Developing Custom VersionOne Apps 101 Series Guide

In this article, you’ll read why you’d need the VersionOne Feature Requestor Sample Custom App (works only in Chrome right now), and what it does for you. If you just want to take a tour of the app, then skip to the next article.

Note: source code for the app is free to download or fork from GitHub.

What is the VersionOne Feature Requestor Sample Custom App?

The app lets users submit new feature requests into VersionOne through the VersionOne REST Data API. It also lets them edit these feature requests. A feature request in can eventually become a User Story, or even other types of assets, like Epics.

VersionOne Feature Requestor Sample Custom App

Why Would I Need to Use the Feature Requestor App?

  • Do you have a customer-facing or user-facing web site with a form for change requests or enhancements?
  • Do lots of new people bringing up ideas in meetings and you cannot waste time creating new accounts for all these people just to get their ideas into VersionOne?
  • When you walk the halls with your iPad or Android tablet, do users throw ideas off to you, and you want to capture those ideas quickly?
  • Or, when conduct usability and testing labs for your own products with your users, do you wish you could  use your tablet to jot down change requests and feedback as painlessly as possible in VersionOne?
  • Or, do you, or your users ever say: “I spend a lot of time thinking on the train or in the carpool, where I have no network access, can you make a tool that lets me save requests on my tablet, then upload when I’m online?”

Not in my backlog!

As a software developer, you’ve probably seen thousands of “Todo” list apps. They might help you manage your personal “backlog” of errands and chores, but such an app will not suffice for your customers and your workflow. You get way too many change requests, feature requests, nice to haves, must haves, etc. Isn’t that why you found VersionOne in the first place, isn’t it? You just want to keep track of what you have to work on and you want to see that it gets DONE!

Not everything can start as an Epic or Story

When you start using VersionOne to manage agile projects, you realize you cannot always jump straight into planning stories and iterations. Your organization, or your customers, have lots of things they want you to do. Using the Requests feature of a Project is a good way to store these items before you are able to more formally pull them into an iteration or turn them into Epics or Stories.

Explaining the powerful and full-blown capabilities of the VersionOne software smells too much like marketing and is thus outside the scope of this demonstration, but you can learn more about that on the Agile Product Planning Tool page on the main VersionOne web site.

Individuals and interactions — how and when customer feature requests really happen

As we saw above, all feature requests do not come when people are sitting in front of a computer with VersionOne pulled up on the screen. And, what if you don’t want to force your customers or your users to be registered in VersionOne simply to get their requests into your backlog? Or, what if they believe it’s your job, not theirs, to utilize the VersionOne software tool to facilitate the planning and delivery of products and services?

Remember that thing, that Agile Manifesto?

Now, before you get upset with people for not following your plans for their behavior with the shiny tools you bought them, remember that line from the Agile Manifesto?

This one:

Through this work we have come to value: Individuals and interactions over processes and tools

Oh, and this one:

Through the work we have come to value: Responding to change over following a plan

As I said in the introduction to this series, it would be arrogant beyond belief to think that we, a tool vendor, could solve all your needs, “out of the box”, with a tool we create — given that you embrace those core agile values, wouldn’t it?

That’s why we built the Feature Requestor Sample Custom App — to give you something you can really use, and also to demonstrate how to write custom apps with our REST APIs.

Go test drive the Feature Requestor

Now that you understand why and when you might want to use the app, go ahead to the next article: Test Drive the VersionOne Feature Requestor Sample Custom App.

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