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Reply by email to work item discussion

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I'm very pleased that we can now @mention team members in the Discussion for a work item; however, when I receive the email notification that I've been mentioned, I would like to be able to post my response by replying to the email, so that I don't have to follow the link to the web form in order to reply.

This is important, because many times, I receive these notifications on my phone when I'm not near my computer, and the work item web form experience is not well suited to a mobile device. But even if it were, it would still be much more convenient to simply reply directly to the email and have the comment post to the discussion thread.

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Mike Duffy shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →


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  • Kirill Blazhko commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I second @Jeff Malin here.

    There are many strong benefits of being able to respond to comments inside an email:

    - This allows the comments to be managed through the "Zero Inbox" concept - get an email, respond to it, archive it, done.
    - This allows to have all the power of rich text formatting of Outlook.
    - Much easier to respond to comments from mobile devices.

    Also, this already works in Microsoft Planner and it's one of its strongest features.

  • Jeff Malin commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Hi Microsoft team - I would really like to call out this suggestion as I don't think that this idea has received the level of support or discussion that it deserves. The ability to have a seamless discussion between the tool and e-mail would greatly enhance the process and drive wider adoption of the Comments functionality. Today we have issues where team members send comments to stakeholders, who then reply via e-mail, and the entire chain is lost in the User Story. It's leading to suggestions that we abandon comments and use e-mail alone, which I feel would be a bad thing as future viewers would lack any of the discussion or background if they hadn't been on the e-mail thread.

    Further, most major web-based collaboration tools support this sort of thing already (Salesforce, ServiceNow, JIRA, etc) by adding a custom identifier into the e-mail subject or body, as well as logic to parse out the latest e-mail replies. It would seem that this is fast-becoming an expectation for standard functionality.

    Thank you in advance for your consideration.

  • Justin commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I think the subject of this might be unclear: I would like it to read "Add the ability to Visual Studio Online to reply via email to a work item alert email and the reply text be added as a discussion comment to the work item

  • Michael Wanke commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    A growing number of the discussions that occur around work items happens with a larger audience. Many in that audience don't use VSTS. Because of that fact, when the discussion involves these folks and they are tagged in the Discussion window, the person tagging them gets an email response directly back. We then try to always paste the response in the discussion. It would be absolutely wonderful to be able to allow folks to respond to the notification email and have it add another entry in the discussion.

  • Justin commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I want to be able to reply to a work item alert via email and the text that I write in reply be added as a comment in the discussion section of the work item.

    This would be used when some comments on a work item you get alerts for or if someone directly tags you using the "@userid" format. Thus allowing users to quickly comment and add feedback without having to go to the work item.

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