Adding and Modifying Bugs, Tasks and Other Work Items

When you create a work item, the new work item form opens and might be populated with some default values. You can define or modify a work item by changing the value of one or more fields. In Team Foundation, different types of fields are used to store different types of data. The following list contains some of the field types that Team Foundation uses:

  • Text field: Accepts any text. The project administrator can define a maximum number of characters. The formatting toolbar appears above each text box in which text formatting is available. The set of text boxes that support text formatting varies depending on the work item type.

  • Drop-down list: Accepts only the values that a project administrator defines in the drop-down list.

  • Date field: Accepts a specific Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) moment in time, for example 1/23/2009, 6:00:00 PM.

  • Long text: Accepts text of any length with limited text formatting.

  • History field: Records comments chronologically. You can add an entry to this field, but you cannot change previous entries.

Some fields are required and appear highlighted when you create the work item in the editor. For example, the title of a bug is often required. The specific list of required fields depends on the definition of the work item type. For more information, see the following topics on the Microsoft Web site: Work Items and Workflow (Agile) and Work Items and Workflow (CMMI).

You can add new work items, edit existing work items, and add links and attachments to work items to track an iteration, release, or project. The state of a work item indicates your team's progress. The state of a work item can vary depending on the type of work item. For example, a bug work item could start as Active, become Resolved, and then become Closed. The flow of work items through the different states may vary, depending on your team's project process template.

You can change the state of a work item to reflect the actual work, so that you can track progress against your project goals.

You can perform most tasks, but not all of them, from any one of the Team Foundation client programs. For more information, see Getting Started with Team Explorer Everywhere and Team Foundation Server.

Before you create and modify work items, you may want to review how to customize types of work items and types of links, especially if your project requirements differ from those provided by the process templates that were included with Team Foundation. After you create your work items, you can create relationships among them for the purposes of tracking dependencies or to view hierarchies. Other tasks of interest include finding work items and assigning work item tasks. For more information, see the Related Tasks in the table later in this topic. The following table contains a list of common tasks that you can perform:

Common Tasks

Common Tasks

Supporting Content

Create a work item. You can create work items by opening an empty work item form. You can also create a work item that is linked to a currently selected or open work item.

Copy a work item. To create a work item quickly, you can copy one that is already in the work item database and then modify the copy.

Modify a work item. Modify a work item by reassigning it, attaching files, creating links, or by making other changes to work item fields. To modify many work items at a time, you can use Team Web Access.

Assign work items and track progress. You can assign a work item to a person when you want that person to supply information or perform work that helps complete the work item. When you change the state of a work item, you track its progress from an active to closed state.

Print work item data. You can print a work item form or a list of work items.

Related Tasks

Supporting Content

Create relationships among work items. You can add related or hierarchical links to work items to track dependencies and identify risks.

Find work items or generate a list of work items. You can use work item queries to generate a list that contains work items that you want to modify, create links to, or generate a report.