Whidbey Beta2 Sign-Off (build #50215.45)

Two nights ago we officially signed off on the Beta2 build of Whidbey (build# 50215.45).  It was a long time coming (9 months since Beta1!), but hopefully people will find it well worth the wait.

Staying focused over such a long time is hard, but our team held up really well and did a super job shipping a high quality release.  I’m particularly proud of the folks on my team who run our stress program.  They keep a lab of ~1000 machines running 24/7 throughout the year, and delivered a punishing level of stress load on machines looking for hard to find production bugs.

We have about 40 different stress variations that we run constantly -- some that do normal web operations (data access, security, output caching, session management, etc), some that do lots of less typical things (lots of compilation changes under load, changing configuration files under load to cause app-domain restarts), and some that do things that are deliberately downright nasty (memory leaks, AV crashes, deadlocks -- where the goal is to ensure that ASP.NET automatically recovers from them). 

We hook up debuggers and watch for first-chance exceptions, monitor memory usage in the worker processes to watch for leaks, and ensure that performance stays within a consistent RPS range throughout the runs.  Any deviations trigger our debuggers to automatically break-into the process and halt the run for analysis and investigation.

We basically repeat this process over and over again 24 hours a day until each of the 40 different variations passes 300 10-hour runs in a row without incident on each different hardware and OS configuration we support (Windows 2000 Single Proc, Windows 2000 2P, Windows 2003 1P, Windows 2003 2P -- with WS03 repeated for x86, x64 and IA64 processors).  We then also do longer-haul runs that run on higher-end 4P hardware that runs for a week under extreme load using a combination of different variations (we also then on the IIS side do long-haul runs that take a full 21 days and put extremely heavy load testing our worker process reliability). 

Needless to say, it can take awhile to get everything passing.  In the early days of the stabilization for Beta2 it was pretty easy to find issues.  As we lock down changes in the overall stack, it takes longer and longer for them to surface.  Sometimes we had to-do 200-250 runs for a bug to surface, and even then it might take multiple “hits” before we could figure out what exactly was causing it.  The stress team did an awesome job driving this process forward and chasing down the final bugs through long days and late nights (it was not uncommon for them to be in the lab until 4-5am and then have to be back by 9am to give updates to our war team).

We report our stress numbers every few days as all of the runs for a particular build complete in the lab.  Over the last month the numbers have steadily risen by a few percentage points a run as each remaining stress issue was found and fixed.  About two weeks ago we knew we were getting close -- with hardware architectures starting to report 100% one by one (x86 single proc and multi-proc first, then x64, etc).  A week ago we kicked off the final long-haul run -- it completed with 100% passing around 3:30pm on Thursday.  We officially signed off as a division on Beta2 a little later that night.

Yesterday we held our obligatory ship party to celebrate.  It has been a long road together, and it was really cool to see the 1500+ people who have worked on the project all in one place kicking back.  Dmitry and I chipped in and bought some fun t-shirts that arrived just in time before the party to hand out.  They immortalize one of our last stress failure stack traces that we fixed (click the image to see the full details):

The official beta2 bits should show up on MSDN shortly.  Along with the bits we’ll be releasing the “Go-Live” license which means that you’ll be able to go live with production applications on top of the beta (one of the reasons we’ve been so hardcore about fixing all stress issues the last few months).  We are also in the process of updating key Microsoft internal and external sites to run on top of the final Beta2 build starting this week as well.  The final result of this work will be the reliable, most scalable and fastest web platform out there.

All of us on the team are looking forward to seeing all the cool apps built on top of it.  Good luck with it!

- Scott


  • Congratulation !!! I have the version running on a vpc since a week, and it is really stable.

  • Well, Scott,

    gratulations for this hugh build :-)

    It is odownloading at the moment - looking forward.

    Now all I need is the SQL Server 2005 build and I can install Team System - this one I still miss on MSDN.

  • Congratulations on the release, well done on the dedicated stress testing(!) and I hope you get some quiet time before we start breaking it for you.

    Cheers, to you and the team.

  • Scott & Team,

    Congratulations on Beta 2!!! I'm downloading my ISO image right now :)

    - Mark

  • Thankx to all the guy's making that possible. This post give us a bit of a clue about what has been accomplished... THANKX and keep your spirit. Cheers!!!

  • Scott,

    Thanks to you and your team. I cannot wait to give it a try!!

  • Beta 2 of Team Foundation Server appears to need the April CTP of SQL Server ... when can we expect that and will it have a "Go Live" license also?

    Thanks in advance

    Doug Holland

  • Congratulations, guys - thats a MASSIVE effort! Now, to download it.....

  • needles to say, you guys ROCK!!!

  • Great work Scot - Congratulations!

    Please get some sleep this weekend.

    Regards - David Taylor

  • is it 50215.45 or 50215.44

  • Hi Guest,

    The final build was the .45 build.



  • I can't seem to find it in MSDN subscriber downloads (universal subscription)...Link me?

  • Scott,

    Thanks to you and your team. It was a good news.

  • Hey Scott,

    The version I got from MSDN Subscriber downloads says it is Build 50215.44. Is/was there a mixup?

