4 metrics to measure DevOps improvements

ScrumThis week I wrote on the Nonlinear Digital blog a piece on DevOps metrics. The goal was to give organization’s 4 easy metrics that they can track to see whether or not the changes they are making to their tools and processes are improving their overall flow through development and operations teams.

Unfortunately, I find we often don’t take the time to measure our delivery flow and therefore have no idea whether the changes we are making are helping or hurting us.

Have a read and let me know what you think!

Using TDS with Visual Studio Online build server

HedgehogRecently I needed to get builds running in Visual Studio Online (VSO) that contained Team Development for Sitecore (TDS) projects. Since I cannot install the TDS software on the VSO build server, I needed another way to get these projects to compile with a VSO build definition.

The following blog post has very detailed instructions on how to change your TDS project to use Hedgehog DLLs and a license file within your source control and helped immensely:

http://www.experimentsincode.com/?p=586

Important!

The referenced post indicates that you should update a file named TDSLicence.config in order to provide your TDS licence key. This file does not exist by default, so you will need to create it. The file name is important! I accidentally created the file with the American spelling ‘TDSLicense.config’ and the build server was unable to validate the file. Hedgehog support helped me out by pointing out my typo, but also explained that version 5.1 and up will support both spelling variations.

Keystone: Considerations when upgrading to Sitecore 7.5 or Sitecore 8

keystone-logoWith the releases of Sitecore 7.5 and Sitecore 8 in the last 6 months, there has been a lot of interest from clients in upgrading from their current 6.x versions to the latest and greatest Sitecore platform version. This upgrade process always entails an examination of the modules involved in a solution. Keystone for Sitecore is no different. If you change versions of Sitecore, you will likely need to change which version of the Keystone software you have installed in your build.

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TDS project compile error: .NET Framework v3.5 Service Pack 1 was not found

HedgehogI was recently working on some deployments that leveraged Team Development for Sitecore (TDS) projects and began receiving the following error on the build server:

C:\Program Files (x86)\MSBuild\12.0\bin\amd64\Microsoft.Common.CurrentVersion.targets (990): .NET Framework v3.5 Service Pack 1 was not found. In order to target ".NETFramework,Version=v2.0", .NET Framework v3.5 Service Pack 1 or later must be installed.

Local compilation with Visual Studio looked fine and the build server was able to complete successfully if I excluded the TDS projects from the build configuration. This pointed to a problem in the TDS projects themselves.

Further investigation yielded that this is a TargetFrameworkVersion issue within the XML of the TDS project files. In my scenario the project files had a value of:

<TargetFrameworkVersion>v2.0</TargetFrameworkVersion>

If the build server only has the most recent .NET assemblies installed, it will not be able to compile this project. Luckily, there are 3 easy steps to fix this for any TDS project file:

  1. Open up the .scproj file for manual editing with your favourite text editor application.
  2. Change <TargetFrameworkVersion>v2.0</TargetFrameworkVersion> to <TargetFrameworkVersion>v4.5<TargetFrameworkVersion>
  3. Save the project file.

NOTE: You may have to repeat this multiple times within a single project file. I noticed that my particular TDS project had two instances of the TargetFrameworkVersion tag in the XML!

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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