How To Customize Your Visual Studio Online Project


This article will help you work with Visual Studio Online where you can manage your project and collaborate around it. We will be discussing how to manage your project for adding backlog, adding bugs, and organizing it into features.

Note: Surf my previous articles to understand about Visual Studio Online.


  • Click here to create a free Microsoft account (Outlook/Hotmail).
  • Click here to learn about how to create a Visual Studio Online account and create a new team project with TFVC added by inviting the members to work on it.
  • Click here to create a team project with Git.
  • Click here for Connected IDE Experience in Visual Studio Online.
Developer Requirements
  • Microsoft account
  • Internet connectivity
  • Web browser
  • Visual Studio Online account
  • A project that should be created on your Visual Studio Online

Now follow the below steps.

Step 1

Login to and click on to Sign in at the top-right corner with your Microsoft account in which the project has been created.

Note: You should have created the project on your Visual Studio Online account before working on it. Here, I am going with a project that has been already created on my account. Make sure that you have created a project before working on this demo.

Sign in

Sign in

Step 2: Here is the home screen of your Visual Studio Online account.

Click on the URL of your project that you have created.


I will go with Select your URL which appears if you have created it before.


Step 3: Once loaded, browse your project from Recent Projects and Team.


Step 4: Select the Server and click on Navigate.


Step 5

Now, your project is opened. You can find the team members added towards the project at the Team Members pane, at the right side.


Step 6: From the Team Project main page, navigate to work option.

 work option

You will be presented with the Backlog items View (click on the link at the left menu, otherwise).

Note:  Features, requirements, tasks, bugs, and test cases can be managed as work items, or items to be worked on in the project, from the WORK area. If we want to manage the Backlog, we can do it from the Backlog items View.

Here, add some items to the Backlog, type some item, and click on Add or hit the Enter key.


Now, you can find that the Backlog has been added.


Step 7:
Near the Backlog option, you can find the “+” sign which you can use to add a Bug for the Backlog.


You can add a bug here.


The bug, “Menu should not be available in mobile browsers” has been added now.


Bugs are treated as product backlog items in the Scrum process template. So, we can add and manage them from the same place. However, they will appear marked with a different color to make it easier to distinguish between different types of work items.

work items

You can also drag and drop the item to change its order within the backlog, by clicking on the item and dragging it to your orde of priority.


Step 8: You can add features now, by clicking on New and add your Feature “Password Recovery”.


Sometimes, you need to work with high-level features that can be associated to smaller backlog items to relate them, or may act as placeholders to be decomposed into smaller chunks later when more details about these features are uncovered. This can be done using the new portfolio backlog in Visual Studio Online.


Add another feature of “User ID”.

User ID

Step 9: Now, use the menu. At the right, to change the View to Features to Backlog items.


This way, we can hierarchically relate high-level features to smaller product backlog items that compose them.


Step 10: Now, use the ‘+’ sign that appears when you hover near to each feature, to add the related product backlog items.

Step 11: Here, return to the Backlog items page and switch to the Backlog items to Features View. Click on Mapping at the right of the screen. The mapping pane will be shown. Drag and drop unlinked backlog items on to the corresponding feature on the right.

Note: You can use the mapping pane to relate existing backlog items and features to each other. Now, our backlog has been outlined and it reflects the hierarchical relationship between high-level features and smaller, granular backlog items.

Follow my next article to work with Sprints under this Project, track the progress, and work with code.