How to accumulate work items for an Octopus release

I am trying to figure out if there’s a way (with the new Octopack VSTS vNext task) to accomplish something I have done in the past with other XAML-based builds. In the past, I have had a task to generate release notes based on TFS work items that have been created after a certain point in time. Usually, this point in time was marked by changing the “Build Quality” of the TFS build to “Released”. So, the build would accumulate all work items since that point and include them in the current Octopus release. So, each Octopus release had the full list of work items since that point in time.

With the new way of pushing packages and releases to Octopus in VSTS vNext, using the new Octopus task, it looks like each release can only go back in time to the previous build. So, if there are many releases for a “2.0” release, it seems all those work items would be sprinkled among all the dev/test builds and releases that had to happen to get to the “2.0” state. What i really want is the ability to accumulate work items since “1.0” so that all the new features and bug fixes that have happened for “2.0” show up on the Octopus release in one place.

Is there a way to accomplish this without having to get into the bowels of either VSTS or Octopus?

Hi @Djensen,

Thanks for reaching out!

The new VSTS tasks are nothing but a wrapper of a few Octo.exe commands:

Create Release is
Deploy Release is
Package application is

What this means is that you can add any of those commands parameters on the Additional Octo.exe Arguments of each VSTS task.

In the case of Create release and Package Application, you’ll see on each command’s link above that they have a parameter called --ReleaseNotesFile. What you can do is create a file with the workitem info of all the releases you want, and then pass it to this parameter.

Hope that helps!

Yes - I have seen that, but I have not been able to get the release notes I generate to show up like they do when I simply check the task’s release note option… Is there a way to just affect the work items the task is looking for, without having to create a separate file and handle the formatting myself?


I’ve discussed this with one of the devs behind the TFS extension, and he confirmed my thoughts that, at the moment, the only way is to create a separate file and format it with MarkDown which is what Octopus understands how to format.

We also couldn’t think of a way to make this work without getting really nasty with the TFS API. That said, this could be investigated in more detail if enough users would like to see this happening.

Could you create a uservoice suggestion for this so people con vote for it? That’ll be the best way for us to know how many ppl back the idea.

Best regards,