Saturday, November 30, 2013

What’s new in Microsoft ALM 2013, hosted in Windows Azure, VISUAL STUDIO ONLINE

I have not put here all my talks, and I wanted to share my latest public talk for the MUG (Microsoft User Group).

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Presentation: Take the advantage of Windows Azure to market your application in SaaS, with real-life testimonials and feedback

DONE ! A complete morning dedicated to our dear Windows Azure platform and Microsoft Team Foundation Server / Service.

With a testimonial based on real case application that is used to predict sales' stocks deployed as a SaaS application into Windows Azure.

Quality enforced though FxCop / StyleCop / Resharper and NDepend v5 !

(An English version is planned to be written...).

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Book review : StyleCop Code Analysis How-to

StyleCop Code Analysis How-to

I am a real fan of StyleCop and FxCop for the last 4 years or so (see how many rules FxCop+StyleCop).

Up until now, I have been only build up my knowledge from my own experience and reading blogs.

The small size of this book allows a broader vision rapidly, and covers things that I never had the time to implement on real projects (such as VS Templates, or files headers).

I also finally understood why my Resharper did not work with my StyleCop, which was an easy thing to fix.

It is worth reading !

Friday, July 26, 2013

I organized the first Agile .Net France in Lyon, packed of people.
And the most warriors of us stayed up until 1 in the morning where we were talking about TDD!
Free drinks and special hotdogs to accompany our discussions.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

TFS Build number used as AssemblyVersion in AssemblyInfo.cs


Finally, after years of struggling with AssemblyInfo.cs files to be updated to track assembly versioning, here IS an EASY WAY to do this thing, which should have been made easy in the first place in TFS. In the past, I used a more sophisticated way of doing it.

The credit to this method goes to Steve Fenton, who explained his method called "Automatically Updating Your AssemblyInfo The Wrong Way".

To me it is less elegent than doing a full workflow foundation solution, but it solves my problem quick ! So that a good solution. Secondly, maintenability is also great, as it is based on a plain text Batch file. No need to recompile deploy, …

The secret lies the following steps :

  • Using a Team Foundation Build Activities called “InvokeProcess” that is dropped inside the “Run on Agent” process, just after the “Initialize Workspace”.

    More details on a old Post of mine back in 2010, where and how precisely how to operate it.

    This Process simply calls a Batch file that creates on the fly an AssemblyInfo.cs.
  • This “AssemblyInfo.cs” file is inserted on ALL the *.csproj that are part of your solution “As a Link” image


  • the only mini-change that one could barely notice the link icon on the AssemblyInfo.cs file. Here is a representation in both Visual Studio 2013 Ultimate preview and Visual Studio 2012 Ultimate

ZOOM ! on AssemblyInfo.cs


The result is instantaneous … on every single step of my software factory, it is highly traceable with the unique ID of the TFS Team Build of 370, as illustrated below.


(1) Displays on an “About Page” the exact version of the application, based on the assembly version of the AssemblyInfo.cs,

(2) This version number is dynamically generated by TFS Team Build during the Continuous Deployment process (called _CD).
This guaranties the uniqueness of this number. In this example, it is Build# 370, which gives a version
As a result, we could go up to 1.0.0. 65534,
where 65534 = UInt16.MaxValue – 1= 65535-1
Then you can open the TFS Drop Folder to verify that ALL your assemblies have the correct assembly version.

(3) From TFS Cloud, you’ll get a Zip file that has got the unique suffix “CD_370”, and in the App.publish, you could unzip the Windows Azure package *.cspkg

(4) Once unzipped into the folder “???CD_370”, you’ll see the DLLs

(5) Check the first DLL; we could see the magic happened: The assembly is tagged as

(6) Check another Assembly: still !!

DONE ! and Enjoy !!

And the most time consuming part to was to find the proper solution, since many great alternatives are present in CodePlex. I’m sharing this trick hoping it’ll save you plenty of time… and another wish is that one day, an easy feature to activate will appear TFS / VSO !!


Note: If needed, here is an example of a batch file.

