Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) Analytics with Power BI

Power BI online presents powerful analytical capabilities managed by the scale and performance of a cloud infrastructure. The ability to host visualizations that can be connected to a multitude of data sources has made Power BI?quite popular and resulted in third-party hosted services being developed to provide data from a large variety of cloud platforms. Power BI now has its own marketplace for such services. Not so long ago, the Visual Studio team also published a connector for fetching data from Visual Studio Online?accounts and created a default dashboard for analysing the progress of a team. Together with the connector for Application Insights, the platform for synthetic monitoring of an application, Power BI can provide the ability to uncover deep insights that wasn’t possible before in Application Lifecycle Management (ALM).

To create an analytical dashboard on the project metrics, first login to your Power BI account and then click on “Get Data”. It provides several options to fetch data from different sources. There is an option to connect to online services.

Click “Get” under the Services tab. You will be redirected to the marketplace services page that contains various options for connecting to different providers. This is where you will find the option to connect to Visual Studio Online using the Visual Studio Online connector. Click on it.

You will be prompted to provide the Visual Studio Online account name and the Project Name. You may specify an “*” under the project name to fetch and analyse data from all projects, but that is not ideal. You should specify the name of the project to fetch data specific to that project only. Next you will be prompted to authenticate. If the Visual Studio Online and Power BI are not part of the same subscription, then you can authenticate using OAuth 2.0.

Currently OAuth 2.0 is the only supported authentication protocol. Once connected, Power BI will fetch project data and create a default dashboard to showcase some of the project metrics such as burn down by story points, active bug count, etc., that you can analyse to determine the health of the project. A connector is also provided for Application Insights, and you can use it to fetch synthetic monitoring data around the application being watched. Together with the project metrics, you can drive powerful ALM insights on the application under development.

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