Better search and history add-in for Source Control Explorer
Did you ever complain about search missing in TFS Source Control Explorer? Or did you ever need to research history of multiple items one after another, and that lazy history window did not update when you selected next item?
If you answered yes, then have a look at version 1.1 of Team Foundation Sidekick add-in. If you do not know what it is all about, you might also wish to have a look - just in case.
Version 1.1 of add-in is based upon Team Build Sidekick. It appeared to us that creating separate add-in would be a bad idea - after all Team Build is integral part of TFS, so new version was rebranded to Team Foundation Sidekick add-in and now it is useful to general TFS practioners, not only to Team Build afficionados.
New features in v1.1 are relatively uncomplicated and yet may give you a huge productivity boost.
Search Items feature allows you to search items in TFS source control and when found, select the item in Source Control Explorer. By the way, the search feature is also available in History Sidekick (part of Team Foundation Sidekicks stand-alone application).
To invoke "Search Items" window, you right-click any item in Source Control Explorer, and first menu appearing will be "Search Items" (see screenshot). Upon click on it, "Find Item" window will be invoked. As seen on screenshot below, it has three search criteria - search string, team project to search in, and item type to search. By default, empty search string (corresponding to any item), team project for selected item and all item types are the selected options. The search string may contain wildcards such as * (any number of any characters) or ? (any single character). Clicking upon "Find" button executes the search, and once item in list is selected it is possible to select that item in Source Control Explorer by clickin "Jump To Item" button (well, it actually selects the folder containing the item due to extensibility limitations). Search is performed for all or only not deleted items (depending on Source Control Explorer settings), and the item status is displayed in search results.
Dynamic History feature (configured through Tools->Team Foundation Sidekick window) provides for dynamic update of the "History" toolwindow. By default, in order to view item history one should right-click the selected item and click "View History". Want to view history for aniother item? Perform the same sequence again. When "Dynamic history" option is set in configuration (see screenshot), when item selection in Source Control Explorer changes "History" window is updated. If you need to view history of some ten items, that simple feature could be a huge time saver.
NB: it may be unwise to leave the option set at all times if you are using Source Control Explorer extensively, as every history refresh takes time, so if you see that selecting items becomes slow, turn the option off.
So check out Team Foundation Sidekick add-in latest version and let us know how that works for you. And by the way, to contiue the tradition from previous version, source code for the add-in new version is available.