SET version=%~1
SET outfile=%~2

SET year=%DATE:~6,4%
ECHO off
if "%outfile%"=="" SET /p "outfile=[Full Path] "
if "%version%"=="" SET /p "version=[] "
REM %tfstool% checkout %outfile%
ATTRIB -r %outfile%
ECHO using System.Reflection; > %outfile%
ECHO using System.Resources; >> %outfile%
ECHO using System.Runtime.CompilerServices; >> %outfile%
ECHO using System.Runtime.InteropServices; >> %outfile%

ECHO //// This file is auto generated by AssemblyVersion.bat >> %outfile%
ECHO [assembly: AssemblyTitle("Viseo")] >> %outfile%
ECHO [assembly: AssemblyDescription("This AssemblyInfo.cs is automatically generated by TFS Build")] >> %outfile%

ECHO [assembly: AssemblyConfiguration("")] >> %outfile%
ECHO [assembly: AssemblyCompany("Viseo")] >> %outfile%
ECHO [assembly: AssemblyProduct("Viseo")] >> %outfile%
ECHO [assembly: AssemblyCopyright("Copyright © 2013-%year% Viseo. All rights reserved.")] >> %outfile%
ECHO [assembly: AssemblyTrademark("")] >> %outfile%
ECHO [assembly: AssemblyCulture("")] >> %outfile%
ECHO [assembly: ComVisible(false)] >> %outfile%

ECHO //// Version information for an assembly consists of the following four values:
ECHO ////
ECHO //// Major Version
ECHO //// Minor Version
ECHO //// Build Number
ECHO //// Revision
ECHO ////
ECHO //// You can specify all the values or you can default the Revision and Build Numbers
ECHO //// by using the '*' as shown below:
ECHO [assembly: AssemblyVersion("1.0.0.%version%")] >> %outfile%
ECHO [assembly: AssemblyFileVersion("1.0.0.%version%")] >> %outfile%
ECHO [assembly: NeutralResourcesLanguageAttribute("en")] >> %outfile%

REM %tfstool% checkin %outfile% /comment:"***NO_CI*** Assembly Info Increment" /noprompt

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Win Azure with Visual Studio 2013 Preview on Windows 8.1

Visual Studio 2013 preview installed
(Image 1)
Visual Studio 2013 preview installed final(Image 2)
Since my previous post, after a fast reformat and the installation of Windows 8.1, the installation of Visual Studio 2013 Preview (with ALL options), was smooth and relatively fast.

To avoid this pain, you could also mount a Windows Azure VM that is ready for you to try:

Because VS2013 supports the development of Windows Phone 8.0, the installation has activated and configured Hyper-V (image 1).

(Image 3)
(Image 4)
A fast reboot allows us to start rapidly with VS2013 (Image 2).

We can see how the new version handles an optional sign in into VS2013 (image 3).

Then, another Windows Account is needed to log into you Team Foundation Service in the Cloud Azure.
(Image 4).

Below the installation of VS2013 has installed Hyper-V, and a multiple necessary apps. We can notice the fact that the “Start Button” came back on Windows 8.1 preview and we can access the second page displayed below (Image 5):
Install_VS2013UltimatePrevOnWin8.1(Image 5)

Once VS2013 is started I ran into TFS to open my Windows Azure project… and a now common error is this one:
07_CompatibilityMigration The Azure SDK currently available is not compatible with VS2013. Although, I tried to cheat and used a “Microsoft Web Platform Installer 4.5”.

This is confirmed by this MS documentation: :
Features that are not yet supported in Visual Studio 2013
The Windows Azure SDK for .NET is not compatible with the Visual Studio 2013 Ultimate Preview. This means that Visual Studio 2013 can not yet be used to author, debug, or publish cloud service projects. In addition, no Server Explorer support is available for features other than Mobile Services, and streaming logging is not available for web sites. An SDK release that is compatible with Visual Studio 2013 will be available later in the summer.”
And this one:
It doesn’t fully matter, because even without a Windows Azure Project, I could use the old fashion “Web Publish” to deploy into Azure on my existing Could Service.

The first thing I wanted to try was the handy “Peek Definition” which is a variant of “Go To Definition”, except that you stay on the same page, and the definition is displayed inline.
For the other new features available in VS2013, it is quite pleasing to see that it is getting better and better. However, the drawback of that is that one have to always keep up to date on what’s available to produce be best possible application !

Many attempts to install Visual Studio 2013 preview on Windows 8.1 preview

image After few attempts, repair options, uninstall, reboots, … I gave up, still not working, with cascading errors in the log files.

I’ll MAKE IT! My next attempt is to reformat my laptop with a fresh and virgin Windows 8.1 !

Let’s wait extra many hours of install time !

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Encounters with Trinity: Large-scale Implementation on Azure Platform

Encounters with Trinity: Large-scale Implementation on Azure Platform:   I have been closely reading the Azure CAT (Customer Advisory Team) which helps a lot of customer deliver large, complex projects. The Azu...

