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Customizing MSF Process Guidance, Part 4: Reports, Queries, Views, and Overview Pages

Visual Studio 2005
 

Allison Bokone
Microsoft Corporation

June 2006

Applies to:
   MSF for Agile Software Development v4.0 Process Guidance
   MSF for CMMI Process Improvement v4.0 Process Guidance

Summary: This is the fourth of six companion articles. In this article, we explain how to customize your process guidance by adding or modifying Reports, Queries, and Views. We also discuss the process guidance Overview Pages and how you can modify their content.

Contents

Introduction
Adding New Reports or Queries to the MSF Process
Adding DataSeries to Reports in the MSF Process Guidance
Adding Healthy and Unhealthy Examples to Reports in the MSF Process Guidance
Associating Images with Reports in the MSF Process Guidance
Customizing Overview Pages in the MSF Process Guidance
Conclusion

Introduction

Process guidance is the content that documents the Reports, Queries, Views, and Overview Pages for a specific software development process. The process guidance complements the process template.

Visual Studio® Team System 2005 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 template Reports and Queries are customized, the corresponding process guidance should be updated to address any changes that were made. Views and Overview Pages can also be modified to assist your team in its software development process.

Reports

Reports provide information about metrics that are collected while a team project is in progress. The information is used by project managers and leads to monitor the health of the team project and to make decisions. As you create new Reports or modify existing Reports, you can provide documentation in the process guidance to help team members understand the purpose of the Reports and how to interpret the Reports.

Queries

MSF provides a set of work item Queries designed to support the Activities and Roles in the software development process.

Views

Views provide a different way to categorize Activities for team members. There are four categories of Views: Disciplines, Qualities of Service, Cycles, and Tracks.

Overview Pages

Process guidance contains multiple Overview Pages. Overview pages such as the Concepts page and Governance page are displayed by clicking the Overview tab. There are also Overview Pages displayed by other tabs. For example, clicking the Roles tab displays the About Roles Overview Page.

The content on these pages can be modified; however you cannot create additional pages or remove existing pages without making changes to the schema. Modifying the schema is beyond the scope of this article.

Adding New Reports or Queries to the MSF Process Guidance

If you add new Reports or Queries to your process template, you should also add them to your process guidance, along with descriptions of how they should be used in your software development process. Use the following procedure to add a new Report or Query to your process guidance.

To add a new Report or Query

  1. If you are adding a new Report, use Microsoft InfoPath to open the file Reports.xml.

    If you are adding a new Query to the MSF for Agile Software Development process guidance, use Microsoft InfoPath to open the file Queries.xml.

    If you are adding a new Query to the MSF for CMMI Process Improvement process guidance, use Microsoft InfoPath to open the file General.xml.

    Note   Process guidance xml files are located in the \Windows SharePoint Services\Process Guidance\Source\XML folder.
  2. On the Insert menu, choose Section, and then choose ContentItem.
  3. The new content item appears at the bottom of the content item list.
  4. In the content item form, set the Content Type field to Report or Query.
  5. In the Content Name field, type the unique name of the Report or Query. The name must be unique across all content items to ensure that links between content items work correctly.
  6. In the Content Description field, type a description for this Report, such as a common scenario in which it is used, or for this Query, such as why the Query exists and what it accomplishes.
  7. Save your changes.
    Note   You may encounter a dialog box stating This form contains validation errors. Errors are marked with either a red asterisk (required field) or... You may remove the States, Transitions, and Reasons section and ignore this error until you add the remaining components.

Adding DataSeries to Reports in the MSF Process Guidance

A data series indicates some individual measurement, such as the top of an area chart, a line, or circle. You can describe each data series in detail to help the reader interpret the Report correctly.

To add a DataSeries to a Report

  1. Use Microsoft InfoPath to open the file Reports.xml and select the Report in which to add a DataSeries.
  2. Note   Process guidance xml files are located in the \Windows SharePoint Services\Process Guidance\Source\XML folder.
  3. Create a Part section if one does not already exist. You can create a Part section by clicking the Insert item link under the Entry Criteria section.
  4. Set the Part Type to DataSeries.
  5. Set the Part Name to the name of the series. Frequently the name is the same as the name in the Report legend, if it is available.
  6. Set the Part Description to describe the data series. Include detail on how to interpret the data.
  7. Save your changes.

