Today, our sprint 59 deployment to VS Online went live.  There’s several new features and improvements that have been highly requested.  All of the significant ones are in the general area of work management.

Since we introduced tagging as a lightweight work item “customization” approach, people who’ve tried it have had some consistent requests.  One of the top ones was support for querying on tags (we only supported filtering initially).  That feature was just rolled out to VSO as part of this deployment – give it a try.  Other requests include the ability to work with tags in the VS IDE (rather than just in the web).  That feature will be coming in VS 2013 Update 2 (stay tuned for a post on that soon).  We’ve got a few other things in the pipe to further complete this scenario and address the feedback so hang in there.

The #2 UserVoice suggestion is:

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And this deployment adds the ability to configure your working days (not everyone around the world shares the same days off Smile).

And more.  Read Aaron’s sprint news for more detail.

In our efforts to get better about the instability we’ve been introducing with our deployments, we delayed this deployment a bit and scheduled it for a weekend.  The first half of the deployment went well, for the most part, with only one bug that affected a few dozen accounts that had a particularly unusual state of binding their accounts to VSO.  We worked around that one quickly and got them working again (to my knowledge only a couple of people noticed this issue).  The second half didn’t go so well.  We hit a performance issue in the Application Insights pages that caused the site to be unusably slow for a bit.  We had to back out that change and get a fix.  Today (Wed), we completed the rollout.

I’ve written a fair amount about the issues we had in November and early December.  We learned a lot in the process and some of our action items from that have been implemented but not all.  Until we finish hardening some more of our rollout process, we’re likely to continue to have hiccups on deployments – the service has simply gotten big enough (both in functionality and adoption) that the earlier processes weren’t enough.  I hope, in the next week, to write a post on some of the changes we’ve already done and others that are on the way.

Brian