Category Archives: Visual Studio

WinRT 8.1: this is why you will use the Properties pane in Visual Studio

If like me you are a XAML lover they is good chance you spend most of your time writing your XAML by hand in Visual Studio.  From the day I started working in XAML I rarely use the Visual Studio designer (even thought it has been improved with each release of Visual Studio). Today, I’m sharing a very good reason to use the Properties pane if you are targeting Windows 8.1 in Visual Studio 2013 !

Meet the new AppBarButton control

Windows 8.1 introduces a new set of controls (full list here on MSDN), among them there is the AppBarButton control:


This control help designing an application bar with the proper looks for the buttons in it. In Windows 8, you could specify the icon of a button by using the appropriate code of the Segoe UI Symbol font. For example, using this XAML

    FontFamily="Segoe UI Symbol"/>

Will produce this kind of icon:


It was kind of cumbersome to look for the appropriate code on MSDN and type it in XAML. This is the good part about the new AppBarButton control and the properties pane which make it works nicely together because the editor handles the Symbol property perfectly:


Now I have at least one good reason to use the designer !

Welcome 2013 :-)

This is the perfect time to take a look at what happened in the last few months as well as what’s on the roadmap for next year. So let’s start by taking a look at 2012…



  • In November, I gave a presentation about Windows Phone 8 at SFEIR Plays

sfeir plays

Blog posts

The last year I blogged mostly about Windows Phone stuff. This is not a surprise as I’m busy (on my personal time…) working for my 2Day todo-list application. I’m finalizing a major release that should be submitted to the marketplace soon with a ton of new features and improvement (several blog posts should highlight some topics from a developer point of view).

Here is the full list of article (oldest first):

Next year

2013 should very busy too :-)

  • In mid-February, I will speak again during the TechDays in Paris. The topic is the same as last year: performance optimization for Windows Phone applications. However, with Windows Phone 8 we’ve plenty of new topics to cover !
  • In late-February I will fly to Redmond for the MVP Summit 2013. It will be my sedond time there. As aways, all the content will be under NDA… I will share a room with my friend Jose Fajardo I met at //BUILD/ 2011 !
  • In March, I should setup an event with my company and Microsoft in Grenoble talking about Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8

I’m still deeply invested with 2Day so hopefully you should see more tips and tricks about Windows Phone. As a Windows 8 version is also on its way, that should give me many reasons to write new blog posts.

Happy new year dear readers !




A lap around Team Foundation Service online

Back in September at //BUILD/ I got an invitation code for a new cloud service powered by Windows Azure: Team Foundation Service. A few days after I created an account but I didn’t had the chance until today to really use it. Now that I have some extra-time + an interesting project (involving Windows 8 and Kinect…) it’s the perfect moment to get started. In this post, I share a couple of images (click any of them for full resolution) to show you what TFS online looks like.

Get a TFS online account

TFS online is available in as Preview as requires an invitation code to get in. If you don’t have a code, you can request on the website:

I have no idea how long it can take to get an invitation code now… Once you have your code, you can create your account and pickup your server URL:

Log to TFS online

Once you have created an account, it’s time to log in. To do so, simply navigate to the URL your created previously and you will be prompted for your credentials:

You will then land on the home page of your account:

Create a new team project

You can now create a new team project. You must pick-up a name (which cannot be changed when the project is created) as well as the process template you want to use. In the preview, you have the following templates available:

  • Microsoft Visual Studio Scrum 2.0 – Preview 3
  • MSF for Agile Software Development 6.0 – Preview 3
  • MSF for CMMI Software Development 6.0 – Preview 3

I like the dialog when the message when the creation completes :-)

Connect to TFS online from VS11

Now that the configuration stage is completed, it’s time to log in to TFS from Visual Studio 11.  All I had to do is to open the Team Explorer

And then configure the server URL:

Then the Team Explorer dialog is ready:

Check-in some code

Just for the demo, I created a new WinRT XAML application and check the “Add to source control” checkbox during the creation of the project. Visual Studio asked me where to store this new project:

Then using the Team Explorer, I choose the Source Control Explorer in order to check-in the code, and I got this new dialog right in the Team Explorer panel:

Which in my opinion is very nice and better than the previous version.

Code review

We know have the ability to request a code review right from the Team Explorer. This is another very nice feature:

Project home page

Because I chose the agile process template, the project homepage is “agile-oriented”:


This post was a very quick overview of what Team Foundation Service online looks like. I didn’t dig in any specific feature but I wanted to show you how it looks like. The experience from Visual Studio 11 is very straightforward and the new Team Explorer dialog easy and powerful.

Of course the benefits of TFS in Visual Studio 11 are now restricted in Team Foundation Service Online, it was just easy for me to do so.