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Process Template Customization Overview

Process templates define key aspects of a team project that affect how a team works. By customizing a process template, you 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.

NoteNote:

The maximum size of a process template is 2 GB. When you customize a process template, ensure that your changes do not increase the size beyond that value.

Your customization work can have broader or narrower effect, depending on what you customize. These are your two choices:

  • Customize for All New Team Projects You can customize a process template by changing its plug-ins, work item types, and process guidance. In this case, your effects show up in all projects that are created from that process template.

  • Customize an Existing Team Project You can customize elements of a team project by changing the way its reports, work item types, and project portal function. In this case, your changes affect the way people work in that project, but they have no effect on other projects, existing, or yet to be created.

To customize all new team projects, you should change the process template your team project uses. This lets you make changes in one location, and have these changes reflected in all new team projects made from the new process template. For more information, see Modify an Existing MSF Process Template.

NoteNote:

You may want to create a new process template for a new series of team projects. We recommend that you use an existing process template, such as MSF for Agile Software Development or MSF for CMMI Process Improvement, and modify it to suit your needs.

Process Template Plug-ins

Process template plug-ins are components that run when a new team project is created. A plug-in sets up required files or configures data for its area. Microsoft provides six plug-ins with Visual Studio Team System: work item tracking, classification, Windows SharePoint Services, version control, reports, and groups and permissions. Each plug-in can be modified to customize a process template. For more information about modifying plug-ins, see Process Template Plug-Ins.

Work Item Types

Team members use work items to track work to be completed. You might want to expand the selection of work items provided by Visual Studio Team System so that it better serves the processes your team uses and the ways that you communicate. To do that, you can author new work item types. A work item type is a template from which new work items are created. You can also modify existing work item types. For more information about customizing or creating work item types for a process template, see Customizing Work Item Types.

Process Guidance

Process guidance is the content that documents the roles, work items, work products, activities, and reports for a specific software development process. The process guidance complements the process template.

Microsoft Visual Studio Team System includes two process templates: MSF for Agile Software Development and MSF for CMMI Process Improvement. Each of these processes may be customized and used to develop software in projects. As process templates are customized, the corresponding process guidance should be updated to address any changes that were made. For more information, see MSF for Agile Software Development and MSF for CMMI Process Improvement.

Changing an existing team project is akin to changing a process template, but the scope is much narrower. Changing an existing team project affects the way team members conduct their day-to-day work. It does not change the nature of new projects that will be created from a process template in the future.

Reports

As conditions change on your team project, you may want to modify the Microsoft Excel reports that you use to manage the project. Also, you may want to modify your reports as new fields become available in the data warehouse or as you want to select different records for the report. You can update a PivotTable or PivotChart report that uses new data that falls in the original source data specification by refreshing the report. For more information, see How to: Edit a Report in Microsoft Excel for Team System.

Report Designer is a set of graphical tools and windows that run within Visual Studio. Report Designer provides a graphical interface in which you can define data sources and query information, include data regions and fields on the report, refine the report layout, and set up interactive features. You should use Report Designer as your primary tool for building and editing custom reports against the data warehouse. For more information, see How to: Create a Detailed Report for Team System using Report Designer.

Work Items Types

Team members use work items to track work to be finished. You might want to expand the selection of work items provided by Visual Studio Team System so that it better serves the processes your team uses and the ways you communicate. To do that, you can author new work item types. A work item type is a template from which new work items are created. You can also modify existing work item types.

NoteNote:

You can change work item type definitions on two levels: for a single existing project or for all future projects. Your task differs in one important way depending on the scope of your changes. While you create and redefine XML elements the same way in both cases, you only need to edit in XML when you customize a process template. When you customize an existing project, you not only edit the XML, but you must also import your changes in the XML file into the existing team project. To do this, use the tools described in Work Item Authoring Tools.

Use the following tools to administer work item types on already existing projects. For more information, see Customizing Work Item Types and Walkthrough: Make Basic Customizations to a Work Item Type.

Use the witexport command to export an XML definition for a work item type from Team Foundation Server. You can also use this command to print an XML definition to the display. For more information, see witexport.

As soon as you have made changes to the work item type, you can use the witimport command to validate and import a work item type from an XML file to a team project for Team Foundation Server. For more information, see witimport.

Use the witfields command to administer work item type fields for Team Foundation Server. For more information, see witfields.

Use the glexport command to export an XML definition for global lists from Team Foundation Server. You can also use this command to print an XML definition to the display. For more information, see glexport.

As soon as you have made changes to the global lists, you can use the glimport command to validate and import global lists from an XML file to a team project for Team Foundation Server. For more information, see glimport.

SharePoint

A default Windows SharePoint Services Web site is automatically created when you install Team Foundation. Additionally, every time that you create a new project in Team Foundation Server, a project Web site is automatically created. However, you can create additional Web sites for use with Team Foundation Server. You can also modify and delete these Windows SharePoint Services Web sites. For more information, see How to: Create, Edit, and Delete Windows SharePoint Services Sites.

Project Portal

The team project portal is created as a Web site in Windows SharePoint Services. This is available from either within Team Explorer or from the Web browser, and gives users the information necessary to quickly understand the status of a team project. Because the project portal is composed of Web parts, you can create a customized version of the project portal. Besides the standard information displayed on the project portal, you can add Web parts that connect to other data sources inside and outside the project. For more information, see Using the Team Project Portal.

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