Microsoft Team Foundation Server 2017 Update 2 Tracks Delivery Plans

Updates include a timeline view that aids in the development team management, an enhanced Team build definition editor and new Git features.

Microsoft Team Server

Microsoft released Team Foundation Server 2017 Update 2 this week, complete with a whole new way of charting the progress of developer teams.

Update 2 is the last feature update the company plans to issue for the 2017 edition of the source code management system, according to Microsoft. In this latest release, Team Foundation Server can be augmented with a new Delivery Plans extension, helping managers keep an eye on how the work of a multi-team developer group is coming together in the face of looming deadlines.

"Delivery Plans provide the ability for you to align the work of many teams on a common timeline; the work can be viewed at any level of granularity," wrote Microsoft technical fellow Brian Harry, in a blog post. "You can expand and collapse teams to see more or less detail and you can add tags for key milestones to see how all the work lines up for delivery. This is a fantastic new ability for managing work in an organization with more than just a couple of teams."

A download link and additional information on the Delivery Plans extension, which is also compatible with Visual Studio Team Services, can be found here.

A new work item search feature borrows from the Team Foundation Server's code search functionality, offering users an intuitive alternative to creating a query. Team Foundation Server 2017 Update 2 also introduces a revamped build definition editor, used to set instructions on which code projects to compile and additional tasks. Enhancements include new build templates, a task composition tool with drag-and-drop functionality and new process parameters, stated Harry.

The software also contains several new pull request and branch policy features, including a streamlined method of adding users to pull requests and enabling pull request notification and update tracking for those newly-added users. New Filter, Reply, Track Completion and Resolve options help make managing comments less of a chore and the branch policy editing experience has been given an extra, user-friendlier coat of polish.

On the application release management and deployment front, Team Foundation Server 2017 Update 2 is more container-friendly, Harry announced. It now supports the deployment of containerized applications using Kubernetes, Azure Container Service and Azure Service Fabric.

For mobile developers, there is improved support for signing and releasing iOS apps to the Apple App Store. Foundation Server also supports parallel deployments and Azure web apps based on Java, Node, PHP and Python.

There are also new features for organizations that use Git, the open-source version control system. Users can now add or find Git tags or view commit history graphs, among other new capabilities.

Looking ahead, Harry said Update 3 will "focus on fixes for customer-reported bugs." Within the next few months, he expects his group to deliver the first release candidate for the next major release of Team Foundation Server.

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to eWEEK and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the network of...