Features

All TeamCompanion features documented with detailed description, images and videos.

Working with Work Item Queries

TeamCompanion has powerful built-in capabilities for work item query management, offering you full support for both flat and hierarchical work item queries.

It enables you to create, edit, copy, rename and delete work item queries, manage query folders, schedule query execution and manage all aspects of query related security.

Executing Work Item Queries

Click on a work item query in the team project subtree to execute it. The query result window is integrated in the Outlook’s central pane and has two different layouts. The top (or left) part of the pane shows the query results in a flat or hierarchical list. The bottom (or right) part of the pane shows the work item preview pane.

Each work item query can be scheduled for regular execution.

The work item query is automatically refreshed each time it is executed. This means that, after a successful refresh, it always shows the current data from TFS. TeamCompanion fetches all data for all work items contained in the query result set and stores it in the local cache, what allows us to support undo of unsaved changes to work items and working in offline mode.

The last successful refresh date and time are displayed in the gray label in the header above the query result list. If TeamCompanion fails to refresh the work item query, the last refresh date and time become red.
This header additionally shows the total number of list items and the number of selected list items.

It you have any pending changes (local changes to work items in the query that have not been saved to TFS) when calling refresh, you will be warned about them. At this point you can choose either to continue with refresh and lose your changes or to cancel the refresh action.

Refreshing Work Item Queries

If you want to manually refresh the results of a work item query and get the current state from TFS, click on any work item in the result list and on the Work Item(s)/Query tab, in the Query group, click on the Refresh button. Alternatively, you can right-click on the work item query in the team project subtree and select the Refresh action from the context menu.

Each work item query can be scheduled for regular execution.

Next to the Refresh button on the tab, you can find the Cancel Refresh button. It is active when a refresh action is in progress and you can use it to cancel the refresh. The same action is available when you right-click on the work item query in the team project subtree. In this case, the result list will display work items from the revision you retrieved with the last successful query refresh.

If you have any pending changes when calling refresh, you will be warned about them. At this point you can choose either to continue with refresh and lose your changes or to cancel the refresh action.

Scheduling Work Item Queries

By scheduling work item query execution you can easily track project changes and stay up to date with all the changes made by the other team members. Each time a scheduled query is executed, the current state of query results is retrieved from TFS and the TeamCompanion’s local cache is refreshed. A scheduled query is automatically executed only if it does not have any pending changes.

Tipp: Scheduled work item query execution works only if your team project is online.

To schedule a work item query, click either on the query node in the team project subtree or on any work item in its result list, and on the TeamCompanion tab, in the General group, click on the Schedule Query button. You can also right-click on the query in the team project subtree and select Schedule from the context menu. In this way you will start scheduling the selected query.

The Schedule Query action is also available when one of the following TeamCompanion nodes is selected: Team project, Work Items, My Queries or Team Queries. You can start the action either from the TeamCompanion tab or from corresponding context menus. In this way you will start scheduling the first query in the referenced team project.

Tipp: If you are outside the context of a team project, and call the Schedule Query action from the TeamCompanion tab, you will start scheduling the default team project.

Next, the Query Execution Scheduler dialog appears. First check the selected work item query in the Server, Project and Query drop downs in the Query group. Then set the desired recurrence. In the Recurrence pattern group, select between minutes, hours or days. In the Range of recurrence group set the start and end date for the schedule. Finally, click on the Add button to add your newly defined schedule.

TeamCompanion allows you to schedule more work item queries at once. In the active Query Execution Scheduler dialog, select the desired query using the Server, Project and Query drop downs in the Query group, and define its schedule as described above.

If you additionally add the scheduled work item query to the Outlook’s Favorites folder, you will get a handy solution to staying up-to-date with any project changes you are interested in.

Preview of Unread Work Items

New or changed work items, since the last time you executed the same work item query, appear in bold text in the result list. Additionally, the count of unread work items appears next to the work item query name in the Navigation Pane, both in Outlook’s Favorites folder and in the team project subtree.

Here TeamCompanion follows the same analogy used for marking unread mails, enabling you to quickly browse and analyze changed work items without using TFS notification emails.

A work item changes state from unread (bold text) to read (regular text), either when you click on it and preview it in the work item preview pane or you open it for preview in a separate window.

To manually mark work items as read or unread, select them in the query result list, right click on the selection and choose the Mark as Read or Mark as Unread action from the context menu respectively.

