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All FIELD XML Elements Reference

You can use the information in this topic as a quick reference to all the elements and main attributes that define a data field for a type of work item. You specify these elements in the FIELD (Definition) element container. You add a field for a work item type by specifying a FIELD (Definition) element within the FIELDS (Definition) element. You can specify these elements within the definition of a type of work item or as part of a global workflow. You can create child elements that this topic describes to specify the behavior of a field, define default values, or define a pick list of values. You can use field rule elements in combination with each other. You can scope most rules to apply to one or more users or groups or to be ignored for one or more users or groups.

NoteNote

Before you can define a global workflow, the feature must be enabled on the application-tier server. Therefore, the server must be running a version of Visual Studio Team Foundation Server, such as Team Foundation Server 2010 with Service Pack 1 (SP1), that supports that feature. You can download the service pack from the following page on the Microsoft website: Service Pack 1 of Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010, Beta. For more information, see Customizing Global Workflow.

All child elements of the FIELD element are optional. Except for the HELPTEXT element, you can specify all elements as child elements of the FIELD (Definition), FIELD (Workflow), and FIELD (Global Workflow) elements. You use the FIELD (Definition) element to define a work item field and specify the rules and conditions that apply to it. You specify rules for a FIELD (Workflow) element to define the value of or apply rules to a field as a work item transitions from one state to another. You can specify field rules based on the STATE, TRANSITION, DEFAULTREASON, or REASON element of which its parent FIELDS element is a child. For more information, see Working with Work Item Fields and Designing the Workflow.

In this topic

You use the following syntax to define the data fields for a type of work item. This example shows the format of the FIELD (Definition) element and all optional child elements. For more information, see FIELD (Definition) Element.

<FIELD name="fieldDisplayName" refname="fieldReferenceName" type="String | Integer | Double | DateTime | PlainText | HTML | History | TreePath | GUID "
syncnamechanges="true | false" reportingname="reportingDisplayName" reportingrefname="reportingReferenceName"
reportable="Dimension | Detail | Measure" formula="avg" >
   <ALLOWEDVALUES> . . . </ALLOWEDVALUES>
   <ALLOWEXISTINGVALUE />
   <CANNOTLOSEVALUE />
   <COPY />
   <DEFAULT />
   <EMPTY />
   <FROZEN />
   <HELPTEXT> . . . </HELPTEXT>
   <MATCH />
   <NOTSAMEAS />
   <PROHIBITEDVALUES /> . . . </PROHIBITEDVALUES>
   <READONLY />
   <REQUIRED />
   <SERVERDEFAULT />
   <SUGGESTEDVALUES /> . . . </SUGGESTEDVALUES>
   <VALIDUSER />
   <WHEN>> . . . </WHEN>
   <WHENNOT> . . . </WHENNOT>
   <WHENCHANGED> . . . </WHENCHANGED>
   <WHENNOTCHANGED> . . . </WHENNOTCHANGED>
</FIELD>

The following table describes the child elements that you can specify to apply rules for assigning a value to a field. All child elements are optional. You can scope most child elements to apply only to a single group or to everyone except for the users in a single group.

Element

Description and syntax

ALLOWEDVALUES

Defines a list of values that users can specify in a field list on work item forms and in the query editor. Users must specify one of the values that you list.

<ALLOWEDVALUES for="userGroupName" not="userGroupName" 
expanditems="true | false" filteritems="excludegroups">
   <GLOBALLIST name="globalListName">
      <LISTITEM value="Name" />
. . . 
   </GLOBALLIST>
</ALLOWEDVALUES>

For more information, see Defining Pick Lists.

ALLOWEXISTINGVALUE

Specifies that a field can retain an existing value, even if it is no longer in a pick list. All new field values must be in the list.

<ALLOWEXISTINGVALUE />

For more information, see Defining Pick Lists.

CANNOTLOSEVALUE

Specifies that users cannot clear a field of all values after a value has been specified. After the field contains a value, that field must always contain a non-NULL value.

<CANNOTLOSEVALUE for="userGroupName" not="userGroupName" />

For more information, see Setting Conditions on a Work Item Field.

COPY

Copies a specified value to a field when a user creates or modifies a work item.

<COPY for="userGroupName" not="userGroupName"  
from="value | field | clock | currentuser" 
value="valueToCopy" field="fieldReferenceName" />

For more information, see Defining a Default Value or Copying a Value to a Field.

