Monday, June 03, 2013

TechEd NA 2013 Day 1 Announcement Round-up - VS 2013, TFS 2013, InRelease, SQL 2014, Server 2012 R2, BizTalk Services, Azure-in-a-box and even more Azure...

Brian Harry's blog - Visual Studio 2013

Hold on to your seat, this is going to be a long one…

Today at TechEd, I announced Visual Studio 2013 and Team Foundation Server 2013 and many of the Application Lifecycle Management features that they include. Today, we enabled some of those features on Team Foundation Service for you to try out immediately and I announced that a preview of VS 2013 and TFS 2013 will be available at the Build conference later this month.

It’s an exciting time now that we can start talking more openly about what’s coming in our next major release. As usual, there’s so much I will only be able to just skim the surface with this post. Stay tuned for many more posts on my blog, the ALM blog, the Visual Studio blog ...

ALM and Beyond - Visual Studio 2013

Today, Microsoft announced Visual Studio 2013, the next release of is integrated developer tools solution for building modern applications for devices, the cloud and on the client. Visual Studio 2013 Preview software will be released at Build 2013.

Visual Studio 2013 will incorporate a wave of new hybrid Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) features, many of which were released today through Team Foundation Service, that help development teams be more productive, improve collaboration through agile development practices, ensure the creation of quality, high performing applications, and accelerate delivery times and resolving issues in production through the support of DevOps capabilities.

Available today, Microsoft also announced updates to its Team Foundation Service with the addition of Agile Portfolio Management, Team Room, Cloud Load Testing, Code Commenting, enhanced Web Test Case Management features and more.

Additionally as of today MSDN subscribers will have access to new benefits that will enable them to develop and test more easily on Windows Azure. This new benefit includes up to $150 worth of Windows Azure platform services per month at no additional cost for Visual Studio Professional, Premium or Ultimate MSDN subscribers, and use rights to run selected MSDN software in the cloud.


Somasegar’s blog - Visual Studio 2013, ALM, and DevOps


In this vein, today marks the start of TechEd North America 2013, and with it I’m excited to announce several key advances related to the modern application lifecycle.

Visual Studio 2013

I’m thrilled to share that our next major release, Visual Studio 2013, will be available later this year, with a preview build publicly available at Build 2013 in San Francisco at the end of the month.  In his keynote demo and follow-on foundational session today at TechEd, Brian Harry highlighted some of the new ALM capabilities coming in this release and in the cloud, including new features focused on business agility, quality enablement, and DevOps.  Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Agile portfolio management, which enables you to plan your agile projects “at scale” by showing the hierarchical relationship between work being done in multiple teams across your organization.
  • Cloud-based load testing, a new capability of Team Foundation Service that takes advantage of the elastic scalability of Windows Azure to generate traffic, simulating thousands of simultaneous virtual users so as to help you understand how your web applications and services operate under load.
  • Code information indicators that provide information about unit tests, work items, code references, and more, all directly within the code editor in Visual Studio, increasing developer productivity by enabling project-related contextual information to be viewed and consumed without leaving the editor.
  • A team room integrated into TFS, improving the collaboration amongst team members via a real-time and persistent chat room that integrates with data and interactions elsewhere in TFS.
  • Identity integrated into Visual Studio, such that the IDE is connected to backend services that support, for example, roaming the developer’s settings as the developer moves from installation to installation.
  • Support in TFS for integrated code comments that facilitate code reviews with increased transparency and traceability.
  • A .NET memory dump analyzer, which enables developers to easily explore .NET objects in a memory dump and to compare two memory dumps in pursuit of finding and fixing memory leaks.
  • Git support built into Visual Studio 2013, both on the client and on the server, including in the on-premises Team Foundation Server 2013.



DevOps is an increasingly important part of application lifecycle management and is a growing area of interest as businesses need to develop and deploy quality applications at a faster pace. We continue to invest in improving the modern application lifecycle, with a particular focus on DevOps.

