Thursday, 29 June 2017

Custom States for Work Items in Team Services with New Process Customization Experience

Custom states for work items could be introduced and usage of new custom workflow for state transitions, is possible in team services from some time back. The post here describes how to customize work item states. With latest updates to Team Services a new process customization experience is introduced as described in “Team Services Process Customization”. Let’s  explore the state workflow customization of work items with the new process customization experience.

You can click on a work item name in the inherited custom process template or click on a given work item form menu, customize to open the work item customizing page. image

If you click from work item form menu then you will be prompted to select existing inherited custom process template or create a new one.image

In the inherited process you can click on work item to edit its layout or states (if you have clicked on Customize from a given work item form you will be directed to relevant work item edit page directly).image

In the work item customize page go to States tab. You can hide or show (if already hidden) existing states. A state cannot be hidden only if it is the only state available in the given state category. For example if you try to hide New state without adding another state to Proposed category error message given below will be shown.

VS403089: Cannot hide state 'New' since it is the only one in its state category. Add another state in same state category before hiding this.

New state can be added to any category except Completed category as of now. If you try to add a new state to Completed category or try to hide existing state in the Completed category, below shown error message will appear.

VS403093: Team Services currently does not support changes to 'Completed' category. Choose a different category.image

View state for existing state will show you the details of the state but those information cannot be edited. Only possible option is hiding the existing state after adding a new state(s) to the same category.image

When adding a new state you can select the category (except Completed) and color for the state. Previously added custom states (even for different work item types) will be listed in drop down to minimize the chances of adding the same sate with different spellings by mistake.image

You can select a state from existing list (coming from different work items or from other templates) or add a new state by typing new state name.image

Custom states created can be edited or removed.image

If a existing non custom state is hidden you can show it by clicking show in the menu of the state.image

These state changes will be available for you in the work items and you can use Board Column customizations to make it  more effectively used by your teams.image

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