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Have it Your Way: Customizing Work Items in Team Foundation Server : Page 2

Find out how to customize Team Foundation Server's process templates, altering work items to suit your team's needs.

Getting Started: Exporting Existing Templates
To get started, you need a process template to modify. Rather than starting from scratch, the easiest way to make changes is to export an existing process template, modify the appropriate files, and then import the template back into Team Foundation Server. To export an existing process template, open the Team Explorer window in Visual Studio. Right click on the highest node in the tree view (should be the name of the Team Foundation Server you are connected to), click Team Foundation Server Settings, and then select Process Template Manger as shown in Figure 2.

Next, select the Process Template you wish to export, and click the Download button (see Figure 3). You will then be prompted to specify the location to save the Process Template. The export process can take several minutes to complete.

Figure 2. Selecting a Process Template Manager: Select Team Foundation Server Settings, and then Process Template Manager from the Team Foundation Server context menu.
Figure 3. Copying a Process Template: After selecting a Process Template, click the Download button to make a copy of the Process Template that can be modified.
Figure 4. Process Guidance: Process guidance provides documentation for the process template.
Using the location you specified, Visual Studio creates a folder named for the Process Template you selected. The folder can be quite large. If you export the Agile template, the folder will contain roughly 8 MB of files, while exporting the CMMI template requires closer to 43 MB—but don't worry, you need to modify only a small amount of the content in those directories. As you can guess, after modifying the process templates, you'll later upload the modifications using the Upload button pictured in Figure 3.

The largest component of both process templates lies in the Process Guidance HTML sections, which are likely to be an important part of the modification process. As stated above, these contain the documentation for the work items and processes defined in the process template. Because the process guidance is simply a set of HTML files, I won't go into detail on how to modify them. You can find the HTML files in the \Windows SharePoint Services\Process Guidance directory (see Figure 4) inside the process template folder created when you downloaded the process template. These files will be hosted on the project's SharePoint portal.

While it is not yet in final form, if you are interested in modifying the process guidance for a process template, you should check out the MSFWinBuild project on GotDotNet. That project compiles process guidance XML files into HTML files that you can publish on a project's SharePoint portal.

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