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Define the classification plug-in

Classifications facilitate tracking, grouping, and reporting on work based on useful categories, such as related product features and project milestones. You define areas to organize work items into logical, physical, or functional categories. You define iterations to group work items into milestones or time cycle categories. For example, a team could organize the product work into a client area, a server area, and an extensibility area. Iterations that you define determine how many times the team will repeat a particular set of major activities, such as plan, develop, and test.

The classifications that you define appear on the Areas and Iterations pages for the new team project, as the following illustration shows. You access this page from the administration web portal.

Areas page for a team project, TWA admin context

To open the administration context, choose the Settings Icon (Team Web Access) gear Settings icon.

Choose the gear icon to open administration

To learn how to connect to the web portal, go here.

After a team project has been created, you modify the areas and iterations from the web portal. You can also define permissions to control access to a project area or iteration.

In addition to areas and iterations, you specify the mapping file for Microsoft Project to upload within the Classification plug-in and the process template property.

The following table lists the name of the file, the folder, and the plug-in for the default process templates:

File name:

Classification.xml

Folder name:

Classification

Plug-in name:

Microsoft.ProjectCreationWizard.Classification

Note Note

You can change the names of the XML file and the folder but not the plug-in. TFS does not include a mechanism for the deployment of client-side plug-ins, policies, or other modifications. If you want to deploy this kind of functionality, you must use your own distribution and installation program.

The Classification plug-in file must conform to its schema definition, as specified in the Css.xsd file, and the plug-in must be specified in its own file.

In the XML file, specify one or more tasks and their dependencies. In general, you only need one task to specify all the iterations and nodes that a team project requires.

Note Note

If you modify a process template's areas or iterations, make sure that you do not break any assignments that are used for work item queries or work items that are defined in the process template. For example, the Iteration1Backlog.wiq work item query for the Agile process template references Iteration 1. For more information, see Add work item queries to a process template.

Specify the root node of areas by using the following syntax:

<Node StructureType="ProjectModelHierarchy" Name="Area" xmlns="">

Specify zero or more children nodes for as many areas as you want for your process. Use the Node element to specify each area and set the StructureType attribute to ProjectModelHierarchy.

<Node StructureType="ProjectModelHierarchy" Name="NodeName" xmlns=""></Node>

The following example shows how to specify two areas, Client and Server:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
<tasks>
   <task
      id="UploadStructure"
      name="Creating project structure"
      plugin="Microsoft.ProjectCreationWizard.Classification"
      completionMessage="Portfolio project structure created.">
      <taskXml>
         <Nodes>
            <Node StructureType="ProjectModelHierarchy" Name="Teams" xmlns="">
               <Children>
                  <Node StructureType="ProjectModelHierarchy" Name="Client"></Node>
                  <Node StructureType="ProjectModelHierarchy" Name="Server"></Node>
               </Children>
            </Node>
         </Nodes>
      </taskXml>
   </task>
</tasks>

Specify the root node for iterations by using the following syntax:

<Node StructureType="ProjectLifecycle" Name="NodeName" xmlns="">

Specify zero or more children nodes for as many iterations as you want for your process. Use the Node element to specify each iteration and set the StructureType attribute to ProjectLifecycle.

The following example shows how to specify four iterations: Milestone 1, Milestone 2, Beta, and RTM.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
<tasks>
   <task
      id="UploadStructure"
      name="Creating project structure"
      plugin="Microsoft.ProjectCreationWizard.Classification"
      completionMessage="Team project structure created.">
      <taskXml>
         <Nodes>
            <Node StructureType="ProjectLifecycle" Name="Iteration" xmlns="">
               <Children>
                  <Node StructureType="ProjectLifecycle" Name="Sprint 1"></Node>
                  <Node StructureType="ProjectLifecycle" Name="Sprint 2"></Node>
                  <Node StructureType="ProjectLifecycle" Name="Sprint 3"></Node>
                  <Node StructureType="ProjectLifecycle" Name="Sprint 4"></Node>
               </Children>
            </Node>
         </Nodes>
      </taskXml>
   </task>
</tasks>

This section specifies two properties: the Project-to-TFS field mapping file and the process template. The mapping file specifies how fields in TFS map to fields defined in Project. The second property associates the process template with a unique value. The following example shows the syntax structure for this entry:

<properties>
   <property name="MSPROJ" 
             value="Classification\FileMapping.xml" 
             isFile="true" />
   <property name="Process Template" value="Agile"/>
</properties>

To customize the FileMapping.xml file, see Map Microsoft Project fields to Team Foundation fields.

You specify the following elements within a taskXml container element in the Classification plug-in file. , See Define the tasks to process a plug-in for information about taskXml.

Define areas and iterations by specifying a tree path of nested nodes and children nodes. For more information, see Add and modify area and iteration paths.

Element

Description

Children

Children is an optional child element of Node.

Contains the definitions for children areas or iterations.

<Children>
    <Node> . . . </Node>
</Children>

Node

Node is an optional child element of Nodes and Children.

Defines the structure of the tree. Use ProjectLifecycle for iterations and ProjectModelHierarchy for areas. Node names should not exceed 255 characters.

<Node StructureType="ProjectLifecycle | ProjectModelHierarchy" Name="NodeName">
   <Node> . . . </Node>
   <Children> . . . </Children>
</Node>

Nodes

Nodes is a required child element of taskXml for the Classification plug-in.

Contains the area and iteration definitions.

<Nodes>
   <Node> . . . </Node>
</Nodes>

properties

Optional child element of taskXml for the Classification plug-in.

<properties>
   <property />
</properties>

property

property is a required child element of properties.

Defines project-related data such as the XML mapping data for Microsoft Project.

<property name="property name" value="Classification\FileName" isFile="true | false" />

Where the following definitions apply for each attribute:

  • name: Required. Defines the name of the property. The only valid names are MSPROJ and Process Template.

  • value: Required.

    • For MSPROJ, defines the relative path to the field mapping file.

    • For Process Template, cntains the name of the process that’s associated with the process template. This property is added to the classification file when you import a process to Visual Studio Online.

  • isFile: Optional. Specifies whether the property is defined in a file. If the value is true, the file must exist, or process template validation fails.

Caution note Caution

The Css.xsd schema file does not define the property or properties elements. When you upload the process template to Visual Studio Online or TFS, validation checks are made on each element.

Default process templates don’t specify any area nodes, but do specify iteration nodes, which are named Iteration 1, Iteration 2, and Iteration 3. The iteration nodes are referenced in the definition of work item queries, and the tasks are defined in the WorkItemTracking and Portal plug-ins.

For guidelines and naming restrictions that apply to classifications, see Add and modify area and iteration paths. For information about the fields that track areas and iterations, see Areas and iterations field reference.

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