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TFS 2010 Domain

New to TFS 2010 is the concept of a TFS Domain. You can install a domain controller on a server then install TFS 2010 thus creating a seperate TFS domain. Why would you do this? I've have had several clients with security concerns that this appeals to, especially when you are dealing with seperate companies that are sharing a common code base. Consider the scenario: Company A has a partnership with Company B. They are partners in developing in a common code base, but exist in two seperate domains. The security protocols for the companies forbid creating accounts for each other or making TFS publically exposed even through SSL. They have tried using reverse proxies and cannot make it work or work well. They ftp code back and forth but would like to use TFS as a common code respository and/or explore utilizing work items, reports etc.

 Enter the TFS Domain. You can take the server that will be hosting your APP tier and install/configure it as a Domain Controller. Install TFS (either single tier or two tier configuration will work). Establish the needed connections between partner domains and TFS domains such as point-to-point VPN. Establish your domain trusts and enjoy your TFS domain. Of course, its not as easy as 1-2-3 but you get the idea!

TFS 2010 Logical Domain Topology


Well, I hope that helps if you are debating security concerns around TFS access for different domain, perhaps we can drill down at another time! Take care!

Richmond Code Camp 2010.2

Come one come all!! Richmond Code Camp 2010.1 is just around the corner!!!

If you have not done so, please make plans to attend the Richmond Code Camp on October 9th, 2010. It will be well worth the time and effort

 3 reasons to attend:

  1. Good relevant content, excellent speakers. Enough said.
  2. Nothing more rejuvenating then hanging out with fellow geeks professionals for the day. Networking is a good thing! 
  3. Breakfast and lunch provided! Plus swag like crazy. I'll be giving a an XBox 360, a gift from my incredible employeer CEI.

See you there!


Load Balancing Team Foundation Server 2008 (or as close as you can…)

The goal of this post is to discuss some options that may be helpful for anyone who is working on, or trying to, implement a high availability scenario with TFS. The fact of the matter is TFS (in its current versions) itself is not able to load balance. At this point in time, TFS cannot share it’s date tier among TFS instances. In other words, TFS does not support load balancing on the app tier. The best you can hope for a warm stand-by strategy.

A typical TFS implementation resembles the following:

Typical_Non_Clustered As you can see from the illustration, TFS as a “system” is actually comprised of multiple “sub-systems” namely; the TFS service stack, Windows SharePoint Services, and SQL Server Reporting Services. Optionally, for purposes of example, Team System Web Access will be included since it is typically installed at the App Tier level. The data tier may or may not be on the same server…for the purpose of this post, it is irrelevant other than to again re-emphasize that the TFS data tier can only utilize one TFS App Tier at a time.

Now I’ve already told you that TFS 2005 or 2008 cannot be load balanced. I’ve also told you that TFS as a system is comprised of multiple “sub-systems”. 

So here’s where we are going with this…the TFS service stack cannot be load balanced but everything else can be.

WSS, SSRS and TSWA can be load balanced. Knowing and configuring this will allow us to achieve a semi-load balanced failover ready solution.

So what else do we need to do to get us as close as we can to a load balance solution? Let first look at what a load balanced TFS implementation would look like.


In the above example all parts of both TFS instances are hot with the exception of the secondary APP Tier’s TFS service stack. So what has to happen to make the failover as quick and painless as possible? What we need is to have a mechanism to ensure that 2 things occur: 1) the TFS web services on the Primary App Tier are stopped and 2) we can change the data tier to look at the Secondary App Tier as the new Primary App Tier. If we can implement this type of solution, then we have achieve a very rapid warm standby failover strategy.

How we would complete this will be addressed in the next post, so stay tuned!


Posted by kevin | 0 Comments

SharePoint Saturday DC – Saturday May 2nd 2008

Another awesome SharePoint Saturday event is coming…this time to the Washington DC area on May 2nd 2009. This SharePoint Saturday will be as awesome as the other ones that are happening all over the country – lots of good topics and material with knowledgeable speakers. As always the event is free of charge.

Visit us here –> http://www.sharepointsaturday.org/dc/

Stay tuned for registration details!

See you there!


Posted by kevin | 0 Comments

Richmond Code Camp 2009.1 – April 25th

Just making Sure everyone knows about the upcoming Richmond Code Camp on April 25th, 2009. This Code Camp will be awesome – lots of new and really good speakers (I’ve seen the list). Make sure you come on out and spend the day with us, I promise it will be great! 


Vistit us here –> http://richmondcodecamp.org/


To Register go here! –> http://www.clicktoattend.com/invitation.aspx?code=136238

See you there!


Posted by kevin | 0 Comments

SharePoint Saturday 2009.1

To everyone wanting to get into all aspects of SharePoint, I encourage you to attend SharePoint Saturday on January 10th, in Hampton Roads. For more details check out the site! I hope to see you there!

