New in Azure Boards sprint 170

Dan Hellem

It’s been a few months since we released anything new in Azure Boards. We have good news. In sprint 170 we are delivering several long awaited features. Lets get started…

Better Kanban board error handling experience

If you moved a work item from one column to another, and the state change triggered field rules, the card would show a red error message. You didn’t know the cause of the error until you opened the work item to investigate. We received a lot of feedback from users to improve this experience. In sprint 170, we are making the error a link. Instead of opening the work item, you click the red error message to view cause of the error.

Image board better error msg

Parent filter on task board and backlog

In the fall of 2019, we added the ability to view the Parent work item on boards, backlogs, and query results. It allowed users to see and filter work based on their parent. At the time, we only added the parent filtering ability to the Kanban board and backlog views. In Sprint 170, we added filtering by parent to both the task board and task backlog. Users can filter the list of user stories (PBI for Scrum, Requirements for CMMI) that belong to a specific feature or set of features.

Image task board parent filter

GitHub action to create work items from issues

In the middle of April we published a new GitHub action that will save GitHub Issues into Azure Boards work items. This allows you to put your code repos into GitHub while continuing to use Azure Boards to manage work. The action is now out of preview and generally available. Give it a try and let us know what you think.

Image github sync work items

State transition restriction rules (private preview)

We continue to close the feature parity gaps between Hosted XML and the Inherited process model. Starting this sprint, there is a private preview available for customers who want to restrict state transitions in an inherited process. This new work item type rule allows you to restrict work items from being moved from one state to another. For example, you can restrict Bugs from going from New to Resolved. Instead, they must go from New –> Active -> Resolved

Image state restriction rules

You can also create a rule to restrict state transitions by group membership. For example, only users in the “Approvers” group can move user stories from New -> Approved.

Over the next few weeks we are going to gather your feedback and make minor adjustments. We hope to make the feature generally available by the end of June. If you are interested in participating in the private preview, please email us directly with your organization name ({org name}).


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