As part of this increased focus, today I’m excited to announce Microsoft’s agreement to acquire InCycle’s InRelease Business Unit, a leading release management solution for .NET and Windows Server applications. InCycle’s InRelease product is a continuous delivery solution that automates the release process through all of your environments from TFS through to production, all in one solution, and all integrated with TFS.


MSDN and Dev/Test on Windows Azure

The technical improvements we’re making to Visual Studio represent just one facet of the work we’re doing to improve the productivity and success of teams using Microsoft platforms.

For example, we’ve improved the Windows Azure benefit available as part of eligible MSDN subscriptions; you now have a choice as to how you use your Windows Azure credits for development and test, whether you apply them for Virtual Machines, Web Sites, Cloud Services, Mobile Services, Media Services, HDInsight, or beyond.  The Windows Azure MSDN benefit includes access to virtual machine images preconfigured with MSDN subscription software, such as SQL Server and BizTalk Server, and alternatively supports uploading your own virtual machine with your MSDN software.


Matt's ALM space - Team Rooms in Team Foundation Service

So now after the Tech.Ed announcement the Team Rooms are available :)

They are not just a chit-chat tool for conversations into the team. They are an invaluable tool for collaboration.

First of all, we can configure it as a broadcast messenger for certain events


Brian H. Prince's Blog - Stop the presses! Stopped VMs are no longer charged, MSDN benefits improved, and more!

Wow, some truly exciting announcements were made today. I will summarize them here, but once again, for the nitty-gritty details, please see the original post.

1- If you stop a VM, you won’t be charged. This is very new. ....

2- Charged by the minute. ...

3- MSDN subscribers receive free credits. Up until today MSDN subscribers receive ‘free Azure time’. This was expressed as a grid, with a certain amount of free time, allocated per service. You might get 750 hours of free CPU, and then 1GB of free data, etc. etc. This was very complicated, and we were always tuning the ‘right amount’ of each free resource to make sure that it was useful by the developer.

Today we are shifting to a free credit per month plan. ...

4- Additions to the support VPN devices list. VPN devices from F5, Citrix and WatchGuard are now supported for point-to-site networking, in addition to already supported devices from Cisco and Juniper.

5- New datacenters being developed.


Brian H. Prince's Blog - But wait! That’s not all! More Azure Awesomeness!

And the updates and news about Windows Azure keeps rolling in today. We are making tons of announcements at TechEd this week. Here are some more:

You should read part one of these announcements.

1. MSDN licenses are now officially allowed to be used in Windows Azure environments (for dev/test).

2. MSDN subscribers get big discounts on Azure costs. A subscriber can spin up any number of Windows Server, SQL Server, SharePoint Server, and BizTalk Server VMs for Dev/Test scenarios using Windows Azure and pay only 6 cents/hr when running them....

3. The Azure management portal will now tell you how many MSDN credits you have left for the month, and when it resets.

4. Web Sites now has SSL support. During the preview, Windows Azure Web Sites could do SSL... 

5. Updates to Windows Azure Active Directory. ...

6. Free Trials are now easier! Until now, the free trial was like the MSDN benefits. You received a certain amount of access to each service. That was both complicated, and hard to understand. Now, each trial receives $200 per month of service credit! Yes, $200!


Totally go sign up for a free trial now, at

7. We announced the preview of BizTalk Services. ...

ScottGu's Blog - Windows Azure: Announcing Major Improvements for Dev/Test in the Cloud

Windows Azure provides a great environment for dev/test.  This is true both for scenarios where you want to dev/test in the cloud and then run the production app in the cloud, as well as for scenarios where you want to dev/test in the cloud and then run the production app using an existing on-premises Windows Server environment.

