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Darren Lewis

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Published: January 18, 2012

This post is related to changes for Team Foundation Server 2010 but a similar process can also be followed for TFS 2008.

For so long I’ve been meaning to sort out the list of names that appear in the AssignedTo dropdown list when creating work items. This evening I’ve been making some changes to our work item Status workflow following some positive feedback from the QA team and so finally got around to fixing this.

By default it will show all of the Active Directory users that have access to the project. That unfortunately includes all of the system administrators and service accounts, TFS related or otherwise that will be imposed upon you through group policy.

What we need is the ability to restrict this list to only those people pertinent to the project. At the simplest level that would be those people within the TFS Project Contributors group. In a future post I’ll look at filtering this list further based on additional attributes of the work item. For example, subsequent to setting the status to Triaged, you may only want to assign to members of the development team. For now let’s keep it simple.

I’m going to assume you’re comfortable with the TFS Power Tools (available as an Extension in VS 2010) as it’s through the Process Editor available in this extension that we’ll be making our change.

You have a couple of choices here. You can either edit the Work Item Template against a Process Template or as I’m doing directly for now, against the WIT for an existing project.

Select the Work Item Type from the appropriate project in the dialog that pops up and you’ll be presented with the Work Item Editor screen thus:

Double click Assigned To and select the Rules tab on the dialog

You won’t have ALLOWEDVALUES in your list. It’s the setup of this rule that filters the list of displayed names.

Click New and enter the name of the TFS group you want to restrict the list to.

In our case I’m restricting to the Contributors group for the current project. Note the highlighted [project] should be as is and not substituted for your own project name.

Close down all the dialogs and save the template (either import if you exported or just save). If you did this against an existing project go in and create a Work Item of the modified type and hopefully you’ll see a much cleaner list. If your AD is setup correctly it’ll pull in Full Name otherwise you’ll get just the login name.

I hope this is of some use and please don’t be afraid to get stuck into modifying your process templates and work items. Whilst it’s always a good idea to start with the OOB template never be afraid to modify it to suit your own needs. Especially if in our case it helps in getting some real usage out of TFS


You can restrict the names that appear in the AssignedTo list by adding an ALLOWEDVALUES rule to the attribute within the Work Item Template.