Features

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

Working with Reports

TeamCompanion supports access to the SQL Server Reporting Services site and provides full support for management of VSO or TFS reports inside Outlook. The Reports node can be found in the team project subtree in Navigation Pane for each connected team project. It contains all reports and dashboards provided by the process template your team project is based on, arranged in corresponding Report folders. For example, for the MSF Agile 5.0 process template these are Bugs, Build, Dashboards, Project Management and Tests.

The contents of report folders are not updated automatically when a report is added or deleted on the Team Foundation Server. When you want to manually refresh a report folder, click on it in the team project subtree and on the Reports tab, click on the Refresh button. Alternatively, you can right-click on the report folder and select Refresh from the context menu. Your report folders are automatically refreshed while refreshing the team project data cache.

When you click on the Reports node, on any of its child report folders or on any report, the corresponding Reports ribbon appears, containing all reports related actions.

TeamCompanion’s support for TFS reports

Track and analyze the status of your project by accessing your reports and managing them using the embedded functionality provided by Reporting Services together with TeamCompanion's enhanced features

Manage reports in different ways

You can not only print or export them, but also share them with other stakeholders by sending reports per email and creating related Outlook meeting requests or tasks.

In addition to that, TeamCompanion simplifies the way you work with the same report using different parameters. You can save multiple parameter sets for the same report, creating in this way many quickly accessible One Click reports.

Accessing and managing one click reports

To make your preconfigured reports even more accessible, add them to the Outlook's Favorites folder and open with one click. In this way you can quickly open your most frequently used reports with parameters already set and start analyzing the progress and quality of your project straight away.

Accessing and Refreshing Reports

Click on a report in the team project subtree to access it. The report is shown in a browser window integrated in the Outlook’s central pane and contains following areas:
- Custom embedded toolbar at the top, added by TeamCompanion;
- Parameters area which can be shown or hidden, provided by Reporting Services
- Report toolbar provided by Reporting Services;
- Report result area, provided by Reporting Services.

Report window embedded in Outlook's central pane with functional areas highlighted
Various ways to refresh a report in TeamCompanion

To manually refresh an active report, perform one of the following actions:
- On the Reports tab, click on the Refresh button;
- Right-click on the report in the team project subtree and select Refresh from the context menu;
- Click on the Refresh button on the report toolbar;
- Right-click on the report result and select Refresh from the context menu.

Report opened in a separate window

To open a report in a separate window, select it in the team project subtree and on the Reports tab, click on the Open in New Window button. Alternatively, you can right-click on the report node and select the Open in New Window action from the context menu.

Whenever you access or refresh a report, the server that is running Reporting Services reruns the query and updates the report data if the report runs on-demand. If the report is cached or a snapshot, the report that is stored in the report server database is shown.

Managing Reports

Once you access a report, you can work with it in different ways.

A report can have multiple parameters used to configure its results. These are managed using the controls in the parameters area provided by the Repotting Services. You can change the values of these parameters as needed and click on the View Report button to render the report with adjusted parameters. This area can be shown or hidden as needed.

Setting parameters and rendering adjusted reports

Tipp: If you refresh your report before clicking on the View Report, the parameters will be reset to their previous values.

Report toolbar actions

The report toolbar above the report contains following actions:
- Page through all pages of the report;
- Zoom in or out of the report;
- Search for text that the report contains;
- Export report result (to XML, CSV, PDF, MHTML, Excel, TIFF, or Word);
- Define print settings and print the report;
- Refresh and cancel refreshing a report.
Many of these actions are available in the report's context menu.

Additionally, if the report contains the section Related reports with links to other reports, you can click on a link to open the corresponding related report in the same window. To return to the original parent report, use the Back to Parent Report button on the report toolbar.

Preconfigure Reports for One Click Access

Many TFS reports are defined using a set of parameters. By default, Reporting Services use predefined values for all parameters. The date parameters are usually defined in dependence of the actual date, while other parameters, like work item Type or State, are simply preset in the report itself. This means that each time you use a report, you must first render it with its default parameters' values, then adjust the parameters according to your needs (time span, iteration, area, etc.) and then rerun the report again.

TeamCompanion supports the option to save report parameters and thus removes the necessity to repeatedly enter the same report parameters each time you access a report. This feature is called One Click Reports because it allows you to preconfigure your reports for one click access.

To save a set of parameters for a particular report, access the report once, adjust the parameters according to your needs and click on the Save As button on the embedded toolbar on the top of the report window.

Saving report parameter sets for One Click reports
Accessing and managing one click reports

After you name your new parameter set and save it, it will appear in the Parameter Set dropdown. Additionally, a new entry for this saved report named Original report name (parameter set name) will appear as child node under the original report node. In this way you can preset multiple different versions of the same report with different parameter sets (e.g. current iteration, previous iteration etc.) and open such saved reports with populated parameters with just one click.

When you open the original TFS report or any of its versions with saved parameters, the Parameter Set dropdown is filled with the list of saved parameter sets. When you click on each particular set, the corresponding report will be displayed.

You can change existing parameter sets and save these changes either as the same set, using the Save button, or as a new set, using the Save As button. You can rename parameter sets using the Remove button, as well as remove them permanently using the Delete button.

Tipp: Add your most frequently used preconfigured reports to the Outlook's Favorites folder, and make them even more accessible.

Send Report Results by Mail

You can easily send the results of a report by email. First render the desired report. Then on the Reports tab, click on the Send By Mail button. Alternatively, you can right-click on the report in the team project subtree and select the Send By Mail action from the context menu.

This action will create a new email and automatically fill the field Subject with the name of the report. It will then invoke the default action defined for sending reports by email and generate the corresponding email message body. In our example, the report is generated as embedded HTML. Report options are configured as part of TeamCompanion’s options.

Send report per email
Send report per email formatting options

Additional options for sending reports by mail are available when using the Send By Mail button on the custom TeamCompanion's embedded toolbar at the top of the report window:
- send as embedded HTML or Image;
- send as attachment in various formats (PNG, JPG, PDF, etc.).

Create New Meeting Request or Task from Report

Use this feature to relate your Outlook meeting requests and tasks with TFS reports. Render the desired report and on the Reports tab, click on the Create Meeting Request or Create Task button. Alternatively, you can right-click on the report in the team project subtree and select the desired action from the context menu.

This action will create a new Outlook meeting request/task and automatically fill the field Subject with the name of the report. It will then invoke the default action defined for creating meeting request/task from reports defined in TeamCompanion’s options. In our example, the report is attached as MHT.

Create new meeting request from report
Create new meeting request formatting options

Additional options for creating Outlook's meeting requests and tasks are available when using the Create Meeting Request or the Create Task button on the custom TeamCompanion's embedded toolbar at the top of the report window. You can choose to attach the report in various formats (MHT, PNG, JPG, TIFF, PDF, etc.).

Adding Reports to Outlook's Favorites Folder

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

Right-click on the desired report or one of its preconfigured child reports 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 report 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.

Quickly access important reports from the Outlook's Favorites folder