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Tech Tips, Tricks & Trivia

by 'Anil' Radhakrishna
An architect's notes, experiments, discoveries and annotated bookmarks.

Search from over a hundred HOW TO articles, Tips and Tricks


Notes from the MVA course "Fundamentals of Visual Studio Online"

The Microsoft Virtual Academy course Fundamentals of Visual Studio Online is a level 300 course that provides an high level overview of Visual Studio Online (VSO) in less than 2 hours. I wish it also dwelled a little on Process templates & covered best practices.
Notes from the course and elsewhere -

- Visual Studio Online is a cloud-based platform of tools and services that helps you plan, deploy and manage your application.

- VSO competes with Github.  GitHub lets developers work for free with public code repositories but there is a charge for those who want to work with private code repositories. It is possible to migrate a project from GitHub to Visual Studio Online

- VSO is free for the first five users and it is an included benefit for MSDN subscriptions.

- VSO offers cloud-hosted application lifecycle management (ALM) as a service. It provides TFS (centralized) and Git (decentralized) source control systems.

- Visual Studio Online isn't exactly TFS in the cloud. TFS was introduced in 2006 while Team Foundation Service was launched in 2012. Every few weeks, new features appear in VSO as the TFS product group wraps them up in their internal development iterations.

- The process template is what defines your workflow: what your work items are called, what states they go through as you work on them and other metadata. You can choose between three templates: Scrum, Agile and Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI).

If you’re an agile team, or you don’t have a particular process, choose between the Agile and Scrum templates. The biggest difference between the two is how they handle bugs and what name they use for backlog items. The Agile template treats bugs as tasks, while the Scrum template displays them on your backlog along with other backlog items. If you aren’t sure, stick with the Scrum template -it’s the default for a reason.

- Choosing the Scrum template doesn’t mean you have to do Scrum; it simply means you’ll see Scrum terminology used for work item types. Scrum refers to requirements as Product Backlog Items (PBIs) and the Agile template refers to them as User Stories.

- VSO works with non-VS IDEs as well

- Advantages of using VSO hosted build
  ~ Build doesn’t require custom installation of dependencies
  ~ One build at a time
  ~ Build takes < 1 hour to run
  ~ Build process uses < 75GB total storage
  ~ Build process doesn’t need administrator privileges

- Advantages of automating builds
  ~ Quick feedback
  ~ Consistency
  ~ Continuous integration
  ~ Continuous deployment

- VSO provides access to full-featured load testing as a service that runs on Microsoft infrastructure

OpsHub VSO Migration Utility tool can be used migrate the most commonly requested data from on-premise TFS to VSO

- Free VSO monthly benefits include:
  ~ Automated hosted builds:60 minutes
  ~ Cloud load testing: 15000 virtual user minutes

- Visual Studio Online Application Insights collects rich operational, performance and customer usage information from your applications—whether they run on-premises, in Windows Azure, at third-party cloud providers, or in a hybrid manner across all three.

- Application Insights discovers dependencies, shows you when you’ve made new deployments and aggregates all of the performance information to give you the top 10 slowest parts of your application.

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