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Visual Studio Online Sprint 98 Improves Number of Work Item Capabilities

Latest updates allows more incremental improvements to work items, such as alerts for keeping up with them and ability to move between projects, as well as the simple act of changing their types.

The Visual Studio team last week made a significant update to Visual Studio Online, dubbed Sprint 98. What's significant is a change in work item capabilities, plus the addition of Java project templates, and additional Xamarin support.

Of significance are work item improvements. "It's good to see that we knocked off 3 long standing requests with hundreds of votes each this sprint," writes Microsoft's Brian Harry, in a blog post. Specifically, he notes that the highest priorities ranked by UserVoice were work item types that can be converted to a different type and also moved between team projects, and alerts that can be added for work items in which changes occur.

A work item's type before the update, once entered into the system, couldn't be changed. Sometimes a user would enter a work item as an Issue, when it might actually be a Bug, for instance. Changes can also be done to multiple items or in bulk. A Change work item type dialog provides a comment box that allows for a note to be added to track why a work item's type was changed.

Another high-priority request was the ability to move one or several items between projects. Moving a work item will also move any revisions to the new project, and the work item will retain its original ID.

One other popular request was to allow an alert to be added to a work item when it undergoes any change to it. A Follow button now appears in the work item form, and when it's toggled on, a subwindow opens up for entering email information. (Toggling the Follow button turns off alerts immediately.)

Also new are the following:

  • Checklists: Titles are automatically hyperlinked, and checklists now provide a context menu for opening, editing, and deleting checklist items.
  • Build to Line number: Jump immediately to the line of code that's causing a build error just by clicking on the item in the error list.
  • Java Build templates: Now includes Ant, Maven, and Gradle build templates.

A number of other improvements are listed in the release notes here.

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