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Managing team build files sucks a little less with Attrice SideKick for VSTS

Oh, I could have seriously used the Team System Add-on from Attrice's SideKick project last week at TechEd when one of my Demos Broke.

The add-in allows version control operations for selected build type to be performed in Team Explorer. It provides the following commands:

  • Check out selected build type .proj file with single click
  • Edit checked out build type either in Visual Studio or in user's editor of choice
  • Check in modified build type files with single click
  • Undo check in on build type files
  • Configure what editor will be used for editing .proj files and additional add-in options


I was showing how to create an automated build in VSTS, and I mistyped the address of the deployment location of the final binaries. The thing about VSTS right now is that it's still a 1.0 product - so it's a bit...  (crappy shell we say?) missing features in some places - such as to tell you when you mistyped locations, or even provide you with "browse" buttons to specify directories. Also, if you want to edit a build configuration file you need to first check it out from source control (which can be a very annoying task as it is not enabled by default in the source control explorer's selected workspace - you need to create a workspace specifically to edit a team build file!!##!), edit it, and check it in - and there is no menu context item to do that.

I literally had to create a whole new build in the middle of a demo just because it would have taken longer to edit the existing one. That's what I mean by version 1.0 product.

If I had Attrice's addin installed, I could have solved the issue in about 15 seconds - which, considering the fact that it is totally free, and you can download the source as well, is pretty cool.

Thanks Attrice dudes!

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