Reporting in Team Foundation Server 2010 – Part 8: Custom Reports: Options & Tools

In my last post in this series I covered the new feature for generating reports in Microsoft Excel based on work item query. Let’s look at custom report authoring options available and a few tools next:

  • Walkthroughs for out-of-the-box experience including customizations
    • SharePoint Dashboard
    • Rich SQL Reporting Services Reports
    • Excel Reports from Work Item Queries
  • Custom report authoring tools and walkthroughs
    • Options and tools
    • Custom report in Excel walkthrough
    • Custom report in Report Builder walkthrough
    • Relational reporting
  • An overview of the reporting architecture

As we saw in the previous posts in this series, we ship a lot of useful reports and dashboards out-of-the-box in TFS 2010. In addition, we do open up several options for building your own reports specific to your organizational needs:

  • Ad-hoc Excel reports
  • Custom SQL Server Reporting Services  (SSRS) reports
  • Relational reporting
    • This is a new option that is officially supported in 2010. I’ll cover more about what this means to you in a subsequent post.

Here’s a look at report authoring tools and how they stack up in terms of the power and complexity. I’ve also outlined some of the options for sharing custom reports built using these tools in the image below.

  • Excel
    • This is the easiest option for getting started and is plenty powerful for most purposes and available in a tool you are already familiar with.
  • Report Builder
  • BIDS
    • This is as powerful as it gets for a report authoring tool and is a development tool available with your SQL Server installation.


Let’s pivot the tool choice and look at the options based on the kind of reports you can author using these tools:




We ship Excel reports that are available on the SharePoint Server dashboards built in Excel and we also use BIDS to build a few complex SSRS reports like Stories Overview report that’s available in the Agile 5.0 template.

In my next post I’ll cover a walkthrough for building a custom report in Excel. If you have questions or feedback please leave me a comment or send me an email at sunder.raman at

Comments (7)
  1. Dave says:

    Hey Sunder,

    First of all I just wanted to say that your posts have all been very informative and easy to pick up.

    In spite of this i was just wondering if the follow up on this was ever created, couldn't find anything on your blog. This sounds like a very interesting post which i would love to get more info on.



  2. Sunder Raman says:

    Hi Dave,

    You are right – I haven't had a chance to publish the rest of the series. Been working on a new area for a few months, but I will complete this series soon.


  3. MsdnMonkey says:


    Thanks for this very useful post series.

    I'm still waiting for the last parts though.

    By when do you think you can make them available?


  4. Jim Erwin says:

    Hi Sunder,

    I am just echoing everyone else's requests for the follow-up posts. Thanks for the efforts so far and I look forward to seeing the remainder of the series.

  5. Sunder Raman says:

    Thanks for the interest, folks. I am not working on TFS any more and I moved into a different product team at Microsoft. That's the reason why I didn't get to finishing this series. But, since there is so much interest I will post the rest of them this week.



  6. Stephen says:

    I would love to see the rest of these posts.  They look like they could help me figure out reporting on TFS.

  7. Vik says:

    I too would love to see the rest of the posts.

Comments are closed.

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