Adding Healthy and Unhealthy Examples to Reports in the MSF Process Guidance

You can include images of healthy and unhealthy Reports to help the reader understand how to interpret the data in the Reports. A healthy image example shows what a good Report looks like and explains how the data would indicate that the project is healthy. One or more unhealthy image examples show different ways in which the data can indicate one or more problems with a project. Each image can include a short paragraph that explains why the image is a healthy or unhealthy Report.

To add a healthy or unhealthy example to a Report

  1. First, capture an image of the Report. You can do this using an actual Report with real data, or data intended to build the desired Report. Another method is to create a chart in Microsoft Excel that looks exactly like the Report using mock data that provides the desired healthy or unhealthy example. The image must be saved to a file that is in JPG format.
  2. Use Microsoft InfoPath to open the file General.xml and navigate to the image list by clicking the Image button at the top of the form.
    Note   Process guidance xml files are located in the \Windows SharePoint Services\Process Guidance\Source\XML folder.
  3. On the Insert menu, choose Section, and then choose ImageMenu.

    The new image menu appears at the bottom of the image list.

  4. In the image menu form, set the Menu Name field to a unique name that identifies the image. For example, "unhealthyproductivity" is a name that identifies an example image of an unhealthy productivity Report. Consider making the name all lower case to make it easier to reference later.
  5. Set the Menu Image field to the folder and filename of the image. All images are located in an images folder. For example, if the unhealthyproductivity.gif file was in the images folder, you would set the Menu Image field to "images/unhealthyproductivity.gif."
  6. In the Menu Description field, type a description of why the image is healthy or unhealthy. Include pertinent details that would help someone make a decision based on this kind of example.
  7. Save your changes.
    Note   Next you must associate the image with the Report. Unless the image is associated with a Report, it will not be displayed. For more information, see Associating Images with Reports in the MSF Process Guidance.

Associating Images with Reports in the MSF Process Guidance

Once you have added a healthy or unhealthy image to a Report, you must associate the image with the Report. Unless the image is associated with a Report, it will not be displayed.

To associate an Image with a Report

  1. Use Microsoft InfoPath to open the file Reports.xml and select the Report for which to associate the image.
    Note   Process guidance xml files are located in the \Windows SharePoint Services\Process Guidance\Source\XML folder.
  2. Create a Part section if one does not already exist. You can create a Part Type section by clicking the Insert item link found in the Entry Criteria section.
  3. Set the Part Type to ImageMenuReference.
  4. Set the Part Name to ReportImageMenuHealthy if the example is a healthy example. If the example is an unhealthy example, set the Part Name to ReportImageMenuUnhealthy. These values are case sensitive and must be typed exactly as shown or the images will not display.
  5. Set the Part Description field to the name of the image exactly as you typed it in the Menu Name field.
  6. Save your changes.

Adding New Views to the MSF Process Guidance

Views provide a different way to categorize Activities for team members. There are four categories of Views: Disciplines, Qualities of Service, Cycles, and Tracks.

Disciplines   This View groups together Activities related to specific disciplines. For example, by clicking the Project Management Discipline View, you see all the Workstreams and Activities in the process guidance related to project management.

Qualities of Service   This View describes the different kinds of qualities of service used for requirements. For example, by clicking the Security Quality of Service View, you see all the Workstreams and Activities related to security qualities of service.

Cycles   This View describes actions that are repeated on a regular basis. For example, by clicking the Daily Build Cycle View, you see all the Workstreams and Activities related to the daily build cycle.

Tracks   This View describes groups of Activities that lead to specific governance checkpoints. For example, by clicking the Plan Track, you see all the Workstreams and Activities that are involved with planning.

You can add new Views using the following procedures.

To add a new View

  1. If you are adding a new View to the MSF for Agile Software Development process guidance, use Microsoft InfoPath to open the file Views.xml.

    If you are adding a new Track View to the MSF for CMMI Process Improvement process guidance, use Microsoft InfoPath to open the file Tracks.xml.

    If you are adding a new Discipline, Quality of Service, or Cycle View to the MSF for CMMI Process Improvement process guidance, use Microsoft InfoPath to open the file General.xml.

    Note   Process guidance xml files are located in the \Windows SharePoint Services\Process Guidance\Source\XML folder.
  2. On the Insert menu, choose Section, and then choose ContentItem.

