TFS 2010 – Customizing Work Item Link Types
(This is a re-post of information from the now deprecated blog: “ Teams WIT Tools ”)
(3/2/2010: Updated post. Corrected picture for “Dependency” link type)
With TFS 2010, you can define multiple work item link types. This allows for you to customize link types to match your processes. This blog post is a primer in how to do that.
Quick-start guide on creating a new link type:
Here's how to create a new link type:
- From the command shell, go to “Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 10.0\Common7\IDE”
- Run "witadmin.exe exportlinktype /s ServerName /n System.LinkTypes.Dependency /f mylinktype.xml”
- View the mylinktype.xml file that was created. It should look like this:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<LinkType ReferenceName="System.LinkTypes.Dependency" ForwardName="Successor" ReverseName="Predecessor" Topology="Dependency" />
- Edit the mylinktype.xml file to look like this.
<LinkType ReferenceName="MyLinks.LinkTypes.MyLink" ForwardName="My Successor" ReverseName="My Predecessor" Topology="Dependency" />
NOTE: It is important to change the namespace from “System.” To “MyLinks.” (or some other name), because “System.” Is a protected namespace.
- Run “witadmin.exe importlinktype /s ServerName /f mylinktype.xml
- Go to your Team Explorer and select “Refresh Cache”, or close and reopen your Visual Studio.
The new link item type should now be available to use from your forms.
What is that "topology" field for?
Now, what is that “topology” field in the definition XML. Topology assigns a set of rules that are enforced for that link type. There are four topologies to select from:
Link types of this topology have essentially no rules and no directionality. You can have circular relationships, and the link looks the same from both sides.
<LinkType ReferenceName="MyLinks.LinkTypes.MyRelated" ForwardName="My Related" ReverseName="My Related" Topology="Network" />
Link types of this topology are like Network links, except there is directionality. You can specify a name that appears at each end of the link. In other words, the link looks differently depending from which side you view it.
<LinkType ReferenceName="MyLinks.LinkTypes.MyDependent" ForwardName="My Dependent" ReverseName="My Provider" Topology="DirectedNetwork" />
Link types of this topology are like Directed Network links in that they have directionality, but an additional constraint to prevent circular relationships.
<LinkType ReferenceName="MyLinks.LinkTypes.MyPred" ForwardName="My Successor" ReverseName="My Predecessor" Topology="Dependency" />
Link types of this topology are essentially trees, it enforces a one-to-many relationship and doesn’t allow circularity.
<LinkType ReferenceName="MyLinks.LinkTypes.MyTree" ForwardName="My Child" ReverseName="My Parent" Topology="Tree" />
There you have it. Creating link types in less than 400 words.