Blog Post: Visual Studio 2010 Feature Pack 2 is now available for MSDN subscribers


It’s here! There are updates to both the testing features and the code visualization & modeling features. I’m really excited about the new testing features: You’ll be able to create coded UI tests for Silverlight 4 applications!!

Check out for more details. It has an excellent set of Getting Started resources for working with Feature Pack 2.



Blog Post: Visual Studio 2010 Feature Pack 2 is now available for MSDN subscribers

Posted in General News | Tagged , | Leave a comment

sphillips: Configuring Profile Import in SharePoint 2010 – A Way Around the Minefields –


sphillips: Configuring Profile Import in SharePoint 2010 – A Way Around the Minefields –

sphillips: Configuring Profile Import in SharePoint 2010 – A Way Around the Minefields –

Posted in General News | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

sphillips: Toy of the day: Great for dev / demos when you need a SMTP server to test emails smtp4dev


sphillips: Toy of the day: Great for dev / demos when you need a SMTP server to test emails smtp4dev

sphillips: Toy of the day: Great for dev / demos when you need a SMTP server to test emails smtp4dev

Posted in General News | Leave a comment

SharePoint 2010 – Must Read Developer Books

At the request of Mr Roger Tinsley ( have pulled together a short list of decent SharePoint 2010 Developer books…

Not strictly a development book, but still good background reading is: Professional SharePoint 2010 Administration

All good reads. All expect a reasonably high degree of .NET, ASP.NET development experience and SharePoint usage.

All books also available for Kindle

To get started you can download Microsoft SharePoint Foundation 2010 for FREE!


Posted in .NET, Applications, Books, General News, Microsoft, Programming, SharePoint, Technology, Visual Studio, Web Development | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Useful Front-End Cheat Sheets for Web Developers

Posted in General News | Leave a comment

Linux Integration Services v2.1 Now Available


We are really excited to announce the availability of the Hyper-V Linux Integration Services for Linux Version 2.1. This release marks yet another milestone in providing a comprehensive virtualization platform to our customers. Customers who have a heterogeneous operating system environment desire their virtualization platform to provide support for all operating systems that they have in their datacenters.

Driver support for synthetic devices: Linux Integration Services supports the synthetic network controller and the synthetic storage controller that were developed specifically for Hyper-V.
Fastpath Boot Support for Hyper-V: Boot devices take advantage of the block Virtualization Service Client (VSC) to provide enhanced performance.
Timesync: The clock inside the virtual machine will remain synchronized with the clock on the host.
Integrated Shutdown: Virtual machines running Linux can be gracefully shut down from either Hyper-V Manager or System Center Virtual Machine Manager.
Symmetric Multi-Processing (SMP) Support: Supported Linux distributions can use up to 4 virtual processors (VP) per virtual machine.
Heartbeat: Allows the host to detect whether the guest is running and responsive.
Pluggable Time Source: A pluggable clock source module is included to provide a more accurate time source to the guest.

Download here

Send via e-mail | Submit to Digg | Add to Live Favorites

Linux Integration Services v2.1 Now Available

Posted in Linux, Microsoft, Technology, Virtualisation | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Visual Studio Productivity Power Tools Updated


We’ve just released an update the the very popular Visual Studio Productivity Power Tools.  We’ve incorporated bug fixes, some key user feedback and some cool new features.

The first key user feedback worth mentioning is the ability to independently turn off extensions that might conflict with something you already have.  You can get to this through Tools –> Options.


One of the cool new features is a new window that can act as a replacement for “Solution Explorer” called “Solution Navigator”.  It looks a lot like Solution Explorer and includes all that capability and more.  You can see the simple filtering buttons under the solution “All”, “Open”, “Unsaved” and “Edited” (files edited at some point since the solution was last opened).


In addition to filtering, you can use Solution Navigator to easily search for files in your solution.


You can also drill down through files into a class browser like experience.


Note that the tool window doesn’t (yet) support everything that Solution Explorer supports, such as multiselect and drag-and-drop.

Solution Navigator also provides interactive tooltips in C# and VB code (replacing the default “quick info” tooltips) that give you the same kind of data, but right at your fingertips.  In addition to getting the tooltips on hover, you can:

  • Press Ctrl+1 to open a relevant tooltip at the current cursor location
  • Press Ctrl+2 to quickly navigate to any class/member in the current source file

Another cool new feature is “Quick Access”. 

Quick Access is a new tool window that allows users to search for and execute common tasks within the Visual Studio IDE.  Not sure where a particular menu command is located?  Want a quick way to create a new Silverlight project? By using Quick Access, you can efficiently find and execute common VS operations without taking your hands off the keyboard.  Quick Access allows users to:

  • Execute Main Menu and Context Menu commands
  • Open the New Project Dialog with a specific Project Template selected
  • Show a tool window
  • Jump to a Visual Studio Options page
  • Navigate to an open document in your Tab Well
  • Create and execute a series of actions (task

To use, press Ctrl+3 to launch Quick Access, type in your search term (e.g., “debug”), and press Enter on the desired result.  If your search term returns too many results, continue pressing Ctrl+3 to cycle through each category of results.


