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A Good Day at the Rocky Mountain Tech Trifecta

February 28th, 2010 Comments off

It was a great day yesterday at Rocky Mountain Tech Trifecta (Version 2.0) in downtown Denver.

There was an solid line-up of sessions with lots of great presenters – very impressive for a free event.

I attended with some of my team members last year and we came away with a to-do list of technologies/frameworks/skills etc. that we wanted to add to our toolbox.

I am happy to say that we accomplished most of the list so the event was a bit of a milestone for the team as we look to upgrading to new platforms, tools etc. over the next several months.  It’s getting hard to keep up with all of the advances in technology but no complaints here!  I can’t image where we’ll be in 5 years at this pace – it is certainly an exciting time for developers.

Here are some of the highlights and some of the things I am looking forward to:

Team Foundation Server 2010

We implemented TFS 2005 initially but we didn’t get really excited about TFS until we implemented TFS 2008.  We now are enjoying the goodness of continuous integration, automated builds and deployments and work item tracking (We are big into Scrum using the Conchango – now EMC – process template).

TFS 2010 promises a lot of great new features.  Here are some of the highlights for me:

1) Gated check-in is a new feature in 2010 that offers the possibility of no more broken builds.  We’re getting pretty solid as a team but broken builds still happen..  This seems like a great feature to protect the build (and a good set of training wheels for developers that are new to team development).

2) The new dashboarding features look great.  It looks like a lot of polish has gone into these new capabilities.  Lots of screenshots here.

3) The licensing schema is changing for 2010 (for the better).  The TFS server license is now included with MSDN (doesn’t require a separate license) so that’s one less thing to purchase.  More here on TFS branding and pricing.

4) Hierarchical work items have been added to TFS 2010 and we will certainly take advantage of this new feature.  The new EMC (previously Conchango) Scrum template takes advantage of this feature and we are looking forward to moving over when we go to TFS 2010.  More about this here and here.

5) Microsoft acquired Teamprise last year and is expecting to release Teamprise features around the time of the TFS 2010 release this year.   TeamPrise includes cross-platform TFS clients including an Eclipse plugin, a stand-alone graphical client and command line tools.

6) Web deployment is new in Team Build in 2010.  We are currently running xcopy deployments and while this works there isn’t a good way to handle different configurations for multiple environments.  MS Deploy will be included my default with 2010.  More about the new web deployment features here.

Visual Studio 2010

Lots of new features in 2010.  Some highlights:

1) Better support for multiple monitors.  Now you can tear tabs off and take full advantage of multiple monitors.

2) Better testing tools.  I haven’t yet played with the RC so I can’t comment more on this.  More about the new capabilities here.

ASP.NET MVC 2

We got rolling with ASP.NET MVC last year and we are looking forward to the improvements in version 2.  More about ASP.NET MVC 2 on Scott Gu’s blog.

Orchard

This is not a new Microsoft product but it was something that got mentioned yesterday related to ASP.NET MVC.  Looks like something worth keeping an eye on..  More at orchard.codeplex.com.