Brian Harry's Blog

Everything you want to know about Azure DevOps and Farming

Twitter sentiment as a release gate

I’m really excited to talk about a new Twitter sentiment release gate extension in the Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS) marketplace today.
Before I say more, let me step back and give some context…
Any responsible DevOps practice uses techniques to limit the damage done by bugs that get deployed into production. 

A VSTS Release Gate with ServiceNow

Tarun has written a great post on creating a VSTS Release Gate that will gate deployments on approvals registered in ServiceNow.  This is a great example of how you can use the extensibility of Release Gates to automate and integrate your release pipeline. 

VSTS Update – Nov 28

This week we will be deploying our sprint 126 work.  This deployment is probably one of the most complicated in a while.  Quite a lot of it actually rolled out at our Connect(); event the week before Thanksgiving and then Thanksgiving week stalled the completion of the deployments so we are just getting back to it this week.  

Connect(); announcements

We’re announcing a bunch of new things at Connect(); this week.  It’s an exciting time.  Connect(); is an annual developer event where we focus particularly on improving the overall experience for developers.  We’ve queued up a lot of good news and I wanted to share a few highlights –

DevOps at Microsoft – lots of videos

My team is responsible for many of the engineering tools we use at Microsoft (affectionately called the One Engineering System or 1ES – paralleling Satya’s “One Microsoft” mantra).  As part of that responsibility we get to interact deeply with teams across the company and learn from what they are doing. 

DevOps @ Connect(); 2017

I am excited…There will be lots of news…at Microsoft Connect(); 2017 happening Wednesday Nov 15th in New York City.
Please join the live stream starting at 10:00 AM EST for Scott Guthrie’s keynote, where he will showcase lots of new innovations across Azure,

Visual Studio Team Services in Hong Kong

Today we opened a new VSTS instance in Hong Kong – the Azure “East Asia” region.  This adds to our instances in US, Europe, Brazil, India and Australia, giving us reasonably short distance access to every part of the world –

Team Foundation Server 2017 Update 3 available

Today we released the final build of TFS 2017 Update 3.  This release follows the release candidate and addresses all the customer feedback we have gotten and all the issues we have found in extensive testing.  If you are on TFS 2017 or are upgrading to it,

Oh my – some dashboard candy that is life changing

A month or so ago we opened a Visual Studio Team Services instance in Canada and yesterday it occurred to me to wonder how that was going.  I sent mail to someone who “owns” that scenario and after a little back and forth I had the answer. 

VSTS Update – Oct 30

This week we started our sprint 125 deployment.  You can read the release notes for details.
I won’t comment too much on the new capabilities this sprint.  There’s a bunch of nice stuff but not a lot that is earth shaking. 


Giving feedback

Six months ago I wrote a post on Taking Feedback.  Several people asked me to write a follow up on giving feedback.  Amazing how time flies and somehow I just haven’t gotten around to it – so I’m doing it now.

All good things…

After more than 23 years at Microsoft, I’ve decided it’s time for me to take a break. Starting March 12th 2018, I’ll be taking a leave of absence for a year. Deciding to do this has been one of the most gut-wrenching decisions of my life.

VSTS Update – Mar 5

This week we began rolling out the sprint 131 updates.  You can get the details in the release notes.
There are some good things in this sprint payload (a good start at a new Work items hub, Azure DevOps projects support for VMs,

A good incident postmortem

I wanted to call your attention to a good incident postmortem done by Taylor Lafrinere this week.  Taylor sits in my team room and, for a week, I saw him bent over his keyboard, often with two or three people staring over his shoulders trying to figure out what had caused this incident and what we needed to do to prevent it in the future. 

TFS Security updates

On Wednesday, we released a roll up of fixes for security vulnerabilities for several versions of Team Foundation Server. There are no new features in this update. Most of the vulnerabilities are related to cross site scripting (XSS), some of which were customer reported. The others include an improperly encoded API, a service endpoint editing experience which exposes a previously configured password, and a regex denial of service vulnerability in our web portal. We recommend customers install these updates. These fixes are included in the recently released Team Foundation Server 2018 Update 1. The release on Wednesday was for older versions and for customers who are not yet ready to update to the TFS 2018.

VSTS and TFS roadmap update

This week we updated the roadmap (Feature Timeline) for Visual Studio Team Services and Team Foundation Server.  Check it out to see many of the significant improvements we are working on/planning.  If you have feedback or suggestions for other improvements that are important to you,

TFS 2018.1 RTM is available

Today we released the final build of Team Foundation Server 2018 Update 1.  I've shared some key links in this post.

Goats up high

Let me start with a little background.  Every year, we have new goats born on the farm – generally in March/April.  Last year, we had about 10 or so.  They live in the field with their moms until breeding season –

TFS 2018 Update 1 RC is available

Today we released the release candidate for Team Foundation Server 2018 Update 1.  I've shared some important links in this post.

Merging conflicts in the browser

One of the cool things about having VSTS used across all of Microsoft is that when there’s some useful missing feature, one of the many teams using it might fill the gap and we get to harvest it and make it available to all VSTS customers. 

VS Team Services

A bit more on the Feb 3 and 4 incidents

Please read my post from yesterday first.  Unfortunately I had a family commitment and had to leave early Friday afternoon before the post was complete.  I asked someone on my team to finish it and he did an excellent job and I’m grateful. 

Package Management now available in Europe and Australia

When we first released the Package Management preview in November, it was only available in the US – If your VS Team Services account was in some region other than the US, installing the Package Management extension would fail.  This week,