Working within Team Explorer

When you work within Visual Studio, you connect to Visual Studio Team Foundation Server (TFS) through Team Explorer to manage your work and access other resources configured for your team project. You can use Team Explorer to manage work that is assigned to you, your team, or your team projects, and to coordinate your efforts with other team members to develop a project. Team members who have appropriate permissions can use Team Explorer to find and update work items, work with version-controlled files and folders, access reports and documents, and work with product builds.

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As the following illustration shows, when you connect to TFS from Visual Studio, Team Explorer appears in a separate pane that you can pin, unpin, or dock. For more information, see Connect to Team Projects in Team Foundation Server.

Managing Work in Team Explorer

From the home page, you can choose one of the following pages or links to perform the corresponding tasks:

  • My Work icon My Work   Manage your work in progress, suspend your work, or request a code review of your work.

    Request Code Review   Initiate a code review of pending changes or a changeset.

  • Pending Changes icon Pending Changes   View pending changes in your workspace, associate changes with work items, work with shelvesets, resolve conflicts, and perform other common version control tasks.

    Source Control Explorer   Open a tab to access version control features in Team Foundation.

  • Work Items node Work Items   Add work items and view, create, and manage work item queries.

    New Query   Open the Query Editor.

  • Settings icon Settings Configure components shared in common within a team project or team project collection.

Also, you can access the following pages when the corresponding resources have been configured and enabled:

  • Builds Icon Builds   Create, modify, manage, and organize your build processes. You can also manage running and completed builds, as well as your build servers.

  • Document node Documents   View and manage shared documents and folders saved to the team project portal. This page is present only if your team project has been configured with a project portal that is based on SharePoint Products.

  • Report Reports   Share reports and include the reports that were uploaded during project creation. This page is present only if your team project has been configured with SQL Server Reporting Services.

Related topics: My Work | Request Code Review | Pending Changes | Source Control Explorer

Developers and testers can manage interrupt-driven tasks by using My Work to manage, suspend, and resume work in progress. In particular, as a developer you will find My Work helps you get back into “the zone” by allowing you to easily restore tool windows, breakpoints, file edits, and more when you resume a task that you were working on earlier. With Pending Changes, developers can conduct multi-party code reviews that include overall, file-level, and code block-level comments and the comparison of new code with existing code.

You can use Source Control Explorer to view and manage items under version control such as team projects, folders, and files. You use Source Control Explorer to accomplish the following tasks:

  • Browse team projects and workspaces to identify what is under Team Foundation version control.

  • View pending changes, undo or check in pending changes, and determine whether you have the latest version of an item copied to your local computer's workspace.

  • Perform various operations on folders and files, such as: get the latest or a specific version; check out for edit; lock and unlock; delete, undelete, rename, and move; view the history; compare versions; branch and merge; and view properties.

  • Resolve source control conflicts, shelve source control items, and apply labels to changesets.

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Related topics: Add, Find, View, Update Status, and Modify a Work Item | Link Work Items | Modify Multiple Work Items Using Excel

From the Work Items page, you can define new work items. You can use work items to track and manage your work and information about your team project. A work item is a database record that TFS uses to track the assignment and progress of work. You can use different types of work items to track different types of work, such as product backlog items, user stories, requirements, product 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.

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Related topics: Find Bugs, Tasks, and Other Work Items | Find Work Items by ID and by Using the Search Box | Sharing Work Items and Queries with Team Members

You can use the search box to specify work item IDs, keywords, phrases, variables, and shortcut identifiers to find work items. Searching is not case sensitive. From the Work Items page, you can view and define work item queries to track the status of an iteration or release, or generate a list to monitor or generate a report.

You can organize and share your personal queries and team queries by using folders and subfolders. You can set permissions on queries and folders that are created under Shared Queries to enable or restrict access.

You can send the details about a particular work item, a list of work items, or a work item query by email to team members, clients, or other interested parties. Also, you can create hyperlinks to these items that recipients can open, view, save, and modify, provided that they have the necessary access and permission to TFS.

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Related topics: New Build Definition | View My Builds | Manage Queue | Manage Build Controllers | Manage Build Qualities | Security

From the Builds page, 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 to run, 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.

Choose Manage Queue from the More menu on the Builds page to open Build Explorer. You can use Build Explorer to view builds that you have defined and run, and to manage the build queue, build controllers, and build qualities.

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Related topics: Manage Documents | Manage Reports

You can share documents and files that you want to make available to all team members by uploading them to the project portal for your team project. You can create document libraries and organize the files that you upload to your project portal within those libraries, in addition to folders and subfolders. The folders and subfolders always appear in alphabetical order. If you open the shortcut menu for Document node Documents, or any sub-folder, a series of commands appear, and you can use them to upload a document, add a folder, or perform cut, copy, paste, delete, or rename operations on a folder or document.

You can analyze the progress and quality of your project by using the reports in SQL Server Reporting Services. The Reports page provides a tree view of the various reports in your team project. If you double-click a report in Report Viewer, the report opens.

Note Note

The Documents page appears only when your team project has a project portal enabled and is associated with a SharePoint site. The Reports page appears only when the team project collection that contains your team project is provisioned with Reporting Services and your team project is enabled to display reports and dashboards. For more information, see Access a Team Project Portal and Process Guidance.

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Related topics: Security | Group Membership | Source Control | Work Item Areas | Work Item Iterations | Portal Settings | Project Alerts | Process Template Manager

Choose one of the following links on the Settings page to configure the corresponding components:

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

  • Source Control to configure the check-out settings, check-in policies, and check-in note requirements for your team project or team project collection.

  • Work Item Areas or Work Item Iterations to configure the area paths or iteration paths for a team project.

  • Portal Settings to determine or to enable the portal or process guidance for a team project.

  • Project Alerts to receive email notifications when changes occur to a work item that you created, when anything is checked in to version control, or when a build quality changes, a build completes, or a build that you defined completes. To specify team alerts, or to customize your alert settings, you can use Team Web Access. For more information, see Set Personal or Team Alerts.

  • Process Template Manager to download, upload, delete, or set a default process template.

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