Today we are releasing the “final” TFS 2008 based release of the Web Access Power Tool. I put “final” in quotes because the release model for Power Tools is a little different than for our major product versions. Rather than releasing “big” releases every couple of years, we release smaller ones as needed. So I fully expect there will be a few updates to the current tool before the Rosario version ships.
This final release is very similar the the last CTP we released but is now complete and ready for prime time. In addition to fixing as many bugs as we could find, this new release of Web Access includes:
New linkable web pages – This is, perhaps, the coolest feature in the release. It allows you to easily link to work items, work item queries, work item query results, Changesets, File/Folder history, file differences, file contents and annotated views of files. This makes TSWA a far more powerful building block for integration with other applications. In fact, we’ve already started work to leverage this from notification emails so that you can get a richer experience. Because the notification emails are user configurable, you can read Neno Loje‘s poston how to modify work item alert emails to use TSWA links. Look forward to some future suggestions on how you can customize your checkin notification to get a richer experience using TSWA. See Buck’s post for details on how to use the new TSWA links.
Custom work item controls – Web Access now supports custom work item controls. Now it is possible to create a rich client version and a web version of custom work item controls and have your fully customized experience available no matter which interface your users access. You’ll find documentation for writing custom controls in the SDK folder under you TSWA installation folder.
Team Build support – Web Access has been updated to support several of the new features in TFS 2008 for build automation. Most importantly, it allows you to view the queue of builds and queue new builds.
Performance improvements – Every release of Web Access includes more performance improvements. The more we use the tool internally, the more we learn about it. Every time we find issues, we fix them and release them to you as soon as possible. The big performance improvements in this release are around server memory consumption.
No more TSWA users group – The 2005 Power Tool required that you manage a user group of web access users for security reasons. We’ve improved the server side impersonation and directory management to eliminate the need for this. TSWA can now manage access securely just using the permission settings you already have and no longer requires a “special” restricted group. This should make managing TSWA easier.
Documentation – It’s not extensive but should be enough for you to find your way around TSWA. You’ll find it located here: http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb892990(VS.90).aspx