next step will present you with a dialog like the following, where you’ll have to choose what default team project collection to utilize for the build server. Since we don’t have TFS installed the box is currently empty, but fear not for your TFS server is hosted in the cloud (tfspreview.com, remember?) so we’ll just have to go and add that connection as well.

Click the "Browse…" button to open the dialog for choosing your TFS connection
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If you haven’t already connected to a TFS server, this dropdown will be empty. Click "Servers…":
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Click the "Add…" button:
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Finally enter the URL to your TFS collection and click "OK":
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You will see a dialog that enables you to log in to the services (use the Login details you signed up with for tfspreview.com):
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When the sign-in is completed you’ll see that you now have a list of TFS collections. Choose your DefaultCollection (or otherwise) and click "Connect":
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It should hopefully say something like this, telling you there’s no build servers unless you’ve already configured it previously:
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In the next dialog I’ll choose "Use the default setting" for my setup:
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In the next dialog you’ll have to choose credentials for your build rig. I’m using a dedicated domain account called SHAREPOINTSPBuild:
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Make sure you validate the configuration and then press "Next"
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If awesomeness is found on your machine, it should look something like this:
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Click the "Configure" button and let the installer have its way for a while. Hopefully all these fancy green icons will show you that things went smoothly:
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With that done, in the next dialog you’ll see a nice "Success" message and you’re ready to start creating and work with your build agents:
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Validate the Build Server

On your Start Menu, you should find the following new shortcut:
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Clicking the "Team Foundation Server Administration Console" should bring you forth the following dialog where you can validate that your machine is properly up and running with a build server and agents. Click the "Build Configuration" option in the menu to the left and make sure your build agents are running under the controller:
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Summary

If you’ve followed along with the steps in this post you’ll see how easy it is to get up and running with creating a build server (controllers+agents) for your TFS. In this case, I chose to do a connection to the TFSpreview-hosted TFS account.

In my next post in this series I’ll talk about how you can create a new build from Visual Studio 2010 from your dev-machine and have it automatically build on this build server. Gotta love automation!

Enjoy.

Author: Tobias Zimmergren
http://www.zimmergren.net | http://www.tozit.com | @zimmergren

Introduction

A while back an announcement was made that TFSPreview.com had been made available for general testing. Various bloggers at Microsoft put an invitation token in their MSDN blogs so everyone can have a go at it.

In this article series we’ll take a very quick look at what the hosted TFS solution by Microsoft looks like.

Articles currently in the series:


Connect Visual Studio 2010 to your new hosted team project

In order to be able to connect to the hosted TFSPreview team project, you’ll need to comply with the prerequisites I’m listing here.

Prerequisites

Hook up Visual Studio to your new repository/project

Alright, if you’ve downloaded and installed KB2581206 (which means you’re spinning VS2010 SP1 already) you are read to connect. The procedure to connect to the hosted TFS service is basically the same as if you were to connect to any other TFS repository, which is easy and awesome.

In Visual Studio 2010 SP1, simply make these smooth ninja moves and you’re done:
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Make sure to fetch the URL of your account (As seen in your dashboard, like depicted below):
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Enter this URL in the Visual Studio 2010 dialogs and we’re ready to kick off:
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It’ll ask you for your credentials which you need to use to verify your account details:
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You should now be authenticated and your repository should be available:
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You’ll go ahead as you normally do and choose the projects that interests you and then you’re basically done:
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Your Team Explorer should contain your TFS project and you should be able to work with it as you normally would from Visual Studio 2010:
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This means you’ve got all of your standard tasks and operations available straight from VS 2010 (So you don’t have to go to the website to make changes …):
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Summary

Easy enough. As soon as you’ve downloaded the required tooling to get connected, you can hook up your new cloud-hosted team project in Visual Studio 2010 without any problems. Give it a spin, it flows quite nicely!

Enjoy.

Author: Tobias Zimmergren
http://www.zimmergren.net | http://www.tozit.com | @zimmergren

Introduction

A while back an announcement was made that TFSPreview.com had been made available for general testing. Various bloggers at Microsoft put an invitation token in their MSDN blogs so everyone can have a go at it.

In this article series we’ll take a very quick look at what the hosted TFS solution by Microsoft looks like.

Articles currently in the series:


What we need to know before getting started…

Firstly you’ll need to get an invitation token from someone who already have an account on tfspreview.com and then you’re good to go. In this post I’ll assume that you’ve got that already.

Sign in to the TFSpreview account you just acquired:

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This should give you access to the Team Foundation Service Preview console:

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From here you have a few options for proceeding:

  • Create a team project – The first step to create a new TFS site and project
  • Download software – You’ll want to visit this link so you can download the required software for connecting from VS 2010, if you haven’t already.

To guide you through the process of getting up and running, I’ll create a new project and call it "TOZIT AB Project 42" so you can follow the sample this article through.

Getting Started – Step by step

Right, so you’ve got your account set up and want to create a project. Follow along and I’ll take you through the entire process. Hang on.

Click "Create a team project":

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Next you’ll get a dialog telling you the progress of setting the new project up:

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When this is done you can navigate directly to the project or click close. I pressed close and made sure I could see the team project in my project list when I press "Browse all…":

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Simply click on the "Navigate" button to navigate to the project and you should see your team project dashboard, similar to this:

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What you get here is the intro to your Project. You can see in the top menu that you’ve got options for these things:

  • Home (This is what you see above)
  • Work
  • Source
  • Build

HOME

As depicted in the screenshot above, this is the welcome screen of the currently selected project. From here you can control your Product Backlog, Product Backlog Items, Sprints, Work Items and so on. Think of this as your online control panel for the Scrum project. Pretty neat, if you ask me.

WORK

Under the "backlog" tab:

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You’ll get a more detailed overview over you current situation in the project including the Product Backlog, Sprints and Work Items with an overview as well as detailed information about each item you select. From here you can control, create and modify your current project quite easily from the Web Browser.

For example, you can create a new PBI (Product Backlog Item) from here:

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and it’ll immediately appear in the list below, and you can start working with it:

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I’m obviously not going to walk you through each and every button on these pages, that’s for you yourself to try out, but this should give you an overview and idea of what’s available.

Under the "board" tab, you can easily get a really awesome overview of your current status in the project with all your Product Backlog Items in the selected sprint. You can easily drag and drop these items from one to the other section:

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(Pretty awesome…)

Of course you can edit everything from the browser UI here as well:

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Under the "work items" tab you can get a more familiar overview of the current work items, and even create you own queries in the section to the left – much like you would do from Visual Studio otherwise:

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SOURCE

Under the Source tab you can see (perhaps one of the most important things) the source code of your project including the history, changesets, shelvesets and so on:

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BUILD

An overview of your current build configurations. In this post I haven’t set up any build configurations yet, but keep your eyes out for that soon enough.

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Summary

This was intended to be a short introduction of what capabilities and features you’ll see in the hosted Team Foundation Services 2010 hosted service. More on this subject to follow!

Enjoy.