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How to transform Web.Config file 'Properly' with VSTS!

Tarun Arora on Aug 26, 2017

Web development and the frameworks that go with it have evolved over the years, but when it comes to transforming config file people still use the old ways! If you are still using one of these approaches, you need to change…

  • One configuration file per environment
  • Tokenization of configuration files using parameters.xml and then using a tokenizer to replace values during deployment

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SpecFlow VSTS Build pipeline with SpecRunner For BDD Style Automated Gherkin Functional Tests

Tarun Arora on Aug 26, 2017

In this blogpost I’ll show you how to create an automated build pipeline for SpecFlow with VSTS using SpecRunner to execute your automated BDD functional tests written using Gherkin syntax. We won’t stop just here, I’ll show you how to add the SpecFlow+ extension to create living functional test documentation accessible right from VSTS… We’ll end by looking at how to pin some of this on a dashboard in VSTS to surface some key testing metrics for visibility with your development and operation teams…

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Infrastructure Deployment Pipelines: Deploying Infrastructure in Azure with VSTS

Tarun Arora on Aug 5, 2017

Would you consider a 16 character alphanumeric password stored in an excel spreadsheet in a shared location secure? I’ve had the joy of watching infrastructure engineers provision infrastructure in the cloud like they have done on-premise for years - MANUALLY! The concepts of Infrastructure as Code have been around for a while, so have configuration management tools like Chef and Puppet but, both the cost & complexity scares people from adopting either. VSTS on the other hand has a very low entry barrier in both cost & complexity and integrates the Application Lifecycle Management into DevOps in a way which doubles the value provided by the automation pipelines. In this blogpost I’ll take you the full 9 yards with a walk through on how to set up an infrastructure deployment pipeline using VSTS …

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HOWTO: Check browser type and its version in your VSTS/TFS extensions

Utkarsh Shigihalli on Jul 21, 2017

Ever wanted to check which browser (and browser version) your VSTS/TFS extension is running on? Microsoft Visual Studio Team Services Web Extension SDK has a great set of utility methods. In this blog post we will see couple of such methods which will help us to detect browser type and its version.

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HOWTO: Copy text to clipboard in VSTS/TFS Extensions

Utkarsh Shigihalli on Jul 19, 2017

If you have used TFS/VSTS, you might have used “Copy to Clipboard” option at least few times - either on the workitem context menu or to copy the repository URL on Clone Repository dialog . In this blog post we will see how to implement that functionality and copy text to clipboard from your VSTS/TFS extensions using Microsoft Visual Studio Team Services Web Extension SDK and Typescript.

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HelloWorld Chef on Windows, Knife, Cookbook, IIS, Windows Azure & everything in between...

Tarun Arora on Jul 3, 2017

Configuration Management is one of the key pillars of DevOps. Configuration Management helps address snowflake servers and configuration drift. Microsoft has it’s own offering for configuration management in azure with hosted DSC server through Azure Automation. Microsoft has an equally compelling story with the open source tools such as Chef and Puppet. While Chef is truly amazing in it’s capabilities, getting it going on a Windows machine can be challenging due to the various moving parts in it’s configuration… In this blogpost I’ll show you what it takes to get started with Chef by setting up Chef server on Windows, creating your first cookbook, uploading it to Chef using Knife and then using this runbook to manage a Windows host in Azure using the Chef Azure extension… Quite a mouthfull… Grab a coffee, let’s go through this together…

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So... how did it feel recording training for Microsoft?

Tarun Arora on Jun 14, 2017

Off late I have been working with Microsoft to pull together training on DevOps. The experience of working with the Microsoft products, the staff and the broader ecosystem reflects that the Microsoft of today isn’t the Microsoft we’ve known for years…

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DevOps: Infrastructure As Code (IaC) with Azure

Tarun Arora on Jun 13, 2017

Delighted to announce that my free training course on DevOps: Infrastructure As Code with Azure has just released on the Microsoft Open edX platform. The training has hours of video content, theory, labs and certification. It is primarily targeted at operations and development teams but is useful for anyone wanting to learn DevOps and it’s application in Modern Engineering environment with VSTS & Azure Automation. The course has been jointly developed by Avanade & Microsoft… You can check out the course here - DevOpsIacCourse

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DevOps: GitHook to verify repository email address

Tarun Arora on Jun 13, 2017

When you are using Git for work and personal repositories although you can logically separate them in separate folders, you can accidentally commit in your personal repository with your work account and visa versa. It is annoying and in some cases might break employer policies as well. Luckily with GitHooks it’s possible to set up a pre-commit hook that allows you to use the correct email address for the correct repository, check the blogpost for how…

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Get all Azure DTL nested resources programmatically with AzureRm PowerShell

Tarun Arora on Jun 4, 2017

Since all VMs with in an Azure Dev Test Lab (Azure DTL) are within their own resource group and have some sort of a random numeric postfix attached at the end of the resource group name. There isn’t yet an out of box AzureRm PowerShell commandlet available to query dev test lab resources. I’ve have knocked together a script which you can use to get all resources & their nested resources within an Azure Dev Test Lab using PowerShell…

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