Never forget -Verbose again

Working with DSC I am constantly having to type –Verbose on my Start-DscConfiguration calls.  However, I stumbled across this cool feature of PowerShell that I thought I would share that will set the –Verbose switch on all your calls for you. PowerShell has a collection of Preference Variables that allow you to customize its behavior.  One such variable is named $VerbosePreference. By default the value of $VerbosePreference is “SilentlyContinue” which requires you to supply the –Verbose switch to see any verbose messages written by the cmdlet or function calls.  However, if you simply set: $VerbosePreference = “Continue” You can now forego passing the –Verbose switch but all the verbose messages will be displayed.  This combined with the positional Path parameter can drastically reduce the amount of typing for Start-DscConfiguration call. Before: Start-DscConfiguration –Wait –Verbose –Path .\Test After: Start-DscConfiguration .\Test –Wait Or you can go that extra mile and create a new Alias for Start-DscConfiguration: New-Alias –Name sdsc –Value Start-DscConfiguration Then all you have to type is: sdsc .\test -Wait Like all variables, the values that you set are specific to the current Windows PowerShell session. However, you can add them to your Windows PowerShell profile and have them set in all Windows PowerShell sessions.

PowerShell Desired State Configuration (DSC) Journey by Jacob Benson

I just wanted a list of all the post in one place. PowerShell Desired State Configuration (DSC) Journey by Jacob Benson: Day 1 (First Configuration) Day 2 (Parameterizing the Configuration) Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 7 Day 8 Day 9 Day 10 Day 11 Day 12 Day 13 Day 14 Day 15 Day 16 Day 17 Day 18 Day 19 Day 20 Day 21 Day 22 Day 23 Day 24 Day 25 Day 26 Day 27 Day 28 Day 29

How to deploy the Fabriakam Call Center application with DSC

Because there is not an Update 4 version of the Keller VM using the Visual Studio 2013 Update 3 Keller VM I will show you how to upgrade Release Management to Update 4 and create a vNext deployment for the Fabriakam Call Center application. First we have to uninstall Release Management Update 3. Log in as Brian Keller and uninstall the components in the following order: Deployer Client Server You will get an error during the uninstall of the server just click Close the program. Now download Update 4 of Release Management iso image from VisualStudio.com and mount the image to your VM. Install the components in the following order: Server: password for Administrator is P2ssw0rd  Client: enter “vsalm” for Release Management service Deployer: password for Administrator is P2ssw0rd Upgrading just Release Management to Update 4 without the rest of the system will break build. The work around is to copy Microsoft.VisualStuio.Services.Common.dll and Microsoft.VisualStuio.Services.WebApi.dll from “C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 12.0\Release Management\Client\bin” to “C:\Program Files\Microsoft Team Foundation Server 12.0\Tools”.  Make sure restart the build service after you copy the files. The shortcut pinned to the Taskbar for the Release Management Client will be broken so fix it to point to the next installation of Release Management. To use DSC to deploy your application you have to make sure your DSC script is in the drop location so let’s address that first.  Open the FabrikamFiber.CallCenter solution and add a Configuration folder to the FabrikamFiber.Web project. This folder will contain all the DSC scripts we need to deploy our project using DSC.  Right click on the Configuration folder and select Add / New Item.  Add a new text file named “install.ps1”.  From the Solution Explorer right click “install.ps1” and select Properties.  Change the “Copy to Output Directory” to “Copy always”.  This will ensure the file ends up in the drop location.  Enter the following text into install.ps1.  Configuration InstallWebSite { Node $env:COMPUTERNAME { WindowsFeature InstallIIS { Name = "Web-Server" } WindowsFeature AspNet45 { Name = "Web-Asp-Net45" } File CopyBits { DestinationPath = $DestinationPath SourcePath = $applicationPath Type = "Directory" Recurse = "True" } } } InstallWebSite This is the DSC configuration that will ensure that IIS and ASP.net 4.5 are installed and copy the files to the server.  The variable $DestinationPath will be defined on the component in Release Management and $applicationPath will be provided to the script from Release Management. Now check in your changes and queue a new build disabling tests. Make sure the build passes and open Release Management. The only way to add a new vNext server is by creating an Environment so let’s begin there.  Click “Configure Paths” then “Environments”. Using the new menu select “New vNext: Standard”. Enter the following values: Name: DSC-Dev Owner: Brian Keller Description: Development environment for Web Team for internal apps using DSC. Now click the Create button under the Servers Tab.  We are going to be deploying to the VM which is named VSALM.  The DNS Name must contain the port to use to establish a PowerShell Remote connection. The default port for PowerShell Remoting is 5985. Name:  VSALM DNS Name: VSALM:5985 Owner: Brian Keller Click Save & Close the Server dialog and click Save & Close on the Environment.  Repeat this process for each environment linking to the same machine. Now we have to create vNext Release Path.  Click “vNext Release Paths” then New.Name: Fabrikam Call Center DSC Description: Release path for the call center app using DSC. Add a stage. Stage: Dev Environment: DSC-Dev Automated: <Checked> Approver: Web Team Owner: Web Team Validator: Web Team Approver: Brian Keller Repeat this process for each stage of your deployment.  When you are done Save & Close the Release Path. Now move to the “Configure Apps” tab so we can configure our vNext Components on the Components tab. From the New menu select “New vNext”. Name: Fabrikam Call Center DSC Builds with application: <Checked> Path to package: _PublishedWebsites\FabrikamFiber.Web Click “Configuration Variables” tab and Add a new configuration variable. Name: DestinationPath Type: Standard Now Save & Close your component. The final step is to create a vNext Release Template. Click New on the “vNext Release Templates” tab. Name: Fabrikam Call Center DSC Description: Call Center DSC Release Path: Fabrikam Call Center DSC Build definition: vsalm:8080/FabrikamFiber/Nightly Fabrikam (Dev) Can Trigger a Release from a Build: <Checked> Click Create. Right click on Components in the Toolbox and link your component. To build your Deployment Sequence simply drag the “Deploy Using PS/DSC” on to the Deployment Sequence. Expand the action and use the following values ServerName: VSALM UserName: .\Administrator Password: P2ssw0rd ComponentName: Fabrikam Call Center DSC PSScriptPath: Configuration\install.ps1 SkipCaCheck: True Leave the rest of the values empty. Under “Custom configuration” add a new “Standard Variable” and select “DestinationPath” set the value to “c:\FabrikamRM\WebSite\DEV” (without the ""). Copy and paste the sequence to the QA stage and change the value of the DestinationPath variable to “c:\FabrikamRM\WebSite\UAT” and repeat to the Prod stage using  “c:\FabrikamRM\WebSite\PROD”. Click Save then click “New Release”. Use the latest version of the build and click Start. Good luck! If you have any questions feel free to ask me on Twitter @DonovanBrown install.ps1 (438.00 bytes)

