Work items now open in the web from Visual Studio ’15’

Dante Santos

If you use work item tracking with Visual Studio ’15’, you may have noticed that work items now open in a browser window. This change to how you interact with work items allows us to provide you with a number of benefits.

One work item experience for all platforms Work items are canvases for discussion and collaboration. With this change, every person you share work items with, from Engineers to PMOs to Stakeholders, have a common experience, no matter what client they are using.

Write extensions once Extensions created for the form can be designed and developed once and still be available from any client. They can target pages, groups, context menus, and controls on the form. You can learn more about how to extend the form in our integration documentation.

More improvements at a faster pace We’ve already begun to leverage the benefits of focusing on the web form, releasing new features like…

In the future we will add…

  • Additional custom controls
  • Redesigned history and attachments experiences
  • Improved views for mobile devices

Work item form with discussion, development, related work, check box control, and new styling.
The new work item form in the web

VS features now in the web

We are conscious that this is a significant change to the workflows of some of our users. To ensure that this is a smooth transition, we have also added several features to the web.

  • The Power Tools VS extension templating features are being brought to the web as a first-class experience. This feature will be available in TFS ’15’ RC2 or for hosted accounts with the 104 deployment of Team Services.
  • We are also building an extension to enable opening work items in Excel directly from queries and backlogs. This extension will be available to anyone with TFS ’15’.
  • All areas of the product are working to improve performance and ease of navigation (new navigation coming in Dev15 RC2).
  • To make using the web experiences more efficient, check out the keyboard shortcuts by pressing “?”.

Make the change at your own pace

We will continue to support the work item form control for one more release of VS to allow customers to change any customizations or tooling they currently rely upon. You can find the setting to switch to the legacy form in Tools > Options > Work Items.

Option in vs (work items - general) default browser or Visual Studio (compatibility mode)
The setting to open work items in VS

We welcome any feedback you have on this change in VS, the new work item form, or the experience in the web in general.


Discussion is closed. Login to edit/delete existing comments.

  • Nick Lutsch 0

    Very unfortunate.. Change for the sake of change is toxic. Why change a system that works? Visual Studio is a great IDE that encompasses an entire workflow, why remove functionality from it?

    • Chris Ulisse 0

      Completely agree Nick! Removing this functionality from within VS will be VERY annoying for our business!

  • Stephen Norton 0

    Id love to know who thought this was a good idea.  This is going to make devlopers lives a lot WORSE by adding an extra uneeded level of effort.  And from what I have been reading most of the developer community thinks the same.

  • Christopher Scholten 0

    Having to use the web rather than the IDE grid makes associating work items with check-ins a pain. With the IDE grid, they can be dragged from the grid to the associate panel on the check-in page. Now with the web approach, they need to be copied and pasted. Why remove stuff that works?

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