FIELD (Definition) element reference

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Important

This topic applies to team project customization for Hosted XML and On-premises XML process models. For the Inheritance process model, see Customize a process. For an overview of process models, see Customize your work tracking experience.

You use the FIELD (Definition) element to define a work item field and specify the rules and conditions that apply to it. The attributes that you assign to a field determines its data type and whether it is available for inclusion in reports.

Note

For information about the FIELD (Workflow) element, which you use to specify rules and conditions to fields during a state change or workflow transition, see FIELD (Workflow).

Syntax

Note

Feature availability: The Boolean data type is supported for VSTS and for on-Premises TFS, for TFS 2017.2 and later versions.

<FIELD name="fieldDisplayName" refname="fieldReferenceName" type="String | Integer | Double | DateTime | PlainText | HTML | History | TreePath | GUID | Boolean"   
syncnamechanges ="true | false" reportable="Dimension | Detail | Measure"formula="sum"  
reportingname="ReportingDisplayName" reportingrefname="ReportingReferenceName" >  
   <ALLOWEDVALUES> . . . </ALLOWEDVALUES>  
   <ALLOWEXISTINGVALUE />  
   <CANNOTLOSEVALUE />  
   <COPY />  
   <DEFAULT />  
   <EMPTY />  
   <FROZEN />  
   <HELPTEXT> . . . </HELPTEXT>  
   <MATCH />  
   <NOTSAMEAS />  
   <PROHIBITEDVALUES /> . . . </PROHIBITEDVALUES>  
   <READONLY />  
   <REQUIRED />  
   <SERVERDEFAULT />  
   <SUGGESTEDVALUES /> . . . </SUGGESTEDVALUES>  
   <VALIDUSER />  
   <WHEN> . . . </WHEN>  
   <WHENNOT> . . . </WHENNOT>  
   <WHENCHANGED> . . . </WHENCHANGED>  
   <WHENNOTCHANGED> . . . </WHENNOTCHANGED>  
</FIELD>  

Attributes and elements

The following sections describe attributes, child elements, and parent elements.

Attributes

Attribute Description
name Required. The friendly name of the field that appears in the drop-down menus of work item queries. The friendly name must be unique across all fields that are defined within a team project. Also, the friendly name may differ from the label that appears next to the field on the work item form. For more information, see Control.

The attribute type is typelib:FieldName. Minimum length: 1; maximum length: 128.

Pattern value: ^[^\.\[\]]+$

Pattern value example: Assigned To
refname Required. The unique label that distinguishes a field from all other fields that are defined in the team project collection.

For additional requirements and restrictions on friendly names and reference names, see Naming conventions for work item tracking objects.

The attribute type is typelib:ReferenceFieldName. Minimum length: 1; maximum length: 70.

Pattern value: ^[a-zA-Z_][a-zA-Z0-9_]*(\.[a-zA-Z0-9_]+)+$

Pattern value example: Company.IssueType
type Required. Specifies the type of data that the field accepts.

Note: Fields in different project collections that have the same reportingrefname must be assigned the same value for type. If the values differ, data conflicts can occur when the data warehouse is processed. For more information, see Resolve Data Conflicts That Are Occurring in the Data Warehouse.

The following table lists valid values for this attribute:

- Boolean: Adds a True/False or Yes/No field. Note: For on-premises TFS, the Boolean data type requires that you upgrade to TFS 2017.2 or later version.

- DateTime: Specifies a date according to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) moment in time.

- Double: Specifies a floating-point value.

- GUID: Specifies a field that will contain a unique identifier.

- History: Supports discussion threads and keeps track of other historical information. Note: The System.History field is the only field that uses this data type. You cannot define a custom field using this data type.

- HTML: Supports capture of rich-text data and is used for longer text descriptions such as a work item description.

- Integer: Specifies a 32-bit signed integer value.

- PlainText: Supports entry of a text string that can contain more than 255 Unicode characters.

- String: Supports entry of a text string that can contain up to 255 Unicode characters. Use a String field for a label or other short text string up to one line long.

