Radio TFS Interview – Using TFS at Infragistics with Ed Blankenship

I’m up really early this morning.  I’m about to head to the airport to spend my Independence Day weekend in the Carolinas for some much needed beach vacation and visit with friends.  Thankfully, I didn’t miss Martin Woodward letting me know that the latest Radio TFS episode was made available just a few moments ago that includes my interview about our use of TFS and Visual Studio Team System at Infragistics.  It’s a longer episode than normal so it’s perfect if you’re going to be spending some time at the beach like me and listen to a fun talk.  We both really enjoyed chatting for this episode so we hope you enjoy it as well!

Using TFS with Ed Blankenship

In this episode we sit down and chat with Ed Blankenship about the use of Team Foundation Server at Infragistics. Ed has had some interesting challenges and experiences in running their TFS instance.  Additionally they have done some fairly advanced integration work which we discuss in detail.  This is a double-length show, so hopefully plenty of stuff to enjoy if you are sunning yourself on a beach somewhere.

Ed is the Release Engineering Manager at Infragistics, makers of the world's leading presentation layer tools and components.  He is also a Microsoft MVP in Visual Studio Team System.

     Play Now: Using TFS with Ed Blankenship

As the Release Engineering Manager, he leads the Release Engineering Department which is responsible for automated builds, creating product installers, packaging source code for customers, source configuration management/version control, metrics, release management, work item tracking, licensing enforcement, and development of internal productivity tools.  The department also is responsible for TFS Operations & Maintenance.

Ed has been a technical editor for the Wrox Silverlight 1.0, Silverlight 2 Developer's Guide, and Silverlight 2 Bible books, author of numerous articles, and has spoken at various user groups, events, and conferences.

Links from the show:

As usual send any feedback to


Feel free to let me know if you have any questions based on the Radio TFS chat.  I’m more than happy to get them answered for you!


Take care,

Ed B.

MPT Talk at Dallas VSTS User Group

I had a really good time last night speaking to the Dallas VSTS User Group about the Microsoft Process Template.  If you want more information, I wrote a blog post shortly after the public release of the MPT.  I was really sick last month when I was supposed to speak so I’m really glad I got the opportunity to make it up.

One of the things I really enjoy about the group was the open session time after the scheduled talk to discuss problems people were facing with Team System and the group attempts to come up with possible solutions.  That’s really a great use of time for a specialized user group like this one.

As a fun extra, thankfully the Demo Gods were okay with me and saved this Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) until after I was finished using the VPC during my talk :)  Everyone insisted that I take a screenshot and share with the rest of the world so enjoy!


Ed B.


P.S. As a side note, the experience whenever your evaluation license runs out in Windows Server 2008 has definitely improved.  It no longer gives you a BSOD.  I was using TFS 2008 SP1 installed in a Windows Server 2003 VPC for my demos.

Posted in Community | MPT | Speaking | TFS | VSTS

Microsoft Process Template

In December, I had the privilege to be the “MVP in Residence” with the Team System product group.  Chuck blogged about the experience at the beginning and end of the week.  I felt really good about the accomplishments at the end of the week.  The main project I worked on was packaging up the Microsoft Process Template (MPT) so that it could used by the public community.  I’m happy to announce that it is live on CodePlex now so feel free to download and use it!


The Microsoft Process Template (MPT) is a Microsoft internal, end-to-end project management solution that maps to the Microsoft product development cycle and works with Visual Studio Team System 2008 (VSTS). The MPT offers an out-of-the-box solution and includes all the work item types (forms), queries, documentation, engineering best practices, and reports required for Microsoft development teams to get up and running on Visual Studio Team System. The Engineering Excellence* and Visual Studio Development teams worked together closely over the last year to create this template by compiling the lessons learned from other teams that have implemented similar templates, incorporating engineering best practices, widely socializing the concepts, and finally piloting this template with several product groups.
*The engineering excellence team is a Microsoft business unit that provides Microsoft business group employees with high-quality technical education, best practices and guidance.

Be sure to check out the Introduction and the Getting Started guides to dive in and get the background information for the process template.  One of the main things that people will notice is that the MPT simulates work item hierarchy through the the use of some daemon services.  There are several ways to simulate hierarchy in TFS 2008 so if you’re looking for a solution the MPT has the services source code and reports created for them.


Here is a sample report that uses the hierarchy to rollup the progress by Feature:


There are a few known issues with the process template which are listed in the Getting Started guide.  I’ll be sure to keep the guide updated if I hear of any other known issues.

Other MPT Resources

Gregg Boer, Principal Program Manager on the TFS product group, wrote an excellent series of blog posts of how Microsoft uses the MPT internally along with an overview of the process around tracking progress throughout the release.

· How Microsoft/DevDiv uses TFS - Chapter 1 (Our Process)

· How Microsoft/DevDiv uses TFS - Chapter 2 (Feature Crews)

· How Microsoft/DevDiv uses TFS - Chapter 3 (Implementing the Process)

· How Microsoft/DevDiv uses TFS - Chapter 3 (Addendum)

· How Microsoft/DevDiv uses TFS - Chapter 4

· How Microsoft/DevDiv uses TFS - Chapter 5 (Tracking Progress)

· How Microsoft/DevDiv uses TFS - Chapter 6 (Tracking multiple projects)

· How Microsoft/DevDiv uses TFS - Chapter 6 (Addendum)

· How Microsoft/DevDiv uses TFS-Chapter 7 (Tracking Risk)

· How Microsoft/DevDiv uses TFS-Chapter 8 (Tracking Quality Gates)

· How Microsoft/Dev Div uses TFS - Chapter 9 (Transparency in Reporting)


Jeff Beehler and Brian Keller also put together a video of how Jeff uses the MPT & TFS to monitor progress of the release cycle. Take a look on Channel 9:


I really want to thank you to everyone that helped getting it packaged up for the public!  Also, thanks to Chuck for organizing the week, working logistics, and of course giving me a place to stay!


Ed B.

Posted in Community | MPT | TFS | Tools | VSTS