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Team Foundation Service Update: Improved Navigation and At-A-Glance Project Status

by Jenni Konrad on Dec 23, 2011 |

Microsoft's Team Foundation Service Preview has recently been updated with enhanced homepages, performance improvements, reworked navigation, a simplified UI for small team projects, and more detailed notifications.

The Team Foundation Service Preview has been available on an invitation-only basis since September of this year. It is the Azure-hosted beta version of Team Foundation Server 11, which is currently available as a developer preview in non-hosted form.

The Team Foundation Service homepage has been enhanced with progress graphs and a dashboard to store "Team Favorites", which can include shortcuts to version control paths, build definitions, and work item queries. These Team Favorites display status indicators, making it easier to see the project progress at a glance (for example, the number of work items remaining). In the case of developers working as a single-person "team", the interface is simplified and items only applying to larger teams are hidden.

The navigation as a whole is simpler than in the initial release. Microsoft has added dropdowns for project selection, team selection and administration tools. They have also separated out administration areas more clearly, because users reported getting lost and ending up there too easily. The number of clicks required for navigation has been reduced overall.

Team Foundation Service Navigation

Email notifications were a frequent user request, so they've been introduced to this release. In addition to a panel including basic activity notifications, Microsoft has also added an Advanced Alert Management page. This allows for advanced queries and notification criteria, and for administrators to manage email alerts en masse.

Other new features include inline taskboard editing and forecast lines, as well as general performance improvements. For a complete list of updates, visit the Visual Studio ALM Team Blog. Microsoft states that they're hoping to provide upgrades to Team Foundation Service on a monthly basis going forward.

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