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Agile evening with Innovation Games(C) at Objet Direct !

4 hours of "Serious Games", game storming, beers and pizza ! Very instructive and great team building!!

Thanks to Maxime Bonnet, our Qualified Instructor, on the top of the 8th floor of Objet Direct :

Very oily hands full of Pizza, hence greasy pictures !

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Traps to consider when implementing "Software Factory" and DevOps

Traps to consider when implementing  "Software Factory" and DevOps.
It's in French, and I can create an English version on demand.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

[DevOps / DevCloud] Wanna go beyond 'demo effect' and push your app into REAL production ?

Over the past few years, I am facing the following facts :
  • We want to produce to best of the best application according to all possible "best practices" and recommendations (Code quality, tools, methods, Agility vs. micro-management, waterfall, real world constraints, ...),
  • Things seem to be so easy, because we got presented trivial demos or we only considered "Proof Of Concepts". 
As it seems to be so easy to develop and market our application!
Watch out!! Have you thought about the following?
  • Taken into account real delivery and operation constraints :
    •  ITIL v3 (support, billing, delivery, licensing, ...), DevOps or DevCloud, legal aspects, IT security people, ...
  • The IT industry is moving so fast that to beat competitors, many software companies are claiming they can address your problem and is only presenting you trivial cases and we tend to focus only on development aspects. .
However, once the developments are completed, you are left with:
  • No budget beyond development, to address many operational topics!!
  • No time left because delivery and operational aspects are more difficult than expected
  • You don't know how to deliver on time because of unexpected purchases you have to do (production licensing, buy an alternative deployment tool, because the one considered only managed to deploy your easy trivial demo...),
  • You forgot to consider backups, disaster recovery, SLA, maintenance, and retirement of the application (with the associated cost of the cleaning up all backups).
The solution is obvious! 
Think up front, and start small BUT up until the end of the chain, with real-world constraints
  • Development, "true" test, deployment with real-world constraints (true DNS, true SLL certification ...), monitoring of the production instance ...

    This is to force you address topics that could be uncovered... and fail fast if you are stuck in front of a wall!
  • Use Agility and DevOps / DevCloud to face real problems:
    "Think big, act small, fail fast; learn rapidly" (cf. 
    Lean software development)

Easy to say, what can I do about it?
Based on my numerous ALM experiences and on experts around me, I have created a Microsoft .Net Lab
It is a gathering of experts, sponsored by ObjetDirect, where various people from the fields are sharing their experience and real-life problems. Then, this experience is "instantiate" (=“coded” and documented) as a large project to:
  • highlights real-life issues
  • show how to address them (if possible)
  • or find a hack around.

Zoom on the 'Dev' part: The TFS+VS 2013 Software Factory

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

At Seattle / Redmond working with Microsoft for ObjetDirect

I moved to another position, now working with ObjetDirect - France - as a Manager.

I'm in charge nationwide of the Microsoft Practice by developing our businesses and activities on at least the following topics:
  • ALM Software factory, 
  • Windows Azure, 
  • Microsoft consulting and development,
  • any other Microsoft technologies.
ObjetDirect, founded 15 years ago, addresses any domains that relates to software development and has developed agile methodologies and extended expertise on HTML5, Java, C/C++, PHP, Android, iOS, Enterprise Architect (by SPARXsystems). We are part of a larger company VISEO that takes care of complementary aspects (eg. SAP, BI, ...).

Obviously everything we're doing here is fully Agile ; why would I join ObjetDirect otherwise ?!?!
In addition, we are the sole company in France entitled to deliver Innovation Games® certified training, and we are very active as a community.

I got the opportunity to be invited by Microsoft on a worldwide NDA partnership in Redmond, to get trained and provide inputs on upcoming technologies (more info here).

Evening time: Seattle - Space Needle 

I would like to thank ObjetDirect and Edouard Danel, our CEO, whom I had the chance to meet though my numerous network in Paris (ranging from Agile, .Net, to PNL and "Transactional analysis"...).

The massive campus (like a town, and takes me about 30 min running from 1 building to another !!), all green grass and trees, and where we eat evening time:

Monday, February 18, 2013

NDepends... or How to pass your code quality audit ?

If you belong to a large organization, when developing an application, you might have to go through a code quality audit, done by a third party company that has the power to say 'Go' or 'No go', and provide advices if not good.

