Dan Hellem

Today we are happy to announce several improvements to our GitHub integration story. These improvements are vital for those customers who are seeking better traceability between Azure Boards and GitHub repositories.

AB# Validation

This is a recap of the private preview announcement we made in December 2023. AB# validation is now available to all organizations across the service.

We’ve enhanced the Azure Boards app to notify users about the validity of work item links, helping them spot and fix any issues before merging a pull request.

Image AB# validation

Linking to GitHub Pull Requests and Commits (preview)

You have two options to associate your work item with a GitHub pull request or commit:

  1. AB# Syntax: Use the AB# syntax directly from the pull request or commit.

  2. Direct Linking: Alternatively, you can link it directly from the work item. In the past, the process involved copying the entire URL path of the GitHub pull request or commit and pasting it. This required opening multiple windows and bouncing back and forth between applications.

Today we are introducing a significant improvement to direct linking. Now, you can enjoy a full search experience when attempting to link from the work item. Simply drill down to search and select, starting with the repository name and then choosing the pull request or commit. No need for multiple window switches or copy-pasting.

Image add link 2

A crucial point to keep in mind while searching for commits. We can only retrieve commits from the default branch. If your commit is located in a branch other than the default one, you can always resort to the traditional copy-and-paste method.

Image add link manual

Pull request details (preview)

In the current integration, when a link is added to a GitHub pull request, we only present the open and closed status of that pull request on the work item. Acknowledging that there are additional activities that occur between these states, the improved experience is designed to provide additional details. You can easily see if the pull request is in draft mode, requires a review, or is undergoing status checks. All without the need to open the pull request directly.

Image gh pr on work item

The private preview for this feature will not be available until the next sprint release starting the week of February 26th.

Enroll in the private preview

If you are interested in getting access to the two new feature above, please send us an email directly and include your organization name (https://dev.azure.com/{organization}). This is a great opportunity for you to test the features out and provide your input. We read and respond to every bit of feedback 😊.


We will continue to push out new GitHub + Boards enhancements in the upcoming sprints. To stay up to date on our progress and plans, check out the Improved Boards + GitHub Integration section of the Azure DevOps roadmap.