  • The MSDN subscribers download is 2.0.50215.44, don't tell us someone put the wrong build and we have to start all over again.

  • Congrats :)

    Can't wait for it.

  • congrats and thanks for all the testing you are doing for the .NET platform

    Now, how do we simple devs get THAT T-Shirt?

  • Congratulations! :) Looking forward to give the tires a real kick :P

  • Where do I file a bug report? I got this during setup:

    [04/17/05,11:11:18] VS Scenario: [2] Failed to pass the Warnings/Blocks checks in CVSScenario::Start()

    ***EndOfSession***[04/17/05,12:50:49] Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Standard Edition Beta 2 - ENU: [2] ERROR:Error 1331.Failed to correctly copy vcredist_IA64.exe file: CRC error.

    [04/17/05,12:50:50] Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Standard Edition Beta 2 - ENU: [2] ERROR:Error 1331.Failed to correctly copy vcredist_x64.exe file: CRC error.


    I'm not even running x64...hmmm?

    - Mark

  • Build .45 is actually build .44 with an updated SQL Server Express drop. So when you select the "About" dialog you will see .44 -- but the setup is .45.

    Confusing isn't it.... ;-)

  • Danny --

    patience :) Lets just say that odds are by the time you read this comment MSDN and Express will be live :) (I wouldn't hold your breath.. but don't go to sleep ok?)

  • What level/type of MSDN subscription do you need to download Beta2?

  • W00t! Nice one Scott, it is indeed Live as I read your comment! :D

    I'm afraid I did go to sleep (spent 9 hours trying to set my laptop up - mostly wireless network problems!), and now I've gotta go to work - but I know what I'll be doing this evening! :-)

  • Excelent work ! Currently downloading :-))

  • I am dying to touch it's final release!! If god forbids I want to port some of my projects to this xanado hiddenly from eyes of project managers!! Sorry but I can no longer keep current one.

    Good work.

  • Well, this is a bit of a let down... Installed Visual C# Express, and it seems to crash whenever I do anything! :(

    If I create a new app, the first form is loadeded fine, but seconds later (with me not doing anything), it crashes (and asks to restart). If I click any meno options, again, seconds later it crashes...Brand new install on XP Pro (nothing else installed, just got the wireless network drivers installed and run Windows Update)...

    Only "weird" thing about the setup, is that the wireless connection is a seperate subnet to my lan, and I VPN into a Wind2k box to then access the network (and internet). I guess if C#Express was trying to connect to the web, it might get confused, but I can't see any reason for it to do that :(

  • Danny -- can you send me email (scottgu@microsoft.com) with more details? I can then hook you up with the setup and C# teams and they can help investigate what is going on.



  • I'm disappointed that it is still rather instable/memory eating...

    Maybe I expected too much. Hopefully the final will arrive before Duke Nukem Forever and be more stable.

  • Uwe -- can you provide more details on the problem you were encountering? Was it with ASP.NET? With Visual Studio? What instability were you seeing? We've seen cases where people have had setup issues (especially with older B1 bits still on the box), but not other reports besides that.



  • Truly nice work Scot - Congratulations!

    From Persian .Net Lovers ;)

  • Hi Scott,

    Great Job!



  • I've been VERY impressed with the look, feel, and featureset of Beta 2.

    Unfortunately, my first "real" test of it has been very frustrating. It's crashing, and doesn't seem to like a very basic (Empty Project) custom control....

  • Hi Robert,

    Can you send me more details about the problems you are seeing (email: scottgu@microsoft.com)? We have had some reports of problems from people who have had Beta1 installed on the same machine before. What you are describing sounds like that might be the case.



  • The express version's IDE sounds hard to close. It is not fast enough. The program does show #50215.44, not #50215.45. Is #50215.45 better?

  • Can you clarrify what you mean about being hard to close?



  • What changes will come up in final version?

    If you provide a list It can be very handy in our current implementations. Because with a view of the change the design can be more adaptable. What changes may occur in code model - not compilatiom model; This consideration will come when our producte come to a haevy storm of visitors.

    I am currently working on a fleen tracing system for "Iran Transportation & Terminals Organization" and I am porting the current system to .NET 2.0 and implementing new pakages in the on-way plateform.


  • Hi Kaveh,

    We will definitely provide a list of all changes between Beta2 and RTM as we get closer to the final release date.

    In general, there shouldn't be any significant changes. There will be a handful of very minor changes (often property renames), but in general Beta2 implementations should require very little work to run on the final RTM release.

    Hope this helps,


  • Hmmm,

    I ordered Beta2 on 25th April and still haven't received it yet.

    Just tried ordering it again but when you press the button to confirm the order it takes you to a non existent page.

    This is a shame I was looking forward to evaluating this mainly for C# and ADO.Net and SLQ Server 2005.

    Does anyone know the lead times for VS 2005?

  • Hi EH,

    Sorry for the delay in getting the bits. If you send me email (scottgu@microsoft.com) with your contact details I can try to follow up and see where it is in the system.



  • Thanks Scott

    I just sent my details

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