As far as I am concerned, I appreciate it because it forces us to care even more about code Quality and maintainability (which includes security, performance, Design...). Maintainability is particularly important because once in production, the Dev team will hand-over their code to the Maintenance Team.

Because such audit consists in watching numerous aspects, it all brings me back to an old post of mine listing the number of rules that FxCop and StyleCop monitors. Where the various rules are grouped into  the following categories :

FxCop (or its variation integrated within Visual Studio called Code Analysis, or CA, that compiles your code then analyse it):
  • Design
  • Globalization
  • Interoperability
  • Maintainability
  • Mobility
  • Naming
  • Performance
  • Portability
  • Reliability
  • Security
  • Usage
StyleCop (or Source Analysis)
  • Documentation
  • Layout
  • Maintenability
  • Naming
  • Ordering
  • Readability
  • Spacing
It totals about 400 rules. After having enforced most of them on various projects, it can be noticed the following pattern:
  1. Developers find it painful to comply to containing rules, as opposed to "no rules" at all of "his own home-made rule",
  2. Since the developers DONT have to learn all 400 rules at before hand, but ONYL progressively, it is not too bad. Moreover, with the help of Resharper, this tool reformats tedious painful and repetitive work automatically (Resharper can connect to FxCop and StyleCop so that it changes your code accordingly)
  3. Because of the Software Factory preventing check-in in any code that is NOT compliant to the given rules (NOTE: You have to determine with your team, which rule are compulsory, and which ones are not), the developers HAVE to follow the rules,
  4. Finally, within few months of coding, a survey done in the teams I have been working with shows that developers got used to it,
  5. And last, it becomes irritating for them to read code that IS NOT compliant (just like reading a book with plenty of grammar and spelling mistakes).
 Now that you've reached step 5, what should you do about the external audit that has been enforced by your sponsors or the Quality Management team ?

It's where NDepends enters into play ! It's a software that I have been using for nearly 10 years, written by Patrick Smacchia (author of books and blog dedicated to .Net, C# and Code Quality).

As far as we are concerned, the auditor came in and has inspected meticulously all aspects of our projects technically (the audit consisting in evaluating our Agility/Scrum process was done by another company) :
  • all our source code,
  • our DLLs and PDBs
  • our web services
  • and architectural diagrams

One snapshot will not be sufficient, because it's only when you can play visually with your code through Drill-Down (up until the exact line of code) that you could understand its power.

Where to start ?

You have to "feed" NDepend with as much info as you can (*.Sln, *.csproj, DLLs, PDB, ...) in a Drag & Drop manner, then it could "answer" many of your technical questions concerning your projects.

Indeed, for me it considers your "project" (Source Code, PDB, DLLs, previous version of your source code, new code, ...) as a LARGE database, wich MANY different views (too much to fit in a single Snap shoot):

 where you could :
           Simple example:

from m in Application.Methods  
where m.NbLinesOfCode >  30  && m.IsPublic
select m

           More sophisticated sample:
// UI layer shouldn't use directly DB types
warnif count > 0

// UI layer is made of types in namespaces using a UI framework
 uiTypes = Application.Namespaces.UsingAny(
Assemblies.WithNameIn("PresentationFramework", "System.Windows",
"System.Windows.Forms", "System.Web")

// You can easily customize this line to define what are DB types.
let dbTypes = ThirdParty.Assemblies.WithNameIn("System.Data",

"EntityFramework", "NHibernate").ChildTypes()
, "DataTable", "DataRow"))

 uiType in uiTypes.UsingAny(dbTypes)
let dbTypesUsed = dbTypes.Intersect(uiType.TypesUsed)
select new { uiType, dbTypesUsed }

  • Identify through its build-in Quality rules (that extend considerably FxCop and StyleCop quality rules, or you could create your own ones)
        The list of the thousands of build-in rules is listed here.

  • Share a large amount of static results as a website, such as the one below that helps you find within seconds whether you have poorly designed components or not, and follow its evolution

  • Having a professional auditor in front of us, it took him only 1 day to decompose our work and start providing us feedback. Within this very same time, he managed to better understand part of our code than our developers ! To do so, he used many tools ... including one called ... NDepend !

    After having eliminated many "false positive" (since he does not know the context of our project), we managed to pass our audit with success and excellent grades !

    As per today, I am using the version (which incorporates a stand alone version as well as a VS 2010 and VS 2012 add on to play directly with your source code).
    Have a great audit !