Software Quality

October 15, 2011

Editing TFS Process Templates – Error when saving process template (access denied)

Filed under: Team Foundation Server 2010 — David Allen @ 9:33 pm


I was learning to Customize Team Foundation Server Process templates the other day and I encountered an error when trying to save the process template.

“There was a problem saving the process template:
Access to the path I:\Code\XXXX  is denied.”

This post explains the cause and workaround.

I was following the guidelines in the book “Professional Application Lifecycle Management with Visual Studio 2010 by Wrox Press. You can also refer to Microsoft’s guidance at Anyway, I downloaded the TFS Process Template for Agile. I then decided to do a reasonable thing that was not listed in the guidance – I checked the folder into source control, with a folder structure as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1 – a TFS Process Template Folder Structure

I reasoned that I these customizations are valuable assets and I wanted the benefits of version control. I checked these new files into source control.

The Problem

I then proceeded to open Visual Studio, and use the Process Editor to make a minor adjustment to ProcessTemplate.xml. When I attempted to edit the file ProcessTemplate.xml, Visual Studio checked it out, and removed the Read Only attribute. This is all as expected. However, when I attempted to save the file, I got the message shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2 – Error

Why did this happen?

It seems that the process editor wants all the files to be writable. So I checked out every file in the process template folder structure (see Figure 1). Then I was able to save the file of interest. This is an easy workaround. It is only surprising because Visual Studio normally knows when to checkout items in a project. But of course this is not a project. There is not a supported project type of “TFS Customization Project” yet. The process editor is provided as a courtesy from I just happened to be using Visual Studio to edit something that happened to be in version control.

Automatic rearrangement of GroupsandPermissions.xml

One interesting side note: After I made my minor change, I checked to see what else might have been changed for me by the process editor. Indeed, one other file was changed: GroupsandPermissions.xml, as indicated in Figure 3 below. I do not know why, but I thought I would mention it since I observed it.

Figure 3 – Files that changed

On close examination, there were no functional changes in GroupsandPermissions.xml. It was simply one of those annoying cases where the editor wanted to rearrange the xml.

These minor oddities are not show-stoppers. I shared them to make it easier on others who may customize TFS Process Templates using the Process Template Editor.

1 Comment »

  1. Thanks, I have create a video on how to customize TFS process, you can find it here:

    Comment by Mohamed Radwan — March 10, 2012 @ 8:18 pm

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