Simple way to create Work Item Hierarchy


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Create a custom field in all your concerned Work Items named "ParentWI" for instance, of type integer.
 

Now, say you want to link two Work Items, the method will looks like:

public void LinkWorkItems(WorkItem parent, WorkItem son)

{

    RelatedLink rl = new RelatedLink(son.Id);

    rl.Comment = "";

    parent.Links.Add(rl);

    son.Fields["ParentWI"].Value = parent.Id;

    son.Save();

    parent.Save();

    son.SyncToLatest();

}

 

I put a specific comment in the link to mark it as a hierarchy kind of link.

Take care to the last line, you may wonder why I do a SyncToLatest(), the reason is quite simple:
Work Item links are bi-directionals. Once you link a Work Item A to a Work Item B, the opposite link is created automatically when you save A.
Then you better do a SyncToLatest() to get the other Work Item up to date.

For our hierarchy evaluation, it might be a problem because you don’t know if the links you’ll evaluate are for children or the parent.
But there’s a simple way to evaluate if a given link is to a child: just get the ParentWI of that child and compare it with the current Work Item ID.

Here’s a snippet of a method that get all the children of a given Work Item:

public IEnumerable WIGetChildren(WorkItem wi)

{

    ArrayList array = new ArrayList();

    // We evaluate all the links for this Work Item

    foreach (Link link in wi.Links)

    {

        // Hierarchy links have this comment

        if (link.Comment == "")

        {

            // Get the linked Work Item

            RelatedLink rl = link as RelatedLink;

            if (rl == null)

            {

                // It’s another kind of link, go to the next one

                continue;

            }

 

            // Get the corresponding Work Item

            // (it’s supposed to be the child)

            WorkItem linkedwi = GetWorkItem(rl.RelatedWorkItemId);

 

            // Check if the ParentWI of the child is this Work Item

            // If it’s not the case, it’s a child to parent relation

            if (wi.Id != (int)linkedwi.Fields["ParentWI"].Value)

            {

                continue;

            }

 

            // It’s a child, we add it

            array.Add(linkedwi);

        }

    }

    return array;

}

 

 

 

 

That’s it, you have everything you need to implement hierarchy in your Work Items!

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