TFS – Iterations

Needed to create a few new iterations for our Team Project today, so, I learned a bit on iterations and that creating them for a Team Project is a very simple, painless process.

Iterations: Provide a structural hierarchy for releases and/or sprints

Areas: Used to identify where you want items allocated, they split the project up. Areas can be any part of a project such as Database, UI or Testing. They can also be split up based on teams such as Development or Testing.

Iterations and Areas can easily be created and managed by using Visual Studio or through TFS Web Access

In Team Web Access there is a drop-down on the far right of the UI that gives you access to the Team Project sub-menu. The Team Project sub-menu gives you access to managing Areas and iterations

Clicking on the Iterations options opens up the window to configure the iterations for your Team Project like so:

And from here you can Add/Remote Iterations as needed.

Areas and Iterations can be managed the exact same way through Visual Studio after connecting to your TFS by clicking on the TEAM -> Team Project Settings -> Work Item Areas and Iterations which will produce a very similar window to the previous:

Team Foundation Server – A Book, a book, I’ve got a book!

I feel like I’m so close to figuring out the select topics I’ve been working on, but so far at the same time. It’s a little frustrating.


I’ve got a book. This book, is about Team Foundation Server 2012. This book, is WROX Professional Team Foundation Server 2012 written by Ed Blankenship, Martin Woodward, Gant Holliday and Brian Keller.

This book, is now also over 50% off from what I paid for it just over a week ago at Barnes and Noble… 😦 oh well.

Along with my three current goals to master: Figuring out Continuous Deployment to Azure
//Which I’m pretty sure I’ve got down pat, I just lack some crucial
//knowledge to bring it all together correctly – Mainly .zip creation for
//deployment and if deploying a web service/application works the same
//as deploying a web site

Branching and Merging strategies and Adding/Removing users from a TFServer installation
//Which I also think I have down, I just need more background knowledge
//on our server setup here to ensure I don’t delete
I want to knockout at least a paragraph of this per-day and post back here on a coverage/summary of the information.

Continuous Delivery with Visual Studio Online and Azure – Continued.

I’m picking up where I left off in
This blog will cover my attempts in creation of the website files, checking-in to VSO, creating the website on Azure and integrating it with VSO.

So I’m already connected to VSO via Visual Studio and I have my local mapping setup recursively. To add a web site to my project I click
File -> New -> Web Site.

Here are my selections:

New Web Site

After clicking OK I get “Creating project ‘WebSite’….” which only took a few seconds. Here’s the part that confused me a lot the first few times… It didn’t show up in my Source Control Explorer – After clicking around for a bit I eventually learned what the heck a ‘Solution’ was.

Here’s what I found out on Solutions:
A Solution is a structure for organizing PROJECTS in Visual Studio, it maintains the state of information for projects in .sln(test-based,shared) and .suo(binary, user-specific solution options) files.

Solutions are required by Visual Studio and is created with a project if none are existent.

The Solution definition file (.sln) stores metadata  that defines the solutions

  • Projects associated with the solution
  • Items not associated with a particular project
  • Build configurations that determine which project configurations to apply in each type of build

So, after creating my website – it was now sitting in a new solution which is viewable from a tab called the Solution Explorer. Now that the solution is visible I can right click on it and choose ‘Add Solution to Source Control…’

Solution Explorer - Add to Source Control

This now prompts me to choose a Source Control System for the new project – the options presented are TFS and Git – I chose TFS, of course. Visual Studio then wants to know, What do you want to call the Solution’s Folder? which I named WebSiteSolutionAdd Solution to Source Control

This part confuses me a little – After clicking OK, I know have

$/Fierce Strawberry Gatorade/WebSite
Contains: Web.config & Web.Debug.config

$/Fierce Strawberry Gatorade/WebSiteSolution
Contains: WebSite.sln & WebSite.vssscc

Shouldn’t the WebSite project folder be IN the WebSiteSolution folder? The solutions folder also didn’t follow my recursive mapping scheme and put itself in my VisualStudio folder.
Added Solution to Source Control

Next – Questions aside as I’ll find out here eventually – I check-in to make sure everything moves over to VSO.

VSO after Check-in

My website still needs a Default page to display, a homepage. In Visual studio I clicked File -> New -> File… -> HTML page, which created a new .html file called HtmlPage.html in my WebSite directory. I checked-in after making a few small changes to the HTML file.

