CMMi Team Foundation Server (TFS)

TFS 2005 Customize Work Item Template and Process Template – Part III

Most businesses have some established ways of getting work completed, from loosely-organized tasks to highly formalized systems. These methods for getting work completed are called processes, and the collection of processes is called process. Processes develop over time to meet business needs. Many companies and organizations have formalized process and process guidance to help companies work more efficiently. Whether you have very little formal process in your current business, or a great deal of customized process development, you can use Team Foundation and Team Foundation Server to help support and develop your own business processes.

Team Foundation and Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 integrate with the Microsoft Solutions Framework (MSF), a highly customizable and scalable set of software development processes, principles, and proven practices designed to deliver the type of guidance desired by the user when and where it is needed

Process template is used when we create the project using “New Team Project” wizard in Team Explorer. Template hold the definition on how the new project should be setup and structured. It has definitions and contents for all three layers of TFS Project (TFS, SharePoint and Reporting Services).

All the customizations which we discussed during my last post in Part II can be included in the Process Template so that these will be applied right from start when we create a new project.

To start with, we will modify the default template which is available for download at Microsoft. We will be using MSF for CMMI Process Improvement. You can also download the Guidance on using this process. You can also download an existing process in TFS which you can customize. To download an existing process template from TFS follow instructions on “How to: Download a Process Template

There are lot of other free open-source process template available list of which can be found at this site also has lot of links to tools and utilities for TFS.

Getting started

  • Download the process template and follow the instructions on download page.
  • Image below is how the folder looks after you unzip the process template


  • Open Visual Studio (if not already open)
  • Open Team Explorer Window (Ctrl+, Ctrl+M) (if not already open)
  • From VS Menu click “Team” > “Process Editor” > “Open Process Template


  • In window “Open Process Template fileset” browse to location where you extracted the files and select file “ProcessTemplate.xml” and click on “Open


  • Image below shows how the contents in Process Template are organized


  • We will now add existing Work Item Type Definitions, we will import the definition for Type “Task” which we modified during our last post to have custom field and making Task Start Date and Task Finish Date editable
  • Locate and click “Work Item Tracking” in tree on left pane
  • Switch the tab to “Type Definitions” select the “Task” Work Item Type Definition from the list, click on “Remove” and in confirmation dialog press “Yes


  • Now click on “Import” in dialog “Open” browse to the location where we saved the “Task.xml” select the file and click on “Open


  • Now lets delete some of the default WI (Work Item) created by TFS and add some WI as required
  • Switch to tab “Default Work Items
  • Delete the WI which you don’t want: select the WI and click on “Remove” and click “Yes” in conformation dialog box, repeat the step to delete all the WI’s you don’t want


  • Let add some WI’s to the “Default Work Items“: Click on “Add” and select the type of WI from the drop down “Task” and click on “OK


  • NOTE: There is a customized field named “Solution Type” which is part of the “Task” template type which we created during last post. We made this field as Required so do not forget to fill this value or else the “New Team Project” wizard will fail.
  • Fill out the Details for the Task as in image below and click on “OK
  • Please open all other task which are there in “Default Work Items” select the value for “Solution Type” for each of them and click on “OK” to save them.
  • Also the drop-down should have value “Others” as one of the option which we did not create


  • Let now add some documents and templates to SharePoint layer which are defined as per the standard SDLC process
  • Locate and click “Portal” in tree on left pane, from another tree control which will appear select “Project Management
  • Click on “Add” and browse to the document you want to add in the “Source File:“, Select the document and click on “OK
  • Click on “Import“, in “Confirmation” dialog “Destination folder does not exist. Do you want to create it?” press on “Yes


  • Now lets include some custom report. I will be posting on topic “Create Customized Reports for TFS” in future. This is for people who already have some custom reports to be included in the Process Template.
  • Locate and click on “Reports” in tree on left pane, and click on “Add” in right pane
  • Enter the “Name:” for report
  • In window “Report” browse to the RDL file which is Report Definition File, in “File Name:” under the tab “Report Detail
  • In “Information” popup “The selected report file is not contained in the report directory. Would you like to copy it to the Reports directory?” click on “Yes


  • Switch the tab to “DataSources” and click on “Add
  • In “Name:” enter the value as “/TfsOlapReportDS” and in “DS Name:” enter value as “TfsOlapReportDS” (Note the difference here, this is without the “/”), and click on “OK
  • Repeat the step to add another data source with value for “Name:” as “/TfsReportDS” and value for “DS Name:” as “TfsReportDS” (Note the difference here also, this is without the “/”)
  • Click on “OK” to close the window “Report


  • Now save the Process Template by “Ctrl+S
  • Open VS Menu “Team” > “Team Foundation Server Settings” > “Process Template Manager…


  • In window “Process Template Manager” click on “Upload
  • In windows “Upload Process Template” browse to the folder containing the file “ProcessTemplate.xml” and click on “Upload
  • You will get the conformation once the “Process Template” is successfully uploaded, after this conformation close the “Process Template Manager” window


  • Now we will create a “New Project” using this “Process Template
  • Open “Team Explorer” right click on the server name and click on “New Team Project…


  • The “New Team Project” wizard is invoked, enter “Testing Process Template” for question “What is the name of the Team project?” and click “Next
  • Select “MSF for CMMI Process Improvement – v4.2” from drop down to apply this process template for the new team project and click “Next
  • In “What is the title of the project portal” change the title if you want to, we will leave this as default and click on “Next
  • In “Select Source Control Settings” select the first option “Create an empty source control folder” and click on “Next
  • In “Confirm Team Project Settings” verify the setting and click “Finish
  • You will get conformation for success once the wizard has finished executing

By now we have covered what is needed to make a customized process and making use of TFS as one of the supporting tool to maintain these processes.

I strongly recommend reader’s for their comments on this article. If you think I have skipped some thing or may not have covered in-depth, let me know I will update this post.

“No one’s perfect and there is always room for improvement”

Link to other posts in series:

  1. TFS 2005 Customize Work Item Template and Process Template – Part I
  2. TFS 2005 Customize Work Item Template and Process Template – Part II

By Sameer Dhoot

Welcome to my blog. I am IT Professional with 10 years of experience across several IT disciplines. I am currently based in Farmington Hills, Michigan, USA. I hope that you find my blog of interest. It is mostly around Microsoft platform including SharePoint, SQL Server, TFS, Windows OS, Virtualization as this is what I am currently working on, but my aim is to write about all of the competencies described in my profile and write contents which I believe can be helpful to broader audience (IT Pros) and may include general computing advice, how-to's, FAQ, Tips and Tricks. I would welcome contributors and critics who would help to build this blog in terms of better contents and usability.

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