Announcing a Global DevOps Experience venue at Black Marble

Background In past years, pre Covid, Black Marble hosted a venue for the Global DevOps Bootcamp, a community run in person hackathon event. After a short hiatus, I am pleased to be able to say this event has a successor, the Global DevOps Experience which is being run on the 15th of June at many venues around the world, including Black Marble’s offices. What will be involved? The Global DevOps Experience is a day full of learning and fun, as we immerse you in the world of DevOps and AI....

May 13, 2024 · 2 min · Richard Fennell

Building Reporting Service .RPTProj files in Visual Studio 2022 from the command line

The Issue We have a number of projects that use the old style SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) .RPTProj project format. These projects are not supported in Visual Studio 2022 out of the box, but there is an extension in the Marketplace that adds the functionality back so you can build them in the IDE. However, we want to build our RDL files as part of our CI process, and this is where we hit a problem....

May 3, 2024 · 2 min · Richard Fennell

Creating an undo PowerShell Script for batch updates of Azure DevOps Work Items

Problem One of my client’s recently had a problem that a large number of Azure DevOps work items had been updated via Excel in error. They asked if there was a means to undo these edits. Unfortunately, a feature Azure DevOps does not provide. Solution So, I wrote a PowerShell script to do it. The script… Gets a list of work items edited today by a specific user, the one who did the problematic bulk update, using a Work Item Query Get the last update of each work item and check it was made by the user who did the bulk edit, incase someone manually fixed the problematic update already....

April 16, 2024 · 2 min · Richard Fennell

Personal Access Tokens (PATs) are not your friends

Background Programmatic connection to Azure DevOps cannot be done with your Active Directory credentials. This is because this involves a dialog being shown, and these days usually an MFA check too. Historically, the solution to this problem was to enable Alternate Credentials, which could be passed as username and password, without the dialog being shown. However, the use of these has been deprecated since 2020, and they have been completely removed since Jan 2024....

March 22, 2024 · 3 min · Richard Fennell

It is really time to get off Azure DevOps TFVC source control

A History Lesson Team Foundation Version Control (TFVC) has been around since 2005, since the first release of Team Foundation Server (TFS) in 2005. In 2013, over 10 years ago, Microsoft added Git support to TFS (later renamed as Azure DevOps), Git had already been around for 8 years at that point. 10 years is a long time in the software industry, I always think of ‘IT years’ like ‘dog years’ i....

March 21, 2024 · 4 min · Richard Fennell