Visual Cadence – Getting Started 2018-08-15T17:15:55+00:00

Getting Started with Visual Cadence

Configure the Extension

The first step you must complete for Visual Cadence is to register your extension with the backend services to provision your reporting infrastructure so data processing can begin.

Note: There may be times that the registration process is behind a queue system due to overwhelming demand.

  1. Create a Personal Access Token (PAT)
    • Authentication to your VSTS account to perform data extraction is through the use of a read-only PAT.
      • At minimum for the Free Tier of Visual Cadence, the PAT will require these scopes:
        • Project and team (read)
        • Work items (read)
    • To get started, you can create a PAT from your personal account with the specific scopes needed by your version of Visual Cadence.
      • Note: If you have a large VSTS account with lots of history and activity, you will want to consider using a separate service account as the data extraction process can cause rate limiting for your personal user account on VSTS during the initial import. However, your PAT can be updated at any time from the Visual Cadence extension configuration page.
    • VSTS documentation for creating a PAT can be found here: Authenticate access with personal access tokens for VSTS and TFS
    • We secure your PAT using Azure Key Vault, and it is only programmatically accessed when necessary to pull data from VSTS. You can read the Visual Cadence Security & Privacy page for more information on how we secure your data.
  2. Fill out the extension registration form and register
    1. The Visual Cadence registration page is available on your collection administration hub
    2. Provide your PAT
    3. Provide a database username and password
    4. Provide the IP range(s) that you will allow to access your database
  3. The infrastructure provisioning process will take a few minutes.
    • Once the provisioning process is finished, refreshing the extension configuration page will display your SQL connection information.
    • It will take a few minutes to a few hours to extract and process your history out of VSTS.

Get the Power BI Template

One of the best ways to consume the data model in Visual Cadence is through Power BI. To help get you started, we are investing in a Power BI template with some of the common reports that our customers use. During this initial launch period, the Power BI file will be managed close to the chest so we can rapidly iterate and stay in touch with our user base before landing on a public marketplace.

Request the PowerBI template by sending an email to

Connect to Visual Cadence

Any reporting tool that can connect to SQL Server should just work with Visual Cadence. You can find instructions below for connecting with our Power BI template and SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS).

  1. Download and install the most recent version of Power BI Desktop
  2. Open the VisualCadence-Template.pbit file
  3. You will be prompted to enter the Server and the Database name of your Azure SQL Database.
    • These values can be found in your VSTS instance on the Visual Cadence extension configuration page.
  4. After entering the Server and Database name, click Load.
    • You will then be prompted to enter database credentials.
    • Select Database on the left-hand side of the window.
  5. Then enter the database username and password you configured in the Visual Cadence extension.
    • Your data will be imported into your Power BI report.
    • To save this file please click File, then click Save.
  6. Enjoy slicing and dicing your data!
  1. Download and install SQL Server Management Studio
  2. Open SSMS and perform the following:
    • Enter in the Server name
    • Select SQL Server Authentication
    • Input the database username and password you configured in the Visual Cadence extension
    • Click Options >>
    • Enter your specific database name in the “Connect to database” text box
    • Click Connect
  3. Enjoy writing queries and analyzing your data!

Request for Feedback

To reach our goals of putting all your data in your control for reporting, we need your help.
If you have recommended reports, new features, or any other comments, please shoot us an email.

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