Team Foundation Server 2013 Customization Book Review

Team Foundation Server 2013 Customization

“Learn how to customize TFS and create useful plugins for your organization”

by Gordon Beeming

Book Details

Language : English
Paperback : 102 pages [ 235mm x 191mm ] Release Date : January 2014
ISBN : 1782177140
ISBN 13 : 9781782177142
Author(s) : Gordon Beeming
Topics and Technologies : All Books, Application Development, Enterprise

Gordon Beeming

Gordon Beeming  is an energetic and passionate person who always strives to find ways to increase and improve the productivity and friendliness of the systems he works with. He has been a software developer for a little over five years. In this time, he has also gained strong experience in TFS and is a part of the ALM Rangers. He currently works for Derivco, which is a very unique company to work for, based in Durban, South Africa.

  • This book accelerates the understanding of TFS extension points
  • Learn how to create a JavaScript web access plugin
  • Discover the tips and tricks of customizing TFS


This book utilizes a tutorial based approach, focused on the practical customization of key features of the Team Foundation Server for collaborative enterprise software projects.

Who this book is for

This practical guide is intended for those who want to extend TFS. This book is for intermediate users who have an understanding of TFS, and basic coding skills will be required for the more complex customizations.

What you will learn from this book

  • Create and modify pieces of the TFS Process template
  • Customize the dashboard of teams with useful information
  • Extend the task and portfolio boards with meaningful information
  • Develop custom controls that change the way users interact with data
  • Make server plugins that will help add some business rule validation to TFS Check ins and work item data changes
  • Implement scheduled jobs that will enforce advanced business rules based on a schedule
  • Extend the build process to cater to more complex builds
  • Reference external services as part of a build to provide awareness of new binaries

In Detail

Team Foundation Server offers you the benefit of having all your data in one system with all tools tightly integrated with each other, making it easier for teams to work together. Knowing how to customize the Team Foundation Server is very useful as well as powerful. Having the knowledge and applying it to TFS can save users many hours as well as make it easier to understand the data in TFS for reporting purposes.

This book will show you how to customize various TFS features in order to create an enhanced experience for your users and improve their productivity. You will create custom controls that will be used in client applications and inside the web access. Next, you will learn how to embed a web page inside your work items to display rich information linked to the work items you are opening.

This book will show you how to modify a team’s process template, and then slowly get to grips with some C# code and create a scheduled job.

Using this book, you will create a JavaScript web access plugin that greatly increases productivity. You will start off by making various modifications to the process template to illustrate how we can cater to custom data requirements, and then we will move towards writing code to perform more complex customizations.

Customizing Team Foundation Server 2013 is one of the best methods you can use to provide rich data for reporting in TFS.


This book is an excellent reference manual for some of the common and uncommon customization tasks that most TFS Administrators may find useful. It’s a thin guide and  it’s straight to the point in regards to each task. Gordon includes a few tasks that you don’t normally find in other TFS books such as Creating Server Plugins and Creating TFS Scheduled Jobs. This is where the book holds the most value for experience TFS admins looking to expand their knowledge beyond the surface level modifications of costuming WIT’s.

The only important note I would make for this book, would be to highlight that this book is a “reference manual” in the aspect that it does not walk you through every single step to perform the customization. You should have more than basic knowledge of TFS along with some previous experience  modifying different areas of TFS. The Author makes this known with the intended recipient of the book being an “Intermediate” users of TFS.  

I would recommend this book to anyone interested in expanding their ability to manage and customize Team Foundation Server.   

Packt Publishing Site  

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