Early Overview: Kanban Board Configuration Export Extension


Many teams need to craft a customized version of their Kanban boards in Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS) and then use that board on other teams. Sometimes, the organization needs to enforce certain process standards. Other times, it may just be that teams want to emulate the great board layout of a successful team.

Whatever the reason, this functionality is a gap in VSTS. Enter the Rangers to fill the gap!

Planned v1

We are currently writing an extension for VSTS that would allow teams to apply their board configurations to other Kanban boards (with appropriate permissions, of course). Here’s how it will work:

Scenario – Team A tweaks their Kanban board in a special way. Once done, Team B can choose to copy A’s configuration to their own board. Alternately, A can push their board configuration to B’s board, such as for compliance reasons. It’s as easy as that.

To give everyone an idea of the user experience, let’s walk through some of the dialogs.

  • After you install the extension, you will see a new button that lets you kick off the process.
    Launch Button
  • Once selected, a dialog will ask whether you want to export or import a board configuration.
    Menu
  • Once you’ve made that selection, you will be able to choose the settings that you want to copy from (or to).
    Team From
  • One final dialog will summarize the choices you’ve made and the changes that are about to be made.  Since the old configuration will be clobbered in the process, a message warns you of this and gives you the chance to cancel the operation.  If you proceed, the changes are applied, and the new board configuration is in place and ready to go!
    Team From Warning

 

Future plans

Initially, only the above scenarios will be supported; however, future iterations of the extension will also allow teams to export their board configurations to a JSON file, which can then be imported by other teams.

  • To illustrate, you can see the additional JSON options here.
    Menu JSON
  • Once a JSON option is chosen, you’ll be able to choose the configuration file using a standard file dialog, after which the file is either saved (export) or applied to a board (import).
  • Another feature for the future is the ability to select portions of the board to import, such as the card, layout, or chart configuration.  Here is a sample of how this functionality will appear.
    Import Advanced

Meet the Team

Of course, this extension would not be possible without the tireless efforts of the great team of Rangers putting it together.  The team is comprised entirely of volunteers who are driven by their passion to bring great ALM processes and tools to everyone!

  • Jesse Houwing
  • Chris Mason
  • Gregory Ott
  • Tiago Pascoal
  • Prasanna Ramkumar
  • Kees Verhaar

We’d love your feedback

We are excited about bringing this new functionality to the community and hope that it meets an important need in a convenient way. We’d love to hear any thoughts you may have in the discussion below.

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