Defining work item types and attributes in the web client

The set of work item types that are defined for a project area depends on the process template that the project area uses. You can define more work item types for your project in the web client.

About this task

Work item types are associated with type categories. For example, in the Scrum process, the Defect work item type belongs to the com.ibm.team.workitem.workItemType category. One or more types can be associated with a type category. All types of a type category share custom attributes and follow the same workflow.
Attention: When you change the associated workflow or attributes of a type category, including the definition of a work item type, all work item types that are associated with that type category change. If any work items are based on those work item types, they also adopt the changes.
Attention: If you delete a work item type that is part of a change management type binding, you must manually update the type binding. Otherwise, the Open Services for Lifecycle Collaboration (OSLC) creation dialog for change management services contains the incorrect URI, and an error similar to the following one displays when you try to create a work item from the integrated application:

Cannot create working copy

Procedure

To create a new work item type:

  1. In the project's work item customization pages, open the Types and Attributes page.
    Attention: To avoid losing unsaved changes, do not use your browser's back and forward buttons to navigate among Work Items pages. If you leave the Types and Attributes page to edit elements on another page, click the Types and Attributes link in the Work Items page menu to continue editing.
  2. In the Choose the Work Item Type to edit section, click Add.
    Note: The order in which types are displayed in the Work Item Types menu determines the order in which they are displayed on Create Work Item menus. The first type in the list is the default type that is used any time a new work item is created with a single click.
  3. In the Add type window, complete the following steps:
    1. Enter an ID for the new type. By default, the Name field is populated with the same value that you enter in the ID field. You can edit the Name field value.
      Note: This ID is used if the related information is represented as UML source in the Eclipse client.
      Important: The ID must not contain white spaces.
    2. Create a type category to associate the work item type with or select an existing type category. Each type category has an associated workflow and associated attributes. If you create a new type category, you must then define these associations for it. If you select an existing type category, the new work item type adopts that type category's associations by default.
    3. Click OK to create the new work item type and open it in the Types and Attributes page.
  4. In the Icon field, click the icon button and select an icon. The process templates include a set of icons to use. Select one of the icons, or use your own graphic as the icon. To use your own graphic, click Manage Icons > Add Icons, and navigate to the graphics file to use as the icon for the new work item type. When you are finished, click OK.
  5. Optional: Create one or more aliases. An alias is another name for a work item type. It is used to create an automatic text link in the Summary, Description, and Comments fields of a work item. Each work item type can have a set of aliases, which you can define in the Aliases field by using a comma-separated list. For example, if the Aliases field for the Task work item type is defined as work item, workitem, item, text links are automatically created when a user refers to Task 123 in the Summary, Description, and Comments fields as work item 123, workitem 123, or item 123.
    Note: In addition to customizing aliases that are associated with a work item type, built-in automatic link strings exist that are not modifiable:
    • attachment file_name, used to reference a file attachment
    • comment number, used to reference a comment within the work item
    • email links of the following format: user_id@domain, for example, bob@mycompany.com
    • user links of the following format: @user_id, for example, @bob
    • URI links, for example, http://www.abc.xyz.com, www.abc.xyz.com, ftp://FTP_site_file_location
    • Java™ stack trace links
  6. In the Editor Presentation section, select an editor presentation that defines how the new type is displayed in each of the following editors:
    • Work Item Editor: The default editor for creating and modifying work items.
    • Inline Work Item Editor: The editor for inline work item modification. For example, this editor is displayed when a user chooses to modify a work item within a query result set in the web client. It is also displayed when a user creates a work item from another integrated application, such as IBM® Engineering Test Management.
    • Lightweight Work Item Creation Dialog: The editor for quickly creating work items. For example, this editor is displayed when a user creates a work item while they are delivering a change set.
    • Plan Editor Preview: The editor for viewing and modifying work items inside a plan. This editor is used for the plan editor preview pane in the Eclipse client and the inline editor in the plan in the web client.

    To customize the selected presentation or create a new presentation, click Edit Editor Presentation in the editor field. (This button is displayed when you hover over the field.) When you are done editing editor presentations, click Types and Attributes in the Work Items page menu to continue editing the new work item type.

    For more information about customizing editor presentation, see Customizing the work item editor in the web client

  7. If you are creating a new type category, from the Workflow field, select a workflow to associate with that category. To edit the selected workflow or create a new workflow, click Edit Workflow next to the Workflow field. (This button is displayed when you hover over the field.) When you are done editing workflows, click Types and Attributes on the Work Items page menu to continue editing the new work item type.
  8. To add an attribute to the type category that the selected work item type is associated with, click Add in the Attributes section. In the Add Attribute window, enter a Name and ID for the attribute and select a type.
    Note: This ID is used to distinguish one attribute from another.

    In addition to common data types such as string, enumeration, integer, decimal, and Boolean, you can use the following types that are references to items:

    • Category (for attributes similar to Filed Against)
    • Contributor and Contributor lists (for attributes similar to Owner)
    • Deliverable
    • Duration
    • Electronic Signature
    • Item and Item lists
    • Iteration (for attributes similar to Planned For)
    • Process Area and Process Area lists
    • Project Area and Project Area lists
    • Release (for attributes similar to Found In)
    • Tags
    • Team Area and Team Area lists
    • Timeline
    • Timestamp
    • Wikis
    • Work Item and Work Item lists

    You can modify an enumeration attribute type by clicking the type in the Attributes table, which opens the enumeration for editing in the Enumerations page.

    Note: Any changes that you make to custom attributes are applied to the entire category listed in the Type Category field, so they are applied to all work item types associated with that category.
    Important: After you create and save a custom attribute type, it cannot be modified.
  9. When you are done customizing the attribute, click OK.
  10. You can change the name of existing attributes that are associated with the type category that the selected work item type is associated with:
    1. Click the name of the attribute.
    2. Modify the name.
    3. Press Enter.
  11. Click Save to save your changes. If you modified anything that is associated with a type category, all work item types in the project that is associated with the type category are updated.
  12. Once you have created the custom attribute,
    1. Select Editor Presentations for the work item type to which you added the custom attribute. You can add your new attribute to the Details section or the Description section, or the Discussion section.. Click the add icon: Add icon.
    2. If you receive a warning message, click OK
      Warning message
    3. In the Add Presentation page, click Attribute-based Presentation. In the Attribute section, select your custom attribute. In the Kind section, select one of the options that appear. The kind of presentations that appear in the list is determined by the type of attributed. Since this attribute is an Large HTML, in the Kind field allows you to select one of the options:
      • None: Select this if you do not want this new attribute to appear in the work item editor.
      • Description: Select this if you are adding the custom attribute to the Description field of your work item type.
      • HTML: Select this if you are adding the custom attribute to any other field of your work item type and if you require a large amount of room for text.
      • Small HTML: Select this if you are adding the custom attribute to any other field of your work item type and if you require a small amount of room for text.
      • Hidden: Select this if you do not want this new attribute to appear in the work item editor.
    4. Click Save to save your changes to editor presentations.

What to do next

To manually update existing work items with new or modified custom attributes, see Updating work items with new or modified attributes.


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