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Is it possible to define a default text for description of workitem type Defect?

Christian Winkler (1341623) | asked Nov 13 '14, 8:04 a.m.

I saw that is using a default text in the description field dependent on the worktiem type.
For example, if I crete a defect, the description is prefilled with

"What steps will reproduce the problem?

A different description is shown, if a create a new Maintenace Item.
"Maintenance Item Guidelines
    1. How to use this work item:
(Link to it)

I tried to configure this in our RTC, but the default text was set to all workitem types.

How can I configure it as it is in


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Kot T. (1.5k11219) | answered Nov 13 '14, 2:40 p.m.
Instead of using the script-base default value, you can also create multi-line text default values and map them to each work item type. See This requires more default values to be created and maintained, but it's another option to consider.

I also attach a sample script below. The script assumes the ID of defect work item type to be 'defect'. The script is based on the skeleton provided in the 'Script-based default value' section in the wiki link that Dinesh posted above. To create a script-based default value and use it, see

//========== SAMPLE SCRIPT-BASE DEFAULT VALUE ==========

(function() {
var WorkItemAttributes=;
    dojo.declare("com.example.common.MyClass", null, {
    getDefaultValue: function(attribute, workItem, configuration) {
        var WorkItemType= workItem.getValue(WorkItemAttributes.TYPE);
        var DEFECT_DESC= "Defect Description Line 1\n\
Defect Description Line 2"
        var OTHER_DESC= "Other Description Line 1\n\
Other Description Line 2"

            if (WorkItemType == "defect") {
                return DEFECT_DESC;
            return OTHER_DESC; 

Christian Winkler selected this answer as the correct answer

Christian Winkler commented Nov 14 '14, 8:43 a.m.

Thanks Kot!
Your script worked for me.

But I couldn't realize your first idea.
As I created a multi-line text default values I couldn't add it to a Mutli-line HTML field like description.
And it wasn't possible to make it only for ONE workitem type.
Is it possible somehow differnt?

Kot T. commented Nov 14 '14, 11:39 a.m.

That could be because Description is a built-in attribute, which is shared across multiple work item types in the project area. Per the note in the attribute's editor, modifying a built-in attribute will affect all WI types in the project.

You can create a custom description attribute of 'Large HTML' type for each work item type. Considering the number of custom attributes and default values that you have to create and maintain, the script-based default value maybe more efficient solution in this case.

Christian Winkler commented Nov 19 '14, 3:21 a.m.

Hello Kot!
Yes, I knew that it would be possible with a new field, but didn't understand that you meant this.
This would lead to two different descriptions: task-description would be in description and defect-description would be in description_defect.  This will lead to too much confusion.

But can you help me again with the script-base stuff:
Is it possible to format that return-text? So that it is shown bold and/or italic?

Thanks again.

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Dinesh Kumar B (4.1k413) | answered Nov 13 '14, 8:31 a.m.
have you explore the "Script Based Default Value" which seems more appropriate to me...

in the script, you could check for the workitem's TYPE (workItem.getValue(WorkItemAttributes.TYPE);) and return a different value accordingly. 

more on script based default could be found here :

hope it helps.

Christian Winkler commented Nov 13 '14, 10:38 a.m.

Hello Dinesh,

I need some more help. I looked for a tutorial, but can't find. Do you know something?
How do I set that the default value is set before workitem initialization?


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