Monday, February 18, 2008

[Inside TeamCompanion]: Desktop work item search - Part 2: Vista instant search hints

In the previous blog entry I've presented desktop search integration for the work items implemented by the TeamCompanion. In this one, I will give you some hints how to best use it to get the right search results quickly and easily. The hints apply to Vista instant search.

The idea is to give the search engine some metadata in addition to the search term itself, so that it can best locate your work items.
Internally work items are presented to the indexing engine as mail items, so you should use „store:mapi“ in your work items searches. That is not too restrictive but will help.

In the following examples I will use the team foundation server name “TFS.ekobit.com” and the project name “SearchDemoProject”.

To search for work items from a specific server tell the search engine to look in specific folder only. Use „Folder:TFSServerName “. You don’t need to use the full server name. A part of the name unique among all of the servers used in the TeamCompanion will be enough.
Example: enter “store:mapi Folder:TFS TeamCompanion” in instant search to look for the word TeamCompanion in all retrieved work items of all projects in the server TFS.ekobit.com (as long as there are no other servers with names starting with letters TFS).

To search for work items in a specific team project make the query more restrictive. Use „Folder:TFSServerName/TeamProjectName“. Here you must use the complete server name (as shown in the TeamCompanion Mail folder tree) and any unique part of the team project name
Example: enter “store:mapi Folder:TFS.ekobit.com/SearchDemoProject TeamCompanion” in instant search to look for the word TeamCompanion in all retrieved work items in the project SearchDemoProject in the server TFS.ekobit.com.

If you want to search only in the results of one specific work item query, make the folder specification even more restrictive: “Folder:TFSServerName/Team Queries/TFSWorkItemQueryName”. Instead of “Team Queries”, obviously you can put “My Queries” as well.
Example: enter “store:mapi Folder:TFS.ekobit.com/SearchDemoProject/Team Queries/All Tasks TeamCompanion” in instant search to look for the work TeamCompanion in all retrieved active task work items in the project SearchDemoProject in the server TFS.ekobit.com.



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