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Use Team Web Access to interact with Visual Studio ALM

Team Web Access (TWA) lets you connect to Visual Studio Team Foundation Server (TFS) through a web browser. From there, team members can coordinate their efforts to develop a software project. Team members can use TWA to manage work that is assigned to them and their team projects, as well as find and update work items, work with version-controlled files and folders, and work with product builds. TWA provides much of the functionality that is available through Team Explorer, and some additional tools for project management. Using TWA, you can enhance team communications, track team processes, and improve project oversight capabilities.

TWA is automatically installed, configured, and updated when TFS is installed or updated.

In this topic

NoteNote

Members of an organization that have TFS deployed but do not have a client access license (CAL) can access TWA using Work Item Only View (WIOV). See Work in Limited access view or Work Item Only View.

As the following illustration shows, you can access a number of features from the Home page of TWA. You switch to different views and pages by first choosing one of the context view links at the top and then one of the pages within the context view. You can switch context between teams and team projects from the project Context Menu Icon context menu toward the top-right of each page. You access the administration pages by choosing the Settings icon  gear Settings icon.

Home page (Team Web Access)
Important noteImportant

The links and pages that you have access to depend on: (1) the Web Access Permissions group to which you are assigned: Limited, Standard, and Full, see Change access levels. Or, (2) whether the resource has been configured for your team project or team project collection. The following links appear on the home page for the associated Web Access Permissions group shown in parenthesis:

  • View backlog (Full): Opens the Product Backlog page which provides access to both the product backlog and iteration or sprint pages. See Create and organize the product backlog.

  • View board (Full): Opens the Task Board page used to review progress during a sprint and update information for work performed. See Work in sprints.

  • View work items: Opens the Work Items page used to create work items and work item queries. See Query for Bugs, Tasks, or Other Work Items.

  • Request feedback (Full): Opens the Feedback Request form to invite stakeholders to provide feedback. See Request and review feedback.

  • Go to project portal: Requires a project portal has been enabled for your team project. See Access a Team Project Portal or Process Guidance.

  • View reports: Requires Reporting to be enabled for the instance of TFS. See Add a report server.

  • Open new instance of Visual Studio: Opens an instance of Visual Studio 2012 and automatically connects to the team project context selected in TWA. Requires that you have a recent version of Visual Studio installed.

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  1. Open a browser window and type a URL that uses the following form, where ServerName is the name of the application tier for Team Foundation Server, and the default Port is 8080.

    http://ServerName:Port/tfs/

    For example, to connect to the server named FabrikamPrime, you would type http://FabrikamPrime:8080/tfs/. For more information, see Connect to Team Projects in Team Foundation Server.

  2. In the Windows Identity dialog box, enter your credentials and choose the OK button.

  3. From the server home page, choose a team project link from those displayed, or choose Browse all to choose a team project from all those hosted on the server.

You can use the following web browsers to access Team Web Access:

  • Internet Explorer, versions 8, 9, and 10

  • Mozilla Firefox, versions 3.5, 4.0, 5.0, and 6.0

  • Google Chrome, versions 15 and 16

  • Safari, version 4 and 5

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You can create a team to organize and track work for a smaller team within a larger organization. By default, each new team project corresponds to a team. You can work at the team project level, or define teams within the team project.

See the following topics: Collaborate and Collaborate (dig deeper).

By default, each team is associated with a team area. However, if your organization has several teams that work from a common backlog and across many product areas, you might want to decouple teams from area paths. See Customize a team project to support team fields.

You can use the Team Favorites area on the Home page to display a mini-dashboard of progress and quick access links. To learn more, see Add items to the team home page.

Manage team favorites

A work item is a database record that you use to track the assignment and progress of work. From the Work Items page, you can define new work items or define work items that automatically link to existing work items. You can create and organize work item queries to list and update work items. See Track Work and Manage Workflow and Add, Find, View, Update Status, and Modify a Work Item.

You can use different types of work items to track different types of work, such as product backlog items, user stories, requirements, bugs, and development tasks. The work item types available to you are based on the process template that was used to create your team project. You can learn more about each type of work item for the default process templates that ship with Visual Studio ALM from the following topics: Scrum Work Items, Agile Work Items, and CMMI Work Items.

You can add a hyperlink from a work item to a web page or a document on a web site. You can attach, open, and remove files such as email threads, documents, images, and log files from work items.

Team Web Access Home Page

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You use work item queries to generate a list of work items. You can build simple or complex queries to pinpoint the information that you need. Also, you can display results of a query as a flat list, or as a direct links or tree view that illustrates the linked associations or hierarchy among work items. You can also open the default shared queries provided with the process template used to create your team project. See Query for Bugs, Tasks, or Other Work Items.

Query tools

Query tools (Team Web Access)

For more information about default queries for the process templates that ship with Visual Studio ALM, see one of the following topics: Shared Queries (Scrum), Shared Queries (Agile), and Shared Queries (CMMI).

You can share work items and work item queries by using email or by posting a hyperlink that opens a work item or a work item query. You can organize team queries into folders and subfolders, and you can define who can view, modify, and delete these items.

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From the Source context you can perform the following tasks:

  • View, download, and compare version-controlled files. You can also view annotations and history. See Using Version Control.

  • Find and view changeset and shelveset details. Changesets describe the changes that were made to code before it is checked in. Shelvesets support code review before the code is checked in or temporarily store changes to code without checking in those changes. See Changesets and My Shelvesets.

  • Set a folder or subfolder as a Team Favorite.

From the Build context, you can view and manage your builds or all build definitions. You create a build definition to automate compiling applications, running associated tests, performing code analysis, releasing continuous builds, and publishing build reports. To build an application, you create a build definition to specify what projects to build, what triggers a build, what automated tests to run, and where to deploy the output. This information is stored in the data warehouse, from which it is retrieved when a build runs. After the build runs, data about the build results is stored back in the warehouse, where it is available to view through build reports.

You can use explorer to view builds that you have defined and run, and to manage the build queue, build controllers, and build qualities. For more information, see the following topics:

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From the Administration context, you can configure components that apply to TFS, a team project collection, a team project, or a team.

Choose the Settings icon Settings icon to access the Administration pages for TFS.

Choose the gear icon to open the administration

The actions that you can take differ depending on which of the following contexts you are in:

Server: Control Panel | Web Access | Extensions

Team Project Collection: Overview | Security

Team Project or Team: Overview | Iterations | Areas | Security | | Alerts

Depending on which context you are in and which permissions you have, you can choose one of the following tabs to configure the corresponding components:

  • Web Access to view and manage Web Access Permissions. See Change access levels.

  • Extensions to install a plug-in to Team Web Access. See Work Item Custom Control Development in TF Web Access 2012 - Deployment.

  • Overview for these purposes:

    • At the server context, you can view the team project collections and navigate to a team project collection.

    • At the team project collection context, you can view and navigate to a team project.

    • At the team project context, you can view and navigate to a team.

    • At the team context, you can add administrators, users, or groups to a team.

  • Areas or Iterations to configure the area paths or iteration paths and schedules for a team, or team project.

  • Security to configure permissions, to create a team, and to define groups and group membership for a team, team project, or team project collection.

  • Alerts to configure and manage email notifications for you or your team based on changes that occur to work items, items under version control, or builds.

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When changes occur in TFS, they can affect the freshness of the data that you access through TWA. Choose the Refresh Refresh icon to refresh the team project data cache to guarantee that you are working with current data. For more information, see Refresh Your Team Foundation Client.

You can update your profile, view your permissions, join or leave a team, and switch your current team context. See Change permission levels.

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