TFS Power Tools – Process Template Editor doesn’t do the job

As most of you TFS addicts, I also immediately installed the new TFS Power Tools. Like Marcel de Vries wrote in his blog "A must have is the new embedded in Visual Studio Process Template Editor". This editor is almost same as the one I used before, but it's using Visual Studio as a container to modify the process. I compared the code of both products and must say that most of the code isn't changed at all. They renamed some variables and replaced strings containing messages to use resources. The only new part they added is the new Domain Specific Language (DSL) for the workflow of a WorkItem. As you can see it is a great improvement for showing the complete process of WorkItem.

I took the liberty of 'stealing' the picture Marcel used in his post.

The only difference I could find between the two tools was PTE gave me the ability to select which user groups are allowed to do a specified transition. All groups which I added to process template are immediately available to select in each transition. In the Power Tools it will only give you a group of users when you're connected to a Team Foundation Server.

VSTS Customization Toolkit

Team Foundation Server Power Tools 1.2

Another annoying thing is the new tool will create an extra dialog for each transition you select. Every dialog becomes it's own instance within your taskbar.

Again the team delivered a great tool, but I hope they will fix the small bug and change the appearance of each dialog. Maybe the can lock it so you can't click on another transition unless you closed the dialog. I didn't have the time to dig into to code to see were things go wrong. When I have some extra time I'll update this blog. Furthermore I hope TFS in Orcas will use WF for their workflows and show all states and transitions in the Workflow Designer. For a complete outline of the Power Tools check the blog of Buck Hodges.


2 thoughts on “TFS Power Tools – Process Template Editor doesn’t do the job

  1. You raise some good points. I appreciate the feedback. As the developer lead on the Team Foundation Power Tools I will do what I can to get these points addressed and would mention that my blog (blogs.msdn.comedhintz) is a good reference for Power Tool information. Details about the Feb release can be found:

    Channel 9 Interview:

  2. Ed,

    Thnx for the great comment. I added your blog to my feed, so I will be one of the first to download new tools when you release something. It would be nice if in a one of the new releases some 'good points' of my are added 😉



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