TFS 2015 Update 2

TFS 2015 update 2 was release a few days ago, so what’s new in TFS 2015.2? Her are some of them

Release management

We have a completely new release system, based on the same principles as the new build system we got in TFS 2015. The system is web based and uses the same kind of “build steps” and the build system. Build and release are connected together so a build can trigger a release and the release could go through several environments with manual or automatic approvers.

Delete work items

Instead of setting unwanted work items to “Removed”, we can no actually delete them. They end up in a recycle bin from where we can restore them or permanently delete them if needed.

Auto-refresh dashboards

The dashboards that we have in TFS web access now have auto refresh which is nice if you want to show it on a TV or a projector for the team and other stakeholders.


You could use @mentions, that is @ followed by a user’s ID or name in a pull request or in a code comment while checking in code, the user mention will then get a mail notification. This doesn’t work in work item descriptions or history yet.


We had gated check-in in the old system as a build trigger and it’s now introduced in the new with update 2.


Microsoft Marketplace was earlier only available for the online version of TFS called VSTS, but now in update 2 its available for “On-prem” TFS. See more at:

Create projects from the web access

As a TFS Administrator you can now both create and delete projects from the TFS Webb Access, you don’t have to use Visual Studio and TFS Admin console from this anymore.

Read more…

TFS 2015.1

TFS 2015 Update 1 was release some time ago, here is a recap of my favorites.

The project homage

It’s now possible to modify project homepage and make several dashboards, there are a lot of widgets to select from. One om my favorites is the markdown widget where you can add text links and pictures, this can be a great place to share project information.

Drag and drop

There are improvement everywhere for drag and drop and multi select

  • Drag-and-drop reordering and re-parenting
  • Dragging items to an iteration
  • Dragging items to the mapping pane
  • Support for move to top and move to position on the context menu
  • Bulk edit
  • Bulk assign to

If you have a PBI/User Story that is not completed in a sprint and you drag it to a new sprint the completed tasks stay in the old sprint.

Styles and Tags

You can add color to your cards and tags according to certain criteria both in the Kanban and in the sprintboard. In the sample below I added red color to the blocked Tag.

And here I added a style that sets the color of the Task to red if there are more than 12 hour left.

Tasks as checklist

Tasks appears as a checklist in the Kanban board.

Multiple activities in the sprint

It’s finally possible to have multiple activities to a user in a sprint!


GIT and TFSVC in the same project

Up to now if you want to try GIT out or start using it for your project you had to create a new TFS project. Now GIT and TFSVC can coexist in the same TFS project.


SonarQube build tasks

SonarQube is a great product to control you technical debt, you have been able tou use it with TFS build for some time but now there are build tasks for sonar that makes to work easier.


Test retention policy

There has over the years been a big problem with test results not being deleted when the build a removed with the build retention policy, the test results and files needed for the test could take a large portion of your TFS database. Now we have a built in test retention policy that removes the test files and attachments according to your needs.

Office integration

Team Explorer doesn’t exist as a separate download anymore, if you want the Excel, Project or PowerPoint Integration you can download this separately here. You need a TFS CAL to use it.

Download TFS 2015 update 1 here

Test license change in VSO and TFS 2015

Many of my customers are having problems with the license model for testers where a non-frequent tester (for example Acceptance tester) has to have at least a Visual Studio Test Professional to do their test even if they only run test in the test hub in TFS Web Access.

This changes next year!

In January Microsoft is including test execution capabilities in the test hub into the Basic level of VS Online, people who need to manage tests in the test hub can use an Advanced license and people who need the full Microsoft Test Manager set of capabilities can purchase Visual Studio Test Professional or above.

In the on-premises version of TFS, TFS 2015 Microsoft is including test execution rights, using the test hub into the TFS Client Access License (CAL). User who need more will need at least Visual Studio Test Professional or above.

Read more about licenses here:

Release management license change

Stakeholder license change

Visual Studio 2012 Update 3

Visual Studio 2012 Update 3 was released last week. This is yet another incremental update with mostly bug fixes and some forward compatibility updates for Visual Studio 2013.

Visual Studio 2012 updates are cumulative releases that include the new features and fixes that were delivered in previous releases.

