TSWA tip: Bulk edit

Sara Ford has a Visual Studio Tip of the Day series going.  I thought I'd publish some tips on using Team System Web Access, and this is the first.  I don't think I'll be able to do a tip per day.  Calling it a "TSWA tip a few times a week" just doesn't sound that great.  So I'll just leave it as TSWA Tips.

In the regular Team Explorer (aka Team Foundation Client), you can't edit work items in bulk except by exporting them to Excel (at least as of Team Explorer 2008).  However, you can do this using Team System Web Access.

First, select the work items that you want to edit in bulk by clicking the checkbox beside each.  I've selected five bugs below.  Then, select Bulk Edit -> Edit Work Items from the drop down menu near the upper right hand corner (or upper middle, depending on how wide your window is).


Now you are presented with a window where you can edit the core fields of a work item.  While this is not as flexible as defining the fields to edit like you can using a custom query and exporting to Excel, it's really convenient.

Here they all have a State of Closed, and I'm changing all of the bugs to be assigned to Closed (they were previously assigned to me).  When you click Save, you will see the progress as each work item is updated.


And I've just noticed that we didn't catch the fact that "successfully" is misspelled.  I'll file a bug on that. ;-)

Comments (18)

  1. I learned something new today by reading Buck's blog . He's started an occasional series on our

  2. Brian Harry on November ’07 DevDiv Dogfood Statistics and VS/VSTS/TFS 2008 Release is near!. Robert Horvick…

  3. craigjcody says:

    Does anyone know if you can change which core fields show up?  We’ve created got our own version of a work item of type "Test Case" that has a few fields that we would like to make "core".  Thanks.

  4. buckh says:

    Unfortunately, that’s not configurable.  We’ll add it to the backlog for the future.


  5. Brian says:

    Bulk edit is a great feature. How about bulk upload. It’s a bit off-topic in this thread, but not sure where to mention it. Orcas client allows multiple file upload. Why didn’t this feature get into the TSWA?

  6. buckh says:

    Brian, it’s something we will consider for Rosario, when TSWA becomes part of the product.  So far, there haven’t been a lot of requests for it.


  7. Allen says:

    Is there a way to include "Discipline" in the bulk edit?

  8. buckh says:

    Allen, that’s not possible in the power tools release, but we have added that capability to the next version of TFS where TSWA is part of the product.


  9. Gilad says:

    Hi, Does the bulk edit work when work items are from multiple TFS projects?

  10. Hakan Eskici says:


    Yes, bulk edit works fine with work items from multiple projects.

  11. Rob says:

    Aee you saying that with the next release of the client, the bulk edit functionality will be included?

  12. buckh says:

    Rob, I see my comment was ambiguous.  TSWA 2010 supports a really nice bulk edit feature that’s considerably more flexible than the one in the power tool.

    Even in 2010, the VS client will not have bulk editing.


  13. Kiran says:

    Can I bulk edit test results associated with a test plan?

    I don’t want to keep clicking start test and end test for each manual test that I run.

    It would be nice to bulk edit the results all at once and say Pass or Fail. Is there a feature like that in Test Manager or Visual Studio?

  14. buckh says:

    Kiran, there is not a way to do that in the product, unfortunately.


  15. js says:

    My project documentation is kept in vsts and contains sharepoint links to them.  We’re changing servers, so document links need to be updated.  Is there a way to bulk edit the content of documents (or some other tool to do it)?  If not is there an API that can be leveraged?


  16. buckh says:

    js, I'm not sure of way to bulk edit the documents other than writing a tool to do it.  For example, if the links are all in Word docs, you could use the Word API to do it.


  17. Mickey says:

    Exporting to Xls, editing it there and publishing it back to TFS does the trick. Thanks .

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