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Linking Work Items (Agile)

Linking Work Items (Agile)

You create relationships between user stories, tasks, test cases, and other work items through the Implementation, Links, All Links and Test Cases tabs on the forms for those work items. This topic describes the controls and data fields that are associated with creating links and hyperlinks.

For more information about how to use links, see Choosing Link Types to Effectively Track Your Project. For more information about how to create links, see Creating Relationships Between Work Items and Other Resources.

NoteNote

A few reports provided in the process template for MSF for Agile Software Development v5.0 require that you create links between specific work items. Specifically, the Stories Overview and Stories Progress report require that you create links between user stories and tasks and between user stories and test cases. For more information, see Stories Overview Report (Agile) and Stories Progress Report (Agile).

In this topic

Each tab provides a toolbar, which contains the buttons that the following illustration summarizes:

Work item form link toolbar controls

The following buttons become available only after you perform a specific action:

  • The button to create a work item that is linked to the open work item (Add New Linked Work Item) becomes available only after you save the open work item.

  • The buttons to open the list of work items in a query (Open in Query) and in a Microsoft Office client (Open in Microsoft Office) become available only when at least one work item is listed in the links control tab.

  • The buttons to open a work item (Open Work Item), edit a link (Edit link), and delete a link (Delete link) become available only after you click one or more work items listed in the links control tab.

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All tabs that support creating links between work items are implemented by using the LinksControl element on the work item form. This element controls filtering and restricting the types of work items to which you can link, the types of links that you can create, and whether you can link to work items in another team project. For more information about how to restrict links, see LinksControlOptions Elements.

The following table summarizes the restrictions for all types of work items.

Work item type

Tab name

Link restrictions

User story

Implementation

  • Allows only Parent and Child links.

  • Excludes links to work items in other team projects.

User story

Test Cases

  • Allows only Tested By links.

  • Allows links only to test cases.

  • Excludes links to work items in other team projects.

User story

Task

Test Case

Bug

All Links

  • No restrictions.

Task

Implementation

  • Allows only Parent and Child links.

  • Excludes links to work items in other team projects.

Test case

Tested User Stories

  • Allows only Tests links.

  • Allows links to any work item type.

  • Excludes links to work items in other team projects.

Issue

Shared steps

Links

  • No restrictions.

Bug

Test Cases

  • Allows only Tested By links.

  • Allows links only to test cases.

  • Excludes links to work items in other team projects.

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All lists of links display the following data fields:

  • Work item ID

  • Work Item Type

  • Title

  • Assigned to

  • State

  • [Link Comment]

You can add or remove columns from the list of links, and you can customize the default columns and the column order. For more information, see LinksControlOptions Elements.

For more information about these fields, see Titles, IDs, Descriptions, and History (Agile) and Assignments and Workflow (Agile).

The following table describes the [Link Comment] data field. For information about data types and default field values, see Working with Work Item Fields.

Field Name

Description

Reference Name

Data Type

Default Value for the Reportable Type Attribute

Default Value for the Index Attribute

Link Comment

Contains comments from the team member who created the link. You can configure this attribute field to appear as a column in a list of links on a work item form.

System.Links.Comment

PlainText

None

False

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The following table lists fields that do not appear on the work item forms but that are tracked for each type of work item when you link them. You can use these fields to filter queries and create reports.

Field Name

Description

Reference Name

Data Type

Default Value for the Reportable Type Attribute

Default Value for the Index Attribute

External Link Count

The number of links from the work item to artifacts that are not work items and that are registered through the Team Foundation Linking Service. For more information, see this topic on the Microsoft Web site: Linking Service.

System.ExternalLinkCount

Integer

None

False

Hyper Link Count

The number of hyperlinks that are defined for the work item.

System.HyperLinkCount

Integer

None

False

Related Link Count

The number of links from the work item to other work items.

System.RelatedLinkCount

Integer

None

False

Link Description

Contains the work item type, ID, and title of the work item that is the target of the link. You can configure this link attribute field to appear as a column in a list of links on a work item form.

System.Links.Description

PlainText

None

False

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