Build a custom template

Azure DevOps Services

Azure DevOps Generator provides many out-of-the-box templates that support a wide variety of scenarios. The generator also allows users to make their own templates. You can convert your existing projects into templates and then create new projects using those templates. Custom templates can be useful in many scenarios, such as for building custom training materials, provisioning only certain artifacts, and so on.


You must have an Azure DevOps project that's ready for extraction. The extractor captures the contents of the project and saves them as JSON files, which get archived into a zip file.

Build a custom template

  1. Sign in to the generator with the query parameter "enableextractor=true" added to the URL:

    Screenshot showing the Azure DevOps Generator home page.

  2. Select Build your template.

    Screenshot showing the link on home page, Build your template, surrounded by red box.

  3. Select the organization and project that you want to create the template from, and then select Analyze.

    Screenshot showing selections for new template and blue Analyze button.

    The Demo Generator validates whether the project is a supported type, Agile, Scrum, or Basic, and that all of the contents can be read. At the end of the analysis, a list of artifacts and count of items gets presented, so you can confirm the analysis.

  4. If you wish to proceed, select Generate Artifacts. All project items get saved as JSON data. After all the items are extracted, the folder gets archived into a zip file.

    Screenshot showing artifacts analysis and blue Generate Artifacts button.

  5. Download the zip file. It won't be available after you close the page.

    Screenshot showing where to select to download your file.


The Extractor supports only limited artifacts and work item types, so don't consider it as a migration tool for moving projects from one server to another. For more information, see Common issues and workarounds.

Create your project from your custom template

  1. Go back to the generator page with the query parameter "enableextractor=true" added to the URL:

  2. Select Choose Template

  3. Select Private.

    Screenshot showing the Private tab.

  4. Select the location from which you want to import your template: local drive, GitHub, or any https URL. If the URL or GitHub require authorization, provide the information. Select Submit.

    GitHub Screenshot showing upload screen with GitHub selected.

    URL Screenshot showing upload screen with URL selected.

  5. If the validation is effective, your template gets accepted. In the Selected Template field, your template name shows.

Now you can create a project using your own template!