Book “Team Foundation Server 2012 Starter” published!

During the summer and fall this year, me and my colleague Terje Sandstrøm has worked together on a book project that has now finally hit the stores!
The title of the book is Team Foundation Server 2012 Starter and is published by Packt Publishing.

You can find it at or from Amazon 


The book is part of a concept that Packt have with starter-books, intended for people new to Team Foundation Server 2012 and who want a quick guideline to get it up and working. It covers the fundamentals, from installing and configuring it, and how to use it with source control, work items and builds. It is done as a step-by-step guide, but also includes best practices advice in the different areas. It covers the use of both the on-premises and the TFS Services version. It also has a list of links and references in the end to the most relevant Visual Studio 2012 ALM sites.

Our good friend and fellow ALM MVP Mathias Olausson have done the review of the book, thanks again Mathias!

We hope the book fills the gap between the different online guide sites and the more advanced books that are out. Check it out and please let us know what
you think of the book!

Book Description

Your quick start guide to TFS 2012, top features, and best practices with hands on examples


  • Install TFS 2012 from scratch
  • Get up and running with your first project
  • Streamline release cycles for maximum productivity

In Detail

Team Foundation Server 2012 is Microsoft’s leading ALM tool, integrating source control, work item and process handling, build automation, and testing.

This practical “Team Foundation Server 2012 Starter Guide” will provide you with clear step-by-step exercises covering all major aspects of the product.
This is essential reading for anyone wishing to set up, organize, and use TFS server.

This hands-on guide looks at the top features in Team Foundation Server 2012, starting with a quick installation guide and then moving into using it for your
software development projects. Manage your team projects with Team Explorer, one of the many new features for 2012.

Covering all the main features in source control to help you work more efficiently, including tools for branching and merging, we will delve into the Agile Planning
Tools for planning your product and sprint backlogs.

Learn to set up build automation, allowing your team to become faster, more streamlined, and ultimately more productive with this
“Team Foundation Server 2012 Starter Guide”.

What you will learn from this book

  • Install TFS 2012 on premise
  • Access TFS Services in the cloud
  • Quickly get started with a new project with product backlogs, source control, and build automation
  • Work efficiently with source control using the top features
  • Understand how the tools for branching and merging in TFS 2012 help you isolate work and teams
  • Learn about the existing process templates, such as Visual Studio Scrum 2.0
  • Manage your product and sprint backlogs using the Agile planning tools


This Starter guide is a short, sharp introduction to Team Foundation Server 2012, covering everything you need to get up and running.

Who this book is written for

If you are a developer, project lead, tester, or IT administrator working with Team Foundation Server 2012 this guide will get you up to speed quickly
and with minimal effort.

Using Private Extension Galleries in Visual Studio 2012


Updated January 13th 2013:  Added note about ASP.NET MVC 4.0 prerequirement

Note: The installer and the complete source code is available over at CodePlex at the following location:


Extensions and addins are everywhere in the Visual Studio ALM ecosystem! Microsoft releases new cool features in the form of extensions and the list of 3rd party extensions that plug into Visual Studio just keeps growing. One of the nice things about the VSIX extensions is how they are deployed. Microsoft hosts a public Visual Studio Gallery where you can upload extensions and make them available to the rest of the community. Visual Studio checks for updates to the installed extensions when you start Visual Studio, and installing/updating the extensions is fast since it is only a matter of extracting the files within the VSIX package to the local extension folder.

But for custom, enterprise-specific extensions, you don’t want to publish them online to the whole world, but you still want an easy way to distribute them to your developers and partners. This is where Private Extension Galleries come into play. In Visual Studio 2012, it is now possible to add custom extensions galleries that can point to any URL, as long as that URL returns the expected content of course (see below).Registering a new gallery in Visual Studio is easy, but there is very little documentation on how to actually host the gallery.

Visual Studio galleries uses Atom Feed XML as the protocol for delivering new and updated versions of the extensions. This MSDN page describes how to create a static XML file that returns the information about your extensions. This approach works, but require manual updates of that file every time you want to deploy an update of the extension.

Wouldn’t it be nice with a web service that takes care of this for you, that just lets you drop a new version of your VSIX file and have it automatically detect the new version and produce the correct Atom Feed XML?

Well search no more, this is exactly what the Inmeta Visual Studio Gallery Service does for you 🙂


Here you can see that in addition to the standard Online galleries there is an Inmeta Gallery that contains two extensions (our WIX templates and our custom TFS Checkin Policies). These can be installed/updated i the same way as extensions from the public Visual Studio Gallery.

Installing the Service

  1. The service uses ASP.NET MVC 4.0, so make sure that you have this installed on your web server.
  2. Download the installer (Inmeta.VSGalleryService.Install.msi) for the service and run it.
    The installation is straight forward, just select web site, application pool and (optional) a virtual directory where you want to install the service.


    Note: If you want to run it in the web site root, just leave the application name blank

  3. Press Next and finish the installer.
  4. Open web.config in a text editor and locate the the <applicationSettings> element
  5. Edit the following setting values:
    • FeedTitle
      This is the name that is shown if you browse to the service using a browser. Not used by Visual Studio
    • BaseURI
      When Visual Studio downloads the extension, it will be given this URI + the name of the extension that you selected. This value should be on the following format:

    • VSIXAbsolutePath
      This is the path where you will deploy your extensions. This can be a local folder or a remote share. You just need to make sure that the application pool identity account has read permissions in this folder
  6. Save web.config to finish the installation
  7. Open a browser and enter the URL to the service. It should show an empty Feed page:


Adding the Private Gallery in Visual Studio 2012
Now you need to add the gallery in Visual Studio. This is very easy and is done as follows:

  1. Go to Tools –> Options and select Environment –> Extensions and Updates

  2. Press Add to add a new gallery
  3. Enter a descriptive name, and add the URL that points to the web site/virtual directory where you installed the service in the previous step


  4. Press OK to save the settings.

Deploying an Extension
This one is easy: Just drop the file in the designated folder! 🙂  If it is a new version of an existing extension, the developers will be notified in the same way as for extensions from the public Visual Studio gallery:


I hope that you will find this sever useful, please contact me if you have questions or suggestions for improvements!