Build Notification Applet

Admittedly, our inclusion of continuous integration (build queuing, triggers and drop management) into the Orcas release was a bit rushed and we didn't have time to implement everything we wanted. One of the bigger omissions was a means of notifying the user about build events and making it easy for them to respond to those events.

Well, we've worked up an initial design for a notification applet that would run in your tray (er, I mean "notification area") and keep you up-to-date on the status of the build definitions you're interested in. Here's an annotated storyboard that walks you through the design. Please post comments here and let me know what you think. We haven't even started implementing this yet, so now is the time to give us feedback.

Build Notification Applet

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Comments (12)

  1. Jim Lamb on Continuous Integration and Build Notification Applet. Brian Harry on May DevDiv Dogfood…

  2. As Jim Lamb points out, one of the improvements we’d like to make to our upcoming release of continuous

  3. socko says:

    On a related note – it would be nice to have an RSS feed (as opposed to/in addition to email notification) for TFS notifications. This might be more valuable for check-ins and work item changes, as a project manager to "queue" up notifications that I might not be able to see in real-time in my task bar but want to see.

  4. Buck Hodges says:

    socko, there are RSS feed generators for TFS version control, work item tracking, and build:


  5. Buck Hodges says:

    Jim Lamb has posted a couple of specs recently. The first is a Windows tray app that notifies you when

  6. ericmatz says:

    What I’d love to see is a "Deploy To->" menu item in that notification popup.  That, of course, will require some additional features in TFS that I hope are coming soon. 🙂

  7. keith_hill says:

    Two comments.  I didn’t see a way to "Force a Build" which is something we use fairly often with CC tray.  I also didn’t see a way to monitor builds from mutiple TF servers.  Other than that, it looks pretty slick. Oh yeah, make sure the overlays on the icon will be discrernable on a tray that has a dark background. I worry that it will be too hard to tell if a build is broken or not on my Zune themed desktop.

  8. davidacoder says:

    I like the general idea, but I think putting a permanent ico into the notification area is really not in lign with the UI guidelines. I know, everyone else violates them all the time as well, but you can be better, right?

    In particular: Only show an icon, when there was an event, not to show the current status. If you want a piece of UI that gives a permanent sight into the build status, why not design a Gadget for that? It can hold a lot more information and it would be a much more appropriate place to put such information.

  9. Jim Lamb says:

    Thanks everyone for your feedback. I’ve updated the specification and I’ve included some responses to your specific feedback here:

    ericmatz: I agree that a "Deploy To ->" menu item would be a terrific addition. As you remarked, there’s a significant set of additional work required to make that possible. I’m afraid I can’t comment on that just yet.

    keith hill: I’ve updated the specification to include a way of queueing a build from the build status window. You’ll notice that the configuration dialog now lets you select build definitions across multiple Team Foundation Servers.

    davidacoder: Point taken. I’ve also put together a sidebar gadget, but haven’t published it yet. Currently it doesn’t offer any information about queued or running builds, just completed build status. It’s challenging to fit an informative view into the sidebar’s real estate.

    Thanks! – Jim

  10. Jim Lamp stellt die Spezifikation für ein Build Notification Applet für Team Foundation Server vor. Feedback

  11. Jim Lamp stellt die Spezifikation für ein Build Notification Applet für Team Foundation Server vor. Feedback

  12. Buck Hodges says:

    We would have loved to have included in TFS 2008 a build notification tray applet along the lines of

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