Read more about the update and download Visual Studio Update 3 here

Download TFS 2012 Update 3 here

Visual Studio 2012 Update 1

Microsoft changed the release cycle of Visual Studio and Team Foundation server, from now on there are going to be quarterly releases of both products. The first update (Update 1) is here and this is what it contains:

  • Extend TFS server side path limits from 260 characters to 400 characters
  • Usability improvements for Version Control
    • Associate multiple bugs with a checking at once in the Add by ID field (i.e. comma separated)
    • Toolbar button to show/hide deleted items in the source control explorer
    • Copy the name of a changeset/shelveset from the Changeset/Shelveset Details page
    • Find a Shelveset by name from the Find Shelvesets page
    • Include/exclude all items except those that are selected
    • Know if my detected changes are adds or deletes before clicking the link
    • Navigate to an item in source control explorer from pending changes page
    • Undo changes to a file from the editor context menu
  • Kanban support in TFS Web Access
  • TFS web access usability improvements
    • Drag and drop queries and query folders
    • Drag/drop between User Stories and People in the Taskboard
    • Drag a task to a person to assign it in the Taskboard
    • Expand and Collapse the left navigation pane
    • Remember the state of the splitters
    • Animate Taskboard tiles on drop
    • Next/Previous arrows on WIT form
    • Updated navigation styling
    • Links and Attachments in WIT form shows counts
  • Sharepoint testing improvements
    • Load testing support for SharePoint
    • Unit test emulator for SharePoint
    • Coded UI test support for SharePoint
    • Intellitrace collection plan for SharePoint
  • Manual testing improvements
    • Editing of test cases from inside the test runner
    • Code coverage support for manual testing of web apps
    • Hierarchical query support
    • Pause manual testing session and later resume a test case
    • Deep copy of a test plan to better support release management
    • Publish test results to TFS from command-line
  • Coded UI testing improvements
    • Cross browser testing for coded UI testing (IE, Chrome, Firefox, …)
    • Usability improvements for Coded UI tests
  • SCVMM 2012 SP1 support with Lab Management for Windows 2012 hosts
  • VSUpdate support for Microsoft Test Manager for automatic update notification
  • Unit testing improvements
    • Windows Store C++ unit testing enhancements
    • Windows Store Unit Test library enhancements
    • Traits support for all adapters
    • Unit Test Grouping and Filtering in Test Explorer Window
  • Easier installation of unit test adapters on TFS build machines using Nuget
  • Code Map – Incremental discovery and visualization of your application architecture and dependencies
  • IntelliTrace Integration with System Center
  • Integrate Blend Windows Phone Tooling
  • Multiscale image support for manifest content
  • JavaScript Memory Profiling
  • Mixed Managed/Native Debugging Support for Store Apps
  • ARM Native Dump Debugging Support
  • Enable XP targeting with C++

Read more at the Visual Studio + ALM Team blog

My personal favorites are the Kanban support and the new drag and drop features in TFS Web Access.

Download the Visual Studio update here and the Team Foundation Server update here.

Read Damians blog for a detailed instruction for the TFS upgrade.

There is also an update for Team Foundation Power Tools to match the service update, download it here

In Visual Studio 2012 Update 2

In Visual Studio 2012 Update 2 we will among other things se test case management and manual testing from within a browser!

Team Foundation Service

If you want to see what probably be included in upcoming Team Foundation Server releases you should take a look at Team Foundation Service, the cloud based version of TFS. Team Foundation Service has a release cycle of three week. Read more in their blog.




New scrum guide

Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland, the co-founders of Scrum, have been working together and with the Scrum community on updating the official Scrum Body of Knowledge, the Scrum Guide. The core principles of Scrum remain, but misunderstandings have been clarified and techniques have been removed. The “Definitive Guide to Scrum,” focuses on the framework, rules, and ceremonies of Scrum. Emphasis is placed on the roles of the Scrum Team and understanding of their responsibilities, as opposed to the strategies and techniques involved in fulfilling those roles and responsibilities.

The new scrum guide was announced on July 15 but the reasoning behind the changes are not always clear to everyone. To remedy this is releasing a series of Scrum Guide Explanations. These explanations are really good, not only do they explain the specific change in question but reading the explanations will also give you a deeper understanding of the core principles of scrum.

If you are using scrum today or plan to use it in the future I strongly suggest you head over to and check out both the new Scrum Guide as well as the Scrum Guide Explanations.