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TFS Custom Task - Service Actions (for TFS 2015 Update 2.1 or before)

Updated: 2020-04-29

broken image links removed

Apparently, boolean values for custom VSTS tasks for versions prior to TFS 2015 Update 3) require some special handling as they don’t pass the checkbox values as actual powershell $true or $false. Instead the task passes this information along as true or false. To properly handle this you’ll need to pass in the value as a string then convert to boolean.

I found a great start on working on this solution in a blog post by Rene which has more detail, so check it out. In addition, some reading on promiscuous types with powershell can be helpful to understand why special handling is needed with conversion. For example, in the task.json file you’ll have:

    "inputs": [
                "defaultValue": "MyServiceName*",
                "label": "ServiceName",
                "name": "ServiceName",
                "required": true,
                "type": "string"
                "defaultValue": "true",
                "helpMarkDown": "issue restart command",
                "label": "ChangeCredentials",
                "name": "ChangeCredentials",
                "required": true,
                "type": "boolean"

This boolean value provides a checkbox on the custom task window.

To properly work with the boolean value, you have to bring it in as a script then convert it to a boolean value.


once you have the parameters, use .NET convert functionality to

[bool]$_RestartService    = [System.Convert]::ToBoolean($RestartService)
[bool]$_StartService      = [System.Convert]::ToBoolean($StartService)
[bool]$_StopService       = [System.Convert]::ToBoolean($StopService)
[bool]$_ChangeCredentials = [System.Convert]::ToBoolean($ChangeCredentials)

Below I’ve included a custom TFS Task for basic start/stop/restart/change credentials with a custom tfs task. It’s not super refined, but it’s a good start to get you on your way.