One TFS Build, Multiple Git Repositories with Submodules

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In the discussion thread for my DevOps Skills class at Pluralsight, I got a question about how to do TFS Builds and TFS Release Management with code that spans multiple Git repositories.  For good reasons, his team has separated their code into multiple repos.  But when they go to create a build in TFS, the […]

Enable Verbose Debug Mode for TFS Build vNext

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Here’s a “hidden in plain sight” quick tip: how to turn on verbose debugging mode for your Team Foundation Server vNext Build. The short answer is that you need to set the ‘system.debug’ variable to true for your build.  You can set this to true for a single instance of the build or you can change […]

Edit a Connection String from a TFS vNext Build

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In my last post, I talked about how to create an ASP.NET Web Application that’s easy to deploy from your Team Foundation Server vNext Build (TFS Build vNext).  Well, part of the pain of deploying an ASP.NET Web Application (ASP.NET MVC or ASP.NET Web Forms) from a build is dealing with database connection strings.  So […]

An ASP.NET MVC Site That’s Easy to Deploy from a TFS Build

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By this point, you’ve probably heard that Team Foundation Server 2015 has a completely new build system.  As part of it, it organizese and compiles the code slightly differently than the old XAML-based TFS Build system.  First off, when you run a vNext build on a build server, you got four folders: a, b, s, and […]

TfsUtility: Import / Export Build & Release Definitions + more

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I’ve been doing a bunch of work with the new version of Build and Release Management in Team Foundation Server 2015 (TFS2015) lately and discovered a handful of things that I wish that I could do from the command line.  Specifically, I wished that I could import and export my build definitions and release definitions.  Well, a couple […]

Handling Passwords in Visual Studio / TFS Releases & Builds

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Team Foundation Server (TFS) and Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS) have these really handy features that let you define DevOps release pipelines for your applications.  To get to it, go to the web portal for your Team Project and click the Releases tab. Whether you use Releases (aka. “Release Management”) in TFS/VSTS or whether you use […]

Learn to Customize TFS2015 Build with Environment Variables

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You’ve probably noticed that Team Foundation Server 2015 introduces a new automated build system.  One of the great things about this new system is that it’s based on PowerShell.  At this point, you’re probably thinking “Ok.  PowerShell.  Fantastic.  Why do I care?”  Well, that PowerShell-centric approach allows you to much more easily customize your builds. […]