Handling a TFS 2018 Upgrade from Old Form to New Form

As of TFS 2017.2, the old work item form <Layout> tag has been deprecated and is no longer supported in TFS 2018. If you are upgrading your server and have a collection where the new work item form has not been enabled you will encounter the following severe warning during readiness checks:

[VS403364]: This release introduces major updates to the work item form layout and functionality and deprecates legacy custom controls. Consequently, the upgrade process will update all work item type definitions to use the new work item form WebLayout element and remove all custom controls. For additional information and recommended upgrade steps, see the Deployment Guide.

Best Effort Transformation of Layout to WebLayout Tag

Any work item type definition that does not have the <WebLayout> tag will undergo a best effort transformation to the new form layout. All legacy custom controls will no longer load. To test the transformation before completing server upgrade, we recommend using a pre-production environment to refine your template along with a manual post upgrade step to upload any changes to your server.

1.      Use a Pre-Production Environment (PPE) to refine your template

To see the results of the transformation, stand up a pre-production environment and check all work item types. Customize the form layout in the PPE if the transformation did not meet your needs.

2.      Export refined process template(s) from PPE

After you have made modifications to your process template(s), export the template and save to a location you can access after the upgrade is complete.

3.      Post upgrade, manually upload refined template(s)

Following the upgrade, upload the template(s) you saved from PPE and validate that the work item form looks the way you want before announcing the server upgrade is complete.

Upgrading a Server with Legacy Custom Controls

If you are upgrading a server with legacy custom controls built by Microsoft, you can go to the VSTS Marketplace, download the new control, and add it to your work item type definition. This includes:

Other legacy custom controls will need to be converted to the new REST based extensibility model. Get started by extending the work item form using the Work Item Form Service.

Thank you.

Author: Lauren Brose

Program Manager for Visual Studio Team Services at Microsoft

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