In the previous chapter, you learned how the Microsoft Solutions Framework can be used as a framework to help you define all parts of your process. But how do you enact that process within Team System? Process templates enable you to work out a custom methodology that works for you. Your process can appear within Team System in many forms:
Your process guidance provides all your team members with policies and best practices tailored to your company's need.
Work products, such as project plans, enable you to further support your process.
Your project workflow is driven by work items, iterations, and areas.
Reports provide a window to accurately and predictably assess the health of your project.
To create and modify process templates, you must have an account within the Team Foundation Administrator group on Team Foundation Server.
Unless you are very familiar with the schema, or you are using third-party tools that validate your templates on the fly, we strongly recommend that you use an existing process template as the prototype for your customizations. Template customization can be an error-prone process due to the complexity of the XML files.
The Visual Studio 2003 enterprise templates vary a great deal from Team System process templates. Team System process templates can span many projects to many members of your team. Enterprise templates are designed to enable you to create policies, frameworks, and process guidance on a per-project basis, and be installed locally to appear in the New Project dialog box. The Team System process templates are also centrally available via the Team Foundation Server.
While reading and navigating documentation on the web, you may encounter both the term "process template" and the term "methodology template." In most cases, both terms mean the exact same thing. In this chapter, we consistently refer to the process configuration files as a process template.