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Creating Relationships Between Work Items and Other Resources

By creating relationships between work items and other resources, you can plan projects more effectively, track dependencies more accurately, view hierarchical relationships more clearly, and find relevant information more quickly. For example, you can create a relationship between two work items to show that one of the items must be completed first. In addition, you can create a relationship between a work item and a changeset to show how the code was changed to address a feature request.

You can create the following types of relationships by using a variety of link types:

  • Link a work item to one or more other work items. You can create links between work items to track dependencies and view hierarchical relationships. When you create a link, you always specify the type of link that you want to create. You can link work items that reside in the same team project or in different team projects on the same server that is running Visual Studio Team Foundation Server. For an overview of the benefits, uses, and restrictions of various types of links, see Choosing Link Types to Effectively Track Your Project.

  • Link a work item to a changeset or a file that is under version control. You can create links between work items and changesets or files that are under version control to track which code changes completed or addressed a feature, task, or bug. To create this type of link, your team must use Team Foundation for version control, and you must specify the Changeset or Versioned Item type of link.

  • Link a work item to a Web site or server location. You can create a link between a work item and a file that is stored elsewhere, a URL, or a server location. To create this type of link, you must specify the Hyperlink type of link.

  • Attach a file to a work item. You can help track or implement a work item by finding or creating a file that has additional details and attaching the file to the work item. For example, you can capture and attach a screen image that illustrates a problem, a line of code in a text file, or a product feature's specification. You can attach any kind of file such as a document, an image, a log file, or an e-mail thread to a work item.

All links and attachments are stored in the work item database for Team Foundation. When you add or delete links or attachments, your changes are applied immediately to that database. 

You can create links or attach files from within a work item form, from a work item that appears in a list of query results, in Office Excel, or in Office Project. You can also use any of the client programs for Team Foundation, such as Team Explorer and Team Web Access, to create links or attach files.

Common Tasks


Related topics

Understand what types of links support your project needs. Before you start to create links between work items, you should analyze how you might use links to plan your project and track the status of work items.

Create and manage links between work items. You can create, modify, and delete links between work items. You can create multiple links at a time.

Manage parent-child links between work items. By using a tree query in Team Explorer, you can promote or demote work items, and change the tree structure by dragging them. By using a tree list in Office Excel, you can add or delete work items, in addition to modifying their tree structure.

Also, you can use Office Project to create parent-child or predecessor-successor relationships.

View information about a linked work item. From a work item form, you can open one or more work items that are linked to the open work item.

If you open a work item from a link in Team Explorer or Team Web Access, you can both review and modify the work item. If you open a work item from a link in Office Excel or Office Project, you can only review the work item. To modify it, you must return to the work item list in Office Excel or the project plan in Office Project.

Share information by linking to files or Web pages or by attaching files to a work item. You can add a hyperlink from a work item to a Web page or a document on a Web site. You can attach, open, and remove files such as e-mail threads, documents, images, and log files from work items.


Related Content

Create a custom type of link and manage available types of link. You can create custom link types; export and import definitions of link types; and delete, activate, deactivate, and reactivate types of links.

Create a work item that is automatically linked. From a list of query results, you can create a work item that is automatically linked to an existing work item.

Find linked work items by creating and running a query. You can search for work items that not only meet criteria for field values but also that are linked to other work items with specific types of links. This kind of query displays a primary set of work items, which meet the field criteria, and a secondary set, which are linked to items in the primary set.

See Also


What's New in Tracking Work Items

Tracking Bugs, Tasks, and Other Work Items