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I remember when Brian Keller (who was a DPE at the time) first released a VM that had TFS and Visual Studio installed and configured, along with a set of hands on labs for experimenting and learning about the Microsoft ALM Stack. Over the years, the VM (and its siblings) affectionately became known as “Keller VMs” or “BK VMs”. Being an ALM consultant, I know how hard it is to set up a demo environment – not just installing and configuring TFS and Visual Studio – but also adding meaningful data to play with. Brian’s VM was easy to run and was great for just kicking the tires.

Today we’re excited to announce that we’ll be hosting a preconfigured VM, developed by Brian’s DPE successor Sachin Raj from Microsoft, that showcases the Microsoft DevOps tools for Java developers! The VM is an Ubuntu image with Eclipse installed. It also has Team Explorer Everywhere and all the other software you need to kick the tires as a Java developer. The lab instructions are hosted in our Github repo.

The labs walk you through:

  1. Creating a free VSTS account (if you don’t already have one) for storing source, managing work items, automated builds, release management and more.
  2. Logging work items and using the Agile Portfolio Management functions, from a browser as well as from within Eclipse
  3. Importing some source code using Git
  4. Using Git Pull Requests with Eclipse and VSTS
  5. Creating an automated Continuous Integration (CI) build to build a Java website using VSTS’s cross-platform build agent
  6. Creating an automated Release Pipeline for deploying the site to Tomcat (using a custom extension from the VSTS Marketplace)
  7. Adding automated Selenium tests that run during the release pipeline to validate deployments
  8. Monitoring Java applications in production using Application Insights

We’ve also included a couple of Azure Resource Manager (ARM) templates that help you get the VM set up and running in Azure in around 15 minutes.

It’s never been easier to explore how great the Microsoft DevOps experience is for Java Developers! Take the VM out for a spin and run through the labs. You can log issues on the Github repo or mail clientservices@nwcadence.com for assistance.

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  • B Keller

    This is cool, Colin! Thanks for the kind words, and it’s really nice to see this living on in all its various forms. I just shared this with a bunch of colleagues.

  • Brain, we hope to carry on the BKVM tradition. There was even some talk of naming it the BKJVM. 🙂 Thanks for all you did to kickstart the TFS movement. I’d wager at least 50% of the initial TFS traction came from someone using the Brian Keller VM. Nicely done!