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How to: Customize the Assigned to Field

You can customize the Assigned To field on a work item type to limit the selections to individuals who work on your team. To do this, you export the XML file and modify its content. As soon as you have customized the Assigned To field, you can import the XML file to start to use the updated work item type.

Required Permissions

To perform this procedure you must be a member of the Team Foundation Administrators group or a member of the Project Administrators group for the project. For more information, see Team Foundation Server Permissions.

To customize the Assigned To field

  1. If you are modifying a work item type on a single project, run witexport to export the XML file for the work item type you want to modify. For more information, see How to: Export a Work Item Type from an Existing Project.

  2. In Visual Studio, click File, click Open, and then click File.

    This displays the Open File dialog box.

  3. Under Look in, move to the location where you exported the file.

    If you are modifying a work item type to customize a process template, move to the location where you downloaded the process template.

    NoteNote

    If you are running Windows Vista, you might not have access rights to certain folders. If you try to export the work item type to a location where you do not have access rights, the registry virtualization technology automatically redirects the exported file and saves it to the virtual store. For more information, see http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=92325 and http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=92323. To avoid this redirection, you can export the file to a location where you have access rights.

  4. Select the work item type XML file that you want to update, and then click Open. When you are prompted about line endings, click No.

  5. Find the following section of the XML file that describes the Assigned To field. Notice the VALIDUSER rule that allows for any registered user on the Team Foundation Server as a field value.

    <FIELDS>
    <FIELD name="Assigned To" refname="System.AssignedTo" type="String" reportable="dimension">
      <VALIDUSER />
    </FIELD>
    
  6. Delete the VALIDUSER rule, as shown highlighted in the following XML:

    <FIELDS>
    <FIELD name="Assigned To" refname="System.AssignedTo" type="String" reportable="dimension">
      <VALIDUSER />
    </FIELD>
    
  7. Add the XML as shown highlighted in the following example. This limits the values of the Assigned To field to the members of the team project’s Contributors group and a special value to mark this work item for triage.

    <FIELDS>
    <FIELD name="Assigned To" refname="System.AssignedTo" type="String" reportable="dimension">
      <ALLOWEDVALUES expanditems="true">
          <LISTITEM value="[Project]\Contributors" />
          <LISTITEM value="Triage" />
      </ALLOWEDVALUES>
    </FIELD>
    
    NoteTip

    To show only the Contributors group without all its members in the Assigned To allowed values list, set the expanditems attribute of the <ALLOWEDVALUES> element to “false.”

  8. On the toolbar, click Save to save changes to the XML file.

  9. To import the new work item type to a single project, see How to: Import a Work Item Type to an Existing Project. To add the work item type to your process template, see Work Item Types.

To verify changes imported to a single project

  1. Import the changed work item type into Team Foundation Server. For more information, see How to: Import a Work Item Type to an Existing Project.

  2. In Team Explorer, click Refresh to download the latest updates from the server.

    These updates include the changes that you just imported. Wait several seconds until the Work Items node is loaded. Nodes that are still loading are labeled working.

  3. Create a new work item using the work item type you modified. To do this, right-click the Work Items node, point to Add Work Item, and then click the work item type.

    This work item is created from the work item type that you changed and imported.

  4. Select the Assigned To box. Notice that the list of allowed values has changed to include the group of users and values that you specified.

  5. Click Close to close the new work item. Click No when you are prompted to save the work item.

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