SimLoe
Posts: 42
Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2020 11:37 am

Azure Devops best practices: Generating release notes automatically?

Wed Apr 28, 2021 8:44 am

Hi all,

we are using Azure Devops to manage features, bugs, user stories etc., to manage our repository and to build the project and installers (using Advanced Installer).
Just wanted to know if anyone has implemented an automatic process to include the resolved bugs as description texts in the txt file that is used to provide update information (Updater Configuration File)?

For example, it would be super handy if the txt file is being generated automatically when a new version is ready to be published and includes all the names of the resolved bugs.

Do you have any tutorials to do this? Is this approach being used by anyone?

Cheers,
Simon

Catalin
Posts: 4086
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2018 7:49 am

Re: Azure Devops best practices: Generating release notes automatically?

Tue May 04, 2021 2:08 pm

Hello Simon,

You may find useful the /SetUpdateDescription command line option.

However, this should be done before building the update.

Hope this helps!

Best regards,
Catalin
Catalin Gheorghe - Advanced Installer Team
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SimLoe
Posts: 42
Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2020 11:37 am

Re: Azure Devops best practices: Generating release notes automatically?

Tue May 04, 2021 3:34 pm

Hello Catalin,

I already had found this command, but I was more looking for a process that is being used to automate the release notes generation.
Maybe someone is using a custom release pipeline in Devops...

However, it looks to me as this isn't the case...

Best regards,
Simon

Catalin
Posts: 4086
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2018 7:49 am

Re: Azure Devops best practices: Generating release notes automatically?

Tue May 04, 2021 4:58 pm

Hello Simon,
I already had found this command, but I was more looking for a process that is being used to automate the release notes generation.
Maybe someone is using a custom release pipeline in Devops...
I see. If a user is using such a custom process, maybe he will follow you up on this thread.

Best regards,
Catalin
Catalin Gheorghe - Advanced Installer Team
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Bogdan
Posts: 2784
Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2009 7:34 am
Contact: Website

Re: Azure Devops best practices: Generating release notes automatically?

Tue May 25, 2021 11:25 am

Hi Simon,

Bogdan here, I manage product development at Advanced Installer.

I was looking over your idea/request and I was curious if our Github integration is something that influenced your idea or not?

Besides that, I have a few more questions:

1) Do you want to include all the issues in the releases notes, or do you want to filter some of them? For example, we use a label inside our issue tracker to filter out issues that are not relevant to our customers (for example, an improvement that makes debugging easier for our support/qa team).

2) Do you want to customize the texts that end up in the release notes? Usually, from practice, we noticed that we need to rewrite the issue title/name for our release notes (copy & paste doesn't really work - especially when devs or QA file a new bug, because they don't always use a customer perspective when writing its description).

Regards,
Bogdan
Bogdan Mitrache - Advanced Installer Team
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SimLoe
Posts: 42
Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2020 11:37 am

Re: Azure Devops best practices: Generating release notes automatically?

Tue May 25, 2021 2:37 pm

Hi Bogdan,

we are using VSTS/TFS as Repository Management system and not Github that's why I did not know anything about AI's github integration. I got the idea when I was evaluating whether to use AI's included updater or stick to our own.
I was then thinking that it would be nice to have a semi-automated approach that generates a suggestion for the release notes.
I can also confirm that this could only be a suggestion since we would have to look over the wording etc. and filter irrelevant (internal) bugs, changes, etc..
Also, we would have to add a German translation for the release notes. I don't know how this could look like from the user perspective and if it's possible with the API that Azure devops is offering.
I also was to lazy to try to script something here on my own, so we are currently sticking to a manual generation of the release notes.

Best regards,

Simon

Bogdan
Posts: 2784
Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2009 7:34 am
Contact: Website

Re: Azure Devops best practices: Generating release notes automatically?

Wed May 26, 2021 9:14 am

Thanks Simon, appreciate the feedback.

From what I see you are mostly focusing on the automatic generation of the release notes and not the entire update pipeline (i.e. publishing the new package on your server, configuring the updates project with the right detection rules, etc...)

Since you need manual editing and translating. Have you considered doing an automatic export of the list of issues? I see Azure DevOps has some Excel integration.

Your feedback is interesting, but I'll need more similar request from other Azure DevOps users. Then we will see what can be done on top of MS APIs, without duplicating the functionality we already have in our GUI.

Regards,
Bogdan
Bogdan Mitrache - Advanced Installer Team
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