Customizing Work Items in Team Foundation Server

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Tell me I’m missing something here.

Team Foundation Server is this massive, be-all behemoth from Microsoft that rolls defect tracking, worklists, source code control, and your mother’s favorite recipes all into one Visual-Studio integrated package.

Sounds good.

But is this for real?

Granted, the post is from 2005, but looking at the latest TFS 2008 docs online, there doesn’t appear to be any newer method.

Essentially, what it says is that to add a field to the bug tracking form, or the task form, or to change the lookup values in existing fields on those forms, or to edit a form in pretty much any way, you have to:

  1. Drop to a DOS box
  2. Run a command line app to EXPORT the bug form definition to an XML file
  3. Open the XML file and edit it with whatever editor you want.
  4. Save the XML
  5. run another command line util to IMPORT the xml definition back into TFS
  6. and finally, open up a few item to see it your change made it in

Did I just fall backwards into a Delorean and hit the ’85 button?

You can’t throw a Dilbert Doll these days without hitting a bug tracking solution and I haven’t seen one in recent memory that didn’t have some kind of integrated forms designer. Actually, I can’t say I’ve ever seen one that didn’t. Hell, Outlook has an integrated forms designer.

So, I’ve gotta be missing something, right?


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