TFS 2010 Work Items Basic User Guide – Work Item Link Types

דצמבר 30, 2009

This post is the Third post out of Five that builds the TFS 2010 Work Items Basic Guide. See the first post: “TFS 2010 Work Items Basic User Guide – Introduction”

I have already published regarding the creation of new Work Items: “TFS 2010 Work Items Basic User Guide – Create New Work Items”

On this post I will talk about one of the big changes in TFS 2010 is the Link types between Work Items!

In any development process you will have many Work Items, Work Items in the development process are related to one another in many cases, in Team System 2005/2008 the relations between the work items are represented as the Work Item Links and the type of the link is “Related”.

The problem with one type of link between work items doesn’t show the real relation between the work items.

In TFS 2010 there is an extension to this solution that makes a revolution, there are many new link types between work items that shows the real relation between the linked work items.

In order to get to the Links of a Work Item go to the Links tab and click on the “Link to” button.


In my example there are two Work Items of type “Task” number 61 and 62, I will use all the link types to link between Work Item 62 as the initiator to Work Item 61.

Parent/Child – These two links are the most significant links, there can be only one parent to each child and each parent have no limit for the number of children he can have.
These types are significant when using the MSProject and Excel. (Different Post)



Predecessor/Successor – Use Predecessor when you need an item to be done before the current Work Item, for example a task that must be finished before the current task can start.
use Successor when you need the current item to be finished before the linked item can be started.
These types are the same as the MSProject Predecessor and Successor.



Tests/Tested By – These link types are very strong when used with the Test Case Work Items, Tests when used from a Test Case means that the Test Case covers the linked Work Item, it can be a bug, an issue or a requirement.
Tested By is the opposite direction of “Tests” link, you use it from bugs, issues, requirements etc. the linked Work Item will be Test Case.



Related – Not This is the regular related link type that we had in Team System 2005/2008, this link say that there is a relation between two work items it doesn’t say what is the relation’s nature.


Affects/Affected By – Not much to say about these link types, they are self explanatory.



Shared Step/Test Case – These link types are used only in two case, from Shared Steps Work Items you use the Test Case link to a Test Case Work Item, that means that the Shared Steps Work Item is used in the linked Test Case Work Item.
From a Test Case Work Item you use the Shared Step link to a Shared Steps Work Item, that means that the Teat Case Work Item is using the linked Shared Steps Work Item.



So we can see there is a grate verity of link types in TFS 2010 that helps us manage the development process in grater efficiency.

Next guide part: "TFS 2010 Work Items Basic User Guide – Create And Use Queries"

Have Fun!!!

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  1. Leonardינואר 21, 2010 ב 11:08

    "Parent/Chilled" – I'm thinking if this is supposed to be "Parent/Child". :-)peace!

  2. Eran Rusoינואר 25, 2010 ב 11:03

    you right thanks Leonard!!!

  3. Dushyantינואר 10, 2011 ב 13:58


    I have created Parent WI and careated and Child WI it work properly.

    But when I change a status of the child WI it is not reflecting on the Parent from VSTS 2010 Team Explorer.
    But it is working from VSTS 2010 Ultimet edition.

    What will be the reason?

    Do I need to do some chnages on server?


  4. Eran Rusoינואר 12, 2011 ב 22:17

    Hi Dushyant,

    Changes in child work item are not reflected in the parent work item.

    In order to reflect the changes you will need to do that with a Web Service or with a Custom Control but it is not out of the box functionality.

    Have Fun!!!

  5. Sofiaינואר 13, 2011 ב 16:42

    If I for a Work item "ABC" select a link type "Affected by" to another item "DEF", will then the status of item "DEF" affect available statuses for my item "ABC"? I mean will TFS stop me from setting item ABC to Done if not DEF has status Done?
    Any other link types that make the similar checks on appropriate status to select on linked items?

  6. Eran Rusoינואר 24, 2011 ב 23:57

    Hi Sofia,

    Link Types don't work like this.

    The link will not fource any functionality, althow you can write a web service or custom control that will fource functionality for a given link type.

    Good Luck!!!

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