Another way to contribute to Microsoft Test Lab Guides (TLGs) is to publish a TLG mini-module in the TechNet Wiki.

A TLG mini-module is a modular TLG that just includes the essential configuration steps to get an existing and working test lab to a new working configuration, skipping the demonstration steps. In contrast, a typical modular TLG demonstrates key functionality, in addition to the essential configuration steps.

You might write a TLG mini-module for the following reasons:

  • You just want to install a system component, product, or download, without configuring it for any specific purpose.  A good example of an existing TLG mini-module that does this is the Test Lab Guide Mini-Module: Install AD FS 2.0. You install Active Directory Federation Services (AD FS) 2.0 on DC1 but leave it in its default configuration. Other TLGs, such as the Test Lab Guide: Demonstrate SAML-based Claims Authentication with SharePoint Server 2013, configure AD FS for their own purpose, which in this case is to support Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML)-based claims authentication for a SharePoint three-tier farm.
  • You just want to get to a new working configuration of test lab as quickly as possible.  A good example of an existing TLG mini-module that does this is the Test Lab Guide Mini-Module: Configuring the Base Configuration Test Lab for IPv6-Only. You remove IPv4 support from all of the computers on the Corpnet subnet and turn DC1 into a DHCPv6 server. This creates an IPv6-only environment for the Corpnet subnet, from which you can test application development, installation, and operation in an IPv6-only environment. Note that this TLG mini-module is very different from the Test Lab Guide: Demonstrate IPv6, a modular TLG that deliberately steps you through the configuration and demonstration of IPv6 functionality.

Also note the difference between a TLG mini-module and a test lab extension: A TLG mini-module is a modular TLG, just abbreviated to get the test lab to a new configuration on which other modular TLGs can be built. A TLG extension takes you through the configuration and demonstration of some additional functionality, but does not leave the test lab in a configuration upon which other modular TLGs should be built.

The process for publishing your own TLG mini-module is the following:

  1. Determine which the test lab environment you want to start from.  This should be the Base Configuration test lab or the test lab based on another modular TLG or TLG mini-module.
  2. Determine how you want to change the test lab environment that you are starting from.  Develop and test the procedures that create the working new test lab.
  3. Create the content and publish.  Use the Wiki: TLG Mini-module Template in the TechNet Wiki as a starting point. If you use this template, your TLG mini-module will have the same structure and boilerplate text as other published TLG mini-modules. After documenting the configuration steps and verifying that they work, publish the TLG mini-module as a single topic in the TechNet Wiki. Alternately, publish the TLG mini-module in your own publishing venue.
  4. Tell the world.  To make sure that others in the community know about your TLG mini-module, do the following:
  • Update the Test Lab Guides TechNet Wiki topic with a link to your new TLG mini-module in the "TLG Mini-Modules" section.
  • If there is a TechNet Wiki portal page for the test lab (for example, SharePoint Server 2013 Test Lab), update it with a link to your new TLG mini-module.
  • Send a quick email to tlgfb@microsoft.com. I will announce your new TLG mini-module in this blog.
  • Advertise your new creation using your own social media outlets.

 

Write on!

 

Joe Davies
Principal Writer