- TreePath: Specifies a field that displays entries in a hierarchical or tree structure, such as what is required to display the area and iteration paths for a product. To define child nodes, see Create and Modify Areas and Iterations. Note: The System.AreaPath and System.IterationPath fields are the only fields that use this data type. You cannot define a custom field using this data type.
syncnamechanges Optional. Specifies whether the work item field is used to store names that you want to be updated as changes are made in Active Directory or a Workgroup. This option is only valid when type="String". The attribute type is xs:boolean.

Specify true to enable synchronization for the data field, specify false to disable synchronization for the data field.
reportable Optional. Specifies whether data from the field is available for inclusion in reports. Fields with the default value of None are neither exported to the relational data warehouse nor processed for the SQL Server Analysis Services cube. For more information about reportable fields, see Add or modify work item fields to support reporting.

Note: Fields in different project collections that have the same value for the reportingrefname must be assigned the same value for reportable. If the values differ, data conflicts can occur when the data warehouse is processed. For more information, see Resolve Data Conflicts That Are Occurring in the Data Warehouse.

The following table lists valid values for this attribute:

- Detail: Can be specified for fields of type DateTime, Double, Integer, or String. The data in this field is moved into the relational warehouse database in the Work Item and Current Work Item tables but not into the Analysis Services cube. This type is a good choice for unrestricted text fields because you can use them in reports without making the cube significantly larger.

- Dimension: Can be specified for fields of type DateTime, Integer, String, or TreePath. The data in this field enters the relational warehouse database and the Analysis Services cube as an attribute of the Work Item dimension so that the data can be used to filter reports. Use this type for fields that have lists of valid values. Work Item Type and State are good examples of a dimension.

- Measure: Use the measure type only for Integer and Double fields. Measures are the numeric values in your reports. When the Analysis Services cube is processed, data is precalculated on fields whose reportable attributes are set to measure. For example, the Work Item and Current Work Item measure groups contain cumulative data for the following fields: Original Estimate, Remaining Hours, and Completed Hours.

When you specify measure, you must specify the formula attribute.

- None: Specify None when you do not want to use the field for inclusion in reports. This is the default assignment.
formula Optional. The aggregation type for the measure reportable type. The only valid value is sum, which returns the sum of all values over the set.
reportingname Optional. Specifies the name that appears in reports. If you do not specify a value, the value that is assigned to the name attribute is used.

Note: Fields in different project collections that have the same reportingrefname must be assigned the same value for the reportingname. If the values differ, data conflicts can occur when the data warehouse is processed. For more information, see Resolve Data Conflicts That Are Occurring in the Data Warehouse.

The attribute type is typelib:FieldName. Minimum length: 1; maximum length: 128.

Pattern value: ^[^\.\[\]]+$

Pattern value example: Assigned To
reportingrefname Optional. Specifies the reference name that is used when a reportable field is processed. If you do not specify a value, the value that is assigned to the refname attribute is used.

You can use this attribute to either merge or diverge fields that are processed to the data warehouse. To merge two fields that have distinct reference names and that are defined in different project collections, you assign the same reportingrefname to both of them. To diverge two fields that have the same reference name but that are defined in different project collections, you assign a different reportingrefname to each field.

You should merge fields whenever possible to minimize the number of fields in the warehouse and to keep under the maximum limit of 1024 reportable fields. You can generate cross-group reports with merged fields.

The attribute type is typelib:ReferenceFieldName. Minimum length: 1; maximum length: 70.

