• 4 min read

What’s brewing in Visual Studio Team Services: April 2017 Digest

This post series provides the latest updates and news for Visual Studio Team Services and is a great way for Azure users to keep up-to-date with new features being released every three weeks.

This post series provides the latest updates and news for Visual Studio Team Services and is a great way for Azure users to keep up-to-date with new features being released every three weeks. Visual Studio Team Services offers the best DevOps tooling to create an efficient continuous integration and release pipeline to Azure. With the rapidly expanding list of features in Team Services, teams can start to leverage it more efficiently for all areas of their Azure workflow, for apps written in any language and deployed to any OS.

Git tags

We’ve now added tag support into the web experience. Instead of creating tags from the command line and pushing the tags to the repository, you can now simply go to a commit and add a tag. The tag creation dialog will also let you tag any other ref in the repo.

create tag details

Your commits will now show the tags that you have created.

show tags

The commit list view also supports a context menu. No need to go to the commit details page to create tags and create new branches.

create tag history

Soon we will add a page for tag management.

Git branch policy improvements

Branch policies provide a great way to help maintain quality in your repos by allowing you to require a passing build, require code reviewers, and more. As part of review pull requests, users often leave comments. You can now ensure that all comments in pull requests are being addressed with the new Comments policy. Once enabled, active comments will block completion of the PR. Reviewers that leave comments for the PR author but optimistically approve the pull request can be sure that comments won’t be missed.

comment requirements

Sometimes you need to override policies, such as in the middle of the night when addressing an issue in production. Users bypassing pull request policies must now specify a reason. In the Complete pull request dialog, users will see a new Reason field, if they choose to bypass.

pr bypass dialog

After entering the reason and completing the pull request, the message will be displayed in the pull request’s Overview.

bypass message

Import Team Foundation Version Control into a Git repo

If you’re using Team Foundation Version Control (TFVC) and are looking for an easy way to migrate to Git, try out the new TFVC import feature. Select Import Repository from the repository selector drop-down.

import repo

Select TFVC for the source type. Individual folders or branches can be imported to a new Git repository, or the entire TFVC repository can be imported (minus the branches). You can import up to 180 days of history.

import into Git from TFVC

Team Foundation Version Control support for Android Studio, IntelliJ, and Rider

We’ve now officially released support for TFVC in Android Studio and the variety of JetBrains IDE’s such as IntelliJ IDEA and Rider EAP. Users can seamlessly develop without needing to switch back and forth from the IDE to the command line to perform their Team Services actions. It also includes additional features that you otherwise wouldn’t get from the command line client, such as seeing an updated status of your repository’s related builds along with the capability to browse work items assigned to you or from your personal queries.

TFVC in IntelliJ

Currently we support:

  • Checkout a TFVC repository from Team Services or Team Foundation Server 2015+
  • Execute all basic version control actions such as add, delete, rename, move, etc.
  • View local changes and history for your files
  • Create, view, and edit your workspace
  • Checkin and update local files
  • Merge conflicts from updates
  • Lock and unlock files and directories
  • Add labels to files and directories
  • Configure a TFS proxy

Check out our brief demo of getting up and running inside of Android Studio. For a more comprehensive look at the plugin, checkout our presentation and tutorial inside of IntelliJ.

To start using the TFVC features, download the latest version of the plugin and follow the setup steps.

Continuous delivery in the Azure portal using any Git repo

You can now configure a continuous delivery (CD) workflow for an Azure App Service for any public or private Git repository that is accessible from the Internet. With a few clicks in the Azure portal, you can set up a build and release definition in Team Services that will periodically check your Git repository for any changes, sync those changes, run an automated build and test, followed by a deployment to Azure App Service.

Start using this feature today by navigating to your app’s menu blade in the Azure portal and clicking Continuous Delivery (Preview) under the App Deployment section.

azure portal continuous delivery

Conditional build tasks

If you’re looking for more control over your build tasks, such as a task to clean things up or send a message when something goes wrong, we now support four built-in choices for you to control when a task is run:

task condition

If you are looking for more flexibility, such as a task to run only for certain branches, with certain triggers, under certain conditions, you can express your own custom conditions:

and(failed(), eq(variables['Build.Reason'], 'PullRequest'))

Take a look at the conditions for running a task.

Customizable backlog levels

You can now add backlog levels to manage the hierarchy of their work items and name them in a way that makes sense for your work item types. You can also rename and recolor existing backlog levels, such as Stories or Features. See Customize your backlogs or boards for a process for details on how to get started.

custom backlog levels

Mobile work item discussion

Our mobile discussion experience has been optimized to provide a mobile-friendly, streamlined experience for submitting a comment. Discussion is the most common action that takes place in a mobile device. We look forward to hearing what you think about our new experience!

mobile discussion

mobile discussion

Extension of the month

If you are like us, you use open source software in your development projects. Reusing components enables great productivity gains. However, you can also reuse security vulnerabilities or violate licenses without realizing it.

The WhiteSource Bolt extension for build makes it easy to find out whether you are using vulnerable components. After installing it in your account, add it to your build definition and queue a new build. You’ll get a report like the following. In the table under the summary, you will see a list of components with issues and the recommended way to address those issues.

whitesource bolt report

If you have Visual Studio Enterprise, you get 6 months of WhiteSource Bolt for one team project included with your subscription (redeem the code from your benefits page or see this page for VS subscribers for more detailed instructions).

Have a look at the full list of new features by checking out the release notes for March 8th and March 29th.

Happy coding!