Dashboards are customisable canvases that enable your team to visualise status and monitor progress across your Visual Studio Team Services(VSTS) or TFS project. They replaced the previous Team Overview page. The use of dashboards can bring life to your project. The 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 on how the dashboards were previously presented as well as an overview of how they look now as well as the new features that have been added to make the dashboards more efficient. You can also visit the 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 the previous homepage, you could only have one dashboard, you can also have only one small section for new widgets and you couldn’t customise 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 customise 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 a hundred percent customisable 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 which 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:
Also, you can create a dashboard widget using the REST API service.