DEFAULT

Specifies a value for a field that is empty when a user creates or modifies a work item. If a field already has a value, the default rule is ignored.

<DEFAULT for="userGroupName" not="userGroupName" 
from="value | field | clock | currentuser" 
value="value to copy" field="field reference name" />

For more information, see Defining a Default Value or Copying a Value to a Field.

EMPTY

Clears the field of any value that it contains. The EMPTY rule also makes a field read-only, and you should not be use it with the READONLY rule.

The field value is cleared when a user saves the work item, and you cannot specify any value. This rule is primarily used during state transition to clear fields that apply to the state to which the item is transitioning.

<EMPTY for="userGroupName" not=" userGroupName" />

For more information, see Setting Conditions on a Work Item Field.

FROZEN

Specifies that you cannot change the field to a non-empty value after changes are committed. As soon as a user saves the work item with a value in that field, the value can no longer be modified.

<FROZEN for="userGroupName" not="userGroupName" />

For more information, see Setting Conditions on a Work Item Field.

HELPTEXT

Defines the text to appear when a user points to the field in the work item form.

tooltipText: A string of text that contains between 1 and 255 characters.

<HELPTEXT>tooltipText </HELPTEXT>

For more information, see Defining the Help Text for a Work Item Field.

MATCH

Defines a pattern that values of String type fields must match.

<MATCH pattern="patternValue" for="userGroupName" not="userGroupName" />

For more information, see Making a String Field Match a Pattern.

NOTSAMEAS

Specifies that a field is not assigned the same value as that to which another specified field is assigned. The value of the field attribute must be a valid reference name of a field.

<NOTSAMEAS field="fieldReferenceName" for="userGroupName" not="userGroupName" />

For more information, see Setting Conditions on a Work Item Field.

PROHIBITEDVALUES

Defines a list of values that a field cannot contain. Users cannot save a work item if the field contains a prohibited value.

<PROHIBITEDVALUES for="userGroupName" not="userGroupName" 
expanditems="true | false" filteritems="excludegroups">
   <GLOBALLIST name="globalListName">
      <LISTITEM value="Name" />
. . . 
   </GLOBALLIST>
</PROHIBITEDVALUES>

For more information, see Defining Pick Lists.

READONLY

Specifies that you cannot modify the value to which the field is assigned.

<READONLY for="userGroupName" not="userGroupName" />

NoteNote
Do not use this element together with the EMPTY element because EMPTY also makes a field read-only. If you combine these elements, results will be inconsistent.

For more information, see Setting Conditions on a Work Item Field.

REQUIRED

Specifies that users must specify a value for the field. Required fields cannot be empty. Users cannot save a work item until they have assigned values to all required fields.

<REQUIRED for="userGroupName" not="userGroupName" />

For more information, see Setting Conditions on a Work Item Field.

SERVERDEFAULT

Copies a specified server value to a field when a user saves a work item. These fields usually appear as read-only on the form.

<SERVERDEFAULT for="userGroupName" not="userGroupName" 
from="clock | currentuser" />

For more information, see Defining a Default Value or Copying a Value to a Field.

SUGGESTEDVALUES

Defines a suggested list of values that users can specify in a field list on work item forms and in the query editor. Users can specify values other than those that you suggest.

<SUGGESTEDVALUES for="userGroupName" not="userGroupName" 
expanditems="true | false" filteritems="excludegroups">
   <GLOBALLIST name="globalListName">
      <LISTITEM value="Name" />
. . . 
   </GLOBALLIST>    
</SUGGESTEDVALUES>

For more information, see Defining Pick Lists.

VALIDUSER

Restricts work items from being modified by users who belong to the group that you specify. The default group is the Team Foundation Valid Users group.

All attributes are optional. All attributes must consist of a string of text that contains between 1 and 255 characters. You can use tokens to specify groups. For more information, see Using Tokens to Reference Users and Groups.

< VALIDUSER group="groupName" for="userName" not="userName" />

For more information, see Managing Permission to Create or Modify Work Items.

WHEN

Specifies one or more rules to apply to the current field when another field has a specific value. The parent FIELD element defines the current field.

