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How to: Change the Mail Alert Format

You can configure Team Foundation Server to use different templates when you send e-mail notifications. Users configure project alerts in Team Explorer for various notifications. For example, users will generate notifications for projects, work items, and build events. By changing the underlying xsl transform, you can customize the look and feel of the notification that is sent to the Team Foundation Server user.

The e-mail notifications are formed by Team Foundation Server using a transform or .xsl file upon notification of specific events. For more information on project alerts, see How to: Add or Edit Alerts.

The application-tier computer contains the files in a specific folder:

Drive:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 Team Foundation Server\Web Services\Services\v1.0\Transforms

Use an XML editor such as Visual Studio to change any of the transforms. These are the two transforms for the work item event:

WorkItemChangedEvent.xsl

Formatting for HTML e-mail

WorkItemChangedEvent.plaintextXsl

Formatting for plaintext e-mail

The .xsl file transforms the XML for the event into an e-mail message. Edit the .xsl file to get a different format for the e-mail notification.

Required Permissions

To perform these procedures, you must be a member of the Administrators security group on the Team Foundation application-tier server.

To edit the e-mail template for sending e-mail notifications for work item changes

  1. On your application-tier computer, open this folder:

    Drive:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 Team Foundation Server\Web Services\Services\v1.0\Transforms

  2. Open WorkItemChangedEvent.xsl in Notepad or other text editor.

    NoteNote:

    Even if you are logged on with administrative credentials, you must open Notepad as an administrator to perform this function on a server that is running Windows Server 2008. To open Notepad as an administrator, click Start, right-click Command Prompt, and click Run as administrator. For more information, see the Microsoft Web site.

  3. Edit the file to reflect the message that you want in the notification e-mail.

    NoteNote:

    You should make the similar changes to the WorkItemChangedEvent.plaintextXslforany users who have signed-up for plaintext messages.

  4. Save the WorkItemChangedEvent.xsl file.

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