Some nifty typing improvements are also included:

Automatic Brace Completion improves the productivity of writing code by automatically inserting the closing code construct when the opening construct is typed for VB & C#.  More specifically, this extension:

  • Supports the following constructs: (), {}, [], <>, “”, and ‘’. 
  • Allows you to press <TAB> to navigate past the next enclosing brace
  • Allows you to automatically complete a statement and place the caret on the next line with SHIFT + ENTER (also adds a semicolon in C#)

And there have been a bunch of improvements and bug fixes to pre-existing features:

Searchable Add Reference

  • Fixed: HintPaths were not added for non-Framework, browsed assembly references
  • Fixed: Projects tab is the default.  Subsequently the last used tab is shown per VS session.
  • Fixed: Exception dialog is shown when an assembly with an invalid AssemblyCulture attribute is found.
  • Fixed: Exception dialog is shown for some missing references or invalid type library references
  • Fixed: Browsed references not being added to the Recent tab.

Fixed: Trying to fix an unresolved reference reported that it is already present in the project.  Now it updates the reference with the correct path.

  • Fixed: Incomplete Assembly Name was being used to construct resolved reference identities
  • Added: Context menu on the Recent tab to allow for clearing of the recent references list.
  • Added: Browse now defaults to the solution folder. Subsequent uses of the dialog remember the previous folder.

Colorized Parameter Help

  • There are now specific Fonts & Colors settings to allow you to configure the display of items in Parameter Help.  This will allow users with dark backgrounds to be able to customize these to readable.

Column Guides

  • Fixed: Adding & Removing guidelines from a split window occurred based on the caret position in the wrong window.
  • Fixed: Guideline could not be added to first column
  • Fixed: Guideline is placed incorrectly when added to a trailing tab
  • Moved: Guidelines are now a fly-out to reduce the clutter on the Editor context menu.

Ctrl Click Go To Definition

  • Fixed: Navigation now happens on mouse up which reduces conflict with drag & drop operations and word selection.

Document Tab Well settings

  • Added: Show/Hide pin button in unpinned tabs

We received feedback that the pin button was taking too much space or was too easy to click accidentally. You can now configure whether the pin button appears in unpinned tabs or not. In the options dialog page, just uncheck “Show pin button in unpinned tabs”, in the “Tab UI” section.

Showing pin button in unpinned tabs

Hidden pin button in unpinned tabs



  • Make selected tab more distinguishable when using custom colors

We received feedback about the currently selected tab not being easily distinguishable when using custom colors. We now use a gradient for the selected tab that fades from the custom color to the default VS selected tab color:

Selected tab when using custom colors in previous version:

Selected tab when using custom colors in current version:



  • Configure text color for selected and unselected tabs

We received feedback about text being unreadable in some of the darker colors we use when coloring by project. We no allow you to configure the text color for selected and unselected tabs, for all custom colors:


  • Command for closing all unpinned tabs

Many of our users have asked for this command. It will close all unpinned document well tabs.


  • Moved: Options for this extension are now found under Productivity Power Tools -> Document Tab Well(or by typing Document Tab Well into Quick Access).
  • Fixed: Vertical tabs would float when a new toolbar row appeared as a result of selecting a tab.

HTML Cut/Copy

  • Added: Cut as HTML is now supported

Installation on Windows XP

  • Fixed: Unable to install Productivity Power Tools on Windows XP if user name is too long.  Note: We’ve reduced the number of characters considerably but this still may be an issue if your user name is extremely long.

Please let us know what you think!


Visual Studio Productivity Power Tools Updated

Posted in .NET, Development, Microsoft, Technology, Visual Studio, Web Development | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Microsoft Visual Studio Scrum 1.0 is Final


Yesterday we shipped version 1.0 of our new Scrum template for Team Foundation Server.  I wrote a post about it a month or so ago when we released a Beta.  Since then we’ve been collecting feedback and refining it.  Now it is done and available on Visual Studio Gallery and referenced via our Process Templates and Tools page.

Most of the changes since the Beta are pretty small.  The biggest feedback we got was that people wanted some of the reports from the MSF Agile template to be included in the Scrum template.  We’ve obliged by adding 4 reports to the Scrum template in addition to the ones that were in the Beta:

We’ve also had a fair amount of requests for the Agile Project Management workbooks to support the Scrum Template.  We were not able to get that in for this release but will investigate it for the next one.

You can read more about the changes in Aaron’s blog post.


Microsoft Visual Studio Scrum 1.0 is Final

Posted in Development, Microsoft, Project Management, TFS | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Outlook gets Facebook integration


Outlook users will be able to see their Facebook friends via the e-mail client as Microsoft moves towards social web.

Outlook gets Facebook integration

Posted in Microsoft, Office, Social | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Microsoft ‘gets serious’ with Windows Phone 7 tools


‘KIN ‘ell, we’re back!

Microsoft has released final beta tools for building Windows Phone 7 applications and said it’s time to get serious ahead of this October’s launch.…

Microsoft ‘gets serious’ with Windows Phone 7 tools

Posted in Cloud, Development, Microsoft, Mobile | Tagged | Leave a comment