Monthly Archives: December 2012

Team Foundation Task Board Enhancer: version 0.4 released

[Update: Version 0.5 has been released]

[Update: I’ve release version 0.4.2 to replace version 0.4.1 since a bug has been found on the Kanban board (the IDs were completely wrong). I guess I can now declare 0.4 the worst version released to date Sad smile]

[Update: I've released version 0.4.1 to replace version 0.4, which was totally broken on 2012 RTM. My Apologies to everyone who had already downloaded version 0.4 and has not upgraded to TFS 2012 Quartely update yet]

This post marks the release of version 0.4 of my TFS Task Board Enhancements. (previous versions 0.1 , 02 and 0.3).

Before I describe the news features, let my add a disclaimer.

When I started developing the TFS, I had two intentions. An educational one, where I could learn a little more about its internals and the extensibility model, the second to develop something useful to myself (time is too precious to be accounted as a sunk cost, I have a personal rule; the product of research has to result in something (at least slightly) useful).

While the extension is of limited scope and with a small set of functionalities, at a certain point I thought this could be also useful to someone else, so I decided to release it to the world for free (as in free beer not as in open source).

When I started developing it, I thought the extensibility mechanisms I was using were merely undocumented due to it’s relative youth,something they would be fixed in due time. However  as time went by it has come to my attention not only they were undocumented they are also unsupported.

This means the extension can stop working when Microsoft releases a new version or update (not saying that it will, but that is the risk of using unsupported mechanisms).

I will repeat this on a more clear and prominent manner.

This extensions uses undocumented TFS mechanisms, this means there is a risk (which I’m not able to quantify) it will stop working in the future with new TFS releases or updates . If that happens, the fact that the extension no longer works, it will be my sole responsibility and not of Microsoft.

I’ve only become aware of this after version 0.3 was released. I seriously considered stop releasing new versions, however after some consideration I decided to make new releases publically available. After all the worms were already out of the can it, and I’m not able to put them back inside. I decided to continue releasing new versions, but make it more clear the kind of risks of using it.

Besides supporting the features available in previous versions:

  • Show work item ids in tasks and product backlog items/requirements
  • Auto refresh the board regularly (a feature designed to be used on unattended wall boards
  • Collapse/expand all PBIs/Requirements
  • Maximize workspace

 

This version brings some new features

Show PBI/Requirements state

Show the state of a PBI/Requirement in the task board, this will allow you to see the state of a PBI without the need to open it. The state is shown in both expanded and collapsed PBIs/Requirements view.

showing the state on a PBI

Auto Scroll

It is possible that the entire board is not visible on the screen (depends on the screen resolution and the number of PBIs and tasks). If that is the case this feature allows the task board to be continually scrolled so the entire board is always visible (in chunks).

The speed of the scrolling can be controlled via the UI (half, full and double speed).

Selecting auto scroll speed

This feature is supported on both the task board and the kanban board.

Support for Kanban Board

With the release of Visual Studio quarterly update 1 Microsoft introduced in TFS supported for a Kanban board. If you have installed this update, the task board enhancement will support it (the update is not necessary for other features) and will enhance it the following ways

  • Show work items ids in the cards
  • Auto refresh
  • Auto scroll (new feature). If the board doesn’t fit in the entire screen it will be auto scrolled (up and down) continually so the entire board can be seen without human intervention. This feature is primarily meant to be used in a wall board
  • Maximize workspace – increase the workspace usage by hiding unnecessary data from the screen

 

Kanban Board

 

[Update: I've released version 0.4.1 because 0.4 was totally broken on 2012 RTM]

[Update: I've released version 0.4.2 because 0.4.1 had a serious bug in the Kanban board]

Download version 0.4.2 of the extension

if you have doubts how to install it, it’s fully explained in a previous post Team Foundation Task Board: Auto Refresh