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Define a custom link type

You can customize an existing link type or create a link type to meet your project tracking requirements. You use a link type to define the link labels, topology type, and restrictions that are used when creating relationships between work items. You can customize an existing link type or create a link type to meet your project tracking requirements.

Note Note

You cannot customize the system-defined link types that correspond to the Related, Parent-Child, and Successor-Predecessor links.

You may want to modify or create a link type for one of the following reasons:

  • Change the link labels that are used to match your team's naming conventions.

  • Add a link type to track a particular relationship that is unique to your team's process.

Before you start to add or modify a link type, you should assess the link types available and how they are used in your team project. See Link work items to support traceability.

The link type is specified in a type definition XML file that you import to a team project collection. See Link type element reference.

With the witadmin command-line utility, you can deactivate, delete, export, import, list, and reactivate link types. See Manage link types [witadmin].

Links are added through the work item form, which contains the links control. See Link controls, restrictions, and field reference.

In addition to defining link types, you can customize the work item type definition to accept or prohibit specific links based on link type. You use the LinksControlOptions element to define the options that control what links can be added to a work item and to which work item types. Also, you can specify the default columns that you want to appear for the list of links in a work item. For more information, see Define link controls to restrict link relationships.

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