Choose the client to support your tasks
Updated: July 15, 2016
To build, plan, and track your software development project using Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS) or Visual Studio Team Foundation Server (TFS), you have the following choices of clients and tools. Each of these clients, except for PowerPoint Storyboarding, requires connecting the client to a team project. You create a team project in Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS) or an on-premises TFS.
Use a primary client to manage source code and builds, to plan and track progress using work items, and to collaborate and coordinate your efforts with other team members.
The following clients support specific tasks, such as managing testing efforts, providing feedback, or modifying work items.
The Team Foundation add-in that is installed when you install any edition of Visual Studio integrates work item tracking with select Office clients. The add-in supports Office 2007, Office 2010, or Office 2013 versions.
Use the following tables to choose the best client for the task you want to perform. Note that some tasks require that you have been granted Advanced access which provides access to all web portal features.
- Designed for the task
- Supports the task
- Requires Advanced access
Blank - Not applicable
Team Explorer Everywhere
Download source code as a Zip file
Team Explorer Everywhere
Add formulas to worksheets
Although you can’t open a query directly from the web portal, you can open Excel or Project and open a query that you created in the web portal.
To manage work item templates in Team Explorer, download TFS Power tools.
View and bulk modify hierarchical links (2)
Edit the link type of an existing link
Link source code to work items using My Work or Git
From the web portal, you can quickly map backlog items to portfolio backlog items. Mapping links work items using the parent-child link type. You can edit these link relationships in all other supported clients.
In Team Explorer, you can modify parent-child links by moving items in a tree list query. And in Excel and Project, you can modify parent-child links by cutting and pasting rows, inserting new rows, or indenting tasks (Project only).
When you link tasks in Project, you create predecessor-successor links between their corresponding TFS work items.
Microsoft Feedback Client
View a storyboard created with PowerPoint Storyboarding (2)
To request or respond to code reviews, install Visual Studio Premium or Visual Studio Ultimate. My Work appears in Team Explorer with these editions.
To create or view storyboards, you must have Microsoft PowerPoint installed.
Microsoft Test Manager
Project timeline (4)
Resource usage (4)
To create adhoc Excel reports, the team project collection that contains your team project must be provisioned with SQL Server Analysis Services, and you must be a member of the TfsWarehouseDataReader security role in Analysis Services.
To view SQL Server Report Server reports, the team project collection that contains your team project must be provisioned with SQL Server Reporting Services, and reports must be added to your team project. To view or create reports, you must be assigned SQL Server permissions.
To view SharePoint dashboards, your team project must have a project portal enabled, be associated with a SharePoint site, and have dashboards added to the site. Also, to view or customize dashboards, you must be assigned SharePoint permissions.
You can use the default reports available in Project to manage details that relate to task scheduling, task dependencies, and resource availability, while maintaining the data and making it available as work item tasks in TFS.
A: Yes. For details, see Requirements and compatibility.
A: Yes. You can provide access to stakeholders who have no CAL for the following activities:
Stakeholder access: This view allows anyone on your team to check project status and provide feedback. Stakeholders can track project priorities and provide direction, feature ideas, and business alignment to a team.
To grant stakeholders access, add them to the Stakeholder access group.
Provide feedback: To allow your stakeholders to provide feedback, you must grant them specific permissions.
View dashboards and reports: Depending on the resources configured for your team project, you might have a combination of reports and dashboards that you may want other members within your organization to access. For these stakeholders to view and refresh reports, you must assign them the required permissions.
A: Yes. You can find several open-source clients that have been added to Codeplex.
Also, Microsoft Visual Studio Team Foundation Server Power Tools provides enhancements, tools, and command-line utilities that support increased productivity.
And, the Team Foundation Administration Console connects to an on-premises TFS to support administrative tasks.