Home > Development > Making a Work Item Field Read-Only After It Has Been Saved in Team Foundation Server 2010

Making a Work Item Field Read-Only After It Has Been Saved in Team Foundation Server 2010

There is arguably a need for frequently making many fields in work items read-only after the work item has been created and saved. For example you may want to ensure the description field is read-only to all but project managers; bug priority; requirement title and so on.

After hunting about I came up with the following easy method. Before proceeding, ensure you have downloaded the latest Team Foundation Server Power Tools as it includes the Process Template Editor.

In my example below I am making the Task’s Original Estimate field read-only after saving.



This basically ensures two things:

  1. That something be entered
  2. That while the user can technically change the value, that unless it matches the original value, that changes to the work item can not be saved

Let’s try it by attempting to edit the pre-saved field:


…changing the field (not the warning yellow colour)



…hmmm ok, let’s type that zero again:


Well, what about if we clear the field?



Yay! Works a treat.

Remember, that TFS generally does not allow you to change the process template of an existing project. However, TFS allows you to export/download the projects template to disk where you may edit it in the Process Editor or the XML editor of your choice and then upload it to TFS. However you will need to recreate your project for it to utilise the new template.


Alternatively, the Process Editor can directly edit a work item type in a project on the server. In this mode you can only work on one work item type at a time.  Take great care here!


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