Customizing VSTS Process Template


For the last couple of months I have been working on to enhance the process template for my organization. So following are some post in which I will explain Customization of VSTS process template.


Let’s start with – What the process template means?


Process templates define key aspects of a team project that affect how a team works. By customizing a process template, we can define security for team project control, what templates are available on the project portal, source code control check-in notes, new work item types and queries, reports for monitoring and status, and which iterations and organization units are used. Process templates define the initial process settings for team projects. Most process settings can also be customized after a team project is created.


Each organization/teams already have their own project execution processes or document templates in place. So by defining their process template including those existing processes and document templates in the process template they can enforce those processes onto each project which is created within the TFS using custom process template.


So the Process templates define key aspects of a team project that affect how a team works. By customizing a process template, we can define the following security options to control your team project.


·         Define the templates that are available on the project portal.


·         Define and require source code control check-in notes.


·         Define the available work item types and queries.


·         Define reports to monitor progress and report status.


·         Define the iterations and organizational units that are used.


Constituents of Process Template


Work Item Type


A work item type is a database record which VSTF uses to track assignments and state of work. For example task, bug, risk, test case are some of the work item types.


Version Control Settings


A process template can define default settings for check-in notes, permissions for various group settings and multiple check-out.


Sharepoint site layout, theme and contents


Work products and document templates are documents such as Microsoft Word files, and Microsoft Excel files that are copied to the project portal when the new team project is created.


Process guidance is HTML content that describes the activities, roles, work items, and other parts of the process for the team.


Reports


A process template defines the default set of reports to be used by team members on the new team project.


Project areas and iterations


Project areas and iterations are used to facilitate work item queries and reports for grouping. They allow the team to query for work items that just affect a particular area of the project, or a particular iteration.


 


Customizing Process Template


The best way to start the process template customization is to start with an existing process template. We downloaded and started with the MSF for CMMI process template and started its customization. There are two ways to customize the process template,


1.       Use the VSTS Process Editor (which is part of VSTF Power Tools).


2.       Directly modify various process template XML files. (I will explain more about these XML files in the Part 2 of this series.)


Introduction to VSTS Process Editor


The Process Editor provides a convenient method of viewing and customizing process templates. The Process Editor can work in two modes: Connected and Disconnected. In Connected mode, the Process Editor interacts with Team Foundation server, enabling us to interact with the items in an existing project on the server.


Download and Upload a Process Template


To edit a process template, download it from Team Foundation server, edit it with the Process Editor or directly modifying template XML files, and then upload it. Uploading the new template will only affect the way future projects will be initialized on the server, and will have no effect on any of the existing project on the server.


Download a process template


1.       Connect to TFS.


2.       In Visual Studio, select from top menu - Team > Team Foundation Server Settings > Process Template Manager.


3.       In the Process Template Manager dialog box, select a process template.


4.       Click Download and save the template locally.


Now after modifying the process template, upload the new process template using the following steps.


Upload a process template


1.       Connect to TFS.


2.       In Visual Studio, select from top menu - Team > Team Foundation Server Settings > Process Template Manager.


3.       In the Process Template Manager dialog box, click Upload and navigate to the folder containing the ProcessTemplate.xml file.


4.       Uploading the template to the TFS server takes some time from couple of minutes to half an hour, depending on the location and configuration of TFS server.


 

Comments (4)

  1. Mickey Gousset on Team Foundation Sidekicks – A Solution To My Problems. Jeff Beehler on Team System…

  2. In Part 1 of this series I have explained what the process template is, and how you can download and

  3. In Part 1 of this series I have explained what the process template is, and how you can download and

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