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Global workflow XML element reference

Azure DevOps Server 2022 - Azure DevOps Server 2019 | TFS 2018 - TFS 2013


This article applies to project customization for On-premises XML process models. The Inheritance and Hosted XML process models don't support global workflow. For an overview of process models, see Customize your work tracking experience.

By using global workflow, you can minimize the work that is required to define and update work item fields and global lists that many types of work items and projects share. With global workflow, you can define and update fields and global lists that apply to all types of work items in a project or a project collection.

If you want only to manage global lists for a collection, see GLOBALLIST XML element reference.

Global workflow syntax structure

You define the global workflow by using the GLOBALWORKFLOW element, which supports FIELDS (Definition) or GLOBALLISTS elements as children, but not both.

Specify FIELDS:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>  
      <FIELD> . . . </FIELD>  


<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>  
      <GLOBALLIST> . . . </GLOBALLIST>  

FIELD (Definition) element

You use the following syntax to define the data fields within a global workflow. This syntax shows the FIELD (Definition) element format and all optional child elements. For more information, see FIELD (Definition) element reference and All FIELD elements.


You cannot specify the HELPTEXT element for a field that you define in a global workflow.

<FIELD name="fieldDisplayName" refname="fieldReferenceName" type="String | Integer | Double | DateTime | PlainText | HTML | History | TreePath | GUID "  
syncnamechanges="true | false" reportingname="reportingDisplayName" reportingrefname="reportingReferenceName"  
reportable="Dimension | Detail | Measure" formula="avg" >  
      <COPY />  
      <DEFAULT />  
      <EMPTY />  
      <FROZEN />      <MATCH />  
      <NOTSAMEAS />  
      <READONLY />  
      <REQUIRED />  
      <VALIDUSER />  
      <WHEN>> . . . </WHEN>  
      <WHENNOT> . . . </WHENNOT>  


The following table describes the GLOBALLIST and LISTITEM elements. You specify these elements as child elements of the GLOBALWORKFLOW element. You can use these elements to enumerate a list of values that appears to the user as a pick list or a drop-down menu of items. For more information, see ALLOWEDVALUES, SUGGESTEDVALUES, and PROHIBITEDVALUES XML elements.

Element Description and syntax
GLOBALIST Defines a set of LISTITEM elements that are stored for a project collection or a project.

globalListName: A string of text that contains between 1 and 255 characters.

<GLOBALLIST name=" globalListName ">



GLOBALLIST is a required child element of the GLOBALLISTS element.
LISTITEM Defines a valid value that appears in the list.

<LISTITEM value=" listName " />

LISTITEM is a required child element of GLOBALLIST.