We are proud to present the new release of our TFS Automated Servicing and Administration Platform (TFS ASAP). Beside some minor bug fixes, this version supports the update 2 of Microsoft Team Foundation Server 2015. In addition, there are two new automations available, which are described below.
The first new automation is called Text Aggregation Automation. By introducing this functionality, it is now possible to aggregate numeric, boolean, and textual content with TFS ASAP. Every aggregation automation supports two directions. Values can be distributed from one item to all of its linked items and can be aggregated the other way around. There are two sample use cases for the usage of Text Aggregation Automation.
Use case 1 – Additional context information for refinement of backlog items
Using a hierarchical backlog increases its usability as backlog items are grouped by features and epics. This hierarchy also causes the distribution of information over the different levels. During the refinement of backlog items, the content of parent elements is helpful when specifying its children. Of course it is possible to navigate between those items, but the usability is not satisfying at all. By using this automation, the content of particular attributes of parent items can automatically be copied to all of its children. As the automation is triggered by any change in the source field (e.g. the description field), the context information in the child items is always up to date.
Automated distribution of feature description
Use case 2 – Aggregated information of multiple linked elements
A cross function team is perfect – in an ideal world, everybody can do everything. But unfortunately a lot of teams are not 100% cross functional. People may be a subject matter expert for a specific area. This is the reason for having multiple team members working on one backlog item. Wouldn’t it be perfect to have an easy overview of who worked on a backlog item without creating queries or opening every single task?
As the Text Aggregation Automation can also aggregate values from multiple children up to one parent it is possible to have this overview generated automatically. Each time a task is assigned to another team member the list of involved people is updated at parent level. By using the property Separator in the configuration it is easy to define the layout.
Format the aggregation by using the Separator
Create work item on check in
As all of our existing automations are scheduled or triggered by work item changed events, we are now introducing the first automation triggered by check in events. By using this automation work items can be created for every check in that meets your configuration. There are several options for the configuration such as the source code path, a comment filter or the check in type. The complete configuration and its description can be found in the user guide [section 4.3.14].
Using this feature makes it very easy to create a code review request as a task in your task board. Instead of using the code review feature of TFS, the code review task is visible for everyone in the task board and can be grabbed by the first available developer. By defining a check in comment filter, every developer can decide whether she wants to have a code review for the check in or not.