Updates to Team System Web Access

Brian Harry

A few days ago we released a couple of Community Technology Previews (CTPs) for the next release of Team System Web Access.  They include a set of new enhancements for the existing Team System Web Access UI and the promised additional capability to supplement the new TFS 2008 licensing policy that enables limited TFS access for the purpose of "filing a bug" without having a Client Access License (CAL).  You can read more about the licensing change in this post.  The new feature is tentatively being called "Work Item Web Access" – We’ll see if it sticks by the time we ship it 🙂

You can download the CTPs here:

Download the CTP for TSWA 2008 update

Download the CTP for WIWA 2008

We are targeting releasing both of the updates with our Power Tool release coming this summer.  Please don’t confuse these with the VS/VSTS/TFS 2008 SP1 release that is also in progress.  The development and release cycles for these is completely separate.  These are on our Power Tool ship cycle (which is roughly every 3 months).


New features in TSWA

Single instance with multiple languages – A single instance of TSWA now supports multiple languages. By default, the UI language is based on the user’s browser settings (accept-language header). The UI language can be overwritten in profile settings. In total, 9 languages are available: ENU, CHS, CHT, DEU, ESN, FRA, ITA, JPN, KOR. Please note that the CTP release doesn’t have all the resources localized completely yet.

Direct links to new work items with initial values – Adding a capability someone similar to the work item templates feature in the TFS Power Tools Visual Studio UI, you can now use links to create new work items and pre-populate fields with specified values.  For example,

http://<server>/wi.aspx?pname=MyProject&wit=Bug&[Title]=Bug Bash&[AssignedTo]=Hakan Eskici&[Iteration Path]=MyProject\Iteration2&[FoundIn]=9.0.30304

will open a new work item editor window with the following initial values:

    • Team Project = MyProject
    • Work Item Type = Bug
    • Title = Bug Bash
    • Assigned To = Hakan Eskici
    • Iteration Path = MyProject\Iteration2
    • Found in Build = 9.0.30304

Shelveset viewer – TSWA now enables searching for and displaying the contents of shelvesets.  Combined with the TSWA diff viewer, we’ve found this very useful for code reviews.

A list of shelvesets looks like this…


An individual shelveset looks like…


Improved search support – Now it’s even easier to search for work items with the advanced search syntax. Similar to Outlook search syntax, you can reference any work item field by either using the field name, or by using some shortcuts.  For example,

northwind a=@me s=resolved t=bug

searches for resolved bugs assigned to me which contain the word "northwind" in the Title or Description.

Share ad-hoc work item queries – Now you can share a work item query with someone with out saving it to a .wiq file and sending it to them for them to import into TFS.  Instead, you can encode the query in an url using the TFS work item query language.  For example:

/q.aspx?pname=MyProject&wiql=SELECT">http://<server>/q.aspx?pname=MyProject&wiql=SELECT ID, Title, State FROM WorkItems WHERE [Team Project]=’MyProject’ AND [Work Item Type]=’Bug’ AND [Found In]=’9.0.30304′

You can read more about it and give feedback on Hakan’s blog post.


The new Work Item Web Access feature

When we announced the new licensing policy for limited TFS access without a CAL, I promised that we would also be releasing some software to enable users to more easily understand when they are in compliance with the new licensing policy.  The new Work Item Web Access feature is the result of that promise.  It is a simplified web UI that enables you to create bug reports (or any other work item type), query for work items you have entered and update the status of work items you have entered.  The scenario we are attempting to enable is for application end users who would like to report a problem or request an improvement to do so without purchasing a TFS CAL.  Ultimately both this feature and the Team System Web Access feature will be integrated into the base Team Foundation Server installation but for now they are Power Tools.

Here’s a screen shot of the "home page" for the work item web access feature:


When a work item is viewed or edited, it looks just like as in Team System Web Access…


You can read the spec for this new feature and you can provide feedback on our spec feedback forum.

These are going to be some great additions to our TFS web access capability.  We are taking the unusual step of releasing a CTP for a Power Tool release because these tools are so popular and we really want to make sure we get them right before we release them as "official" Power Tool Updates.

Please try them out and let us know what you think.



Discussion is closed.

Feedback usabilla icon