Library of tooling and guidance solutions (

A library of out-of-band tooling and practical guidance, extensions,  and community solutions. You can get information about new features and bug fixes included in the releases here.

Extensions | Guidance and Tooling | Community Solutions | Retired Guidance and Tooling


Library of Visual Studio and Visual Studio Team Services Extensions.

Branch Visualization

clip_image001[1] | Allows you to visualize your Team Foundation Version Control (TFVC) branches for your current project.

Build Usage

See how many build minutes are being used by users, build definitions, team projects and more.

Countdown Widget

clip_image001[1] image | Counts down to a configurable moment in time.

File Owner

image | Simplifies the process of determining ownership of a file.

Folder Management

clip_image001[1] image | Create a folder in your source repositories from the web. No need to clone the repository or install extra tools.

Print Cards

clip_image002[1] image | Print cards from your Kanban board for use on a physical board.

Roll-up Board Widget

image | The widget shows the number of cards in each column of the Kanban board.

Sample Data

clip_image001[1] image | Ever needed to have sample data to try things out on? Want to explore what Visual Studio Team Services can do? This extension lets you create and remove sample work item data in your project.

Show area path dependencies

clip_image00111 image | Show area path dependencies a team has with other teams.

Test Case Explorer

An extension to explore test cases.

Work Item Details

image | View Details of work item(s) on your dashboard

Work Item Visualization

clip_image003[1] | Visualize relationships between work items from within the work item form.

Guidance and Tooling

Library of guidance and gap-filling solutions.

AAD OAuth2 provider for SonarQube

This plug-in enables Azure Active Directory (AAD) users to automatically be sign up (a login is created if they don’t have one already) and authenticated on a SonarQube server.

Artifacts and guidamce for Azure DevTest Labs

This practical guidance explores how to extend the lab and how to practically deploy it in a DevOps environment, based on a number of lab artifacts.
Assets: Install Google Chrome, JDKs for Linux, Set up Web Deploy server, Install Sublime Text, Install Slack, NPM Package, Selenium Grid, Apt-Get, Yum Package, gVim (Cream) for Windows

Breakpoint Generator

clip_image001[1] | Automatically generate breakpoints for all the public entry points in your solution.

Extracting effective permissions from TFS

This practical guidance and sample code is based on extensive research to address two of the commonly heard requests on Team Foundation Server security:

  1. Report on the effective permissions of a TFS user/group.
  2. Report on security auditing for TFS.

The Extracting effective permissions whitepaper and sample code been released. The Security auditing whitepaper and sample code is available, but will not be released publically as the sample may have performance implications and is not supported by Microsoft. If you need information on the auditing research, please contact the ALM Rangers.

Migration of release management assets from RM server to VSTS

clip_image001 image | Migrate assets from 2015 or 2013 U4 RM server to 2015 TFS server, and start using the Release hub in Team Web Access.

Technical Debt Management / SonarQube (

SonarQube Installation Guide, which explains how to set up a production ready SonarQube installation to be used in conjunction with Team Foundation Server 2013 to analyse .Net apps.

Supporting blog posts and articles: Integrating SonarQube and Reporting Services, Manage Technical Debt with SonarQube and TFS, by Cesar Brito and Hosam Kamel

TFS Planning, Disaster Avoidance and Recovery, and TFS on Azure Iaas Guide

Practical guidance for the implementation and disaster recovery planning for Team Foundation Server. v1.4 and higher also include practical guidance on TFS on Azure IaaS planning and implementation.

Version Control (ex Branching and Merging) Guide

Practical guidance for branching and merging strategies on Team Foundation Server. Also refer to the Ranger Quick Response Sample Solutions if you have a need to implement a consistent branching model as part of team project or team creation process, which complies with this guidance.

Community Solutions

Delivered by the ALM community with collaboration and support from the ALM Rangers. They are not required to meet ALM Rangers quality standards, allowing the community project team to also be creative, agile, and responsive to community needs. Also refer to VS and TFS community widgets ( for more community widgets.

