How to distribute custom checkin policies and work item controls using the power tools


Custom checkin policies and custom work item controls are great ways to take advantage of the extensibility of TFS.  You can use checkin policies to enforce certain standards on checkins (even in your builds).  Custom work item controls allow you to add controls to your work item forms that present data in particular way, access other systems, etc.  However, there’s no mechanism in Team Explorer to download and install these.

Youhana has written a post on how to use a feature in the power tools that not many folks know about.  By creating a couple of version control folders in each team project, you can have folks use the Team Members node in Team Explorer to download and install them.  This means that your users don’t need to know where to put the files on disk or the registry entries to create to make them work.  There’s not an auto-update mechanism there right now, so users will need to do this again if you subsequently update the dlls.  To get to this feature, you need to have the Team Foundation Server Power Tools installed on each machine where you want to use this feature.

Distributing custom check-in policies & WIT controls using team members

The team members component of the TFS power tools (available here) has a feature to help TFS users distribute custom check-in policies and WIT controls. Basically, the administrator would add the dlls containing the policies and components to a special folder in version control and users then can install the components using the “personal settings” dialog in team members. These are the detailed steps:

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Enjoy!

Comments (6)

  1. Kjell-Åke Gafvelin says:

    So when will you fix this in the main product? Custom check-in policies and WIT-controls isn't really something new in TFS and still there isn't possible to manage them centrally and distribute them without having to rely on TFS Power Tools or any other mechanism!

  2. buckh says:

    Well, I'm not going to attempt to defend it.  We should have fixed it by now.  I'm not even sure it will make it into the next release, though.

    Buck

  3. Jaans says:

    Are we there yet with TFS 2013?

  4. buckh says:

    Jeans, sadly the answer is no.

  5. JDP says:

    How are things looking in 2015?

  6. buckh says:

    JDP, unfortunately the answer is unchanged – no improvement here.