One new feature that is coming with Team Foundation Server 2013 and this is already available on Team Foundation Service is called Team Rooms. Team Rooms are virtual rooms where team members can communicate with each other. Logs are saved by date and this way all important direct communication is there also for later dates.
Room reminds a little bit web based IRC client built to SharePoint but it seems to be pretty good idea to get started with extending TFS with direct team communication. As it is early preview then there are not much to highlight yet but as Build conference is coming I’m sure Microsoft has some surprises for us.
Team Room features
Here are current features:
- #Taskid in char creates link to task with given number (take a look at #29 at screenshot above – it’s link to task umber 29)
- If you want to make message to somebody more easy to notice then use @username at chat and user with give user name will see his or her name highlighted (take look at line that starts with orange @gunnar at screenshot)
- You can browse chat by date. There’s dropdown calendar on top of chat window.
- If somebody writes messages then browser beeps. You can click on megaphone icon to turn off beeping.
As this is fresh preview and sometimes I see TFS error messages there I’m sure that Microsoft came out with limited set on things to show in Team Room chat. Over next weeks I hope to see more stuff coming to feed.
As Team Foundation Service seems to run on SharePoint and make use of new application model I think it’s possible to integrate Yammer style feeds to TFS and enable also team document in-place reviews, notifications about new commits, task changes etc. Also search would be nice to have because teams who start really using Team Rooms every day need chat search very soon. I see here a lot of room for improvements and integrations. One interesting scenario would be integration with Office365 SharePoint to get project documents to chat.
TFS Team Rooms is new interesting chat feature that helps teams to communicate real-time and keep chat logs. Today the solution offered as part of Team Foundation Services is simple and easy to get started. Although there is room enough for tons of interesting features today is the first day of new service and I hope we will see many more features coming over next weeks.