TFS, Tips & Tricks, Visual Studio Team Services

Custom VSTS Build Task doesn’t show up

When implementing a custom VSTS (or TFS) Build Task, it didn’t show up in the list of tasks after publish and install. Nor for Build, neither for Release. So I verified several options;

  • Does my VSIX package contain all files;
    • The PowerShell script
    • The task.json
    • The icon
    • The vss-extension.json
  • Are all properties filled out correctly in the json files
  • Do I need to refresh my browser or empty some cache

All of the above didn’t help in solving the problem. Then I stumbled upon the blog post of Jeff Bramwell (VS ALM MVP) about Custom Build Tasks in VSTS. He uses the commandline to create the basic setup of a task (which I did manually). So I used this method to recreate my task and compare it to what I already have. While doing so, I discovered that there is a maximum length for several parameters provided in task.json (the commandline tool gives an error when exceeding limits), which I couldn’t find elsewhere! To be clear:

  • Friendly Task Name (friendlyName): 40 chars
  • Task Description (description): 80 chars
  • Author (author): 40 chars

Hope this helps other people with the same issue!

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