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Scrum for Team System Version 3 (Beta 2) – Project Collections and Template Deployment

In this post I’ll discuss the TFS 2010 project collection structure and reveal the Scrum for Team System version 3 deployment utility.

Since the introduction of TFS 2010 (currently at Beta 2 release) Microsoft have introduced the concept of Project Collections. Project collections allow multiple TFS team projects to co-exist in a single database instance. This in turn means that you can do things like; write cross project queries and have better control over project security.

However, this does cause a few problems for the SfTS template and deployment. Each project collection holds its own group of deployed templates. So you must deploy the process template into each project collection that you wish to use with Scrum. That’s not all; our Scrum solution also requires a subscription to work item changed events. This too needs to be done for each collection.

Step forward the “SfTS Process Template Manager”.

The template manager offers two working modes; “Quick Deploy” and “Advanced”.


Quick Deploy:

This mode is displayed by default when all environment settings have been automatically detected. It is intended for standard TFS setups.


Note: Quick Deploy is dependent on the environment settings that can be seen under the advanced mode. If these settings are missing or incorrect, the quick deploy commands will be disabled.

Quick Deploy Commands:

Quick Deploy has three simple commands; List Collections, Deploy and Retract.

  • List Collections

    Connects to the TFS instance and displays a list of all available project collections. The collection list also indicates the deployed status of the SfTS template.

  • Deploy

    Adds the SfTS template to the selected collection and registers a Work Item Changed event subscription.

  • Retract

    Removes the SfTS template from the selected collection and withdraws any existing event subscription.



The advanced mode offers greater control over deployment and subscriptions, the ability to specify environment settings and a view of the selected collections’ templates / subscriptions. This mode is intended for advanced administrators and complex deployment environments.



Environment Settings:

The environment settings section allows you to specify the: TFS instance to connect to, template meta data file and template content zip file.


  • TFS Url

    By default the URL is set to “http://localhost:8080/tfs”. If you need to specify an alternative TFS address you can do so here.

  • List Collections

    Clicking this button when a valid URL is specified loads a list of project collections. If the TFS URL is not specified of the URL is not valid, the project collection selection dialog will be displayed.

  • Meta Data File

    This file contains information on the Process Template. This information is used to determine the deployed status [of the template] in the selected project collection. By default, the Meta data file is installed into the “[Program Files]\Scrum for Team System\ProcessTemplate\” folder.

  • Template Zip File

    This file contains all the configuration parts of the template that will be deployed to the selected collection. The default installation location for this file is:

    [Program Files]\Scrum for Team System\ProcessTemplate\ProcessTemplate.zip


Collection List:

image A list of available process templates is displayed below the Environment Settings section once the “List Collections” button has been clicked. Select a collection in this list in order to interact with it.


Advanced Command Options:


  • Deploy

    Uploads the specified template to the selected collection.

  • Retract

    Removes the specified template from the selected collection.

  • Subscribe

    Adds an event subscription to the selected collection. The event subscription end point is generated using the web address specified in the TFS Url environment settings section.

  • Unsubscribe

    Removes all subscriptions from the selected collection that match the SfTS work item changed event end point.


imageCollection Templates:

The selected collections deployed process templates are listed here. This information is displayed for information only at the current time. The template that is deployed or retracted is controlled by the specified environment settings above.


Event Subscriptions:

The subscriptions present in the selected collection. As above, this list is for information purposes only.






The Process Template Manager utility is intended to run on the target TFS application tier after the installation of the SfTS template. It is installed as part of the “Process Template” feature within the version 3 (Beta 2) “Scrum for Team System” installation process.


All this coming to a “Scrum for Team System 2010 Beta” release near you soon. Watch the forums for more news…



Crispin Parker,
Senior Technical Consultant,
EMC Consulting.

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