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Manage Process Templates

You can manage all your process templates with the Process Template Manager, available from the Team menu in Visual Studio or Team Explorer. You use a process template to create a team project and all its artifacts. For a comparison of the default process templates that Visual Studio Team Foundation Server provides, see Choose a Process Template.

You can upload, download, and delete process templates for a team project collection. Also, you can mark a template to appear as the default in the New Team Project Wizard.

Tip Tip

To get access to the latest versions of the default process templates, install the latest quarterly update for Team Foundation Server. You can obtain the upgrade from the Microsoft download site: Quarterly Update for Microsoft Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2012.

You can access the latest versions of the default process templates installed on TFS here: %programfiles%/Microsoft Team Foundation Server 11.0/Tools/Deploy/ProcessTemplateManagerFiles/1033. To learn more about the files and folders that comprise a process template, see Working with Process Template Files.

The first step in customizing a process template is to download a copy of the source files for that template. After you customize the process template, you must upload the new version to the team project collection. For an overview of how to customize process templates, see Step-by-Step Customization Process.


  • You must be a member of the Project Collection Administrators group.

  • If the necessary security permissions are set explicitly, then your Manage process template permission for the team project collection must be set to Allow. For more information, see Team Foundation Server Permissions.

Note Note

If you are running Windows Vista, you might not have access rights to certain folders. If you try to download the process template to a location where you do not have access rights, the registry virtualization technology automatically redirects the process template and saves it to the virtual store. For more information, see the following pages on the Microsoft Web site: Registry Virtualization and Common file and registry virtualization issues in Windows Vista or in Windows 7. To avoid this redirection, you can download the process template to a location where you have access rights.

  1. Open Visual Studio 2012 or Team Explorer 2012.

  2. Choose Team, Team Project Collection Settings, Process Template Manager.

    The Process Template Manager lists each process template that has been uploaded to the team project collection.

    Select process template to work with
  3. Select the process template that you want to work with.

  4. Choose one of the following buttons or links to perform the corresponding action:

    Button or link



    Upload a process template.

    In the Upload Process Template dialog box, choose the folder that contains the root file, ProcessTemplate.xml, for the process template that you want to upload. See also Process template restrictions and validation checks.

    Choose Upload.


    To download the process template to a local computer.

    In the Download Process Template dialog box, select a folder where the process template will be downloaded.

    Choose Save.

    Make Default

    To cause the selected process template to appear as the default selection in the New Team Project Wizard.


    To permanently remove the selected process template from the collection.

    Download additional Process Templates online

    To access the Microsoft Web site, which provides access to process templates provided my Microsoft partners.

  5. Choose Close to close the Process Template Manager.

The following restrictions and validation checks are performed when you upload a process template:

  • Keep the name of your process template to 256 Unicode characters or less.

  • Give your process template a unique name. If you upload a template with the same name as an existing template, the existing template will be overwritten.

  • Do not add any .exe files in any of the process template folders. If you do, the project creation will fail, even though the updated process template uploads successfully.

  • Restrict the total size of your process template to 2 GB or less, or project creation will fail.

  • The upload process performs a partial verification check to make sure that the XML of each process template XML file is valid. If you receive any errors when you try to upload the process template, review the XML to determine the cause of the error. Note that duplicate tags in an XML file can cause errors. If there is no error in the XML, check to make sure all the appropriate files are included in your process template in the correct folder locations.

    Important note Important

    The schema definition for process templates uses a mix of camel-case and all capitalized elements. If you encounter errors when validating your type definition files, check the case structure of your elements. Also, the case structure of opening and closing tags must match according to the rules for XML syntax. See Index to XML Element Definitions for Process Template Plug-ins

  • If you receive an error message that states that you do not have access to the folder where your process template is located, make sure that the path name is typed correctly.

  • Prospective names in WarehouseSchema.xml cannot contain the following characters:

    . , ; ' ` : / \ * | ? " & % $ ! + = ( ) [ ] { } < >

    For more information about naming restrictions, see Naming Restrictions in Team Foundation.

  • Update a Customized Process Template to Access New Features . When Team Foundation Server is upgraded from an earlier version, the latest default process templates are automatically added to the set available for a team project collection. To use the most recent features that are available with the updated templates and to access customizations that you made previously, you must add select updates to your customized process templates.

  • Create a Team Project . You create a team project by using the New Team Project Wizard. This wizard runs the set of instructions that are provided in the process template files to configure initial settings and upload artifacts and template files.