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Visual Studio Team Services Runs Right Along at 115

Like clockwork, the Visual Studio team has Visual Studio Team Services rolling out with Sprint 115, with improvements in pull requests and the package management UI, and lots of progress in automation via DevOps.

Like clockwork, the Visual Studio team has Visual Studio Team Services rolling out with Sprint 115 in the next few weeks. The roadmap that the team publishes indicates that we should see more improvements in pull requests and code review, a refreshed package management UI, and lots of progress in automation via DevOps.

Microsoft's Brian Harry notes in his blog posted Thursday that "As usual, this is a forewarning of the changes, it could take up to 2 weeks before all the changes are visible in your account.  The update should go live in the first public accounts today."

Before we look at the highlights from the release notes, Harry notes in his blog two other areas of improvement that you won't see much about in the release notes: compliance and accessibility.

He said that those using Sprint 115 will at some point see some of the PR-CI-Test-Release pipeline improvements that internal teams have been using to maintain more code conformity, particularly with "the PR review policy changes and the Release management initiator/approver role segmentation" as two examples.

As for accessibility, Harry said that it was the work of a blind engineer who some months ago demonstrated to his team how much of the VSTS environment he was capable of using. "I have to say it was a humbling experience for me," he admitted. "We kicked off a significant effort across the product to substantially improve and it's already getting much better."

Now, on to some of the highlights of this sprint:

  • Pull requests and code review: Search can now be filtered by author or reviewer; a new Reason field will pop up if a user tries to bypass a PR; able to add a commit directly to a tag; commit list view now has a context menu with options for creating tags and new branches; Changeset and Shelveset pages include accessibility improvements and has new header with title and author details; ability to import from TFVC to Git repos.
  • Package Management UI: npm packages with a README.md file can be viewed in VSTS; download button in command bar allows for immediate download of npm packages; package versions are now available in a dropdown menu; package commands are relocated to top right, with less-used commands inserted into a menu to tidy up the page.
  • DevOps: Ability to configure Azure App Service from any Git repo used to manage code; deployment requester and approver duties are now separated from each other; set threshold for parallel deployments.

More details for these and other improvements in VSTS Sprint 115 is in the release notes 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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