Windows Azure’s new IaaS and Virtual Networking capabilities make it really easy to enable enterprise development teams to use the cloud to do this.  Using the cloud for dev/test enables development teams to work in a flexible, agile, way without ever being bottlenecked waiting for resources from the IT department.  Development teams can instead use the cloud in a self-service way to spin up or down resources in minutes.  And then when they are ready to deploy their apps they can choose to do so using their existing on-premises servers.  This makes it really easy to start leveraging the cloud even without having to fully bet on it yet for production scenarios.

Today we are announcing a number of enhancements to Windows Azure that make it an even better environment in which to do dev/test:

  • No Charge for Stopped VMs
  • Pay by the Minute Billing
  • MSDN Use Rights now supported on Windows Azure
  • Heavily Discounted MSDN Dev/Test Rates
  • MSDN Monetary Credits
  • Portal Support for Better Tracking MSDN Monetary Credit Usage

Below are details on each of the above improvements.  The combination enables an amazing Dev/Test cloud solution, and an unbeatable offer for all MSDN customers.

Brent Ozar - (Almost) Everything You Need to Know About SQL Server 2014

Just when you thought SQL Server couldn’t get better, Microsoft is announcing the features for SQL Server 2014. They haven’t announced the licensing/pricing, but I’ll tell you what I do know so far.

First, open this in another tab and hit play so you’ve got some background music while you read. Done with the commercial? Okay, let’s get to it:

Cache frequently used data on SSDs. ...

More online maintenance operations. Got  ....

AlwaysOn Availability Groups get more secondaries. If ...

AlwaysOn AG readable secondaries will be more reliable. In  ....

Use Azure VMs as AlwaysOn AG replicas. ....

Failover Cluster Support for Clustered Shared Volumes. ...

Smart Backup to Azure ...

On-premise SQL Server with data/log files in Azure storage. ...

Hekaton: specialized in-memory OLTP tables. ...

Other cool improvements: ...

To BizTalk and Beyond! - BizTalk Services is LIVE!

Windows Azure BizTalk Services (aka BizTalk Services, aka WABS) is now available as a Preview on Windows Azure. I've had the opportunity to work with WABS since the beginning. I'm in awe of how much WABS has improved. For example:

  • The BizTalk Services portal has a much better flow for adding partners and creating EDI agreements.
  • Retrieving tracked data in the BizTalk Services portal is much easier.
  • In the Visual Studio project (specifically BizTalk Services project), creating a Connection in the Bridge design area is easier.
  • Scope of the Loop map operations in a Transform has a much better UI experience.
  • TAP customer feedback directly added to the product, including Refreshing the BizTalk Service instead of doing a full deployment and adding XSLT.


All About Microsoft - Microsoft finds a new way to deliver a private cloud in a box


On June 3 at its TechEd conference, Microsoft officials announced a new product called Windows Azure Pack. For all intents and purposes, as cloud expert Roger Jennings said to me via Twitter today, the Azure Pack delivers what Microsoft promised with the Azure Appliance.

Microsoft's own Web site description of the new Azure Pack basically corroborates this. "The Windows Azure Pack delivers Windows Azure technologies for you to run inside your datacenter, enabling you to offer rich, self-service, multi-tenant services that are consistent with Windows Azure," the introduction notes.

As Microsoft itself explains in its free, downloadable white paper on Windows Azure Pack (thanks for the link @ehorley), the Windows Azure Pack is a superset of the horribly named "Windows Azure Services for Windows Server" technology, which Microsoft announced back in July 2012, and which it made generally available in January 2013.

Windows Azure Services for Windows Server is a set of select features that originally debuted as part of Windows Azure which Microsoft made available to its service providers. The core set of technologies in this were hosted Linux and Windows Server virtual machines; support for high-density Web sites (the complement of Windows Azure Web Sites, codenamed "Antares"); Service Management Portal; and a Service Management application programming interface (codenamed Katal).

The components in the Azure Pack include ...

That's enough reading for now... (and I think my copy-n-paste fingers are bleeding... ;)

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