XML element reference

Last Update: 2/23/2017

Team Services (Hosted XML) | TFS 2017 | TFS 2015


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 can customize your team project to support specific processes and practices that your team uses, and to design your workflow, work item forms, and data fields. Customization requires modifying one or more XML definition files. Each file corresponds to a work item tracking object. You can look up the syntax structure of each XML element from the topics provided in this section.

This illustration shows that you can create or customize eight types of objects. For team projects, you can customize categories, work item types, and process configuration. For team project collections, you can customize global lists, link types, and work item fields. You can customize global workflow for a team project or for a team project collection. For a description of these objects and other customization options, see Customize your work tracking experience, Definitions.

Work Item Tracking Objects

By using the index of elements in this topic, you can look up the syntax structure and find examples of how to use each element of the schema type definition for work item tracking. Elements are organized alphabetically and by the following four major groups:

  • WITD: The root element of the definition schema for types of work items.

  • FIELD (Definition): You use this element and its child elements to define a work item field and to specify the rules and conditions that apply to it. See Modify a field or add a custom field. To access descriptions for all fields defined within the default process templates, including system fields, see Index of work item fields.

  • WORKFLOW: You use this element and its child elements to define the states, transitions, and reasons that compose the workflow of a type of work item. In addition to the following elements, you can use most of the elements listed under FIELD Definition Elements later in this topic to reference a field and apply conditions to it when a user changes its state. For more information, see Change the workflow.


    Changes you make to the workflow can affect the operation of the Agile planning tools, the backlog and task board pages, and other tools. You might need to customize the process configuration. See Configure and customize Agile tools.

  • FORM: You use this element and its child elements to specify the fields that appear on the work item form and the layout or design of the form. For more information, see Design the work item form.

Index of WITD XML elements

The following table provides an index to the reference topics for all child elements of the parent container element. Also, you can access the topic that provides detailed information and examples for each child element.


Feature availability:  The new form elements (FORM-WebLayout) and its corresponding features are available from Team Services and the web portal for TFS 2017. To learn more about the new for, see enable the new form

Index of other work tracking object XML elements

The following table provides an index to the reference topics for the elements used to define categories, global lists, link types, and process configuration.



Global lists


Link types

- LinkTypes
- LinkType


- AddPanel
- BugWorkItems
- Column
- Columns
- DayOfWeek
- FeedbackRequestWorkItems
- FeedbackResponseWorkItems
- Field
- Fields
- PortfolioBacklog
- PortfolioBacklogs
- ProjectProcessConfiguration
- Properties
- Property
- RequirementBacklog
- State
- States
- TaskBacklog
- TestPlanWorkItems
- TestSuiteWorkItems
- TypeField
- TypeFields
- TypeFieldValue
- TypeFieldValues
- Weekends
- WorkItemColor
- WorkItemColors