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Upload or download a process template

TFS 2018

When you create a project, a process is used to specify the work item types to configure and other settings. Each process template primarily defines the building blocks of the work item tracking system for Azure Boards. For the Hosted XML and On-premises XML process models, you can upload a process template to either update an existing project or create a project. For the Inheritance process model, you customize work tracking through the web portal. To learn more about these different processes, see Customize your work tracking experience.

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.


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To access the latest versions of the default process templates:


To manage process templates, you must be a member of the Project Collection Administrators group, To get added to this group, see Change project collection-level permissions.

Open Process Template Manager

  1. From Visual Studio 2015, open the Process Template Manager from the Team>Team Project Collection Settings>Process Template Manager bar menu.

    Screenshot that shows Open Process Template Manager from Visual Studio 2015.

    You'll see a list of each process template that has been uploaded to the project collection.

    Process Template Manager dialog, Select process template to work with.


    For a comparison of the default process templates--Agile, CMMI, and Scrum--see About processes and process templates.
    The Upload, Download, Make Default, and Delete buttons are disabled when you don't have the necessary permissions to manage process templates.

  2. Select the process template that you want to work with and then choose from the following actions.

    Choose this task To perform this operation
    Upload To upload a process template.
    In the Upload Process Template dialog box, choose the 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.
    Download To download the process template to a local computer.
    In the Download Process Template dialog box, select a folder where the process template gets downloaded.

    If you're downloading a process template to use to configure new features, manually add new features or update a custom process template to enable new features--choose the process that corresponds to the one you used previously to create your project. For example, if you're updating a project based on the Scrum process template, then select Scrum. All version numbers have been removed from the process templates. If you don't see Agile, CMMI, or Scrum, then you need to update TFS.

    You can determine which process template to select based on the work item types defined for your existing project.
    Make Default To cause the selected process template to appear as the default selection in the New Team Project Wizard.
    Delete To permanently remove the selected process template from the collection.

Correlate a process template 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 items shown, then a custom process template might have been used.

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

Process template restrictions and validation checks

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

Screenshot of Upload process template errors.

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.

The following validation checks must pass when uploading a process template.

  • Process template names must be unique and 256 Unicode characters or less. Same-named templates overwrite existing templates. Also, names can't contain the following characters: . , ; ' ` : / \ * | ? " & % $ ! + = ( ) [ ] { } < >. For more 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 fails.
  • Process template total size should be 2 GB or less, or project creation fails.
  • The upload process runs 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. Duplicate tags in an XML file can cause errors. If there's 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.


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

Periodically, updates are made to the process templates to support new features. For more information, see Release Notes for Azure DevOps Server.