    The new content item appears at the bottom of the content item list.

  3. In the content item form, set the Content Type field to the type of View you are creating (Disciplines, Qualities of Service, Cycles, or Tracks).
  4. In the Content Name field, type a unique name that describes the type of View you are adding. The name must be unique across all content items to ensure that links between content items work correctly.
  5. Save your changes.

Customizing Overview Pages in the MSF Process Guidance

Process guidance contains multiple Overview Pages. Overview pages such as the Concepts page and Governance page are displayed by clicking the Overview tab. There are also Overview Pages displayed by other tabs. For example, clicking the Roles tab displays the About Roles Overview Page.

The content on these pages can be modified; however you cannot create additional pages or remove existing pages without making changes to the schema. Modifying the schema is beyond the scope of this article.

Most Overview Pages have an associated XSL file that controls rendering the page and in some cases, provides content for the page. Depending on the page, if you want to make a change, you may need to make the change in the XSL file, instead of the process guidance XML source files.

The following table shows all of the Overview Pages in process guidance. For each page, the XSL file is listed, as well as where the content source is located for that page. If the content source is located in the XSL file, you must edit the XSL file to make content changes.

NameDescriptionXSL FileContent Source AgileContent Source CMMI
ConceptsThe Overview Page for process guidance. Concepts.xslConcepts.xslConcepts.xsl
Cycles and IterationsThe Overview Page explaining how cycles and iterations work in process guidance.Iterations.xslOverview.xmlIterations.xsl
GovernanceThe Overview Page explaining how team projects are governed in process guidance.Governance.xslOverview.xmlGeneral.xml
PrinciplesThe Overview Page explaining the principles of process guidance.Principles.xslOverview.xmlGeneral.xml
Team ModelThe Overview Page explaining Roles and their responsibilities to the team.Teammodel.xslTeammodel.xslTeammodel.xsl
MindsetsThe Overview Page explaining the mindset of the team.Mindsets.xslOverview.xmlGeneral.xml
About RolesThe About page for the Roles tab.AboutRoles.xslOverview.xmlGeneral.xml
About CyclesThe About page for cycles on the View tab.NAOverview.xmlGeneral.xml
About Qualities of ServiceThe About page for qualities of service on the View tab.NAOverview.xmlGeneral.xml
About DisciplinesThe About page for disciplines on the View tab.NAOverview.xmlGeneral.xml
About TracksThe About page for tracks on the View tab.NAOverview.xmlGeneral.xml
About ViewsThe About page for the Views tab.AboutViews.xslOverview.xmlGeneral.xml
About Work ItemsThe About page for the Work Items tab.AboutWorkItems.xslOverview.xmlGeneral.xml
Getting StartedThe Getting Started page for MSF for Agile Software Development.GettingStarted.xslOverview.xmlN/A
About CMMIThe About page for the CMMI tab.AboutCMMI.xslN/AGeneral.xml or AboutCMMI.xsl
About Alternative PracticesThe About page for Alternative Practices on the CMMI tab.AboutAlternativePractices.xslN/AGeneral.xml

Editing Overview Pages in Process Guidance Source XML

If the Overview Page you want to edit has source content located in one of the process guidance source XML files, you can use Microsoft InfoPath to make the change. The Content Type for an Overview Page is set to Overview. The Content Name field identifies the page. For example, the About Disciplines page is named About Disciplines in the process guidance source XML.

Editing Overview Pages in XSL Files

If the Overview Page you want to edit has source content located in an XSL file, you must open the XSL file in an editor (such as Notepad, or Microsoft FrontPage) and make the change. The XSL files are located in the XSL folder in the source for the process guidance.

Deleting Content Items from the MSF Process Guidance

You can delete any content item, but be aware that other content items may have links to the deleted content item and must be updated. For example, if you delete an Activity, you must also delete its associated Part section in any Workstreams that reference it. Otherwise the Workstreams will list the Activity, but not link to it.

To delete a content item

  1. Select the content item.
  2. Right-click the content item form and click Remove ContentItem.

Conclusion

In this fourth part of a six-part series, we have covered how to add Reports and Queries to your process guidance and how to customize your process guidance Views and Overview Pages. See the following articles for more information on customizing other areas of your MSF Process Guidance:

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