19 Feb 2008

How to E-mail the Sprint Burndown Chart to yourself or your team.

I have been working on Scrum for Team System focusing on the reporting functionality of this tool.  One of the things I looked at was to get the reports delivered to me by e-mail.  I went looking to see if there was an interface via the Team Explorer interface, to which I found quickly there wasn’t.  However because TFS uses Reporting Services I knew that I could use Reporting Services subscriptions functionality. 
Firstly, if not already configured, the Reporting Services server will need to will need to be set up to point to an SMTP server.  This can be done by using the Reporting Services configuration tool and updating the e-mail settings within this tool.  
You can find this tool on your TFS server under the following: Start Menu > All Programs > Microsoft SQL Server 2005 > Configuration Tools
To create the subscription you need to use the Report Manager  (to gain access to this you can right mouse click on the report folder within the team explorer):
When the report manager is loaded then the root folder will contains folders based upon the name of Team  Projects. Click on the folder that contains the required reports. After the list of reports have loaded click on the Sprint Burndown report to view the report.  After the report has rendered select the subscriptions tab, once the page has loaded and then click on new Subscriptions.  Then filling the necessary details on how the report should be delivered and what report parameters the report should used when it runs.  Finally I would recommend that for the parameters select the option to pick the defaults of the reports.

How to tell when the Team Foundation Server data warehouse was last updated.

While I have been working on the Scrum for Team System reporting I came across a re-occurring issue.  The issue was not knowing when our data warehouse last updated or when the next update was due to happen. 

After some investigation, including some information from a link on one of my colleague’s blog posts, I found the answer to the issue.  In the TFS  data warehouse there is a table called: _WarehouseConfig.  This contains some useful information like when the last data warehouse was last process time, process interval and end time of each step of the process ended.  

So with this information I updated the version report for Scrum for Team System to include the following information: process interval time, next time process is due, last time the cube was processed, last time the data in data warehouse was updated.

I have attached a copy of the new report as it not exclusive to Scrum for Team System.  Also this report was written for TFS 2008.