Collaborate in a team room

TFS 2017 | TFS 2015 | TFS 2013

Note

Feature availability: Team Rooms have been deprecated for VSTS and TFS 2018 and later versions as described in this blog post, Deprecation of the Team Rooms in VSTS and TFS. Several good solutions are available that integrate well with TFS that support notifications and chat, such as Microsoft Teams and Slack. As a result, the Team Room feature will be deprecated from both Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS) and Team Foundation Server (TFS).

Team rooms, like chat rooms, provide teams with a space to discuss work in progress, ask questions, share status, and clarify issues that arise. By fostering and capturing communication among team members, both near and far, team rooms can help increase your team's productivity.

Team room with messages and links to events

By using the team room instead of email threads, you automatically receive an audit trail of conversations and decisions. By reviewing the archive, you can quickly catch up with the team when you've been away or in a different time zone.

A team room is created for each team that gets created. Team administrators can create additional rooms and manage their team rooms.

Members of the Project Administrators groups can create and administer team rooms that they have created. And, members of the Project Collection Administrators groups can create and administer all team rooms.

Join the conversation

  1. From your team's home page, open the room.

    Team room tile on team project home page

    If you don't see the room tile, (VSTS) ask your account administrator to grant you a Basic license or (on-premises TFS) request Basic access from your TFS administrator.

    If you can't enter the room, get added as a member: (VSTS) Add team members or (on-premises TFS) Add team members.

  2. To switch to another team room, open it from the Rooms list.

    List of team rooms on Rooms page

    You'll see all rooms that you have permission to enter.

Ways you can interact in the room

  • Target a message to a team member: type @UserName.

  • Include a hyperlink to a work item: type #Id. For example: @Jamal, can you take a look at bugs #564, #588, and #592?

  • Open a linked object, such as a work item, changeset, build definition, and more.

  • Add an emoticon: choose: Emoticon image selection.

  • Review a previous day's message: select the day from the calendar.

    Date link to review team room archives

Add members

You can invite others who have access to the account or team project to participate in your team room.

  1. If you're not a team administrator, get added as one.

  2. Open Manage Members.

    Click manage users to add accounts to a team room

    Only team administrators can see the links for manage users and manage events.

  3. Add a user account or group.

    Add menu on the Manage Members dialog

Add events

Adding events lets your team know when builds finish, source code is checked in, work items are updated, and requests for code reviews occur.

  1. Open Configure Events.

    Manage events link on the team room page

    If you don't see the Manage events link, get added as a team administrator.

  2. Add events.

    Code changes tab on the Configure Events dialog box

    Any change in status or assignment triggers an event to appear in the room.

    You can enable the following events and choose if the event triggers only when initiated by a team room member or by anyone.

Event category Event
Build completions Anytime a build completes for a specified build definition
Code changes Anytime code is pushed or checked in from a specified repo or branch
Work item updates Anytime a work item is added or modified in or under a specified area path
Code reviews Anytime a code review is created in or under a specified area area path
Pull requests Anytime a pull request is created for a specified repo or branch

Add another room

Adding other rooms provides areas for ad hoc discussions, cross-team interactions, virtual teams, or social discussions.

  1. Add a room. If the New link is not active, get added as a team administrator.

    New link on the Rooms page, New Room dialog box

  2. Add members to the room as described earlier in this topic.

A team room is automatically created when you add a team and is populated with your team members. To learn more about other Agile tools available to teams, see Manage team assets.

  • To completely exit a team room, close all browser instances where you've logged into the team room
  • To mute the sound, click the Audio icon on the Rooms page audio icon to turn the sound off or on
  • For other uses of the @mention, see Use @mentions to further discussion
  • To change your profile image, see Account preferences.

Administer team room permissions

You can grant permissions to users to administer a team room.

  1. From the context menu, open permissions for the team room.

    Open team room permissions

  2. Add an account, set the permissions for Administer to Allow, and save the changes.

    Add menu on Permissions page for a team room

Permissions to open team room events

Permissions on team room events are managed by their associated operational area. It is possible for a team member to have permissions to collaborate within a team room, yet not be allowed to view work items, build definitions, or source code that have alerts enabled in the team room.

Ways other teams use team rooms

Many teams use team rooms to support these scenarios:

  • Daily standup: Capture the review of what happened the previous day and discuss any issues or blocking items based on real history.

  • Remote team members: Geographically-dispersed team members can keep up with members in different time zones. This can be especially useful when there are different levels of language proficiency among team members.

  • Memory stream: Configuring all events gives you an archive where you can review changesets, work item updates, and build progress all in one place.

Additional collaboration tools

Check out the Marketplace extensions tagged for collaboration.