Visual Studio Team Foundation Server Feature Requests

I find it difficult to manage many Shared Queries in the work item tracker of VSTF. Sometimes I want to save my ad-hoc query for distribution to a small set of people (maybe just a peer even), but find no way to really make that easy except for sharing the query with the entire team. Even there, you could have hundreds of queries with no real way to group them, so you have to get creative with the naming.


Scenario: I am in a meeting and I need to quickly query WIT to respond to a question. If I do not have an instance of Visual Studio running on my laptop, I would need to start one up (alternate: MSTSC in to my primary development workstation and open a new VSTS instance there) and wait for it to connect to VSTF. Then I would need to hunt down the query, or create a new query based on the criteria, then wait for the results. After I get my results and present them verbally, Bob, a peer developer, also wants to see the results and other various details that I didn't explicitly communicate in my answer. I would have to save my query as a shared query and give him the name so he could hunt it down.


Features I want:

  1. An easy way to share WIQL queries with team members as an external file that can be executed by anyone that has read access to the team foundation server.

    • Value Propositions

      • Queries can be shared easily with users who do not actively watch a VSTF WIT database
      • Queries can be stored outside of VSTF (email, SharePoint, etc.)
        Update: this is possible in a limited fashion and is hidden away. When creating a VSTS query, you can File -> Save As... to save it as a file directly. You cannot, however, export an existing query directly to a file. You must open the query, modify it, change it back to the way it was (i.e. add a clause then remove it) then do a File -> Safe As... and save it as a file.

  2. A way to organize the work item queries into folders and, for shared queries, adjust permissions on a folder level based on TFS or Windows security group

    • Value Propositions:

      • Enhanced organization allows users to find relevant information quickly
      • Security lock down can prevent unauthorized editing of a query (i.e. only the triage team can create, update, or delete triage queries)

  3. Functionality to search by query name, creator, last updated, etc.

    • Value Proposition:

      • If my team instance has many WIT folders or queries I may need to locate a query quickly and easily
      • May wish to check for duplicate query name or search for a query that already has similar functionality that I can copy then modify for my purposes (find query from last release containing known issues and copy that to a new query so I can change the version, etc. for a new known issues query).



  1. Users can update existing VSTF, or create new VSTF instances and/or installations without breaking changes


IMHO if we coupled this with a command line tool that I previously proposed some users would not need Visual Studio or Office at all to manage the queries which would be nice.


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