Category Archives: 9672

Microsoft releases Visual Studio Scrum 1.0 process template


As announced here. From the description:

This template includes:

  • Work Item Types
    • Sprint
    • Product Backlog Item
    • Bug
    • Task
    • Impediment
    • Test Case
  • Reports
    • Release Burndown
    • Velocity
    • Sprint Burndown
    • Build Success Over Time
    • Build Summary
    • Test Case Readiness
    • Test Plan Progress
  • SharePoint Project Portal

Below are screenshots of the Sprint Burndown and Release Burndown reports included with the template.

(All images in this blog post: Copyright by Microsoft Corp.)

Using TFS for non-development projects

Team Foundation Server is easily customizable and equipped with a general purpose workflow or state machine. So you might ask yourself: why not put a non-development or rather related process in TFS instead of using separate software.

Showcase #1: Lead Management

AIT_TeamSystemPro_Team_klein_120x58Since here at AIT TeamSystemPro Team we are TFS consultants we decided to not use a commercial CRM tool for managing our leads but rather customize a team project in TFS for this matter.

Here are a few impressions of the experience:

Leads in Excel 

Work Item queries:

Work Item Queries for our Leads

Work Item layout:

Leads - Work item Layout

in Outlook (via TeamCompanion)

Leads in Outlook

Leads in Outlook (2)

The pretty simple workflow behind it:

lead workflow 

Showcase #2: Customer Support

Needless to say that the TFS support that we offer is tracked using work items as well:

Support Case work item

Customer Support Queries

Showcase #3: List of managed TFS instances

Every TFS instance that we manage has a corresponding record:


Your Feedback

Do you have an interesting idea or have you used your TFS to support a non-dev related process? Feel free to leave me a comment or use the contact link – thanks!

Using rich HTML descriptions instead of plain text


Allow rich HTML formatting in description fields of the MSF Agile process template.

Note: The MSF CMMI process does support HTML formatting by default. In order to use it you have to enable the formatting toolbar (see Step 6 below).

Work Item Customization

Step 1: Add a new HTML description field

Since the System.Description field is defined of type string as opposed to type HTML we need to create a new field:



Step 2: Change the work item layout

Use your own HTML field instead of System.Description


Step 3: Refresh Work Item cache

Right-click "Work Items" in Team Explorer and select "Refresh".


Step 4: Enable the formatting toolbar

Right-click on the Visual Studio toolbar, find and click "Formatting":


A new toolbar will appear:



Click into the description field and use the toolbar to format your input:



Optional Step 5: Copying the old descriptions to the new HTML field

It would be a pity to loose the existing descriptions so let’s write a small utility using the Team Foundation Object model to copy the "old" descriptions to the new HTML field:

static void CopyOldDescriptions()
    // TODO: Change these values:
    string tfsName = "servertogo";
    string tfsProjectName = "WorkItemCustomization";
    string tfsHtmlDescriptionFieldName = "DescriptionHtml";
    string tfsWorkItemType = "Task";

    using (TeamFoundationServer tfs = TeamFoundationServerFactory.GetServer(tfsName))
        WorkItemStore wit = (WorkItemStore)tfs.GetService(typeof(WorkItemStore));
        WorkItemCollection result = wit.Query(String.Format("SELECT [System.Id] FROM WorkItems WHERE [System.TeamProject] = '{0}' AND [System.WorkItemType] = '{1}'", tfsProjectName, tfsWorkItemType));
        List<WorkItem> affectedWorkItems = new List<WorkItem>();
        foreach (WorkItem wi in result)
            if (wi.Description.Length > 0)
                // Set new description
                string value = (string)wi[tfsHtmlDescriptionFieldName];
                if (String.IsNullOrEmpty(value))
                    wi[tfsHtmlDescriptionFieldName] = wi.Description.Replace("\n", "<br>");
                    wi[tfsHtmlDescriptionFieldName] += "<br><p>Old description:</p><p>" + wi.Description.Replace("\n", "<br>") + "</p>";

                // Delete old description
                wi.Description = String.Empty;


        if (affectedWorkItems.Count > 0)
            MessageBox.Show("Items updated: " + affectedWorkItems.Count);
            MessageBox.Show("Nothing to do.");

Happy formatting. :-)