Extensions – Visual Studio Team Services

Enhance Export

Export work item queries and test plans to word direct from the web, without client installs and moving templates files between computers.

New Relic Record Deployment

New Build/Release task to record deployment event securely to your New Relic account with a new dedicated endpoint type.

Export as PDF

Export build definition as neatly formatted PDF. View all your build defintion details at once instead of navigating between steps or tabs.

Requirements Integrator

A requirements management and integration tool for Visual Studio Team Services.

State visualization of work items

clip_image004[1] | Add the ability to view the state model for a selected work item type.

Scrum Report

Scrumary report for your daily scrums.

Team Rooms Summary

Shows a summary of the activity in all the team rooms that you are a part of.

Toggl Button

VSTS and integration.

Welcome Email

clip_image005 | Send a welcome email to an individual or the entire team.

Work Item Details

View Details of work item(s) on your dashboard

Extensions – Visual Studio


This is the MyHistory Team Explorer extension originally provided as a sample in the June 2013 MSDN Magazine article – Extending Visual Studio Team Explorer 2012


VS Online news and updates inside Visual Studio.

TFS Community Branch Tool

The TFS Community Branch Tool Visual Studio Extension is based on the ALM Rangers Quick Response Sample ALM Rangers Branch Tool vs extension. The goal is to provide a tool to automate branching task in the ALM Rangers branching guidance.

TFS Team Rooms

Access Team Rooms inside Visual Studio.

Work Item Field History

This package audits a specific field of a work item, showing only the revisions in which its value has changed.


Flight Plan Board

An innovative visualisation project, started by Robert and Gordon as part of the ALM Rangers Community and their continuous visualisation and technology research and collaboration initiative. Store.

TFS 2012 Community Tfs Team Tools

Community TFS Team Tools is a community project based on the example code from ALM Rangers – Quick Response Sample Command line utility to manage TFS Teams Quick Response Sample – Command line utility to manage Team Foundation Server Teams and Users

TFS Work Item Morphing

In Team Foundation Server (TFS) it is not possible to change Process Template on an active project which contains many WorkItems data. To address this specific issue, we have developed an application called TFS Morphing. Purpose of this tool is to perform “In Place Conversion” of data from one format to another.

VmFactory Visual Studio Community

Solution that automates the creation of Microsoft environments, in particular Visual Studio and Team Foundation Server. Transferred from the Visual Studio and TFS VM Factory Guide project.

Retired Guidance and Tooling

Shared “as is”. No bug fixes, new features or updates planned.

ALM Assessment Guidance

Although the pace of new development technologies, processes and tools present a big challenge to keep up with, software quality has its roots in Application Lifecycle Best Practices, which is usually independent from the latter. Are you consulting or part of an organization which is constantly under release stress? Are you experiencing issues that make you and your developers less productive? You know that there are issues and potential for improvement but you don’t know where to start? Then Rangers ALM Assessment is exactly for you.

Also see DevOps Self Assessment and ALM Catalyst Assessment.

ALM Rangers Personas and Customer Types

Common definition of personas and scenarios used in Visual Studio ALM Rangers guidance.

ALM Rangers DevOps Workbench

DevOps Deployment guidance is based around build once, and deploy to multiple environments.  The ALM Rangers introduced the DevOps Workbench sample companion solution and practical guidance in collaboration with the Patterns & Practices book Building a Release Pipeline with TFS , as a great way to start learning the concepts of DevOps & Release Management for TFS 2012 and to kick the tires.

ALM Readiness Treasure Map

Provides a master catalogue (treasure map) of the available ALM Readiness content to guide us through the process of becoming proficient in ALM practices. Get the paper based map and sample source code from CodePlex and the application from the Store. See for more information.

BRDLite Reference Templates

The Build Release and Deploy (BRD) Lite is a set of build process reference templates that allows you to quickly setup a real-world build process in your environment. Also see Team Foundation Build Customization Guide and ALM Rangers DevOps for guidance.

