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Team Foundation Server 2013 Customization [Kindle Edition]

Gordon Beeming
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

In Detail

Team Foundation Server offers you the benefit of having all your data in one system with all tools tightly integrated with each other, making it easier for teams to work together. Knowing how to customize the Team Foundation Server is very useful as well as powerful. Having the knowledge and applying it to TFS can save users many hours as well as make it easier to understand the data in TFS for reporting purposes.

This book will show you how to customize various TFS features in order to create an enhanced experience for your users and improve their productivity. You will create custom controls that will be used in client applications and inside the web access. Next, you will learn how to embed a web page inside your work items to display rich information linked to the work items you are opening.

This book will show you how to modify a team’s process template, and then slowly get to grips with some C# code and create a scheduled job.

Using this book, you will create a JavaScript web access plugin that greatly increases productivity. You will start off by making various modifications to the process template to illustrate how we can cater to custom data requirements, and then we will move towards writing code to perform more complex customizations.

Customizing Team Foundation Server 2013 is one of the best methods you can use to provide rich data for reporting in TFS.


This book utilizes a tutorial based approach, focused on the practical customization of key features of the Team Foundation Server for collaborative enterprise software projects.

Who this book is for

This practical guide is intended for those who want to extend TFS. This book is for intermediate users who have an understanding of TFS, and basic coding skills will be required for the more complex customizations.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Gordon Beeming

Gordon Beeming is an energetic and passionate person who always strives to find ways to increase and improve the productivity and friendliness of the systems he works with. He has been a software developer for a little over five years. In this time, he has also gained strong experience in TFS and is a part of the ALM Rangers. He currently works for Derivco, which is a very unique company to work for, based in Durban, South Africa.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2498 KB
  • Print Length: 102 pages
  • Publisher: Packt Publishing (January 21, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #317,665 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
The TFS 2013 Customization book has some great content and ideas around how to make Team Foundation Server 2013 work for you, but overall is a bit of a missed opportunity to be something great – kind of like teasing you with a movie trailer that is fantastic, holding true to it during viewing of the movie, but not quite delivering on a phenomenal film. It could be great, but requires some tweaks and enhancements.

There is quite a bit to like in the guide. The author discusses some best practices in customizations, talks about JavaScript plug-ins, which I hadn’t seen documented before, includes tips on testing in staging and using TypeScript for plug-ins, discusses reasons for a plug-in over custom check-in policy, and talks about server-side plug-ins and their caveats. A very good surface skim on customizing TFS, filling a void that would have otherwise continued empty. Kudos to the author for getting a book out on this topic!

There is also quite a bit of room for improvement, which will hopefully be incorporated into the next edition when a new version of TFS surfaces.

The first issue is that the book lacks details for each of the customizations. My overall list is too large to share here, but to give a few examples: no mention of customizing states and transitions in process templates, no mention of best practices around customizing process templates (like storing in source control and branching), missing “why’s” around many of the customization topics (e.g. why process template editor vs. XML, why is there a #700 in the build process parameters, etc.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book for level 300 customization! July 2, 2014
By Etienne
This book is a concentrated well of information on how to customize TFS 2013, specifically customization which is great for the Admins that only want to know how to do that and not have all the other stuff about TFS that they may already know about.

It contains information on process template customization which is usually the no 1. thing customer want to do with their system since the out-of-the-box templates don't have fields that they need for their business. It then covers how to customize the Backlog boards, also of interest how to create a javascript plug-in.

Chapter 3 dives into how to add custom controls to work items and how to deploy them on each developers machine. Although this has been possible since version 2005, I'm not a fan of doing this because of the deployment problems it can create. You have to do both for VS and for the Web and maintain in sync for all versions of VS in your infrastructure.

Chapter 4 dives into server plug-ins which are super powerful and can be used for validation and also to start jobs after the action takes place like after a check-in or if a work item is changed. The author also explains how to debug those plug-in which is an added bonus.

Chapter 5 cover how to add a scheduled job to the TFS Job service. Again very concise and to the point also showing how to debug. I'll admit to not having done this kind of customization in the past but it's good that it's covered in this book.

Finally the last chapter goes into details on how to modify the XAML build template I would have wanted a section on using PowerShell in the pre and post build as an alternative to modifying the XAML since this is what I recommend my customer do these days but If you are looking at how to do this, this will work for previous version of TFS Build as well.

All in all a good bug on customization at a very fair price.

Etienne Tremblay ALM MVP since 2005.
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Gordon has written a comprehensive guide to TFS 2013 Customization. Gordon has a straightforward, easy-to-read writing style.
The book covers a wide range of customization topics and options. Each are clearly explained with many explanatory images and explanations.
I highly recommend this book.
I especially like that the book can be purchased in electronic (mobi) format.
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In this book you can find several topics about customizations allowed in TFS: work items, web interface, custom controls, server plugins, scheduled jobs, builds;
ach of them is written fluently, and provides you a good overview (a bit more!) of all topics with lot of usefull screenshots, and step-by-step descriptions.

It doesn't become overwhelming with lot of details that you might not be interested in.
It provides what you need to discover and lean what solutions are possible and shows you how to do it,
ie: UI javascript vs server customization, new controls (development, debug, install, uninstall).
Everything in one single book, more than a simple collection, without looking for all of them through lot of sources.

Good as starting point, it introduce you to TFS's customization options, so you can choose easily and quickly the solution to your needs, and even try yourself for it
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5.0 out of 5 stars A must have for TFS 2013 admins April 22, 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Covers a wide range of area's without being overwhelming. The examples are valuable and spot on for practical use with a 2013 installation. Think of it as a kick start to your abilities with TFS 2013.
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