Creating a Unique Story report with TFS and Crystal Reports
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by Eric Landes
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Creating the report

With that SQL statement, we can create a report that contains stories the size of 4X6 index cards.  Let's set this up using a normal 8.5" X 11" page, I do that then cut out the story cards when I need them. 

First in the report, we need to add the following fields.  The System.ID, System.Title, Microsoft.Common.VSTS.RoughOrderOfMagnitude, and Iteration from the command.  The ID field is helpful to find the story in TFS later during your planning meetings with customers.  Since you may keep details in the description field.  It's easier to find those stories, especially as you collect many of these stories.  You may have as many as 200 stories in an average project, and this is a good place to do this.

Illustration 1 shows where to place the fields.  @IdNum (a formula that adds a # sign in front of the number), should be in the center at the top.  System.Title goes in the middle, The Score and Iteration number are placed at the bottom of the card.  All fonts are Arial with a 36 point unless otherwise noted.  Let's add some more formatting.

Figure 1

First we need to add a distinctive look so that each story will stand out in a planning meeting.  To do this let's use the Wingdings fonts that come with many Windows fonts.  If you don't have the Wingdings font, look for a symbol type font that can be unique.

The other thing we want to do to make the look of each card distinctive, is to give a different color to each card.  To simulate a random color, we use a formula on the font color to make it different for every 10th card.

To do this, we'll use the System.ID field, which will always be different.  This field is different then the first System.ID field we set.  We put this in the top left hand part of the card.  Let's set that System.ID font to Wingdings in the properties section.  Then in the Font Color, let's click the Formula button, and place the formula in Listing 2. 

Listing 2

iif(mid (cstr( {command.System.Id} ),3)="1", crBlack,
 iifmidcstr( {command.System.Id} ),3) ="2", crRed, 
iifmidcstr( {command.System.Id} ),3) ="3" , crBlue , 
iifmidcstr( {command.System.Id} ),3)="4", crGreen, 
iifmidcstr( {command.System.Id} ),3)="5", crPurple, 
iifmidcstr( {command.System.Id} ),3)="6", crYellow, 
iif( midcstr( {command.System.Id}),3) ="7", crGray, 
iifmidcstr( {command.System.Id} ),3)="8", crMaroon, crTeal))))))))

We also want to put this same formula in the color formula for System.Title.  This keeps the title the same color as the unique marking.  Now let's copy that System.ID with the wingding font to the right top corner, then the bottom 2 corners of each side.  Now your card is ready to print!

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