Visual Studio 2013 Update 3 Keller VM share issue

Problem: When I attempt to open the drop folder of a build on the Update 3 version of the Visual Studio 2013 Keller vm I get the follow error. Solution: Give Everyone read permission to the c:\ffdrops folder. If you get promoted by a Network discovery and file sharing dialog select "Yes, turn on newtork discovery and file sharing for all public networks?".

Trigger a vNext Release from team build

Using Release Management you can implement true Continuous Delivery.  With the latest update of Release Management you can trigger a release via a REST api call to Release Management.  In this post I will share the script and build definition I used to trigger the release and how to use them in your team build. Although team build now allows us to run PowerShell scripts as part of our build we are still forced to create a custom build template.  The reason being the two opportunities provided by the default template are at the wrong points during the build.  We can run a PowerShell either before or after the build.  However, we need to run a PowerShell after the drop of the files. So the attached build template adds the ability to run a PowerShell after the files are copied to the drop location. To use the ps1 and build template in your build they must be stored in TFS. So pick a location and check the files into TFS.  The files do not have to be stored together. We will use these server paths when we configure our build. To create a new build definition using the build template attached just create a build like normal.  Once on the Process tab select the Show details button and click the New… button.  Use the Browse dialog to locate the new build template in TFS and click OK.  With the Trackyon.1.0.xaml selected you will have additional features most importantly for this post the “Post-drop script arguments” and “Post-drop script path”.  The value for “Post-drop script arguments” are Release Management Server name, Release Management Server Port, Team Project and Target Stage each separated by a space.  For example in the image below my Release Management Server name is “DemoDC” running on port 1000, my team project is “Scrum” and I want to target the “QA” stage of my release path.  The value for “Post-drop script path” is the server path to the trigger.ps1 file.   Now all you have to do is start your build to have it trigger a release in Release Management Before I end this post I would like to touch on some challenges I faced with trying to use the REST api for Release Management. One issue that was very difficult to troubleshoot was the requirement that the URL of TFS configured in Release Management on the Manage TFS tab must match exactly to the URL passed in by the script.  However, the value stored in $env:TF_BUILD_COLLECTIONURI used in the script is read from the Server URL in the Team Foundation Server Administration Console.  If those values do not match the release will fail.  You can use the Change URLs link in the Team Foundation Server Administration Console to change the Server URL so it matches the one in Release Management. Just as a tip make sure you have Fiddler installed because the error messages from the REST api or not very informative.  I had to use Fiddler a couple of times to troubleshoot issues. Trigger.ps1 (2.78 kb) Trackyon.1.0.xaml (48.84 kb) (right click and Save Target As)

