Dashboards are customizable canvas that enable your team to visualize status and monitor progress across your VSTS or TFS project. They replaced previous Team Overview page. Using dashboards you can bring life to your project. VSTS Team uses its own product and releases updates to this platform in a 3-week cycle. In this blog post, I am going to give you a short overview about how the dashboards used to look previously and how they look now and what new features have been added to make the dashboards more efficient. You can also visit Visual Studio website to learn more about Dashboards, Team Dashboard, How to add a dashboard widget and How to add a chart to dashboard.
Part 1: Dashboards – Previous Version
On previous homepage you could only have one dashboard, you can only have a small section for new widgets and you couldn’t customize anything else on that page. You couldn’t remove any of the widgets and you couldn’t lay it out the way your team wanted.
The image below shows the old team overview page inside VSTS. The image is showing some of the features that you couldn’t customize in order that dashboard would fit your project’s needs. You could not remove the top blocks if you do not want them there. If your team didn’t use or burn down the capacity, there was no way to remove them.
Part 2: Dashboards – New Version
Features of new dashboard allow users to customize so much more in order to show data, which are showing in best way the progress of their project. In the new dashboard you can have multiple dashboards. Every single widget on the dashboard is hundred percent customizable so you can remove, add or configure any widget the way you want.
The image below shows what the new dashboard looks like. If you are a team admin on the page you will start to see that there is a green + button, that plus button allows you to add multiple dashboards. Another thing that you will see is that if you hover over any widget you can start laying them out the way you want or you can configure them to show the data you want. One more thing that you will see are the new widgets. Three of them are shown here. One of them is marked down widget and it really lets you be creative in a way what you want to show your team: text, images or links. The other one is the sprint overview widget that allows you to see stories that are in progress and which ones haven’t started yet. The last widget you will see in green is the query tile (the query tile can turn red or green depending on the threshold of bugs) and it triggers green because there are no blocked tasks on this board.
The new features that have been added to dashboards can really help you to keep your team in sync and also provides improved visibility. See these additional resources to help you support your team:
• Multiple teams
• Manage team assets
• Share queries with your team
• Create team alerts
• Widget catalog
Also, you can create a dashboard widget using the REST API service.