Excel Integration

Integrate Tfs with Excel

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    In the fast-paced world of software development and project management, efficiency and flexibility are key. Integrating Team Foundation Server (TFS) or Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS) with Microsoft Excel brings these two attributes to the forefront, empowering teams to manage their workflows more effectively. This integration not only enables offline work on work items but also enhances the speed of data manipulation and reporting when compared to the TFS web interface. Here, we will delve into the importance of this integration, providing insight into how it streamlines processes and boosts productivity.

    On this comprehensive page, we'll cover the essential topics to help you leverage the full potential of integrating TFS with Excel. Learn why integrating TFS with Excel is crucial for modern teams, understand the setup requirements to get started, follow a step-by-step guide to integrate TFS with Excel, explore various use cases, troubleshoot common issues, and get answers to frequently asked questions about the integration. Whether you're a developer or a non-technical stakeholder, our goal is to equip you with the knowledge to optimize your project management and reporting tasks through this powerful synergy.

    Integrating TFS with Excel

    Integrating Team Foundation Server (TFS) with Microsoft Excel can be achieved through various methods, each serving a unique purpose. This integration enriches the capabilities of Excel, enabling it to create, modify, and report on TFS work items, as well as perform bulk operations more efficiently. The following subsections explain the different ways one can connect TFS with Excel for enhanced project management and reporting.

    Creating and Modifying Work Items in Excel

    To create and modify work items using Excel, start by opening the Team Explorer in Visual Studio and connecting to your TFS server and respective Team Project. You can then navigate to the 'Work Items' section, and from there, right-click on the query you wish to use for generating your work items. The option 'Open in Microsoft Excel' allows you to directly manipulate the work items within an Excel spreadsheet, enabling bulk insertions and modifications.

    Generating TFS Reports in Excel

    For generating reports, after connecting to your TFS project, you can right-click on the desired query and select 'Create Report in Microsoft Excel'. You then have the opportunity to choose the specific reports you wish to generate. Additionally, within Excel, you can click on the 'Team Ribbon' followed by 'New Report', choose your TFS server, and proceed to create various reports to analyze your TFS project's data.

    Connecting to Analysis Services for Advanced Reporting

    For advanced reporting needs, you can use Excel to connect to TFS Analysis Services. To do this, first click on the 'Data Ribbon' in Excel, then 'From Other Sources', and select 'From Analysis Services'. Enter your Analysis Server name and credentials, opting for the 'Use a stored account' with the account name 'TFS'. After choosing the data view and Excel sheet, you can specify the starting cell to begin populating your report with data pulled directly from TFS Analysis Services.

    Sourcetable Integration

    Integrating TFS with Sourcetable

    Transitioning from Excel to Sourcetable for managing your data from Team Foundation Server (TFS) comes with significant benefits. Unlike static Excel spreadsheets, Sourcetable allows you to sync live data from various apps or databases, including TFS. This real-time data synchronization ensures that you are always working with the most current information, enhancing decision-making and reducing the risk of errors that come from outdated data.

    Sourcetable's ability to automatically pull in data from multiple sources simplifies the process of data aggregation. This is particularly useful for complex projects managed in TFS where data might be spread across various platforms. Instead of manual consolidation, which is often required when using Excel, Sourcetable streamlines this process, saving time and increasing efficiency.

    The familiar spreadsheet interface offered by Sourcetable makes it an accessible tool for teams transitioning from Excel. Users can query and manipulate data with ease, benefiting from automation features that reduce repetitive tasks. This automation capability is a step up from Excel, as it allows for setting up automated workflows that can transform and analyze TFS data without manual intervention, leading to better business intelligence insights.

    Common Use Cases

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      Excel Integration
      Excel integration allows you to work offline
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      Excel Integration
      Excel can be faster for editing and making changes to lots of fields
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      Excel Integration
      Excel can be faster for copying in data from another source
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      Excel Integration
      Excel allows non-developers to use TFS features without installing Team Explorer or Visual Studio

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Can Excel be used to connect and interact with TFS?

    Yes, Excel can be used to connect to TFS, create and modify work items, upload them to TFS, and modify them in bulk. Additionally, Excel can be used to create reports about the TFS project and generate custom reports from TFS data.

    What is the recommended method for bulk import or update of work items in TFS?

    The recommended approach for bulk import or update of work items is to use the web portal or CSV import.

    Does the Azure DevOps Office Integration 2019 add-in support Visual Studio 2019 or Azure DevOps Server 2019?

    No, the Azure DevOps Office Integration 2019 add-in does not support Visual Studio 2019 or Azure DevOps Server 2019.

    Can all query macros be used when integrating TFS with Excel?

    No, Excel does not support all query macros, including the @RecentProjectActivity query macro.

    Is it possible to delete work items using Excel with TFS integration?

    No, Excel does not support deleting work items.


    Integrating TFS with Excel brings a suite of benefits and efficiencies, from the ability to work offline and rapidly edit multiple fields, to the ease of importing data from other sources. The step-by-step guide ensures you can connect TFS to Excel seamlessly, allowing for bulk modifications and report generation. Adhering to best practices—such as using the appropriate list types for hierarchical data, managing tags efficiently, and maintaining the integrity of work item relationships—optimizes your workflow. However, if you're looking for an alternative solution that streamlines this process without the need for integration, consider using Sourcetable. It simplifies data handling in a collaborative environment. Sign up for Sourcetable today and get started on enhancing your project management experience.

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