How to run Microsoft Test Manager Suite in vNext Deployment

While preparing to speak at TechEd Europe I really had to run Release Management and Desired State Configuration (DSC) through their paces. I already blogged about one of my challenges of implementing tokenization in a DSC based deployment here.  I also wanted to run Coded UI tests as part of my release.  To do this I simply ran the attached PowerShell script during my release.  The script is very similar to the tool I wrote for the Agent based deployment here.  In this post I simply share the ps1 file that is attached and explain how to add it to your pipeline.  For this post I will be using Update 4 of Release Management. The first thing you have to do is make sure the ps1 file is in the drop location of your team build.  There are several ways you can do this, however, I simply added a Configurations folder to my Coded UI Test project in Visual Studio.  The most important part is to make sure that “Copy to Output Directory” is set to either “Copy if newer” or “Copy always”. This will ensure the file is in the drop location of the build. Now queue a build and examine the drop location. You will need to know the relative path from the root of the drop location of your ps1 script for use in your “Deploy Using PS/DSC” action of your vNext Release Template. Now let’s add a new vNext component in Release Management.  Select the “Builds with application” radio button and simply enter a “\” for the value. On the “Configuration Variables” tab you have to setup all the parameters for the ps1 file. Add each variable as a Standard configuration variable (Collection, TeamProject, PlanId, SuiteId, ConfigId BuildDirectory, TestEnvironment, Title and TestRunWaitDelay). You can refer to my previous post on where to locate the values for each configuration variable.  One of the new features of Update 4 is the ability to define default values for variables that do not change very often.  As you can see in the image below I set default values for Collection, TeamProject, TestEnvironment and TestRunWaitDelay. With our component created we can move on to the vNext Release Template.  Create a new one and add your components.  Now drag the “Deploy Using PS/DSC” action onto the deployment sequence.  Select the desired server from the ServerName dropdown. That server must already have a Test Agent configured on that machine with tcm.exe.  The UserName and Password that are provided is an account that has permission to establish a Remote PowerShell connection to the target machine.  Please note that in Update 3 of Release Management this is NOT the account that will execute your ps1. The ps1 in Update 3 is run by local system.  Which means for this to work local system must have access to your TFS or you will get an access denied error.  Select your test component in the ComponentName dropdown.  Now enter the relative path to the ps1 file in the drop location.  You can leave the rest of the values blank. We now have to add the Custom configuration variables to the action.  Click the plus button or use the down arrow and select “Standard variable”.  On the newly added row select the configuration variable you want to set and enter the correct value.  For the BuildDirectory variable enter “$applicationPath”. This variable is provided by Release Management and points to a location that contains the files of our component. Now you should be able to run a new release and execute automated test. RunTests.ps1 (4.94 kb)

How to access my OneDrive for Business on my Windows phone

Problem: I want to be able to access my OneDrive for Business account on my Windows Phone. However, in the store I can only find the OneDrive application that is for my personal OneDrive account.   Solution: Open the Office application and swipe to “places”.  At the bottom you will see Office 365.   Click that link and log into your corporate account.  After you do you will now have access to your OneDrive for Business files from within the Office application.  

Why is my Visual Studio 2013 Command Prompt impossible to find on Windows 8

Problem: I can’t find the Visual Studio 2013 Developer Command Prompt! Solution: Press the Windows key and type "Visual Studio" on the Start screen, and then select "Visual Studio Tools". This will open a File Explorer that contains the command prompt.  Do yourself a favor and right click the item and select "Pin to Start" so you never have to search for it again!

How to connect SQL Server Data Tools 2012 to TFS 2013

Problem: I installed SQL Server 2012 Standard Edition with SP1 with SQL Server Data Tools and I need to version my projects in TFS 2013. Solution: The IDE for SQL Server Data Tools is Visual Studio 2010 Shell. By installing Microsoft Visual Studio Team Explorer 2010, Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Service Pack 1 and Visual Studio 2010 SP1 Team Foundation Server Compatibility GDR you will be able to connect to TFS 2013. You can read more about the compatibility between Team Foundation clients and Team Foundation Server here.  Please note that when you connect to a more recent version of TFS than that of the client, you only have access to those features supported by your client. You cannot access any features that Visual Studio 2010 does not support.