New with the July CTP – Query Bound Lists in Excel

I wanted to blog about this because it is one of those features that is really useful in day-to-day use, but can get lost in the hype of a major new product release.

First introduced in the July CTP build of Visual Studio Team System, query bound lists are an enhancement to the integration between Microsoft Excel and Visual Studio Team System.

If you aren’t familiar with the integration between Microsoft Excel and Visual Studio Team System, the videos here are a great introduction.

This integration allows me to create a list in Excel that is bound to data stored in Team Foundation Server.  The problem in Beta 2 was that when I synchronized my list, I only got an update of the items in that list.  If any new items were added that I might be interested in, they wouldn’t show up in my list.  This changes with the July CTP; with this build, I can create my list by specifying a query:

That creates a list that looks like:

I can use this list to enter bugs and publish them if I like:

But, with query bound lists, I can also pick up any changes that match my query.  So if someone creates a bug in Visual Studio Team System:

I’ll be able to pick up the change when I refresh my Excel list.