Define Categories to Group Work Item Types

You can group one or more work item types into a category. Categories are used to manage work item types that appear on the Agile pages on Team Web Access. You can generate flexible reports and support increased integration across team projects by creating categories that identify groups of similar work item types. By using categories, you can more easily manage multiple types of work items as a group and work item types that are named differently. Also, you can use the In Group operator to filter a list of work items based on the category to which they belong.

You use categories to accomplish the following operations:

  • To add work item types to appear on the backlog or task board pages, you must add them to the Requirements Category or Task Category. See Customize the Backlog and Board Pages Using Process Configuration.

  • To add work item types that you use in similar ways that the Bug type is used, you must add them to the Bug Category. See Support Bug Update Status Using My Work.

  • To prevent users from creating work item types that you should be created through a form or a tool, and not manually, you add them to the Hidden Types Category. By default this includes Code Review Request and Code Review Response, Feedback Request and Feedback Response, and Shared Steps.

  • You can assign the same work item types, which have different names based on locale, to the same category to manage them as a group, and to create queries against work items by using the In Group operator. When you assign a category to work item types, it enables different applications to easily access all work item types within the category, or accept the default work item type.

  • For tracking purposes, it may be useful for you to create custom work item types that perform similar functions. For example, three work item types might be used to track code defects. The names, forms, and fields may vary, but they belong to a category that can be tagged as a bug category.

  • By defining a default work item type for a category, you can help use the correct field population when you work in other Team Foundation clients, such as Microsoft Test Manager. By selecting the default work item defined for a category, many other fields can be auto-populated with default contents.

You modify the categories defined for a team project by modifying the XML definition file for its categories. For an example of a default categories file, see Work Item Type Categories Element Reference.

To modify the categories defined for a team project, you export the XML definition file, make changes, and then import it using the witadmin command line tool. See Customizing Categories for Work Item Types [witadmin].

Project administrators and Team Foundation administrators are authorized to modify categories.