Welcome to the Work Item Visualization Web project. This is the fourth incarnation of the ability to view work items and their relationships. In 2010 it was a stand-alone application that generated DGML but that required Visual Studio Ultimate to view it. Next, in 2012 was an add-in directly to Visual Studio Ultimate that allowed the use of the progression technology but it had some issues. Some updates were made for Visual Studio 2013 but that still required Ultimate. Today, is the introduction of a web based version of this tool. There will most likely be many updates to this as it is in the fledgling stages but it has great promise and is available to anyone who has a Team Foundation Server Client Access License (CAL).
While this is being published under my name, this application was built by myself, a fellow ALM MVP Ahmed Al-Asaad from Canada and Vinicius Scardazzi from Brazil. I get to say that this was a true multi-national effort! The application wouldn't exist without both of them.
In the download is an Installation Instructions.txt file. Please read it. It's a standard ASP.NET MVC website but it requires the TFS 2013 Object Model to be installed on the web server. Instructions for the complete setup are in this file. We will be working on the installation experience in future updates.
In this version, Visual Studio Online and On Premises implementations of Team Foundation Server can be traced. The login screen defaults to the Visual Studio Online login page which requires that you provide a username and password - this means that you must have alternate credentials enabled. For more on this see and enabling alternate credentials, see this linkhere. For use on premises, no credentials are required.
A word of caution, these credentials are sent from the client to the work item visualization website in clear text. It is highly recommended that you set up the work item visualization website to use https.
There are three core capabilities of Version 1 - tracing a single work item, exploring a work item and creating a diagram of the work item states.
Tracing accepts a single work item ID and traces all related work items constrained to the scope selected on the filter bar (trace links in a forward/reverse direction, include related links (flat links), include source code and include test results). This is the simplest approach and there are no other options.
Please note that in this first version it may take a while to return large sets of work items (over 300+ takes a fairly long time) and this has to do with the need to traverse every single work item in the chain. We are examining ways to improve this performance. The default scope is to retrieve as few work items as possible.
This option was designed to alleviate some of the performance issues noted in the Tracing capability but also allows for a more focused approach to showing the relationships between work items. This provides the most equivalent capabilities to the architecture explorer progression capability.
Explore accepts a single work item ID and returns just that work item. From that point on the work item can be drilled into as in the following image.
In this mode the visualization website will only return the work items directly related to the work item being expanded.
You may have noticed that in Team Web Access state diagrams can no longer be generated. They can still be generated from SharePoint if that is implemented as part of the TFS installation but they are static graphics that can't be moved around and they don't describe the affected fields. On the States page, simply click Load WITs (Work Item Types), select the work item type to diagram from the upper right (once the Generate button becomes enabled - yeah, we know, we're thinking about ways to change this behavior) and click Generate. What results is similar to the following:
Limitations in Release 1
The following are items that are on the backlog for future work (no timeframe on this right now):
We want your feedback!
As this is the release 1.0 and we intend to continue to extend it, add additional features and make it better (there are a lot of items on the backlog - too numerous to mention here), we want to know what you think. How are you using it? What could make it better and easier? Some of the suggestions will have to wait on capabilities being made available through TFS itself, but everything else we will take a look at. And I will respond to all comments and suggestions made here.
While I have recently joined Microsoft, this application is my own work and that of my peers and done on our own time. It is in no way supported by Microsoft or part of any official product suite. It is simply a free add-on provided as-is because we thought it would be useful to the users of Team Foundation Server at large.