Work item form
Azure Boards | Azure DevOps Server 2020 | Azure DevOps Server 2019 | TFS 2018 - TFS 2017
Different types of work items track different data. Each work item form contains some standard fields—such as title, assigned to, and area and iteration path—as well as fields specific to the type. You can link work items to one another, as well as to changesets and source code files.
Web portal form
As the following image shows, each work item form comes with a number of controls, fields, and tabs. Keep in mind that the work item tracking experience and forms that appear in Visual Studio won't show several of the features that the web portal makes available.
Depending on the process chosen when the project was created— Agile, Basic, Scrum, or CMMI—the types of work items you can create will differ. For example, backlog items may be called user stories (Agile), product backlog items (Scrum), or requirements (CMMI). All three are similar: they describe the customer value to deliver and the work to be performed.
For an overview of these processes, see Choose a process.
Depending on the process chosen when the project was created— Agile, Scrum, or CMMI—the types of work items you can create will differ. For example, backlog items may be called user stories (Agile), product backlog items (Scrum), or requirements (CMMI). All three are similar: they describe the customer value to deliver and the work to be performed.
For an overview of the three default processes, see Choose a process.
|Copy URL of work item to clipboard (appears on hover over work item title)|
|Go to Discussions section|
|Open Actions menu for additional work item tasks|
|Refresh work item with latest changes|
|Revert changes to work item|
|Open History tab|
|Open Links tab|
|Open Attachments tab|
|/||Enter or exit full display mode of a section within the form|
|/||Collapse or expand a section within the form|
|Add new work item and link to existing work item (May appear under Actions menu)|
|Change work item type (Appears under Actions menu)|
|Move work item to a different project (Appears under Actions menu)|
|Copy work item and optionally change work item type (Appears under Actions menu)|
|Email work item (Appears under Actions menu)|
|Recycle work item (Appears under Actions menu)|
|Storyboard with PowerPoint (Appears under Actions menu)|
Update work status
As work progresses, team members can update the state and reassign it as needed.
While the workflow states differ for different work item types, they usually follow a progression from New or Active to Closed or Done. The following image shows the work flow states for the Agile process user story. If you want to discard a work item, change the state to Removed.
Typical workflow progression:
Removed work items remain in the data store and can be reactivated by changing the State. If you want to permanently remove a work item, you can delete it.
With each update, the Reason field also updates and changes are recorded in the History field which you can view through the History tab. To find work items based on their history, see History & auditing.
Link items to support traceability
By linking work items using Related or Dependent link types, you can track work that is dependent on other work. Each work item contains one or more tabs with link controls. These controls support linking the work item to one or more objects.
There are three links controls provided on most forms. The Development and Related Work scoped links controls appear on the Details tab. The Links tab provides access to all links made to the work item.
From each links control, you can perform these actions:
- To open an associated item or object, click the linked item
- To delete a link, highlight it and click the delete icon
- To link to an existing item, or create and link a new work item, select one of the menu options.
To learn more, see Add links to work items.
Development scoped links control
The Development links control displays all of your development links, whether based on a git or Team Foundation version control (TFVC) repository. It displays links in a set order, and provides calls-to-action that support users to drive development from a work item.
Team Foundation version control (TFVC) lets you link work items to version control changesets or versioned source code files by using the Changeset and Versioned Item link types. When you check in pending changes or use My Work to check in changes, work items are automatically linked to your changes.
Git lets you link work items to commits by using the Commit link type. To learn how, see Manage and commit your changes.
Related scoped links control
The Related Work links control displays links to other work items in a set order on the front page of the form. It supports these link types: Duplicate/Duplicate of, Parent/Child, Predecessor/Successor, Related, and Tests/Tested by. To learn more about different link types, see Linking, traceability, and managing dependencies.
Links control tab
In addition, the Links control tab provides access to all links made to the work item—both work items and external objects.
Capture comments in the Discussion section
Use the Discussion section to add and review comments made about the work being performed.
The rich text editor tool bar displays below the text entry area when you click your cursor within each text box that can be formatted.
There is no Discussion work item field. To query work items with comments entered in the Discussion area, you filter on the History field. The full content of the text entered into the Discussion text box is added to the History field.
Mention someone, a group, work item, or pull request ( , , or )
Choose one of these icons — , , or — to open a menu of recent entries you've made to mention someone, link to a work item, or link to a pull request. Or, you can simply type @, #, or ! to open the same menu.
This latest version of the rich text editor requires Azure DevOps Server 2019 Update 1 or later version.
Type a name, or enter a number and the menu list will filter to match your entry. Choose the entry you want to add. You can bring a group into the discussion by typing @ and the group name, such as a team or security group.
Edit or delete a comment
If you need to edit or delete any of your discussion comments, choose Edit or choose the actions icon and then choose Delete.
The edit/delete feature requires Azure DevOps Server 2019 Update 1 or later version.
After updating the comment, choose Update. To delete the comment, you'll need to confirm that you want to delete it.
A full audit trail of all edited and deleted comments is maintained in the History tab on the work item form.
Use the @mention control to notify another team member about the discussion. Simply type @ and their name. To reference a work item, use the #ID control. Type # and a list of work items that you've recently referenced will appear from which you can select.
To reference a work item, use the #ID control. Type # and a list of work items that you've recently referenced will appear from which you can select.
Note that you can't edit or delete comments once they've been entered.
For on-premises Azure DevOps Server, you must configure an SMTP server in order for team members to receive notifications.
Add a reaction to a comment
You can add one or more reactions to any comment. Choose a smiley icon at the upper-right corner of any comment or choose from the icons at the bottom of a comment next to any existing reactions. To remove your reaction, click the reaction on the bottom of your comment. The following shows an example of the experience of adding a reaction, as well as the display of reactions on a comment.
Copy the URL
From the web portal, simply copy the URL from the web browser address or hover over the title and then click the copy icon. For other copy options, see Copy or clone work items.
The Start storyboarding menu option is only available from the new web form. However, from the old web form, you can choose the Start Storyboarding link from the Storyboard tab from a backlog item, or simply open PowerPoint. See Storyboard your ideas using PowerPoint for requirements and usage.
You can storyboard your ideas using PowerPoint to bring your ideas to life with storyboard shapes, text, animation, and all the other features that PowerPoint Storyboarding provides. From any work item, you can open PowerPoint by choosing the Start storyboarding menu option.