Why is DevOps so hard?

ScrumWith agile development teams delivering potentially shippable software every few weeks, organizations struggle with the need to efficiently transition requirements, source code, and deployment steps from the development team to the operations team.

Traditional documentation-oriented mechanisms cannot be efficiently kept up to date due to the ever-shifting nature of continuously evolving software. Enter the DevOps movement! This movement recognized that we need to start breaking down the walls between feature development teams and IT operations teams so that we can all work together to continuously deliver this software. Unfortunately, recognizing this was the easy part. It turns out, DevOps is hard.

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Sitecore announces 2015 MVPs

MVP 2015 -TechnologyI’ve been taking some time off the last few weeks and when I returned to work this week I was happy to see that Sitecore had announced the 2015 MVPS! I was also happy to see my name on the list for the second year in a row! You can see the full list of Technology MVPs on the Sitecore MVP site.

It is an honour to once again be named to the MVP list and I will be working hard this year to be worthy of the title. This past year I had the chance to continue my contributions in online forums like this blog, Stack Overflow and the Sitecore forums, but I additionally took the opportunity to attend Sitecore Symposium and the MVP summit in Las Vegas. Getting the chance to take an advance look at Sitecore 7.5 and Sitecore 8 this past year was also a great opportunity that Sitecore provided to the MVPs. All in all, it’s been a great year!

My goal for this coming year is to have more of a speaking presence in the community and to also add more to the marketplace, as I did recently with the Authenticated Preview module.

A few of my colleagues at nonlinear also received this prestigious award, including the only MVPs named in Brazil! If you are interested in reading more, here are some of the releases that our team put out:

Visual Studio Online agile options are opening up

VSORecently, Aaron Bjork wrote about some of the goodies coming down the pipe for Visual Studio Online (VSO) agile project management options. I still remember my first forays into TFS 2010, trying desperately to use it to manage my agile projects.

Needless to say, I was frustrated at the time, but today is a new day!

There are a lot of things coming like Kanban board improvements, hierarchical backlog management, and task customizations. Fun goodies to play with for all :)
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Why you don’t care that .NET is now open source

VSOBack in November, Microsoft made a large announcement that they would be open sourcing the .NET server stack. There were many a Twitter tweet and blog rumblings a-plenty. I’m sure cake was cut, beverages were gulped, and celebratory snacks served to many a happy developer.

Yet, amongst the revelry, myself and many others like you who read this blog simply shrugged and went along with their day. Why did this not resonate within our souls? I’m a fan of open source software, so this should have had me at “Hello”. Well, after some thought, I believe that the answer is quite simple: too little, too late.
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Keystone License – Error “No valid Keystone license can be found”

keystone-logoIn addition to keeping up with your Sitecore license, any Sitecore installation running Keystone must also have an active Keystone license present in the web root folder. Otherwise, you will get an error like the following:

Keystone License – Error

No valid Keystone license can be found. Please ensure the .lic file is in the webroot and the App Pool has access to read the file. If you have placed the file and corrected permissions a restart of the app pool and site may be required.

No licenses found.

If you have already placed the license file (.lic) in your site’s web root folder and are still receiving an error, your license file may have expired. This is especially common for the Keystone trial licenses. At the time of writing, there is not currently a way I can find to view the expiry information for a license file. You will need to contact Keystone support to have them review your license file.

If your license is expired, there are two solutions to resolve the error. You can purchase an updated official product license or you can uninstall all Keystone components. Once Keystone isn’t in your solution, its licensing logic cannot execute and therefore the license error will go away.

Using an authenticated preview in Sitecore

Sitecore 122Do you secure some of your website content from unauthenticated users? If so, you probably noticed that the default Preview mode isn’t working for you.

Since Sitecore’s preview mode executes as the anonymous user, your secured content becomes hidden from that user. As an author, you need to be able to see what your content looks like, while also testing the security. How do we address this?
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Setting organizational expectations when implementing Scrum

ScrumWhen a team first transitions to an agile delivery model, the team experiences challenges and frustration as they adopt a new way of thinking and new processes. Often times, teams are told that they are making the change to agile in order to deliver software faster and cheaper, but find that during the change it actually takes them longer to accomplish what they usually do.

Time to blame the new process, right?

Wrong. I’ll tell you why…

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