How To Create Release Notes In VSTS Using Bravo Notes

Bravo Tools is an Agile Extension for collecting, organizing, editing and publishing the new feature updates for your software application. The rise of DevOps and Agile has led to frequent changes to our application and thus, the release notes have to be frequently released to our customers as well.

In this article, I will show you how to create release notes in VSTS using an Agile Extension tool called Bravo Notes.

How to install the tool

  1. Go to Visual Studio Marketplace and search for Bravo Notes. 

    Create Release Notes In VSTS Using Bravo Tool

  2. Select your VSTS account and sign in successfully. This will add the Bravo Notes extension to your VSTS account.

    Create Release Notes In VSTS Using Bravo Tool

How to create Release Notes through default template provided by Bravo Notes

Following the above steps successfully, you will have Bravo Notes Extension to your VSTS account linked. This will have the Release Notes option for you to create the Release Notes.

  1. Click on "Build and release", select the Release Notes option.

    Create Release Notes In VSTS Using Bravo Tool
  2. Click (+) "Add" and enter the Release Notes title – Eg. Release Notes August 2018. Then, click "Create". You should be able to see the Release Notes screen as below.

    Create Release Notes In VSTS Using Bravo Tool

    Please see the templates that are created as below. There is a capability of creating multiple templates.

    Create Release Notes In VSTS Using Bravo Tool
  1. You are within the screen where we will create the Release Notes for our clients. For that, you will have to create a query that will fetch all Deliverables in TFS and we will provide inputs to Bravo Notes to create the content.

    Follow the below steps.

    Click on Work items and click (+) Add. This opens a pop-up, where you can select the Query option as shown below.

    1. Choose the Query you created in step 3. The query I have created will retrieve all the work items (Requirement, Change Request, and Bug) that are closed within my project.

      Create Release Notes In VSTS Using Bravo Tool

    2. Select the query name from My Queries/ Shared Queries options.
    3. This will display the default template format screen for Release Notes.

      On the left side, you will see the template editing screen and on the preview screen to the right.

      Create Release Notes In VSTS Using Bravo Tool

How to edit the default template to create a customized Release Report.

Let’s say we need to prepare a release report that has to have a list for Deliverables with Title – description and screenshot (if attached) to the Work items.

Within the Markdown Editor, change the template with the below syntax and click "Save".

  1. {{#workItems}}  
  2.  - {{{ field 'System.Title' }}}  
  3.  {{{ field-html 'System.Description' }}}  
  4. {{#images}}  
  5. ![{{title}}]({{url}})  
  6. {{/images}}  
  7. {{/workItems}}  
Create Release Notes In VSTS Using Bravo Tool

You can also click on Reading Mode to the right of the screen that gives you flexibility as to how your Release Notes will look when it has been shared.

Export the Release Notes to your team

Click on the Export button, that will allow you to choose how you want your Release Notes to be exported.

There are the following formats available for exporting.

  1. Markdown Template - You can either download, save to Repository, or save to Wiki in your project.
  2. HTML format - So that you can publish this code on your front facing website for your customers.
  3. PDF - Export as PDF format and share internally or externally for emailing to your customers.

    Create Release Notes In VSTS Using Bravo Tool

I hope this article will be helpful for my readers and I wish to come up with more in my next article.


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