Catching up with Branching Strategies, Data Processing Extensions, Team System, and More

I have gotten pretty slack on my post frequency, but it's not for lack of quality content ideas. I've been working on a lot these past several months and have gotten out of the habit of committing things to posts. Once out of the habit it becomes very difficult to re-establish not only the routine habit of posting new ideas and/or learnings, but also is having that natural flow of "syncing to blog".

What I mean by that is, when in the habit of writing about what I am doing, discovering, pondering, etc., it helps to focus and organize my thoughts in a much more clear manner. I find that the writing helps to structure my entire thought process.

So hopefully, I can force myself back into the habit.

To recap the past month or so, I've been involved heavily into Software Configuration Management topics like Branching and Merging patterns, marrying agile process with SCM tools, system virtualization, test driven development, continuous integration, working with Amazon Web Services, and more. In particular, I've been seeing how one might leverage Team System along with the Scrum Process Guidance by Conchango, to reduce our time to market and increase code quality.

One thing to note is something I have been unable to find someone else doing the same thing, including Buck Hodges team at Microsoft (I exchanged some emails with him on the topic). That is, between difference code lines (branches), I want to do a reconciliation. By this, I mean that I want to generate some type of automated report that can show me what Changesets were not merged. The data elements are not captured in the Team Foundation Warehouse, however, there is an API level call that will yield these Merge Candidates.

At Buck's suggestion, I am writing a Data Processing Extension to use as a data source to create a custom report that will yield this list of Merge Candidates. I am still developing the report/extension, but I have enough to know that it will work for what I am after.

Tags: team system, tfs, team foundation server, continuous integration, data processing extension, reporting services, branch, scm, software configuration management, merge, patterns, amazon, amazon web services