Git Experience Futures (January 2016)

Some exciting new features are coming to the Git experience over the next few months. In August, I wrote about upcoming features and most of them are available now, but a few have taken longer than we anticipated. This isn’t a comprehensive list of the Git enhancements we’re making, but it gives some specifics on the direction we’re going.

DONE: SSH Support for Git repos

We’re wrapping this up now. You can connect to any Team Services Git repo using an SSH key, which is very helpful if you develop on Linux or Mac. Just upload your personal SSH key and you’re ready to go.

DONE: GitFlow – Workitem linking

This experience makes it much easier to see the status of workitems as they’re being worked on. From each workitem you can create a branch, which creates a link between the workitem and branch. When you create a pull request for that branch it’s automatically linked to the workitem as well as the merge commit when you complete the pull request. This takes the hassle out of updating your workitems as they’re being developed.

DONE: GitFlow – New Branches Experience

The new experience is a dramatic improvement and makes it easier to find a branch, see status, and act on it.

Some of the new features are:

  1. “My branches” pivot to see all the branches you created
  2. “All branches” pivot with hierarchy. If you use GitFlow and organize your branches with a / (slash) we’ll treat that as a folder so it’s easy to work in a repo with lots of branches
  3. Fast filtering on branch names, even partial matches if you use a – (dash) or / (slash) in your branch name
  4. Pull requests status
  5. Easy access to common actions like delete (with undo!), rename, set policies, lock, view history, create branch, etc.

DONE: New Pull Request Experience

We’re wrapping up the new pull request list experience and adding more filters based on your requests.

After that, we’re redesigning the experience for individual pull requests. Some of the new features are:

  1. Updated look and feel
  2. Faster page loads
  3. More room for code, which is very helpful if you use side-by-side diffs
  4. Easy way to catchup on changes since the last time you viewed the pull request

DONE: New Git Commands in Visual Studio

Some of our top user voice requests are adding more Git features to Visual Studio. Our goal is to make Visual Studio simple and easy for people new to Git, while having the depth that Git enthusiasts want. The next step is adding support for reset (–hard and –mixed), cherry-pick, and staging.

DONE: New Getting Started Experience in Visual Studio

Setting up a Git repo in Visual Studio will be much easier. You can quickly add a Git repo to an existing solution or a new project, and Visual Studio will automatically commit your project files as well as .gitattributes and .gitignore files. Also, you can see your pending changes and outgoing commits in the status bar, next to the branch and repo selector that were added in VS 2015 Update 1. From there, it’s just one step to publish your repo.

In addition to these changes, we’ll continue to invest in our web experience to make it easier to use and faster. I hope you’re excited about these changes and please leave your thoughts in the comments, uservoice, and using the smiley face in the top right of your Team Services account.

Jeremy Epling