SharePoint Saturday

New Opportunites - Starting a new position at Ironworks Consulting

Hello all! Its been a good year overall, despite the fact that I was laid off from Land America due to the economic conditions in the real estate market and the ripple effect it has had on companies like Land America.

I was laid off two weeks ago, along with 119 other unfortunate souls, most of them IT professionals. Truthfully it was time to leave anyway as the continual rounds of lay offs had not only played havok with my nerves but also reduced development efforts to enhancements, small upgrades (maintainence) and support. Nothing exciting there. Additionally, it was obvious that the layoff steamroller would eventually head my way.

It hasn't been all bad though. Microsoft awarded me the Most Valuable Professional Award October 1 - a true honor and privledge. My award was in the Team System space.

 I have accepted a position with the SharePoint team at Ironworks Consulting and start there in a few weeks, so I will hopefully be ending the year with a bang. I just got back from attending the Raleigh Code Camp this past Saturday and let me tell you, it rocked! Chris Love and the TRINUG team really know how to put on a world class event.

 Catch you all later!


Microsoft MVP

Ironworks Consulting



Count down to Richmond Code Camp 2008.2

One week and counting to Richmond Code Camp. Im excited.This really going to be a good one. Great great speakers, brand new venue, great presentations, giveaways and lots of cool people to hang around with.

In case you haven't registered, here is the link -> The Link

When I started out in my programming career (back in the days of COM, VB5, C++ with MFC, SQL Server 6.5, pre-active directory) I would never have imagined a community of developers united in a common cause. I really feel very lucky to be a part of the Richmond developer community and the developer community as a whole. See you there!

- Kevin

Innsbrook .Net User Group Monthly Meeting Sept 24th

The Innsbrook .Net User Group is having their monthly meeting Sept 24th. The presentation will commence at 6:30pm so please try to arrive between 6:00 and 6:30. Food will be provided. I will be speaking on Interface Based Design. PLease visit out new website which is about 90% complete but ready for use.

Innsbrook .Net UG website: http://www.innsbrookdotnetug.org

Please register to attend: (Need to plan for food) https://www.clicktoattend.com/invitation.aspx?code=131482

 See you there!


Posted by kevin | 1 Comments

Richmond Code Camp 2008.2 - Mark your calenders, register and take a survey!

When? October 4th, 2008

Where? J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College - Parham Road Campus

Please take time to register: ClickToAttend

Please take time to take a quick survey: Survey link here

 More Info: http://www.richmondcodecamp.org

See ya there!


Five part series on SharePoint development

I was asked to put the Richmond Code Camp Powerpoint Presentation up as people wanted the PowerPoint slide deck and the sample code as well. Well, as they say better late than never...Smile

I really want to deliver a series that will help developers that are hearing all the talk about SharePoint development but are not certain on how to get started developing applications in SharePoint. My goal is to help you understand the environment setup for development, provide an overview of the SharePoint architecure, explain the different aspects of SharePoint development and provide some good code examples that will get you started.

Consider this the first in a 5 part series on SharePoint development. The Code Camp PowerPoint used at the Richmond 2008.1 Code Camp is located here. I am modifying the code to be more beneficial and in-depth than what I delivered at RCC since this is a different delivery format.

There are different functional areas of SharePoint development (although many SharePoint developers cross over to develop in these different functional areas). For example, there is web part development - specific web controls which can be developed and deployed to a SharePoint instance, InfoPath forms development - developing a web based form using InfoPath as the design mechanism and then deploying to an instance of SharePoint that utilizes the Forms services, client facing applications that hook into SharePoint via its API and/or its web services and numerous other types of applications that may utilize the SharePoint Shared Services.

This particular 5 part series will focus on:

  1. Setting up your environment to develop a SharePoint application
  2. Introduction to SharePoint architecture
  3. SharePoint development using the SharePoint API
  4. SharePoint development using the SharePoint Web Services
  5. Understanding the programmatic difference between MOSS and WSS

Part 1 - Setting up your environment to develop a SharePoint application

SharePoint development is primarily done on a development server hosting IIS and minimally Windows SharePoint Services (WSS). For this blog we are going to be focusing on WSS 3.0.

You can get into development with SharePoint fairly easily, lets do an inventory of what you will need:

  • Windows Server 2003 or 2008
  • Visual Studio 2005 or 2008
  • Windows SharePoint Services 3.0
  • MOSS 2007 (Installing MOSS will install WSS) is optional but not required.