Building a Release Pipeline with Team Foundation Server

Demonstrates how to build a release pipeline with Team Foundation Server. It uses an iterative approach that begins with a flawed pipeline and ends with one that has automation, parallel stages, and monitoring. A collaboration between p&p and the ALM Rangers.

Config as Code for DevOps and ALM practitioners

This guidance delivers practical, scenario-based guidance for the use of PowerShell desired state configuration (DSC) to design, develop and deploy custom configuration as code resources. We guide you through the basics and practical walkthroughs, based on a real-world proof-of-concept deployments and experience from the ALM Rangers.

Continuous Testing – A practical guide with concepts and approaches

clip_image001[1] | In the new DevOps Culture, it is becoming increasingly important to react to the customer feedback quickly and ship quality product – quality is the key. One of the best practices to achieve or maintain quality is thru “Test Automation”. There are many benefits of test automation measuring quality, avoid regressions in a timely fashion and in turn help ship a high quality product that can keep happy customers. Automation has to be done in the right way and right time or else it can negatively impact productivity or quality. .

Device Testing

Perfecto Mobile’s unique cloud-based approach to mobile quality enablement, based on real devices and powerful ScriptOnce automation capabilities, complements Microsoft’s vision for and end-to-end mobile ALM.  This project contains an overview poster, a practical guidance document, and a hands on lab that will enable understanding of the integration of the Perfecto MobileCloud for TFS and Visual Studio 2012 and Team Foundation Server.

Lab Management Guide

Practical guidance for VS Lab Management .

Operations Guidance for Team Foundation Server

You can manage your deployment of Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Team Foundation Server more effectively if you create your own operations plan. As you create your plan, you should understand key elements of the architecture of Team Foundation Server and how your deployment topology affects operations. This white paper explains those elements in detail, so that you can avoid common problems with your deployment.

Practical Kanban Guide

Offers teams that are new to Kanban and teams that are using a manual, paper-based Kanban board, guidance and tool support for Kanban in Team Foundation Server 2010 and Team Foundation Server 2012.

NOTE – The kanban board has been added as a feature to TFS 2012 Update 2 which is available for download as a preview. The feature provides all the same functionality that was provided by this CodePlex project, including several additional advantages.

Practical Ruck Guide

The Visual Studio ALM Rangers Ruck process evolved and used by the geographically dispersed and virtual ALM Rangers project teams.

Project Server 2007 VSTS Connector

The Visual Studio Team System Project Server 2007 Connector is designed to integrate the project management capabilities of VSTS with Project Server 2007. It’s been developed by the Visual Studio Team System Rangers in response to significant customer demand for a connector solution.

Requirements Management

The 2008 version was about general requirements management best practices and the best you can do with our current tooling to support these best practices. The 2010 is part 2 of this Ranger guidance focusing on new features of 2010 and how these features deliver better support for our RM best practices.

SharePoint Server Custom Application Development: Document Workflow Management Project

SQL Load Test

This tool takes a SQL Profiler trace file and generates a unit test that replays the same sequence of database calls found in the trace file. The unit test is designed to be used in a Visual Studio Load Test. The code generated is easily modifiable so that data variation can be introduced for the purpose of doing performance testing.

Team Foundation Build Guidance

Includes hands-on lab guidance for the customization, deployment of Team Foundation Build.

Also see BRDLite Reference Templates for reference templates.

Test Planning and Management Guide

Scenario based and practical guidance for test planning and management of test plans, test cases and shared steps when going to the next sprint, next release and when working with multiple code branches.

TFS 2010 Monitoring Management Pack

The Team Foundation Server 2010 Monitoring Management Pack delivers the capabilities for professional monitoring and management of Team Foundation Server 2010 infrastructure components.

TFS Branch Tool

Implement a consistent branching model as part of team project or team creation process, that complies with the Branching and Merging Guide .

TFS Integration Platform

The TFS Integration Platform is a project that facilitates the development of tools that integrate TFS with other systems. Also see TOC blog.

TFS Process Template Customisation Guide

Practical guidance for Work Item Tracking (WIT) and Process Template customizations.