Pattern value: ^[a-zA-Z_][a-zA-Z0-9_]*(\.[a-zA-Z0-9_]+)+$

Pattern value example: Company.IssueType

Child elements

Element Description
ALLOWEDVALUES Optional. Defines a list of allowed values for the field. Allowed values are values that are available for selection in a field list on work item forms and in the query builder. You must select from one of these values.
ALLOWEXISTINGVALUE Optional. Defines the field to allow existing values. This element allows the field values that already exist to be used, even if they are not valid. All new field values must be valid.
CANNOTLOSEVALUE Optional. Defines the field as cannot lose value. This element keeps the current field value and it cannot be cleared or made empty.
COPY Optional. Specifies another field that contains a value to be copied into the current field.
DEFAULT Optional. Defines a default value for the field.
EMPTY Optional. Defines the field as empty.
FROZEN Optional. Defines the field as frozen. A frozen field cannot be changed to any non-empty value after changes are committed. However, you can manually clear the field, save the work item, and then specify a different value.
HELPTEXT Optional. Defines the text displayed in the ToolTip for the field.
MATCH Optional. Defines a pattern for the field that the field value must match.
NOTSAMEAS Optional. Specifies another field, the value of which cannot be identical to the value of the current field.
PROHIBITEDVALUES Optional. Defines a list of prohibited values for the field.
READONLY Optional. Defines the field as read-only.
REQUIRED Optional. Defines the field as required.
SERVERDEFAULT Optional. Specifies a server component that will provide the value for the field.
SUGGESTEDVALUES Optional. Defines a list of suggested values for the field. Suggested values are values that are available for selection in a field list on work item forms and in the query builder. You can enter other values additionally to the ones in the list.
VALIDUSER Optional. Specifies that the list of allowed values must consist only of valid users of the system.
WHEN Optional. Specifies one or more rules to apply to the current field when another field has a specific value.
WHENCHANGED Optional. Applies one or more rules to the current field when a specific field's value is changed.
WHENNOT Optional. Applies one or more rules to the current field when another field does not have a specific value.
WHENNOTCHANGED Optional. Applies one or more rules to the current field when a specific field's value is not changed.

Parent elements

Element Description
FIELDS Required. Contains the work item type field definitions.

Remarks

  1. FIELD (Definition) is a required child element of FIELDS (Definition).

  2. For an overview of all system and predefined fields that are defined for the TFS process templates, see Index of work item fields.

  3. You cannot define a custom field that starts with the System. prefix. You can define a field by using the Microsoft. prefix, however, this practice is strongly discouraged because it might impede Team Foundation Server functionality.

    For additional requirements and restrictions on field-friendly names and reference names, see Naming conventions for work item tracking objects.

  4. While you can rename a field's friendly name, you can't rename the field's reference names. You can list fields and change several field attributes using the witadmin command-line toolSee Manage work item fields.

  5. You can define no more than 1,024 work item fields in the same team project collection, and you can set no more than 1,024 fields to reportable in all team project collections.

    All fields defined within all work item types (WITs) for all team projects defined for a project collection are for a team project collection. Therefore, attributes that you assign to fields that are defined in one WIT must match across all WITs for all team projects in a collection. In addition, all reportable fields from all collections are exported to the data warehouse databases.

  6. For information about how to label fields for reporting purposes, see Add or modify work item fields to support reporting.

  7. When you add an existing field to a different WIT, either explicity set the reporting attributes to be the same as the current field definition, or let them default to these values.

    Schema conflicts can occur if different reporting attributes are assigned to the same field in different WITs or the same WITs in different team projects. To fix these conflicts, see Resolve Data Conflicts That Are Occurring in the Data Warehouse.

  8. To understand how fields are used to support queries, reports, and work item tracking, see Modify a field or add a custom field.

  9. For an overview of how to apply constraints or conditions on a FIELD by using child elements, see Apply a field rule.

Example

<FIELD name="Activity" refname="Microsoft.VSTS.Common.Activity" type="String" reportable="dimension">  
   <HELPTEXT>Type of work involved</HELPTEXT>  
   <SUGGESTEDVALUES>  
      <LISTITEM value="Development"/>  
      <LISTITEM value="Testing"/>  
      <LISTITEM value="Requirements"/>  
      <LISTITEM value="Design"/>  
      <LISTITEM value="Deployment"/>  
      <LISTITEM value="Documentation"/>  
   </SUGGESTEDVALUES>  
</FIELD>