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Visual Studio Team Services Sprint 113 Improves PR Experience

Another month, another VSTS sprint. This one features a number of team-related pull request improvements and a more efficient package management UI.

Microsoft's Visual Studio team continues on with the next sprint release, number 113, of Visual Studio Team Services. This one mainly sports pull request and package management improvements, but there's also a number of other useful features being rolled out on the Web in the next few weeks.

"There's a bunch of nice improvements to the Pull Request experience – we continue to refine and evolve it," writes Microsoft's Brian Harry, in a blog post announcing the sprint last week. "We also did a "V2" overhaul of the package management UI."

Among the PR improvements is a streamlining of team notifications. It's in preview mode for now, but what happens is upon creation of a PR, an e-mail notification is automatically generated and sent to team members assigned to it. Afterward, PR updates will also generate an email to team members. Team notifications will also be available in the future for PRs meant for Azure Active Directory groups and teams that are part of AAD groups, according to the release notes.

Other PR improvements: fine-tune branch policy call to actions for PR authors and reviewers, and better resolving and filtering of comments within a PR; PR details view includes an Update tab that now shows force push and rebase changes; advanced filtering options for commit history results; trigger for GitHub-based PR builds (only works when source and target are on same repo, not forked ones).

The package management UI improvements that Harry also cites mainly have to do with performance. "We've updated the Package Management user experience to make it faster, address common user-reported issues, and make room for upcoming package lifecycle features," writes Jamie Cool, a VSTS Group Program Manager, in the release note.

Outside of those highlighted features are improvements to agent allocation and selection, automated test capabilities in the VS Test task, ability to create multiple task versions for custom extensions, and a cleanup feature for agent pools. For details on these, check out the release notes for VSTS Sprint 113 here.

About the Author

Michael Domingo is a long-time software publishing veteran, having started up and managed several developer publications for the Clipper compiler, Microsoft Access, and Visual Basic. He's also managed IT pubs for 1105 Media, including Microsoft Certified Professional Magazine and Virtualization Review before landing his current gig as Visual Studio Magazine Editor in Chief. Besides his publishing life, he's a professional photographer, whose work can be found by Googling domingophoto.

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