Now the above mentioned can be either a phyical server or you can (like many developers) install Windows Server 2003 or 2008 to run on a virtual machine. I cannot speak at this point as to how Windows Server 2008 runs virtually. I can tell you that I personally have 2 physical servers with Windows 2003 intalled and VS 2005 on one and VS 2008 on the other. Both have WSS 3.0 installed and MOSS 2007.

I also have a laptop with Virtual PC installed on it and after installing Virtual PC I installed Windows 2003 Server and after installing Windows 2003 Server, I installed Visual Studio 2008 to run on the Windows 2003 Server. If you want to try it out with no investment, here are the links you will need to get you up and rolling.

If you are going the virtual machine route you will need to verify that your host system can handle the OS - remember that your Windows 2003 Server running virtually will still consume space and RAM and that these won't be available to the host system. Make sure you can give your virtual server enough RAM and space to handle not only Windows SharePoint Services but other installations such as the .Net framework, Visual Studio,  and one thing everyone forgets about..Windows updates (of course that is assuming you have internet connectivity and can receive them).

Install Virtual PC, then create a new virtual hard drive, installing Windows 2003 to that .vhd. After you have completed the installation of the OS you will also need to install IIS, and WSS, and then Visual Studio (Express version can be used if neccessary but I recommend the full Visual Studio trial over an express version for this).

Ok well that's it for now. I'll have part 2 posted (Introduction to SharePoint architecture) on Thursday morning and then we can move into code. Until then...take care!


Utilizing SharePoint services (WSS) for your application

I have heard a rumor going around that real SharePoint developers only write code utillizing the SharePoint API.

I have heard a rumor going around that real SharePoint developers never utilize the set of SharePoint web services available to them.

To this I say horse hocky!

For the sake of clarity, let me say for the record that I am not talking about web parts. We all know you must have admin rights to install a web part and that you must be on the server hosting SharePoint in order to install the web part.

I am talking about pure programmatic interaction with SharePoint: creating sites, sub sites, document libraries, folders, lists of all types, adding users etc. You get the idea. 

Let me explain. I love utilizing the depth of SharePoint assemblies that togther comprise the SharePoint API. That being said there are times when utilizing the SharePoint web services are not only beneficial but arguably preferred, I would even say neccessary. Why neccessary you say? Well suppose you are writing an application that must be used to manipulate MOSS or WSS programatically yet you have no access to install your application on the server that hosts SharePoint. You have admin rights to SharePoint itself but not the server hosting it. What then? What if the requirement says that you must write a client application that talks to SharePoint cross network? Tell me how you do that with the SharePoint API?

What did you say? You don't like web services? Think there overrated? Oh, performance...OK. Well go back and tell your customer that you don't give a rip about thier security protocols. Tell your customer that web services suck and you just don't get the whole asynchronous thing, therefore forget it. Can't do the project. That just means more opportunities for me. Smile

I don't see the SharePoint API as competing with the SharePoint web services. I see them as vital and complimentary partners. Together they provide alternatives, something real developers consider when faced with a problem or task.

INETA Community Champions Award and Community Excellence Award

Hello all! I want to take a few moments to tell you about some really great things happening at INETA. I was talking to David Silverlight the other day about some of the cool programs that INETA is making available to the developer community, namely the Community Champions Award and the Community Excellence Award.

The INETA Community Champions Award is a really great program and I encourage lots of participation from the developer community. It is awarded on a quarterly basis and lasts for twelve months. Members record their activities to earn points for their numerous contributions to the community. At the end of each quarter the top contributors will be selected to receive the INETA Community Champion Award.

The INETA Community Excellence Award is awarded by nomination, the community is responsible for nominating potential candiates for Community Excellence Award. This award is for those bastions of service, you know the ones I'm talking about..the ones that keep on giving and giving no matter what. The ones that go above and beyond, who mentor us and whom we rely on and look up to, to quote the INETA web site "they inspire us to stretch our horizons; and they help provide us with resources along the way."

To find out more about these awesome programs, click here. Check out David's blog here -> Community Champions Award or the Community Excellence Award.


Richmond Code Camp 2008.2 will be on October 4th 2008


Come one, come all! Richmond Code Camp 2008.2 will be held October 4th, 2008.

Details will follow over the next month or two...if you are thinking about presenting then you have some time to plan out your topics!


I'm hyped about upcoming Code Camps! Roanoke & Richmond!

Man I saw the topics list for the upcoming Roanoke Code Camp and man it looks good! Think I'll just have to mosey on down there and hang out with some .Net folks and my good ole friends Robin Edwards and Andy Leonard this coming weekend.

Roanoke Code Camp Registration.

And don't forget that the Richmond Code Camp is April 26th. I have a feeling that it will be be really good as well, so put it on you calender..

Look me up if you are going to be attending the Code Camp at Roanoke this weekeend. Se you there!


Posted by kevin | 0 Comments
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