Upload or download a process template

Azure DevOps Server 2019 | TFS 2018 | TFS 2017 | TFS 2015 | TFS 2013

When you create a project, the Project Creation Wizard (PCW) reads the process template to configure initial settings and upload artifacts and template files. Each process template defines the building blocks of the work item tracking system as well as other sub-systems. For the Hosted XML and On-premises XML process models, you can customize a process template to either update a project or create a project. For the Inheritance process model, you customize work tracking through a process. To learn more, see Customize your work tracking experience.

Important

Uploading and downloading Inherited processes isn't supported. However, you may be able to export a process using the Process Migrator for Node.js.

To manage Inherited processes, see About process customization and inherited processes. To manage Hosted XML processes, see Hosted XML process model.

You can upload and export process templates only for those project collections configured to use the On-premises XML processes. Also, you can mark a template to appear as the default when you add projects.

Support for uploading and downloading Inherited processes isn't supported through the user interface. You may be able to export a process using the Process Migrator for Node.js. To manage Inherited processes, see About process customization and inherited processes.

You can upload, download, and delete process templates for a project collection. Also, you can mark a template to appear as the default when you add projects.

Tip

With Azure DevOps Server, you can choose between using the Inherited process model or the On-premises XML process model. For details, see Customize your work tracking experience, Choose the process model for your project collection. To access the latest versions of the default processes/process templates:

Tip

To access the latest versions of the default process templates:

Prerequisites

  • Open the same version of Visual Studio, Visual Studio Community, or Team Explorer as the on-premises Azure DevOps Server that you connect to. For example, if you connect to a TFS 2017 instance, you must connect from Visual Studio 2017 or Visual Studio Community 2017. You can always download a free version of Visual Studio Community from the Visual Studio download site.

  • If you aren't a member of the Project Collection Administrators group, get added as one.

To manage a process template

Note

The way the Process Template Manager works changed with the release of Visual Studio 2017 and Visual Studio 2019. Opening the Process Template Manager from Visual Studio 2017 and Visual Studio 2019 opens the web portal Collection Settings or Organization Settings.

  1. From Visual Studio 2019, connect to an on-premises Azure DevOps Server collection that uses On-premises XML process model.

  2. Choose Team>Team Project Collection Settings>Process Template Manager from the menu bar.

    Open Process Template Manager

    A web browser tab opens to the Organization Settings>Process page.

    Open Process

  3. To upload a process template, choose the  Upload Process Template option.

    Upload Process

    In the Upload process template dialog, choose the .zip 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.

    Upload Process

  4. To download or export a process template, choose the  actions icon, and choose the Export option.

    Export Process

  5. To set a process as the default when adding new projects or to disable a process from being used, choose the  actions icon for the process, and select either the Set as default process or Disable process options.

    Disable or Delete a Process

Process template correlation with an existing project

To determine the type of process template that was used to create your project, review the work item types that appear in the New Work Item menu for Team Explorer and then compare them with the work item types in the following chart. If your work item types differ from those shown listed, then a custom process template might have been used.

Agile Basic CMMI Scrum
Agile work item types Basic work item types CMMI work item types Scrum work item types
Scrum Agile CMMI
Scrum work item types Agile work item types CMMI work item types

Process template restrictions and validation checks

If you upload the process template through the web portal, you may encounter errors such as those shown in the following image.

Upload process template errors

You must resolve each error and then retry the upload process. You may find additional information about resolving process template errors from Resolve validation errors for process import.

Uploading a process template requires that it pass the following validation checks.

  • Process template names must be unique and 256 Unicode characters or less. Same-named templates will overwrite existing templates.
    Also, names cannot contain the following characters: . , ; ' ` : / \ * | ? " & % $ ! + = ( ) [ ] { } < >
    For additional restrictions, see Naming restrictions.
  • Process template folders can't contain any .exe files. If they do, the process template may upload successfully, however project creation will fail.
  • Process template total size should be 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.
  • If XML definition files reference an extension, then the extension must be installed and enabled in the collection.

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 Process template plug-ins: Index to XML element definitions.

  • Process template names must be unique and 256 Unicode characters or less. Same-named templates will overwrite existing templates.
    Also, names cannot contain the following characters: . , ; ' ` : / \ * | ? " & % $ ! + = ( ) [ ] { } < >
    For additional restrictions, see Naming restrictions.
  • Process template folders can't contain any .exe files. If they do, the process template may upload successfully, however project creation will fail.
  • Process template total size should be 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

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 Process template plug-ins: Index to XML element definitions.

Periodically, updates are made to the process templates to support new features. For details, see Changes made to process templates.

Update a process template to enable new features

When you upgrade your on-premises Azure DevOps to a later version, new features may become available. To gain access to these new features, you may need to update a customized process template.

Add another project

You can add a project from the web portal or Visual Studio/Team Explorer. Some process template files are ignored when you create a project from the web portal. For details, see Process template and plug-in files, Client support for project creation.