The next step is to login to, create the site, and tell it that my Source Code is located on my VSO. In Azure, I went to Web Sites and clicked New -> Custom Create



After clicking the -> it asks you to authorize your account on VSO, so I entered PhilWolfHasAGatorade and clicked on Authorize which then asked me to specify my repository:


After clicking the check the site creates itself. When clicking on ‘View Deployments’ the page tells you “The team project is linked.” “Visual Studio Online will build and deploy your project to Windows Azure on your next check-in”.

I opened Visual Studio back up and from Team Explorer clicked on ‘Builds’ and there sat a new Build Definition called ‘FierceStrawberryGatorade_CD’. I’m going to go ahead and assume everything was created right and make a minor change to my HTML page and do a check-in.


Just wanted to have the differences between each type of web item clearly defined (may seem silly, but I thought it’d be helpful).

A Web Site – Set of interrelated web pages that are under a single domain.

A Web Page – A document typically written in plain text but formatted using languages such as HTML & XHTML

A Web Application – Any application software that runs in a web browser or is created in a browser-supported programming language, such as JavaScript in combination with HTML & CSS.

A Web Service – A method of communication between two electronic devices over the web.
-As defined by W3C: a software system designed to support interoperable machine-to-machine interaction over a network. It has an interface described in a machine-processable format (specifically WSDL). Other systems interact with the Web service in a manner prescribed by its description using SOAP messages, typically conveyed using HTTP with an XML serialization in conjunction with other Web-related standards

A Web API – Development in web services where emphasis is on Representational State Transfer(REST) based communication. RESTful APIs do not require XML-based web service protocols(SOAP and WSDL) to support their interfaces.

Continuous Delivery with Visual Studio Online and Windows Azure

The main subject which has begun my quest into ALM is Continuous Integration and Delivery.These blogs will serve as documentation for myself as well as anyone who may happen upon these pages with the same intent. Here is my attempt for today starting from scratch:

First, I logged into Visual Studio Online and created a new Team Project called Fierce Strawberry Gatorade. By default, this started me off with a new container for the project Fierce Strawberry Gatorade located at $/Fierce Strawberry Gatorade on VSO.Image

Next I opened up Visual Studio 2012 and connected to the project I just created. Visual Studio Online was formerly known as Team Foundation Service, which is the cloud-based version of Team Foundation Server.


After connecting to the project I set up the local mappings. The path symbol $ represents the TFS source(main) direcotry you’re currently connected to (, $/Fierce Strawberry Gatorade represents the directory on my that holds my new project. I mapped my server’s $ to my local computer’s user folder for the account i’m using – C:\users\CARNAGE. When specifying the local mappings to things like build definitions, the directory that represents the servers $ is displayed as $(Source Dir). $(Source Dir) is used because it allows you to specify a local mapping that isn’t specific to a certain computer.

SERVER – $/Fierce Strawberry Gatorade
LOCAL MAPPING – C:\Users\CARNAGE\Fierce Strawberry Gatorade – $(Source Dir)\Fierce Strawberry Gatorade

After creating the Local Mapping, I wanted to put a HTML file into the project so I could create a simple web page to push out to Azure

The journey begins…


My name is Phillip Wolf and I’m aspiring to become a MCSD (Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer) in  ALM (Application Lifecycle Management). What will be found here is the tale of my journey to achieve ALM mastery, as well as some attempts to learn JavaScript.

My current goal is to learn how to integrate Visual Studio 2012/2013 with Visual Studio Online(Team Foundation Service) and automatically deploy from VSO to Windows Azure. I also will be delving into Branching and Merging Scenarios/Strategies.

Some background information on me:
I’m currently 22 years old and I live in Raleigh, North Carolina. I’ve been here for quite some time and can barely remember anything prior to moving here. I went to school at ECPI and got a BA in Network Security which landed me the role as a Technical Support Analyst at a company that sells Visitor Management kiosks.

I’ve been interested in coding since I was very young but I never seriously got into it except for a for courses in C#, C++ and HTML through my school years. Recently my employer has opened a door for me and put me in the hands of our well-established developer, which is what brought us here.

What I do in my free-time (if not studying and learning – of course):
I’ve been a huge gamer all my life and have put enormous amounts of hours into every single release of Call of Duty(since the original on PC), played WoW for countless hours for years on end, got an itch for Everquest 2, fought to destroy my enemies nexus on the Fields of Justice in League of Legends and battled for glory in golden hallways in Guild Wars.

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