Ed Blankenship

Ed Blankenship Ed​Blankenship

Niner since 2007

Product Manager, Visual Studio Online, Team Foundation Server, ALM, DevOps, and Dev/Test Workloads in Azure
Microsoft Corporation

Formerly the Program Manager for Lab Management for TFS at Microsoft

Formerly a Microsoft MVP (Team Foundation Server and Visual Studio ALM) and ALM/TFS Practice Technical Lead at Imaginet




  • Katapult.10 – Visual Studio 2013 Launch - Keynote by Ed Blankenship

    Happy to have been in Vienna for the Visual Studio 2013 launch!  Let us know if you have any questions!

  • Katapult.10 – Visual Studio 2013 Launch - Visual Studio Online

    Happy to have been in Vienna for the Visual Studio 2013 launch!  Let us know if you have any questions!

  • Introducing Visual Studio Online

    The Visual Studio Online Basic plan is different from the Visual Studio Express IDE. The Visual Studio Express IDE is free for all users where the Visual Studio Online Basic plan is free for the first five users. Those using that plan may not even need an IDE (like stakeholders, business users, project managers, etc.) so it is more named to indicate that it includes the "Basic" set of capabilities of Visual Studio Online. We also wanted to make sure we clearly distinguished it as an "Online" plan as well so "Online" is included in the name.

    One thing to remember about these plans are that they have no commitments beyond the month. Therefore, you can have someone join your team and get one month of Visual Studio Online Professional and they are up and running. If they aren't with the team the next month, then you cancel the plan for that team member.  If you will have the team member around for a long time, your best option for getting Visual Studio Online is still through MSDN subscriptions.  visual Studio Professional with MSDN will be the best plan which includes the same capabilities of Visual Studio Online Professional with much more including the additional MSDN benefits like dev/test rights for Microsoft software, Windows Azure benefits, and more.


    You can also receive discounts off the retail pricing by taking advantage of commitment-based Windows Azure accounts that include spending for all Windows Azure resources including the Visual Studio Online user plans and shared services.  The discounts are substantial and increase the more you spend.

    Visual Studio Online Professional is not a lightweight version the Visual Studio IDE.  You receive the full Visual Studio Professional IDE with Visual Studio Online Professional - the only difference is that you are paying for it monthly and you receive the benefits of Visual Studio Online at the same time.

    When we talked about a lightweight code-based editor, we were talking about Visual Studio Online "Monaco" which is something we announced at the launch that is complementary to Visual Studio on the desktop for certain scenarios.  The scenario we began with for "Monaco" is lightweight editing of Windows Azure Web Sites.  Feel free to take a look at the other "Monaco" videos where we dive in deeper.

    Remember though that Visual Studio Online is much more than "Monaco."  It is a set of services to help you as a developer and your development team be as productive as possible quickly without requiring additional infrastructure including ALM capabilities (TFS), new services like build, load testing, and Application Insights, and the new "Monaco" editor.  Together, they represent how Microsoft is making services tangible for developers and development teams for the future.

  • Managing lab environments for testing


    From what I can tell, it hasn't changed at all since 2010. Sad I was really hoping to see some love for the paring of MTM/Lab Management and VS in this release.


    There have been a few improvements made between TFS 2010 and TFS 2012 for Lab Management:

    • Instead of having three different types of agents to install & configure (test, build, and lab agents) we have consolidated them down to a single agent.
    • Instead of needing to manually install & configure each of the agents on environment machines and in virtual machine templates, Lab Management now does this for you.  It will even update the agents automatically whenever you install new Visual Studio updates, service packs, etc. on the test controller.
    • We have the concept of "Standard" environments which replace the concept of physical environments in TFS 2010.  That's a major improvement and it will end up helping a lot of people.  This also means that you will be able to use standard environments in the Build-Deploy-Test workflow where you weren't able to do that with physical environments in TFS 2010.
    • Improved troubleshooting & repair wizards in case something was wrong.  They are actionable now and automatically resolve most of the common situations that customers end up in.
    • Updated to support System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012

    Let me know if you have any additional questions!

    Ed Blankenship
    Program Manager, Visual Studio ALM - Lab Management, Microsoft

  • Team Foundation Service Preview: Team Build

    Very nice!  This is great functionality now.

  • geekSpeak Recording - Migrating to Team Foundation Server from Visual SourceSafe

    Sorry about the dropped call in the middle of the presentation!  We'll have to thank AT&T for that one Smiley


    I mentioned that I would get a few links for this presentation so here we go:


  • Team Foundation Server 2010 Setup and ​Administrat​ion

    Looks great now.  Thanks Brian for the update.

  • Team Foundation Server 2010 Setup and ​Administrat​ion

    Very glad we're getting improvements to the setup/configuration experience!

    There's something wrong with the video after 17:30.  The video doesn't continue but the audio does continue.  Love to see the stuff at the end.