Continuous Integration is all about quick feedback on changes in our code. TeamCity lets us subscribe to important events that may take place during the build process, such as succesful builds, build failures and so on. Email, Jabber, IDE and Windows Tray notifications are supported out of the box, but we can also post these notifications to Visual Studio Online Team Rooms using a newly released plugin.
With Visual Studio Online Team Rooms, we can keep a record of things that happen in our team – checkins, work item updates, code reviews and so on. Team members can have conversations with each other directly in the team room. TeamCity can contribute to the conversation, by posting notifications around builds to the team room. Let’s see how we can configure this integration.
Enabling and Configuring Team Room Notifications
After installing the plugin, we have to enable the integration from the Administration | Server Administration | VS Online Notifier page. Once done, we can configure notifications from within a user profile. In the top right corner of the screen, we can click the arrow next to our username and select My Settings & Tools from the drop-down. We can then setup notifications under the VS Online Notifier tab.
Team Room notifications will be sent by the user profile we configure here. We’ll have to provide the Visual Studio Online account name, the full Team Room name and a username and password to connect to it. Do make sure to enable alternate credentials in Visual Studio Online to be able to send notifications on behalf of this user.
Once the connection has been tested and saved, we can tell TeamCity which notifications we want to see for one or more build configurations. Check the documentation for a list of the available notification options and how to work with them.
After saving the rule, TeamCity will send notifications to the configured Visual Studio Online Team Room as events happen.
Every TeamCity user can configure these notifications. In the above screenshot, we’ve created a special “TeamCity user” in Visual Studio Online. It’s perfectly possible to send notifications from other users, too. When multiple users have configured the same events, TeamCity will merge these messages in one so the Team Room is not flooded with the same information.
We can add more information to the notifications if needed, by customizing notification templates. For example, we can add the error messages from the build log or add additional build details in the notification.