Visual Studio Online Update – June 10

Brian Harry

It’s time for our sprint 66 deployment already!  Over the next couple of days the update will be rolling out across accounts.  The big news in this update is Pull Requests for Git repos.  Pull requests are a workflow often used with Git whereby a developer makes some changes in a private branch.  They then submit a “pull request” with is essentially a request for changes checked into that branch to be merged into another branch by the “owner” (or a committer in Git speak) of the target branch.  That workflow enables a code review experience with back and forth discussions of the changes, refinements if the changes need updates, etc.  Ultimately the pull request is either accepted and merged into the target branch or rejected.

With Team Foundation Version control we have a code review experience in Visual Studio.  With Git, we chose to do an analogous experience in the web so that it’s available on all platforms and regardless of the IDE you use.  We expect to enable the TFVC experience on the web too – and, likely also have an “optimized” VS integrated experience.  Never an end of work to do 🙂

Because the pull request workflow is so fundamental to the Git collaboration experience, we’ve chosen to make it available to everyone with a VS Online Basic license or higher (that includes the 5 free licenses, the advanced license, the pro license and a qualified MSDN subscription).  We expect we’ll ship this feature in on premises TFS in the future and will have to sort out that licensing when we do so.

You’ll find a new “Pull Requests” tab under “Code” for any project that has Git repos.  If you hit New Pull Request, you’ll get an experience that looks like this to select the source and target branch, review the changes, etc.

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If you hit “more options” in the blue area, it expands enable a description and a list of reviewers (adding your team by default).

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A notification will be sent to your team room and a new pull request will show up in your list.

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You can open the pull request and review it., comment on it, etc.  You’ll also notice that VSOnline has already gone ahead and done a “test merge” to see if there will be any merge conflicts when I decide to merge it “for real”.  In this case, there are some.

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One more very nice step on our journey to bring Git up to parity with the capabilities we have in TFVC.  As with pretty much everything we do in the cloud, it will continue to be a “work in progress” for several more sprints as we take feedback and refine it.

We hope you like it and, as always, value your feedback.




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