TFS Teams Tool

Command line utility, such as TFSSecurity .exe , to add Teams and Team members to a Team Project.

TFS Reporting Guide

Focused on providing practical guidance and a reference solution to enable Team Foundation Service users to create a tabular store model and generate reports based on WIT data, and to enable TFS users to create valuable reports using the TFS Data Warehouse, based on real-world scenarios.

NOTE – Trend Charts have been added as a feature to Visual Studio Team Services Update on 21 July 2014 and Microsoft Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2013 with Update 4. The feature provides all the same functionality that was provided by this CodePlex project, including several additional advantages.

TFS Upgrade Guide

Upgrade scenarios and post-upgrade issues for Team Foundation Server and associated technologies. With the v4 release for TFS 2015, the main-stream guidance has been merged with product documentation and out-of-band, field-experience guidance moved to the Rangers team blog.

MSDN: Upgrade your deployment to the latest version of TFS

Blog posts: New Elements of TFS 2015 that influence an upgrade, Short Lead Checklist, Long Lead Preparations, Long Lead Checklist, Post Upgrade Checklist

TFS Word Add-In

The Team Foundation Server Word Add-in sample allows you to import work items from a Team Foundation Server Team Project and generate professional-looking Word document from TFS Work items.

Understanding TFS migrations from on-premises to VSTS

In these guides we discuss guidance for understanding, planning, and implementing migrations from TFS to Visual Studio Team Services.

Unit Test Generator

Once you’ve moved to Visual Studio 2012, what’s a dev to do without the Create Unit Tests feature? Based on the high demand on User Voice for this feature to be restored, the Visual Studio ALM Rangers have introduced the Unit Test Generator Visual Studio Extension. The extension adds the “create unit test” feature back, with a focus on automating project creation, adding references and generating stubs, extensibility, and targeting of multiple test frameworks.We envision the following benefits for the Visual Studio community:

  • Quickly get to writing test code, not having to worry about setting up projects and files.
  • Customize the unit test code generation using a context menu, ensuring that generated tests better match your naming schemes.
  • Generate unit test stubs against multiple frameworks so that you can use any framework you like.

Using TFS to Develop Custom SharePoint Products and Technologies Applications

Use Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 Team Foundation Server to support SharePoint application development, and provide an integrated development environment and single source code repository for process activities, integrated progress reporting, and team role.

Visual Studio and TFS VM Factory Guide

Guidance and a reference implementation of a software solution that automates the creation of Microsoft environments, in particular Visual Studio and Team Foundation Server. Transferred to the VmFactory Visual Studio Community project.

Visual Studio Architecture Tooling Guide

Focuses on modeling tools and includes understanding and reverse engineering an existing application or starting a new application from scratch.

Visual Studio Coded UI Microsoft Word Add-in

Practical guidance and tooling for the Visual Studio Coded UI Microsoft Word Plug-in, which extends the Coded UI feature support to Microsoft Word documents. 2012.03 v1.0 | 2012.07 v2.0

Visual Studio Database Guide

Practical guidance for Visual Studio 2010 database projects.

Visual Studio Performance Quick Reference Guide

The purpose of this project is to build some insightful and practical guidance around Visual Studio Team Test.

Visual Studio Test Tooling Guides

A range of Microsoft Test manager, CodedUI, and IntelliTrace guidance.

Visual Studio Quick Reference Guide

An overview of Visual Studio and Team Foundation Server in the form of compact, quick reference sheets. Users who are unfamiliar with Visual Studio get a “quick” overview of features, value and associated Rangers guidance.

WCF Load Test

This tool takes a WCF trace file and a WCF client proxy, or a WCF interface contract, and generates a unit test that replays the same sequence of calls found in the trace file. The code generated is easily modifiable so that data variation can be introduced for the purpose of doing performance testing.


Are we missing any solution in this consolidated library? If yes, please contact us with the details.

For a list of contributors for these solutions please visit Contributors of tooling and guidance solutions (

Comments (1)

  1. Josh Garverick says:

    The new look is very smooth.  I like it.  🙂