I’m currently enjoying setting up a Greenfield implementation of Team Foundation Server 2008 for a new client, and getting the development and test teams up to speed on TFVC, work item tracking, continuous integration, and all that groovy agile stuff that Team System make so easy.

After six months away from TFS, it’s nice to get reacquainted with my old friend, and realise that the product has come a long way since the original 2005 release.

I’m delighted to see that MS have continued their tradition of releasing frequent enhancements as a pack of downloadable “Power Tools”, one of the coolest of which is the Build Notification Tool.

When running, an icon will appear in your system tray which looks something like this (the symbol within the circle will differ depending on the current status of the builds being monitored):

Right-clicking on the icon and selecting options allows you to specify the builds and the events in which you’re interested:

Having done that, you’ll get toast popping up above your system tray when any of the specified events occur. Also, the icon changes accordingly.

Here’s what it looks like when a build starts. Note the hyperlink to stop the build if desired:

When a build is successful, the toast includes hyperlinks to view the associated work items, or open the build drop location:

If When a build breaks, the toast includes a hyperlink to the associated changesets, and the icon turns into a red cross:

At any time, you can right-click on the Build Notification icon and select “View Build Status” to get a summary of the current status of all the builds in which you’ve expressed interest:

It really is quite neat, and I prefer this approach to subscribing to the automated build event emails, which I tend to overlook.