01 May 2013

TFS Live app for Windows Phone

If you happen to 1) work with Microsoft’s Team Foundation Service (TFService) or another publically accessible TFS server and 2) own a Windows 8 Phone, then you will want to check out the tfs live app for Windows Phone. The tfs live app provides quick, at-a-glance totals for the various types of work items you’re most interested in.

When you install the app and run it for the first time, you will have to configure the app to connect to your TFS server:

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Although a template has been provided for the server URL (as shown in the above image), it is not the best template to follow if you’re connecting to a TFService instance.  In this case, use the following template:

     https://{account}.visualstudio.com/DefaultCollection – replacing {account} with your specific TFService account name.

Once you have successfully logged on, you will need to select a project name, role, and a couple of other options:

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The selected role determines which queries will show up on the main screen. The roles that can be selected from include:

  • Developer – provides: “bugs assigned to me” and “tasks assigned to me”
  • Tester – provides: “bugs assigned to me”, “test cases assigned to me”, and “tasks assigned to me”
  • Dev Lead – “bugs assigned to me”, “tasks assigned to me”, and “overall bug summary”
  • Test Lead – “bugs assigned to me”, “tasks assigned to me”, “overall bug summary”, and “overall test summary”
  • Manager – “overall task summary”, “overall bug summary”, and “overall test summary”

The image below shows the screen for a Developer role:

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Tapping on any of the query icons (on the screen above) will open a custom query (based on the specific type of query being ran) in the web browser displaying the appropriate work items.  This experience is less than ideal but it does work.  I would really like to see the query results come back to the phone and displayed in a list that, when tapped, would then open the web-based query to view the full details.

That said, I still find this app highly useful for keeping up to date on newly assigned and/or modified work items.  Some suggestions I might offer to the app developer would include:

  • Modify the server URL template to be more TFService friendly (as I’ve shown above).
  • Display the project name (and possibly role) on the main screen.  Currently, you can’t tell which project you’re connected to when looking at the main screen.
  • When selecting role from the settings page, “Devloper” (notice the missing ‘e’) is spelled incorrectly.  Not a major issue but detracts from the overall fit-n-finish of the app.

A PowerPoint slide deck with further details is available from the author here.