Customizing Work Item Types

Team members use work items to track work to be done. Team members can create a new work item based on a default work item type such as bug, requirement, risk, or task. The exact set of default work item types available depends on the installed methodology, such as MSF for CMMI Process Improvement or MSF for Agile Software Development. A work item type is a template from which new work items of that type are created.

You can add customized work item types to the default set to make Visual Studio Team System better serve the processes your team uses and the ways that you communicate. For example, you might want to create new work item types for a project-specific bug, a change request, a quality of service requirement, a risk to manage, and a scenario-based task.

After you create a work item, it contains the fields and behavior that were defined in the work item type from which you created it.


In addition to creating new work item types, you can also modify existing work item types. For example, to better support the processes used by your team, you can add fields to a work item type or change the workflow behavior of a work item type.

Each work item type is a set of XML definitions that you can author or modify to customize the work item type to meet your needs. The following sections and topics describe the work item type definitions. For a step-by-step illustration, see Customizing Work Item Types for Team Foundation.

Work Item Type Customization Overview

Describes how you can customize work item types for your teams and projects and what determines the scope of your changes.

Work Items and Work Item Types Overview

Describes work items and work item types and explains how they are used in Visual Studio Team System.

Customizing Work Item Types on an Existing Project

Describes command-line tools that you can use to customize work item types on an existing project.

Work Item Type Contents

Describes the items that constitute work item types. You define each item by using XML in a work item type definition file.

High-Level Structure of a Work Item Type

Describes the highest-level XML elements in the work item type definition file.

How to: Create a New Work Item Type

Describes how to create a new work item type from the most basic work item type XML file.

Defining Work Item Type Fields

Describes the uses of work item type fields, namely the display of data or the input or display of options.

Defining Work Item Workflow

Describes how to define the valid states of a work item and the transitions between those states.

Defining the Work Item Form

Describes how to control the way a work item type displays user-interface elements.

Work Item Type Definition Localization and Globalization

Describes what can and cannot be localized in a work item type definition.

Adding Integration Fields in Work Item Types

Describes how to use fields in work item types for communication among the components of Visual Studio Team System.

Work Item Type Schema Reference

Describes the schema elements that are associated with work item types.

Customizing Work Item Types for Team Foundation

Step-by-step walkthroughs that describe how to change work item types and see your changes in the work items derived from those types.

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