Define area paths

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Newly created projects contain a single, root area that corresponds to the project name. You add area paths under this root. You add area paths to support teams and queries based on work items that belong to different areas of the product. To understand how the system uses area paths, see About area and iteration paths.

Prerequisites

  • You must be a member of a project. If you don't have a project yet, create one. If you haven't been added as a team member, get added now.
  • You must be a member of a project. If you don't have a project yet,create one. If you haven't been added as a team member, get added now.
  • To create or modify areas or iterations, you must either be a member of the Project Administrators group, or your Create and order child nodes, Delete this node, and Edit this node permissions must be set to Allow for the area or iteration node that you want to modify.

    If you aren't a project administrator, get added as one or have someone provide you with explicit permissions to Edit project-level information.

For naming restrictions on area and iteration paths, see About areas and iterations, Naming restrictions.

Open Project Settings, Project configuration

From the web portal, open Project Settings.

Note

Choose Previous navigation when you see a top-level blue bar. Choose New navigation if you see a vertical sidebar or if you enabled the New Navigation preview feature. The vertical sidebar, along with other navigational features, is enabled when the New Navigation preview feature has been enabled for the signed-in user or the VSTS organization. To learn how to use the web portal effectively, see Navigation Basics.

For on-premises TFS users, choose Previous Navigation for guidance.

You define both areas and iterations for a project from the Project Settings>Work>Project configuration.

  1. Choose (1) Project Settings, expand Work if needed, and choose (2) Project configuration and then (3) Areas.

    Project Settings>Work>Project Configuration

New navigation isn't supported on TFS at this time. Choose Previous navigation for guidance.

Add an area path

If you haven't added any areas or teams, you'll see that only one area is defined. You add area paths under the root area path for the project, or as a child to another area path.

Areas, defaults defined for project

  • To add a child node, highlight the area path and then choose New child. Optionally, you can open the context menu for the area path and choose New child.

    Enter a name (255 characters or less) for the node. For additional name restrictions, see About areas and iterations, Naming restrictions.

    Add a new area path

Areas, defaults defined for project

  • To add a child node, highlight the area path and then choose New child. Optionally, you can open the context menu for the area path and choose New child.

    Enter a name (255 characters or less) for the node. For additional name restrictions, see About areas and iterations, Naming restrictions.

    Add a new area path

  1. Open Areas.

    Open the areas page defined for project

    From the areas page, you can set the default area path used to filter the backlog. The default area path is also used when new work items a user creates new work items.

  2. Add a new child node to the area you have selected.

    Create a new area node

Rename, move, or delete an area path

When you rename an area or an iteration, or move the node within the tree hierarchy, the system will automatically update the work items and queries that reference the existing path or paths.

  1. To rename an area or iteration path, choose the actions icon for the node, and select Edit.

    Open Work>Project Configuration

  2. In the dialog that opens, enter the new name.

    Open Work>Project Configuration

  3. To move the node within the hierarchy, change the Location field.

  4. To delete a node, choose the Delete option from the actions menu.

    Note

    When you delete an area node or change the Location field, the system automatically updates the existing work items with the node that you enter at the deletion prompt.

Chart progress by area

You can quickly generate queries to view the progress based on an area path. As an example, you can visualize progress of work items assigned to each team's area path as shown in the following stacked bar chart.

Stacked bar chart by area and state

Try this next

As you can see, areas play a major role in supporting Agile tools and managing work items. You can learn more about working with these fields from these topics: