Using RSS Feeds

If you want to track all cases retrieved by a particular filter, you should look at the RSS notification feature of FogBugz. FogBugz publishes RSS feeds, allowing you to use any RSS aggregator to receive notifications, so you can keep up to date on changes to your filter without opening your Web browser. The RSS produced by FogBugz is RSS version 2.0, so any modern aggregator should be able to display it with no problem.

FogBugz creates an RSS feed automatically whenever you save a filter. For the RSS link, go into the Saved Filters screen. You will see a little RSS link at the far right of every saved filter, as shown in Figure 4-12. Copy the link location into your favorite RSS aggregator (following the instructions for that aggregator) and you're ready to go.

ä FogBugz - Microsoft Internet Explorer

File Edit View Favorites Tools Help

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Address http : //shoof ly. larkqroup. larkf arm. com/FoqBUGZ/def ault. asp?pq=pqManaqeFilters


User: Valerie Shriver

Administrative Tools:


List New Case Send Email Options Filters Discuss Snippets LogOff Users Projects Mailboxes Clients Departments Priority Licenses Site

Saved Filters

I Shared


Delete Filter Name

Description RSS 1



0 All open SM cases

All open cases in ServiceMonitor £



© All SM cases

All cases in ServiceMonitor

[ http : //shoof ly. larkgroup. larkfarm. com/FogEiUGZ/def ault. asp

Figure 4-12. A list of filters with RSS links

When you subscribe to a filter, your RSS reader will pick up changes to every case covered by the filter. The individual RSS items contain the basic information needed to identify the cases:

• URL for further information

• Current estimate

The RSS items include hyperlinks directly to the case and to the user to whom the case is assigned.

■Note Some RSS readers may not support cookies, making it impossible for them to keep you logged on to FogBugz if you're using password security. To work around this problem, you will need to append your user name and password to the end of your feed link manually, according to this pattern: (FogBugz-generated RSS link)&sEmail=ema//&sPassword=password.

You can also subscribe to a single bug using RSS, which will notify you as that bug changes. Simply enter the URL of the bug itself in your RSS aggregator, which will automatically discover the URL of the RSS link for that bug. The URL of bug number 1234 is http://fogbugz/?1234, where fogbugz is your main FogBugz URL.

understanding rss

RSS is an acronym that has stood for several things, depending on who's doing the explaining. I like "Really Simple Syndication" as the expansion, personally. If you don't know about RSS, you're missing out on a major way to get useful information. RSS is a way for a Web site or other information provider to stuff headlines or stories into an XML file with a simple format. Thus, an individual RSS file consists of multiple RSS items. In a FogBugz RSS feed, each case corresponds to an RSS item.

There are dozens of applications out there (generically called "RSS aggregators") that can monitor these files for changes and show you new headlines as they come out. I'm partial to an Outlook-based aggregator called News-Gator ( Other popular aggregators include Syndirella ( syndirella/), SharpReader (, RSS Bandit (http://, NewzCrawler (, and FeedReader ( For a much more extensive list of RSS aggregators and other RSS tools, refer to

Most aggregators work on a "set it and forget it" theory: you tell them how often to look at the RSS feeds (I usually go for once an hour), and when you have time, you read the headlines (in the case of items from FogBugz, the case titles) and decide whether to click through to look at the actual items. It doesn't sound like such a huge advance, but compared with surfing around to dozens of sites to find the items you want to read, RSS is a big improvement. Most people find that they can keep tabs on considerably more information with RSS than with surfing around, and find it easier to home in on the stories that interest them. RSS got its first real burst of popularity from weblogs, but it's now being used by everyone from major media outlets like the BBC and the New York Times to technology companies. Microsoft, Sun, Oracle, and IBM are all providing part of their developer-oriented content via RSS these days.

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