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Customize the Microsoft Project field mapping file

You can customize how fields that are defined for work items in Team Foundation map to fields in Microsoft Project, and you can change how specific fields are published. In the field mapping file for Microsoft Project, you can define mappings between fields in Team Foundation and in Microsoft Project. Microsoft Project includes predefined fields, such as Task Name, and custom fields. When you publish or refresh work item data in Microsoft Project, the field map determines which fields in the work item database match the fields in Microsoft Project.

In the mapping file, you specify fields for each team project. To retrieve the mapping file, you download it from a team project. After you modify the file, you can upload it to the team project, and the changes apply to all users of that team project. See Upload or Download the Microsoft Project Mapping File [TFSFieldMapping].

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To specify a mapping between a work item field and a project column, you use the Mapping element.

You use the following XML syntax to specify a mapping between a work item type field and an Microsoft Project field. The Mapping element is then used to specify a field mapping.

<Mapping WorkItemTrackingFieldReferenceName="" 
         ProjectField=""
         ProjectName=""
         ProjectUnits=""
         PublishOnly="">
         IfSummaryRefreshOnly=""/>

The following table describes the attributes that can be used with the Mapping element.

Attribute

Description

WorkItemTrackingFieldReferenceName

Required. Specifies the reference name of a field in a work item type.

ProjectField

Required. Specifies the name of a field in Microsoft Project. Specify predefined field names by prefixing "pj" to the name, such as pjTaskName for the Task Name column. Specify custom fields as pjTaskText followed by a number, such as pjTaskText11.

ProjectName

Optional. Specifies the name to appear as the column name in Microsoft Project. If you do not specify this attribute, the field name of the work item type is used.

ProjectUnits

Optional. Specifies the type of units to use when you map a field type to Microsoft Project. You can specify the following values: pjMinute, pjHour, pjDay, pjWeek, and pjMonthUnit

NoteNote

You can specify ProjectUnits only for fields that specify time duration or other time units.

PublishOnly

Optional. If set to true, indicates that the field is published to the work item database but is not refreshed. This value is typically used for calculated fields that should not be updated in Team Explorer. If set to false, indicates that the field is both published and refreshed. The default value is false.

In the default mapping file, the two fields whose PublishOnly attribute is set to true are the Start Date and Finish Date.

IfSummaryRefreshOnly

Optional. If set to true, indicates that the field is never published to the work item database but is refreshed from the work item database when the following are also true:

  • The row for the field is a summary task in Office Project.

  • The summary task has the Publish and Refresh values set to Yes.

  • The summary task contains at least one child task that is bound to Team Foundation Server.

Any updates or calculations that Microsoft Project makes can overwrite the value that is refreshed from the work item database in the project plan. However, the modified value is never saved to the work item database. This attribute is typically used for summary fields that, if published to the work item database, lead to data inconsistencies.

If set to false, indicates that the field may be both published and refreshed. The default value when not specified is false.

NoteNote

The value that is assigned to the IfSummaryRefreshOnly attribute supersedes the value that is assigned to PublishOnly. For more information, see Fields that Affect Publishing and Refreshing later in this topic.

In the default mapping file, the IfSummaryRefreshOnly attribute is set to true for the Original Estimate, Remaining Work, and Completed Work fields.

The following example shows how to map the work item type field that contains the title to the task name Microsoft Project field:

<Mapping WorkItemTrackingFieldReferenceName="System.Title" 
         ProjectField="pjTaskName"/>

The following XML syntax shows a more complex example of how to map the work item type field that has the start date to the start date Microsoft Project field. Because the field is calculated, it is specified to publish and not refresh in order to prevent errors from being introduced by Team Explorer updates.

<Mapping WorkItemTrackingFieldReferenceName="Microsoft.VSTS.Scheduling.StartDate" ProjectField="pjTaskStart" PublishOnly="true"/>
NoteNote

As a best practice, you should map calculated fields in Microsoft Project to read-only fields in Team Foundation. This helps avoid confusion so that team members do not try to change calculated fields.

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The ReservedField element works to support hierarchical links defined between tasks and is an optional element.

If this element is not specified in the mapping, then Microsoft Project uses the default pjNumber20 field.

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The synchronization field enables you to control the publish and refresh behavior of each task. The field displays as a column with the title Publish and Refresh when you use the Team System Task Sheet view.

You must specify a synchronization field in the Microsoft Project field mapping file. Use the following XML syntax to specify which field is the synchronization field. To specify a synchronization field, use the SyncField element. The ProjectField attribute must be set to a valid Office Project field.

<SyncField ProjectField="" />

The following example shows how to specify pjTaskText25 as the synchronization field:

<SyncField ProjectField="pjTaskText25" />

For more information about how to use the synchronization field in Office Project, see Publish or refresh work items in Project.

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You can use the ResourceNameSeparator to define the character that will distinguish resource names that are in a string. Team Foundation users and resources are synchronized with the users of the Active Directory directory service. The names for users and resources may include a delimiter, such as a comma, to separate the last name, first name, and middle initial of a resource.

This is an optional element. If this element is not specified in the mapping, then Microsoft Project separates resource names by using the default mappings that are defined in the following table:

If Active Directory and the team project list separator is

Then in Office Project replace with

,

;

;

:

.

:

If you want to specify a different character than those listed in the above table, then you can define the ResourceNameSeparator by using the following syntax:

<ResourceNameSeparator WorkItemTrackingCharacter="" ProjectCharacter=""/>

The following example shows how to specify the character "*" as the separator to use in Office Project when the Team Foundation character is "-":

<ResourceNameSeparator WorkItemTrackingCharacter="-" ProjectCharacter="*"/>

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When you create summary tasks in Microsoft Project, a tree link is created between the summary task, the parent, and the subordinate or child tasks. Office Project uses the default System.LinkTypes.Hierarchy to create these links.

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When you create links between tasks in Microsoft Project, you create a dependent link between the tasks. The predecessor task is assigned a Predecessor link and the successor task is assigned a Successor link. These are the default designations that are defined for the System.LinkTypes.Dependency link type.

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The following mapping fields and Microsoft Project field values determine whether a value for a work item is published or refreshed:

  • The value of the Publish and Refresh value for each work item.

  • The value of the PublishOnly attribute for a specific mapping field.

  • The value of the IfSummaryRefreshOnly for a specific mapping field.

  • The classification of the task as a summary or parent task.

    A parent task is a task that has at least one child task that is published to Team Foundation Server.

For work items that are not summary tasks

The following table indicates whether a work item that is not a summary or parent task is published or refreshed based on the mapping field attributes and the assignment that is made to the Publish and Refresh value of the item.

Publish and Refresh

(task level)

PublishOnly Attribute

Field is Published?

Field is Refreshed?

No

True or False

No

No

Refresh Only

True or False

No

Yes

Yes

True

Yes

No

Yes

False

Yes

Yes

For work items that are summary tasks

If the summary task criteria are met and IfSummaryRefreshOnly is true, its value supersedes the PublishOnly value. The following table indicates whether a summary or parent task is published or refreshed based on the assignment that is made to its Publish and Refresh value and the mapping field attributes.

Publish and Refresh

(task level)

PublishOnly Attribute

IfSummaryRefreshOnly

Attribute

Field is Published?

Field is Refreshed?

No

True or False

True or False

No

No

Refresh Only

True

True

No

Yes

Refresh Only

True

False

No

Yes

Refresh Only

False

True or False

No

Yes

Yes

True or False

True

No

Yes

Yes

True

False

Yes

No

Yes

False

False

Yes

Yes

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