<WHEN field="fieldReferenceName" value="value">
    <ALLOWEDVALUES> . . . </ALLOWEDVALUES>
    <ALLOWEXISTINGVALUE> . . . <ALLOWEXISTINGVALUE>
    <CANNOTLOSEVALUE> . . . </CANNOTLOSEVALUE>
    <COPY> . . . </COPY>
    <DEFAULT> . . . </DEFAULT>
    <EMPTY> . . . </EMPTY>
    <FROZEN> . . . </FROZEN>
    <MATCH> . . . </MATCH>
    <NOTSAMEAS> . . . </NOTSAMEAS>
    <PROHIBITEDVALUES> . . . </PROHIBITEDVALUES>
    <READONLY> . . . </READONLY>
    <REQUIRED> . . . </REQUIRED>
    <SERVERDEFAULT> . . . </SERVERDEFAULT>        
    <SUGGESTEDVALUES> . . . </SUGGESTEDVALUES>
    <VALIDUSER> . . . </VALIDUSER>
</WHEN>

For more information, see Assigning Conditional-Based Values and Rules

WHENNOT

Specifies one or more rules to apply to the current field when another field does not have a specific value. The parent FIELD element defines the current field.

<WHENNOT field="fieldReferenceName" value="value">
    <ALLOWEDVALUES> . . . </ALLOWEDVALUES>
    <ALLOWEXISTINGVALUE> . . . <ALLOWEXISTINGVALUE>
    <CANNOTLOSEVALUE> . . . </CANNOTLOSEVALUE>
    <COPY> . . . </COPY>
    <DEFAULT> . . . </DEFAULT>
    <EMPTY> . . . </EMPTY>
    <FROZEN> . . . </FROZEN>
    <MATCH> . . . </MATCH>
    <NOTSAMEAS> . . . </NOTSAMEAS>
    <PROHIBITEDVALUES> . . . </PROHIBITEDVALUES>
    <READONLY> . . . </READONLY>
    <REQUIRED> . . . </REQUIRED>
    <SERVERDEFAULT> . . . </SERVERDEFAULT>        
    <SUGGESTEDVALUES> . . . </SUGGESTEDVALUES>
    <VALIDUSER> . . . </VALIDUSER>
</WHENNOT>

For more information, see Assigning Conditional-Based Values and Rules.

WHENCHANGED

Specifies one or more rules to apply to the current field when another field is changed during the revision of the work item. The parent FIELD element defines the current field.

<WHENCHANGED field="fieldReferenceName" >
    <ALLOWEDVALUES> . . . </ALLOWEDVALUES>
    <ALLOWEXISTINGVALUE> . . . <ALLOWEXISTINGVALUE>
    <CANNOTLOSEVALUE> . . . </CANNOTLOSEVALUE>
    <COPY> . . . </COPY>
    <DEFAULT> . . . </DEFAULT>
    <EMPTY> . . . </EMPTY>
    <FROZEN> . . . </FROZEN>
    <MATCH> . . . </MATCH>
    <NOTSAMEAS> . . . </NOTSAMEAS>
    <PROHIBITEDVALUES> . . . </PROHIBITEDVALUES>
    <READONLY> . . . </READONLY>
    <REQUIRED> . . . </REQUIRED>
    <SERVERDEFAULT> . . . </SERVERDEFAULT>        
    <SUGGESTEDVALUES> . . . </SUGGESTEDVALUES>
    <VALIDUSER> . . . </VALIDUSER>      
</WHENCHANGED>

For more information, see Assigning Conditional-Based Values and Rules.

WHENNOTCHANGED

Specifies one or more rules to apply to the current field when another field is not changed during the revision of the work item. The parent element defines the current field.

<WHENNOTCHANGED field="fieldReferenceName">
    <ALLOWEDVALUES> . . . </ALLOWEDVALUES>
    <ALLOWEXISTINGVALUE> . . . <ALLOWEXISTINGVALUE>
    <CANNOTLOSEVALUE> . . . </CANNOTLOSEVALUE>
    <COPY> . . . </COPY>
    <DEFAULT> . . . </DEFAULT>
    <EMPTY> . . . </EMPTY>
    <FROZEN> . . . </FROZEN>
    <MATCH> . . . </MATCH>
    <NOTSAMEAS> . . . </NOTSAMEAS>
    <PROHIBITEDVALUES> . . . </PROHIBITEDVALUES>
    <READONLY> . . . </READONLY>
    <REQUIRED> . . . </REQUIRED>
    <SERVERDEFAULT> . . . </SERVERDEFAULT>        
    <SUGGESTEDVALUES> . . . </SUGGESTEDVALUES>
    <VALIDUSER> . . . </VALIDUSER>
</WHENNOTCHANGED>

For more information, see Assigning Conditional-Based Values and Rules.

