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Work offline and reconnect to Team Foundation Server

An advantage to using Microsoft Excel or Microsoft Project to add or modify work items is that you can work offline. Complete the following procedures to disconnect an Excel work item list or a Project plan from Visual Studio Team Foundation Server and later reconnect to synchronize the document with the work item database.

Note Note

If the team project that contains work items for your Excel or Project document is moved to a different project collection or instance of Team Foundation Server, you must reconfigure the server to which the document connects. For more information, see Connect Microsoft Excel or Microsoft Project to a team project.

Required Permissions

To follow these procedures, you must be a member of the Contributors group, or your View work items in this node and Edit work items in this node permissions must be set to Allow. For more information, see Team Foundation Server permissions.

To disconnect a document from the network

  1. Open the document that you want to change while you are offline.

  2. Follow one of the following steps:

    • If you are using Excel, on the Team ribbon, in the Work Items group, choose Refresh.

    • If you are using Project, on the Team menu, choose Refresh.

    This step refreshes the work item list to retrieve the latest information from the work item database.

  3. If you are using Excel, add to the work item list the columns for all fields that you want to modify.

    You cannot add columns when the work item list is not connected to TFS.

  4. Disconnect your computer from the network, or save the work item list file and copy it to another computer that is not connected to Team Foundation Server.

    An error message might appear that tells you that the Office program could not establish a connection with Team Foundation Server.

  5. Change the work item list as needed.

    Note Note

    You cannot create most types of links between work items when the work item document is not connected to TFS. The exceptions are parent-child links in an Excel tree list and both parent-child and predecessor-successor links in a Project plan.

To reconnect a document to Team Foundation Server

  1. Reconnect your computer to the network, or copy the file to a computer that is connected to Team Foundation Server.

  2. If you changed the document while you were offline, follow one of these steps:

    • If you are using Excel, on the Team ribbon, in the Work Items group, choose Publish.

    • If you are using Project, on the Team menu, choose Publish Changes.

  3. If you did not change the document while you were offline, follow one of these steps:

    • If you are using Excel, on the Team ribbon, in the Work Items group, choose Refresh.

    • If you are using Project, on the Team menu, choose Refresh.

  4. Resolve any data validation errors or conflicts that occur.

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