Thursday, June 7, 2012

Generate accumulated Release Notes in TFS build, part II

By using the  BuildReport and CompareLabel activities we can create a build report, but can it be transformed into a release notes document ?
This post continues the previous post Generate accumulated Release Notes in TFS build

The out of the box report
By default the build report activity generates a report that is "changesets" centric, It lists all changesets the files and associated work items of each changesets. This might be good for a build report, but if you want a release note report, you probably would want it "work item centric", listing associated work item first and maybe list changesets without work item as Undocumented changes.

Changing the output
Luckily for us, we have the option to change the output. The BuildReport activity creates a xml file with the report data and then creates a html report by applying a xslt transformation. By supplying our own xslt file we can customize the output to suite us better, with some libations as we're bound to the data in the xml file.

The customized report
Even though the xml data isn't structured in the way we would prefer for our needs, actually the row xml data is also kind of changesets centric. But by using xslt it's still possible to extract a list of work items. By applying this xslt file!1058, the resulting report looks something like this.

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