Searching in VSTS/TFS

categories: [ VSTS / TFS ] tags: [ Google ] [ Search ] [ TFS ] [ VSTS ]
created: 06 Aug 2017 @ 08:36 modified: 06 Aug 2017 @ 08:43

This post is largely showing off a cool feature of chrome but the core focus is how you can be more productive with VSTS search Open-mouthed smile

Visual Studio Team Services let's you search across all your code and work items. What's really strange about this is how without this functionality it was harder trying to find work items and code but I used to say it would be nice if we had a better work item search and it would be nice to have a code search instead of having to pull all the code to my machine. I now find my self saying, why isn't it as easy as searching Google.

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Well it is Open-mouthed smile, I don't often notice features like this search because I used to just type what I want in the address bar and hit enter, switching between search engines was a process of copy, navigate to other search engine and paste. One day I saw a friend of mine Rory Bolle have a search bar like the image above and my life changed as he showed me this feature Smile. Part of getting through each day generally has a lot of how can I be more efficient with boring tasks, and although not really a task on it's own browsing to where to search is boring and something you don't have to do Smile.

Searching VSTS faster using chrome

Chrome supports custom search engines and that's what functionality we going to use now. Open Chrome settings

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Scroll down to the Search engine section and then click on Manage search engines

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under the Other search engines section click ADD

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We are going to add 2 search engines here, first for code search (replace your account name in the url)

Search engine: TFS Code Search

Keyword: tfsc

Url:

- VSTS: https://<your account name>.visualstudio.com/_search?type=Code&lp=search-account&text=%s&_a=research

- TFS: https://<server>:<port>/tfs/<team project collection>/_search?type=Code&lp=apps-account&text=%s&_a=contents

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repeat that process again, this time for work item search

Search engine: TFS Work Item Search

Keyword: tfsw

Url:

- VSTS: https://<your account name>.visualstudio.com/_search?type=Work%20item&lp=apps-account&text=%s&_a=search

- TFS: https://<server>:<port>/tfs/<team project collection>/_search?type=Work%20item&lp=apps-account&text=%s&_a=research

You should now have these 'search engines' in your list and you can use this in your browser

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In the browser bar type tfsw and then space bar and search for something like test

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and press enter

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This will go ahead and perform a work item search on your account for the phrase that you typed in. Try the same thing with the tfsc shortcut

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as you can see this then obviously searches your code Smile

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Conclusion

Firstly you don't need to do those extra navigations to get to a page where you can search, it's super easy to just use what your browser has built in.

Secondly, chromes search engines functionality can be used for any site basically just take a url and replace the 'search term' part of the url with %s. For example in my list I generally have the .NET Framework Reference Source (https://referencesource.microsoft.com/#q=%s) to easily find .net source

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which conveniently brings up

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Cheers and have fun searching Open-mouthed smile