The following table describes the GLOBALLIST and LISTITEM elements. You specify these elements as child elements of the ALLOWEDVALUES, SUGGESTEDVALUES, and PROHIBITEDVALUES elements. You can use these elements to enumerate a list of values that appears as a pick list or drop-down menu of items that a user can specify. For more information, see Defining and Using Lists, Pick Lists, and Global Lists.

Element

Syntax

Description

GLOBALIST

<GLOBALLIST name="globalListName
">
    <LISTITEM> . . . </LISTITEM>
</GLOBALLIST> 

Defines a set of LISTITEM elements that is stored for a team project collection and that all team projects in a collection can use.

globalListName: A string of text that contains between 1 and 255 characters.

GLOBALLIST is a required child element of the GLOBALLISTS element and an optional child element of the ALLOWEDVALUES, SUGGESTEDVALUES, and PROHIBITEDVALUES elements. You can define a global list within a work item definition, a global list definition, or a global workflow.

LISTITEM

<LISTITEM value="listName" />

Defines a valid list value.

LISTITEM is a required child element of GLOBALLIST and an optional child element of the ALLOWEDVALUES, SUGGESTEDVALUES, and PROHIBITEDVALUES elements.

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You can qualify most FIELD rules to apply or not apply to a set of groups or users by including the for or not attributes. For more information, see Scoping a Field Rule to a Group.

Attribute

Syntax

Description

expanditems

expanditems="true | false"

Optional. Specifies whether a group that the LISTITEM element identifies should be expanded to include subordinate groups in the list. The default value of this attribute is true.

filteritems

filteritems="excludegroups"

Optional. Specifies that only the members of groups, and not group names, are included in the list. The only allowed value for this attribute is excludegroups.

for

for="userGroupName"

Optional. Specifies the name of a user or group in Team Foundation to whom the rule applies. Valid values consist of a string of text that contains between 1 and 255 characters.

not

not="userGroupName"

Optional. Specifies the name of a user or group in Team Foundation to whom the rule does not apply. Valid values consist of a string of text that contains between 1 and 255 characters.

from

from="value | field | clock | currentuser"

Required. Specifies the source of the value from which to copy a value or specify a default value. The following values are valid:

  • clock:  Copies the current date and time from the system clock to DateTime fields. No additional attributes are required. For COPY and DEFAULT rules, this value comes from the local computer clock time. For SERVERDEFAULT, the value comes from the server clock when a user saves the work item.

  • currentuser:  Copies the name of the user who is currently logged on. Use the short username of the current user as the value. No additional attributes are required. Used for string fields.

  • field:  Copies the value of the field attribute that you specify. Requires a field="abc" attribute. By default, if the specified "from" field is empty, nothing is performed. The field attribute is used only for <COPY> and <DEFAULT> rules.

  • value: Copies the value of the value attribute that you specify. Use the value of a string constant that you specify. Requires a value="abc" attribute. value is used only for <COPY> and <DEFAULT> rules.

If you specify "value" or "field," you must also include the value or field attribute, respectively.

field

field="fieldReferenceName"

Optional. Specifies the name of the field whose value is to be copied into the field when field is specified for the from attribute.

pattern

pattern="patternValue"

Required. Enforces basic pattern matching for strings only. patternValue is a string that consists of between 1 and 255 characters, inclusive. That string must not contain a backslash character (\). Each character in the string is interpreted as a literal, unless it is one of the following six metacharacters:

  • "A" or "a" represent a single alphabetical character.

  • "N" or "n" represent a single numeric character.

  • "X" or "x" represent a single alphanumeric character.

Pattern value: ^[^\\]*$

For example, pattern="xxxxx.nn.nn" matches any five alphanumeric characters, then a period, then two numeric characters, then a period, then two more numeric characters.

value

value="valueToCopy"

Optional. Specifies the value to be copied into the field when value is specified for the from attribute.

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