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Automating State Transitions

Customers and partners may want to automatically transition work items from state to state based on events that occur elsewhere in Microsoft Visual Studio Team System or on events that occur outside Microsoft Visual Studio Team System, for example, from a call tracking tool. The work item type model and the Work Item Tracking API are extended to support automatic transitioning of work items by other systems.


The Work Item Tracking API is part of the Visual Studio Team System SDK on the Microsoft Web site.

For example, a tool is preset to automatically transition a work item to "Resolved" after the user checks in a change. However, as an integration provider, you do not know what state the work item type author has declared as "Resolved." The author may mean Resolved, Closed, Completed, Ready For Test, Include In Build, and so on. One option would be to require all work item type authors to include a state explicitly named "Resolved."

That solution too restrictive and is also poor from an international perspective because it does not enable localization of states. Instead, system integrators can declare an action such as "Check-in" or "Complete" that induces an automatic transition for work items. The work item type author would then declare this action on the appropriate transition.