TFSPreview update

Brian Harry

Last week we rolled out an update to TFSPreview.  The majority of it was underlying plumbing changes to improve operations, diagnostics, cost, etc.  As we roll off our TFS 11 work, we’ll see more and more of our effort show up as new service capabilities.  That will mean more improvements, faster.

The two biggest things we did in this latest release were:

  1. Rewire some plumbing for the build service to reduce the amount of time it takes for a hosted build to start.  There used to be some queue delay but now it should generally get started faster
  2. Implement some capabilities that will ultimately allow us to have different levels of quality of service for different customers and overall increase the density, lowering our costs.

But beyond that, there were a few visible changes as well.

  • Some styling changes – particularly around sign in/out.  This is a tiny glimpse into a much bigger set of changes that are on the way.  Here’s what the sign in screen looks like.

Image 5383 logout thumb 46433A32

  • Keyboard control for the backlog –  You can now hold down the Alt key and use the up and down arrows to reorder items on the backlog.
  • Better touch support for the task board – Tiles are now single click enabled and, in general, we made the taskboard much more touch friendly.
  • Filtering of areas & iterations – It’s a small thing for most people but now, when you are configuring your areas and iterations on a large project, you can filter them to just those that are relevant for your team.
  • No more identity provider screen – You used to get a screen to choose the identity provider – with only LiveID as an option.  Seems kind of silly.  Now we just skip that screen in many scenarios (though not the logout flow where I took the screenshot above).  This has highlighted a bit of a nasty issue for people who switch between LiveIDs.  That’s never worked great because you actually have to go to to really log now but now if you use the “Use different credentials” link in the VS connect dialog, it does nothing.  That’s because it tries to invoke the login page but says you are still authenticated and automatically logs you back in.  We have plans to fix the multi-LiveID scenario in the next few months.
  • Updated to Azure 1.6 SDK on our build service images.

As I said, the visible changes in this release were pretty modest.  We’ve got a bunch of cool stuff in the queue.



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