Do you find the work item tracking Query Builder easy to use?

Well, here at Microsoft, I use the query builder every day.  We’ve used a query builder like this to construct queries to find data in bug tracking systems internally for many years – so much so, that this has become second nature to us.

However, we’re wondering whether this really is the best UI metaphor for easily finding relevant work item data for the majority of scenarios, for our customers.  So I wanted to take a step back, and ask project managers and other TFS users among you out there:

  • What do you really think of the work item tracking query builder?

  • Do you find it easy or hard to use?

  • What kind of improvements/simplifications would you like to see in the query builder?

  • How would you like to query for/find relevant work item information?

Please let me know what YOU think of the query builder.

Comments (6)

  1. Larry Guger says:

    As a technical user I could always use more advanced features but trying to think of it from a less technical user, such as a project manager, or a business analyst I believe that it is a very good and powerful tool with one exception, grouping.  It always takes me a minute to remember how to group my conditions so that they become "ands" and "ors" rathar than just all "ands".  Improving that one aspect would make it much nicer.

  2. paso says:

    One thing that bothers me is that you always see all fields for every teamproject. Other features that would be nice: NOT operator, visibility of grouping clauses, creation of list for IN operator by selecting multiple fields from the dropdown list,  drop-down list for "Created By" and "Closed By" fields (this is currently not working; different from Assigned To; see:, search for from-to changes in field values; date period search (changed between 2 dates).

  3. vincent_the_cat says:

    We use the query builder to create group or private queries, as it was designed for, but one thing we miss is a multi-field search field. Sometimes you want to look for something, and you don’t know which field it should be in. The best thing would be if you could create a query which would return and show a subset of work items, and you could use a special field to search among them.

  4. Brian Harry on Work Item Creator is now on CodePlex. Jason Prickett on Visual Studio 2005 Client Starting…

  5. jbramwell says:

    The UI seems straight-forward enough to me.  However, one issue I’ve ran into in the past is the ability to query across revisions.  For example, I would like to be able to search the ‘History’ field across revisions – e.g. has the history ever contained certain text?

  6. Jesse Houwing says:

    One thing I;m really missing is the ability to have one query be a refinement of another  query. E.g. you define one query that shows all items, then 'inherit' from that query and apply additional filters, such as iteration and area.

    The biggest feature I'd like here is the ability to then update the parent query and have the changes reflected in all inheriting queries.