Sunday, December 21, 2008

TFS - Customizing Process Template's - especially iterations!

I don't know how much hours I spent over the last few day's with TFS (Team Foundation Server) and the configuration around it. I can't understand why Microsoft is making this so hard while alternative products of Microsoft are easy for installation and handling (e.g. Visual Studio / SQL Server / any many more.....)

Let's talk about customizing TFS process templates. You don't need to but I strongly suggest you download the "Visual Studio Team System 2008 Team Foundation Server Power Tools". Once you have installed Visual Studio 2008 Team Foundation Server Power Tools you have a additional menu items below Tools->Process Editor.
Before you launch this you will have to download one of the provided Process Templates:

  • MSF for Agile Software Development - v.4.2
  • MSF for CMMI Process Improvement - v.4.2

To download a Process Templates you will have to choose from the menu: Template Process Manager

Choose your location on your drive and select "Save".

The output will saved as the following Print Screen display:

Now you can go back to your Visual Studio Menu and select: Tools->Process Editor
and select the File ProcessTemplate.xml on your disc.

You gone be surprised what you gone see !!!! At least I was it.

As long as you don't change anything within the iterations it should work when you make your changes save the file and upload it again over the Process Template Manager. But in case you are doing CHANGES AT ITERATIONS you gone face problems upon creating task when you try to add a new TFS Project Wizards.

The error you gone see in your TeamProjectCreation log file looks like this:
---begin Exception entry---
Time: 2008-12-21 14:09:12ZModule: Work Item TrackingEvent Description: TF26214: Cannot save the work item. Fields with errors: Iteration Path;IterationIDException Type: Microsoft.TeamFoundation.WorkItemTracking.Client.ValidationExceptionException Message: TF26202: Iteration Path is not a valid area or iteration path. In the Team menu, click Team Project Settings, and then click Areas and Iterations to review the valid area and iteration paths.Stack Trace: at Microsoft.TeamFoundation.WorkItemTracking.Client.WorkItem.PreValidate() at Microsoft.TeamFoundation.WorkItemTracking.Client.WorkItem.PreBatchSave() at Microsoft.TeamFoundation.WorkItemTracking.Client.BatchSaveHelper.BatchSave(WorkItem[] items)
--- end Exception entry ---

How do you handle this.

  1. Close your Process Template Manager
  2. Navigate to your Location on the disc where you have saved your Process Template and from there you navigate to the folder: Work Item Tracking
  3. Open the file: workitems.xml
  4. Now you have to replace all "$$PROJECTNAME$$\Iteration 0" with the iteration you have created, in my case it is:
  5. Upload and overwrite your Custom Process Template and you will be able to create your new project.

I hope VSTS is going to put a lot of efforts to make all this stuff much easier!

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