Team Services (Inheritance)
This topic applies to team project and process customization for the Inheritance process model. For the Hosted XML process model, you customize your team project by importing a custom process template; and for the On-premises XML process model, you customize by importing modified XML definition files.
For an overview of process models, see Customize your work tracking experience.
Work items are the work horse for planning and tracking work. As such, you'll want to make sure that each work item type (WIT) is tracking the data that your team needs.
To support your tracking requirements, you can customize each WIT to add custom pages to group additional custom fields. You can organize your forms by placing logically related groups and HTML fields on separate pages within a form to minimize clutter on any one page within the form.
For example, the following form shows that two custom pages have been added, Impact and Mitigation. In addition, several new groups and fields have been added to the Details page.
What you can customize
You customize the web form for WIT to which you want to add fields, groups, or pages. Each web form consists of a non-editable header, and a set of inherited pages and inherited groups.
A custom page appears on the form as a tab to the right of the Details page. Groups are used to organize a set of fields within a page. You can specify the column within a page where a custom group or field should appear.
|Page and group types||Customization options|
|Inherited pages||Add or remove custom groups | Relabel groups | Add or remove custom fields | Add or remove custom control groups or fields|
|Custom pages||Add, modify, reorder, and delete a custom page | Add or remove a custom control page | Add or remove custom control groups or fields|
|Inherited groups||Move, reorder, and relabel an inherited group | Add fields to the group | Hide fields | Add or remove a custom control field|
|Custom groups||Add, modify, reorder, relabel, and delete groups within a page | Add or remove a custom control group | Add or remove a custom control field|
|Inherited fields||Relabel a field | Show/hide field on form|
|Custom fields||Add, modify, reorder, relabel, and delete fields within inherited or custom pages | Add or remove a custom control field | Move a field on the form | Show/hide field on form|
To perform any of these actions, you must be a member of the Project Collection Administrators group or be granted explicit permissions to edit a specific process.
What you can't customize
- Name, color, or description of an inherited WIT (Overview tab)
- Layout or field options assigned to these WITs:
- Shared Steps and Shared Parameters
- Code Review Request and Code Review Response
- Feedback Request and Feedback Response
Layout and resizing
The web form layout is organized into three columns and several groups. You define the layout by selecting the column--first, second, or third--for each group or field you add.
If you only add groups and fields to the first two columns, then the layout reflects a two column layout. Likewise, if you only add groups and fields to the first column, then the layout reflects a one column layout.
The web form resizes depending on the width available and the number of columns in the layout. At maximum width, in most web browsers, each column within a page will display within its own column. As the display width decreases, each column resizes proportionally as follows:
- For three columns: 50%, 25%, and 25%
- For two columns: 66% and 33%
- For one column: 100%.
When the display width won't accommodate all columns, columns appear stacked within the column to the left.
Open Process>Work Item Types in the admin context
To open the admin context from the user context, click the gear Settings icon and choose Account settings.
If you don't see the Account settings option, then you are working from an on-premises TFS. The Process page isn't supported. You must use the features supported for the On-premises XMl process model as described in Customize your work tracking experience.
Choose the inherited process you want to customize, and then click Work Item Types. If you haven't yet created an inherited process, do that now. See Create an inherited process.
Here we open Work Item Types for the MyAgile process.
Add a custom page when you have several custom fields that you want to group within that page. You can add and reorder custom pages.
Add a custom page
From the Work Item Types tab, choose the Layout tab for the WIT to which you want to add a custom page, and then choose New page.
Label the page.
Note: If you select Edit from the page context menu, you'll only receive a dialog to change the page's name. This behavior will change in future releases.
When you've finished adding groups and fields to the form, check the layout. Refresh your browser and open a work item of the type you just customized.
Custom pages appear listed in the order you create them to the right of the system inherited Details page.
You can reorder custom pages using drag and drop.
Delete a page
Before you delete a page, you'll want to move any fields that your team still uses to another page.
Choose the Delete option from the custom page action menu.
Confirm that you want to delete the page.
Note: Deleting a page doesn't delete any data. Once data has been defined for a field, it's maintained in the data store and work item history, even if you remove it from the form.
You can add your own custom groups to both inherited pages and custom pages.
Add a custom group
Choose the Layout tab for the WIT to which you want to add a custom group, and then choose New group.
Label the group and choose the column it should appear in.
(Optional) Once you've added the group, you can move it within the column you selected. Optionally, you can drag and drop the group into any column.
Remove a custom group
To remove a custom group from a form, first either move all fields defined in that group to another group or hide them from being displayed on the form. From the Layout tab for the WIT from which you want to remove it from, choose the Remove option.
Here we remove the Customer Tracking group.
Tip: The Remove option isn't available until all fields are removed from the group.
Move a field
To move fields to a different page or group, choose the Edit option from the field's menu and click the Layout tab.
Here we move the Customer ticket field to the Customer data page and the Customer tracking group.
Optionally, you can drag and drop a field into a different group within a page.
Remove a field from the form
To remove a field from a form, open the Layout tab for the WIT from which you want to remove it from.
Here we remove the Original Estimate field from appearing on the task form.
Removing a custom field from a form removes tracking data for the WIT. You can re-add a custom field to a WIT by adding it to a form as an existing field.
Removing an inherited field from a form simply hides the field from displaying on the form; it remains defined for the WIT. Hidden fields display on the admin layout page with a strikethrough. You can re-add these fields to the form through their context menu.
Once you've added a custom page or group, you can add custom fields to those pages or groups.
As you add custom pages or groups, all team projects that reference the inherited process that you're customizing will automatically update to contain the new pages or groups.
To customize a single team project, always start by creating an inherited process and migrating the team project to that process. Then, all the customizations that you make to the inherited process automatically appear for the team project you migrated.
Additional topics of interest:
- Add or modify a custom work item type
- Customize a field
- Add or modify a custom control
- Customize a process
- Customize cards on boards
Web layouts versus client layouts
The customizations you make only impact the web forms. The work item forms displayed in Visual Studio won't reflect any of the customizations you make.
Return to the process overview
From the Process tab, you can choose another process to customize or return to the Process overview page.
Feedback and support
We welcome your feedback.
Or, see our comprehensive feedback and support page.
Need additional help?
Email VS Team Services Customization Help and we'll be happy to help you out!