Auto creating tasks/work items in Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS) with Microsoft Flow

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Auto creating tasks/work items in Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS) with Microsoft Flow

One of the manual processes that we have at SMEx is that when a pull request is accepted, the reviewer needs to go to the linked work item and update the state to "Testing" then create a child task and assign it to the QA staff to test the PBI before it can finally be marked as "Done"

It's a tedious process with many clicks involved, and I think most of the devs here follow the process, sometimes it is still missed. So I began exploring ways to automate the creation of this child testing task.

Thankfully Microsoft has a workflow engine called Flow that plays nicely with VSTS. So here's what you need to do:

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Azure Active Directory - Bulk updating user profile attributes using PowerShell

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Azure Active Directory - Bulk updating user profile attributes using PowerShell

At SMEx we are all for using cloud based SaaS products. We use Office 365 and Azure AD to manage our users, and we use Exclaimer Cloud - Signatures for Office 365 to manage our email signatures.

The way Exclaimer works is that it reads profile info from Azure AD and generates a signature during message transport and applies it to the message. It's actually quite a neat solution.

At SMEx, we have three offices and we include the address of the office in the signature. So instead of creating three different signatures in Exclaimer, we wanted one signature that can pull the address from the user's profile attributes.

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Octopus Deploy - Schedule a deployment at a given time using Azure Functions

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Octopus Deploy - Schedule a deployment at a given time using Azure Functions

At SMEx Digital we have a distributed Scrum development team with resources in Australia and South Africa. Typically at the start of the day in Australia, the QA resource logs into Octopus deploy and pushes that latest version from Dev to QA to perform integration tests, as there would be new commits coming overnight from the team in South Africa.

So to save the tester roughly 10 minutes each morning waiting for environments to be deployed to QA, I decided to automate this process using Octopus Deploy and Azure Functions

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SSRS - Find out which reports area being used (handy for migrating only the useful reports to a new server)

At SSW, we are currently migrating our SQL Server Reporting Services 2008 R2 reports to our new SQL Server Reporting Services 2016 server.

If you haven't decided to make the move to SSRS 2016 you should check out What's New in Reporting Services (SSRS). The main features we care about are:

  • Better Portal
  • Mobile Reports
  • PowerBI integration
  • Better HTML5 report rendering

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