How to clone a build definitions from one project to another within a same collection?

by XDK 7. March 2014 12:31


You can use TFS power tools command line utility to clone a build definition across projects

Note: You can download and install TFS Power Tools from

1. Open "Visual Studio" command prompt

2. You can use the following command to preview the build definition clone

tfpt builddefinition /clone "<Source Team Project Name>\Build Definition" "<Target Team Project Name>\Build Definition" /Collection:http://tfs:8080/tfs/DefaultCollection /preview

3. You can use the following command to clone the build definition

tfpt builddefinition /clone "<Source Team Project Name>\Build Definition" "<Target Team Project Name>\Build Definition" /Collection:http://tfs:8080/tfs/DefaultCollection

Only the well-defined build definition can be cloned using this approach meaning the build source build definition should have all the mandatory (required) properties filled with values

For example:

The source build definition without Build controller name cannot be cloned using this approach.

You can also use * wildcard character to clone all build definitions at one shot, provided you have well-defined build definition at source team project.

tfpt builddefinition /clone "<Source Team Project Name>\*" "<Target Team Project Name>\"  /Collection:http://tfs:8080/tfs/DefaultCollection

Remember to update the following build properties to the cloned build definition. 

1. Disable build definition to prevent accidental triggering.

2. Change workspace mapping to target team project source.

3. Change drop location.

4. Change the build process template to point to the right projects.

5. If you use custom build workflow/tasks, make sure your build controller custom assembly references are pointed to target team project source control

6. Enable the build definition.


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About the author

My name is Xavier Dilip Kumar Jayaraj having 16+ years of IT experience which includes solid experience and depth Knowledge in Application Life Cycle Management, Configuration Management, Implementation and Support using TFS on-premises and Azure DevOps. I have invested in gaining DevOps knowledege to expertise with Cloud Computing providers namely Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services in recent years. I am very positive to learn and adapt emerging technologies to client’s environment.

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The information provided here is based on my expreriences, troubleshooting and online/offline findings. It can be used as is on your own risk without any warranties and I impose no rights.