Work Item Publishing
All work items are stored centrally in a work item database on Team Foundation Server. By importing work items into Microsoft Excel, or Microsoft Project, you effectively create local copies of work items that can be changed independently of the work item database. To keep your Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Project documents and the work item database up-to-date, you will have to refresh or publish the work items.
Publishing in Microsoft Excel applies to the entire work item list. You cannot refresh or publish individual work items. You must refresh or publish the entire work item list.
Publishing in Microsoft Project allows you to control which work items are published and refreshed. For more information, see How to: Enable or Disable Publishing of Work Items in Microsoft Project.
If you want to update all the work items in a document to reflect the latest values in the work item database, you will have to refresh the document. To perform a refresh, choose Refresh on the Team menu (for Microsoft Project) or the Team tab (for Microsoft Excel). This makes sure that the work items are up to date and match the latest values in the work item database.
Refreshing work items replaces the work item data in your document with the version from the work item database. This erases any changes you have made in the document. If you want to preserve your changes, publish them first before refreshing the document.
A good time to perform a refresh is when you first open a document.
As you change work items in a document, you will eventually want to apply those changes back into the work item database by publishing them. To publish changes, click Publish Changes on the Team menu (for Microsoft Project) or Publish on the Team tab (for Microsoft Excel). This makes sure that your changes are reflected in the work item database for all team members to see.
If your changes conflict with changes from other team members, or cause validation errors, you must resolve the errors before the conflicting work items can be published. For more information, see How to: Resolve Data Conflicts in Microsoft Excel or Microsoft Project, and How to: Resolve Data Validation Errors in Microsoft Excel or Microsoft Project.