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Walkthrough: Resolving Conflicting Changes in Microsoft Excel or Microsoft Project

This walkthrough demonstrates how to resolve work item conflicts and validation errors when making updates in Microsoft Project or Microsoft Excel.

Tasks illustrated in this walkthrough include:

  • Updating a work item in Microsoft Excel.

  • Updating a work item in Microsoft Project.

  • Resolving a conflicting change.

  • Resolving a validation error.

To complete this walkthrough, you will need:

  • A connection to a Team Foundation Server.

  • The Adventure Works team project. To create this team project, see Walkthrough: Creating a New Team Project.

  • Permissions to access Team Foundation Server.

  • Permissions to join the team project and view and update work items.

    NoteNote

    To obtain permissions, contact your project administrator.

Required Permissions

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

When updates are made to work items from multiple spreadsheets or project plans, conflicts can occur. A typical scenario is when one team member publishes a changed work item, and later, another team member publishes the same work item, but with different values.

The Work Item Publishing Errors dialog box is used to resolve conflicting changes, and validation errors. The top portion of the dialog box displays all of the work items that caused an error during publication. These work items are not published yet and you must take specific action to correct the errors before they can be published.

The Details section of the dialog box provides additional information about the error for the selected work item. When you select a work item, details about the work item publish error are displayed in this section.

Depending on the type of error, additional buttons appear at the bottom of the dialog box to assist you in resolving the error.

To cause and resolve a conflict

  1. In Team Explorer, expand the AdventureWorks, Work Items, and Team Queries nodes.

  2. Right-click the All Tasks query, and choose Open in Microsoft Excel.

    Microsoft Excel opens and a work item list is created with approximately 50 tasks.

  3. In Team Explorer, right-click the All Tasks query, and choose Open in Microsoft Project.

    Microsoft Project opens and approximately 50 tasks are created.

  4. In Microsoft Project, locate the Setup: Set Permissions task, and select the cell under the Discipline column.

    NoteNote

    If the Discipline column is not visible, from the View menu, select the Team System Task Sheet. You may have to scroll to the right to find the Discipline column.

  5. Click the drop-down arrow that appears next to the cell, and choose Development.

  6. Click the next cell, or press ENTER to accept the change.

  7. From the Work Items menu, choose Publish Changes.

    The discipline value you just entered is published to the work item database.

  8. In Microsoft Excel, locate the Setup: Set Permissions task, and select the cell in the Discipline column.

  9. Click the drop-down arrow that appears next to the cell, and choose Program Management.

  10. From the Team menu, choose Publish Changes.

    Because the discipline in the work item list has a different value than the one you published from Microsoft Project, a conflict occurs and the Work Item Publishing Errors dialog box is displayed.

  11. In the Work Item Publishing Errors dialog box, click Program Management to preserve the local version.

    For data conflicts, you must choose which value to keep on the server (work item database). You can choose the local version, or the server version. Both are displayed and you must choose one.

  12. Click Publish.

    The Work Item Publishing Errors dialog box will apply the local version and update the status to indicate that all work items were published successfully.

  13. Click Close.

Each work item type includes rules that govern how the work item behaves in the team project. Some fields are required, others are limited only to a certain set of values. Also, the rules can change based on what state the work item is in.

When a work item is published and a field violates a rule, a validation error occurs. The Work Item Publishing Errors dialog box is used to resolve any validation errors that occur. To fix a validation error, you must edit the work item using a work item form and change the incorrect field value to a correct value.

To cause and resolve a data validation error

  1. In Microsoft Excel, delete the title of the Setup: Set Permissions task.

  2. From the Work Items menu, choose Publish Changes.

    The Work Item Publishing Errors dialog box is displayed because the title is a required field. This causes a validation error.

  3. In the Work Item Publishing Errors dialog box, click the Edit Work Item button.

    A work item form is displayed so that you can provide correct values for any fields that have errors. Required fields are denoted by a yellow background color.

  4. Type the title Setup: Set Permissions in the Title field.

  5. Click OK.

  6. Click Publish.

    Because you resolved the error, the Work Item Publishing Errors dialog box will update the status to indicate that all work items were published successfully.

  7. Click Close.

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