If you want to mark all query results as read, click on any work item in the result list, and on the Work Item(s)/Query tab, in the Query Results group, click on the Mark All as Read button. Alternatively, you can right-click on the work item query in the team project subtree and select the Mark All as Read action from the context menu.

Editing Work Items in a Query Result List

While working with work items inside one query result list, you can perform local changes to more work items simultaneously, without having to save each change to TFS separately.

Click on a work item in the query result list and change its contents in the work item preview pane. This action will automatically change its appearance in the result list to italic text with light grey background. Next, change other work items in the same way, what will result in more “italic" work items.

Such changes to multiple work items are considered to be local changes and they are persisted in the TeamCompanion’s local cache. This is part of the TeamCompanion’s supports for working in offline mode.

Tipp: Unsaved changes to work item hierarchies are also displayed in italics.

When making any local changes to work items, it is important to note that they need to be explicitly saved to TFS. Once you are satisfied with your changes, on the Work Item(s)/Query tab, in the Work Items(s) group, click on the Save button. This action will save all changes in the currently displayed work item query.

Tipp: If you have made changes to work items in other work item queries, these changes will not be saved.

Additionally, local changes to work items can be discarded before they are saved to TFS. On the Work Item(s)/Query tab, in the Work Items(s) group, click on the Undo button. This action will undo all changes in the currently displayed work item query and return work items to the revision you retrieved with the last successful query refresh. The appearance of work items will be automatically changed to regular text.

Tipp: If you have made changes to work items in other work item queries, these changes will not be undone.

If local changes are not saved to TFS or TFS connection is not present at the moment, they are automatically saved locally when Outlook is closed. This means that all unsaved changes are persisted between two Outlook sessions.
When you start Outlook next time and when your connection to TFS is established again, you can decide whether you want to save or discard all your pending changes.

Tipp: Pending changes are persisted until you explicitly refresh the results of a work item query and agree to discard them. In case a scheduled work item query has pending changes, it is not automatically refreshed as scheduled.

Working with Flat Queries

When you execute a flat work item query, i.e. a work item query of type Flat List, TeamCompanion displays a simple query result list, in which you can perform all supported work item management related actions.

Working with Hierarchical Queries

When you execute hierarchical work item queries, i.e. work item queries of type Work Items and Direct Links or Tree of Work Items, TeamCompanion displays a richly capable hierarchical query result list.

Child-level work items are indented under the corresponding parent-level work items following the hierarchy. An arow is added to the Title column of each parent-level work item with children. A click on this arrow will either expand or collapse all its children. Additionally, to expand or collapse all results in a query result list, on the on the Work Item(s)/Query tab, in the Query group, click on the Expand All or Collapse All button respectively.

The hierarchical work item query result list, beside the support for regular work item management related actions offers powerful supports for all standard actions related to editing work item hierarchies.

You can easily indent and outdent work items to modify the hierarchy. Select the work item that you want to move and on the on the Work Item(s)/Query tab, in the Selection group, click on the Indent or Outdent button.

Adding Queries to Outlook's Favorites Folder

Add shortcuts to your frequently accessed work item queries to the Outlook's Favorites folder, making them even more accessible.

Right-click on the desired query in the team project subtree in Navigation Pane and select Show in Favorites from the context menu. You can also drag-n-drop it to the Favorites folder.

To remove a work item query from the Favorites folder, right-click on it either in the Favorites folder or in the team project subtree and select Remove from Favorites from the context menu.

Search Work Items

You can search for work items matching a particular condition inside each work item query result list. The header above the query result list contains the Search box where you can enter your search conditions and refine the result set.

TeamCompanion supports full text search over all work item fields as well as advanced work item field search conditions. Highlighting of terms found in search results is visible both in the query search result list and in the HTML work item preview, which lets you quickly and easily determine why a particular work item appears in search result.

Send Work Item Query Results by Mail

You can send complete results of a work item query by email at the same time.

Execute a work item query and on the Work Item(s)/Query tab, in the Query Results group, click on the Send by Mail button. Alternatively, you can right-click on a work item query in the team project subtree in Navigation Pane and select the Send Query Results by Mail action from the context menu.

The generated email has the Subject “Multiple Work Items" and a work item table containing work items query results in the Body. The columns in the generated table reflect the selection and layout of columns in the work item query result list.
Tipp: The work item ID in the table is a hyperlink to its preview in Web Access.