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Global Lists

You can share list items among multiple work item types by including the list items in one or more GLOBALLIST elements.

As you define work item types, you might find that some fields share the same set of values. Frequently this sharing is across several work item types and even across several team projects. Some of these list item values change frequently, such as the build number of nightly builds. Requiring an administrator to update these lists in many locations on a frequent basis is not ideal. Global lists help solve this problem. Global lists must not include project-scoped groups because they are not scoped to a project.

A global list is just a set of LISTITEM elements that is stored and used globally by all Team Foundation servers in an Team Foundation Server implementation. Global lists are useful for global fields such as Operating System, Found in Build, Fixed in Build, and so on. A global list cannot be empty. Each GLOBALLIST element must have at least one LISTITEM element defined. Global lists are defined and managed as part of a work item type definition.

Each global list has a name that must be unique across all Team Foundation servers in the Team Foundation Server implementation and meet the following requirements.

  • Names can have up to 254 Unicode characters.

  • Names must not be empty.

  • Names cannot have leading or trailing white space.

  • Two consecutive white spaces are not allowed.

  • Global list names cannot contain backslash (\) characters.

You can do the following:

  • Create a global list.

  • Add a list value to a global list.

  • Remove a list value from a global list.

  • Get the list of global lists on a Team Foundation Server.

  • Get the contents of a list.

For more information about how to create and use global lists, see How to: Use a Global List and the other topics listed in the "See Also" section of this topic.

External Data Sources and Global Lists

Global lists can be especially useful when a list must be derived from a third-party system. For example, suppose a company maintains a separate customer database. When a bug that was discovered by a customer is entered, the customer's name is entered into a Found By Customer field. You can use the glimport and glexport command-line utilities to help you update the Team Foundation Server global lists with the current global values.

If any field in a work item type references a global list, the global list will be part of the exported XML.

Importing a global list creates a list if that list does not already exist. If the list already exists, the glimport command-line utility will warn you that the current list will be overwritten. You can write your own program to update an existing global list or update the global list yourself with the new data.

Project administrators and Team Foundation Server administrators are authorized to modify the contents of a global list.

See Also