My favorite Visual Studio 2012 features Part #5

In this series of blogs I highlight some of my favorite Visual Studio 2012 features that helped me to increase my productivity.

Today we are going to look at..

The New Team Explorer

The Team Explorer has a new look and feel. Instead of having a couple of windows for managing all your pending changes, work items and other team stuff you now have a single window you can go to.

Just hit Ctrl + ‘ to open up the new Team Explorer. It has a new search box and it offers easy access to all your team features.

With access to a Team Foundation Server 2012 (or the service version in the cloud!) you also have access to the new My Work and Code Review options.

The My Work tab helps you with a quick overview of the things you have to do. It offers easy access to your work items and code reviews.

But there is also a completely new feature! You can now suspend your current activities and save it to TFS. It not only saves your current work but also the current view of your environment such as open documents, breakpoints and other tool windows. After saving your current work, you can start working on something else (maybe a quick bug fix) and then return to your current task easily by looking at your ‘Suspended Work’.

Code Reviews is also a great new feature. You can now easily request a code review from a coworker. He can accept your review request, make some comments and send them back to you. This is all nicely tracked by Team Foundation Server so you get a report of which code was reviewed and which wasn’t.

At Build 2012 there where a couple of sessions that covered the Team Exploer. One such a video can be found here on Channel9. It demonstrates all the features and highlights some of the changes that are coming to the Team Explorer in the quarterly update of Visual Studio.

Remember, when using the Team Explorer in Visual Studio 2012: your shortcut of the day:
Ctrl + ‘ to open your Team Explorer.

What are your favorite Visual Studio 2012 features? Or is there a feature you want to know more about? Please leave a comment!

Wouter de Kort works as a lead architect and consultant. He helps organizations stay on the cutting edge of software development. Wouter focuses on DevOps. He loves solving complex problems and helping other developers to grow. Wouter authored the book DevOps on the Microsoft stack and a couple of other books. Wouter is a Microsoft MVP and an ALM Ranger. You can find him on Twitter (@wouterdekort), on his blog at and at the various conferences where Wouter speaks.


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