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Team Foundation Server 2015 Customization

Book Description

Take your expertise to the next level by unraveling various techniques to customize TFS 2015

About This Book

  • Learn how to efficiently modify your TFS-specific dashboards for complex server plugins
  • Find out the pros and cons of various extension points and customizations in TFS
  • A fast-paced guide with highly concentrated information on TFS customizations

Who This Book Is For

This book is intended for anyone with experience with TFS, and in particular, those intermediate users who want to add more value to their organization by making its TFS users more productive. The book requires basic coding skills.

What You Will Learn

  • Customize TFS 2015 dashboard and administer various components
  • Configure board cards, swim lanes, and columns
  • Explore the types of changes that can be made on the TFS process templates
  • Create your own custom control for the Web and client work item forms
  • Build up new check-in policies
  • Get to grips with your personal server plugins and their uses
  • Customize both XAML builds and the new build system
  • Schedule jobs for more complicated business rules to run on a schedule
  • Extend your TFS possibilities with service hooks and VSO extensions

In Detail

Team Foundation Server is an efficacious collaboration tools that will allow you to share code, track records, software, all in a single package. Integrate it with your existing IDE or editor and let your team work in a flexible environment that adapts to projects of all shapes and sizes.

Explore what gives you the edge over other developers by knowing the tips and quick fixes of customizing TFS. Effectively minimize the time users spend interacting with TFS so that they can be more productive.

In this book you will quickly cover lots of TFS extension points, from the very basic task of customizing and configuring dashboards to customizing automated builds and check-in policies.

You will learn how to create dashboards in TFS 2015, as well as add tiles, graphs, and more useful modifications. You'll perform customizations that make TFS work for you by streamlining your team’s boards. You'll cast modifications to the process template and learn the tips and tricks required to make efficient and valuable uses of your team’s board.

From team-specific dashboards to complex server plugins, everything is covered in this concentrated guide to aid your knowledge. Delving deep, this book covers the pros and cons of check-in policies, as well as their proper debugging and deployment strategies. After that you will learn about advanced XAML builds and TFS jobs to further experiment with the activities of your jobs on your system. Finally, you will learn about service hooks and the amazing utility of .VSO extensions to help you create new extensions and explore new levels of customization.

Style and approach

This is an easy-to-follow guide with clearly explained and demonstrated examples.

Downloading the example code for this book. You can download the example code files for all Packt books you have purchased from your account at If you purchased this book elsewhere, you can visit and register to have the code file.

Table of Contents

  1. Team Foundation Server 2015 Customization
    1. Table of Contents
    2. Team Foundation Server 2015 Customization
    3. Credits
    4. About the Author
    5. About the Reviewers
      1. Support files, eBooks, discount offers, and more
        1. Why subscribe?
        2. Free access for Packt account holders
        3. Instant updates on new Packt books
    7. Preface
      1. What this book covers
      2. What you need for this book
      3. Who this book is for
      4. Conventions
      5. Reader feedback
      6. Customer support
        1. Downloading the example code
        2. Errata
        3. Piracy
        4. Questions
    8. 1. Creating a Dashboard and a Welcome Page
      1. What permissions do I need?
      2. What is the Team Dashboard?
      3. Pinning work item query data
        1. Pinning work item query counts to the dashboard
        2. Pinning work item query charts
      4. Pinning recent code changes
      5. Pinning the build status
      6. Pinning testing charts
      7. Rearranging tiles on the home page
      8. Welcome pages
        1. Where are the welcome pages?
      9. Summary
    9. 2. Streamlining Your Teams' Boards
      1. Teams in TFS
      2. Where do I find the board settings?
      3. Configuring card settings
        1. Show ID
        2. Show Assigned To field as
      4. Show Effort
        1. Show Tags
        2. Show additional fields
      5. Configuring swimlanes
      6. Configuring columns
      7. Summary
    10. 3. Customizing Your Process Template
      1. Some prerequisites
      2. What is a process template?
      3. How do I get started?
      4. The process template structure
        1. The root folder
        2. Build
        3. Classification
        4. Groups and permissions
        5. Lab
        6. Reports
        7. Test Management
          1. TestVariables.xml
          2. TestConfiguration.xml
          3. TestSettings.xml
          4. TestResolutionState.xml
        8. Version control
        9. Windows SharePoint Services
        10. WorkItem Tracking
          1. Link types
            1. Exporting and importing Link Types
          2. Queries
          3. TypeDefinitions
            1. Fields
            2. Workflow
            3. Form
          4. Reference links
            1. Exporting and importing the work items
          5. Process
            1. Exporting and importing the process configuration
          6. Categories.xml
            1. Exporting and importing Categories.xml
      5. Importing a complete process template
      6. Uploading changes after team project creation
      7. Summary
    11. 4. Enhanced Work Item Forms with Field Custom Controls
      1. Prerequisites
      2. Using a custom control in the process template
      3. Creating a Windows Forms Control for client applications
      4. The project setup
        1. The code for our custom client control
        2. Deploying our custom client control
        3. Debugging our custom client control
      5. Creating a web control for the web access
        1. The code for our custom control
        2. Deploying our custom control
        3. Debugging our custom control
          1. Enabling TFS debug mode
          2. Configuring Fiddler – an AutoResponder rule
      6. Summary
    12. 5. The Guide Standards for Check-in Policies
      1. Prerequisites
      2. The project setup
      3. Implementation
      4. Deploying a check-in policy
      5. Configuring a check-in policy to be used
      6. Deploying to the masses
      7. Existing check-in policies
        1. Colin's ALM check-in policies – VS 2015 and VSO
        2. Microsoft Visual Studio Team Foundation Server Power Tools
      8. Summary
    13. 6. Enforcing Standards with Server-Side Plugins
      1. Check-in policies versus server plugins
      2. The project setup
      3. The basics of server plugin code
        1. Solution attempt 1 – use event type DecisionPoint
        2. Solution attempt 2 – use event type notification
        3. Solution attempt 3 - hybrid approach, validate the policy
      4. Deploying a server plugin
      5. Debugging server plugins
      6. A slightly more complicated example
      7. Summary
    14. 7. Customizing the TFS Build
      1. The prerequisites
      2. What is an XAML build template?
      3. Should I use the old or the new build system?
      4. How do I download a build template?
      5. How do I create a new build?
      6. Creating custom activities
        1. Activity-specific logic
      7. How do I use a custom activity in a build template?
      8. A walkthrough of the new build system
      9. Summary
    15. 8. Creating TFS Scheduled Jobs
      1. The project setup
      2. Writing the TFS job
      3. Deploying our TFS job
      4. Registering, queueing, and deregistering a TFS job
      5. How do I know whether my TFS job is running?
      6. Summary
    16. 9. Service Hooks
      1. What service hooks are available?
      2. Why would you want to use service hooks?
      3. How can you use service hooks in TFS?
      4. Completing and verifying the service hook works
      5. Summary
    17. 10. VSO Extensions
      1. What is VSO Extensions?
      2. Why invest time in this extension model?
      3. How do I build my own extension?
        1. The extension manifest – content and SDK
        2. Packaging and publishing on the marketplace
      4. How can I stay up to date with VSO Extensions?
        1. The extensions for the VSO site
        2. ALM Rangers Community Extensions
        3. My blog
      5. Summary
    18. Index