Process template customization: prevent any user to change work item state unless the creator

Some day ago I was asked to implement this rule on TFS 2010: “When a work item is in Resolved state, only the creator can close it”.

Before explanation, just two more notes and remarks:

  • I need to implement this rule only for users who use Team System Web Access, not Team Explorer;
  • Only the creator (that is a single specific user) can change the work item state, not a group of users!

TFS 2010 has many features and rules to implement validation on work item states but, unfortunately, none of them fit to resolve my issue. The only solution I found is to create a custom control in order to validate the work item: not just the best solution, but it seems it works.

Let me explain the steps:

  • Create class library project to implement a work item custom control;
  • Extend the FieldControl class and implement the InvalidateDatasource method, where you will implement your validation logic; for example my code is:
WorkItem CurrentWorkItem=this.DataSource as WorkItem;
String currentUser=CurrentWorkItem.Store.TeamProjectCollection.AuthorizedIdentity.DisplayName;
String createdBy = ((Microsoft.TeamFoundation.WorkItemTracking.Client.WorkItem)this.WorkItemDatasource).CreatedBy;
if (!String.IsNullOrEmpty(currentUser) && !currentUser.Equals(createdBy)&& isResolvedOrClosed())            
  throw new Exception("You are not allowed to update this work item. Only the owner of the activity"+
                     +" can perform this action.");

private bool isResolvedOrClosed()
 String actualState = ((Microsoft.TeamFoundation.WorkItemTracking.Client.WorkItem)this.WorkItemDatasource).State;
 return actualState.Equals("Closed") || actualState.Equals("Resolved");
  • Create wicc file like this one:
<?xml version="1.0"?>
 <CustomControl xmlns:xsi="" xmlns:xsd="">
  • Build the project and copy dll and wicc file into TFS Server under  C:\\Program Files\Microsoft Team Foundation Server 2010\Application Tier\Web Access\Web\App_Data\CustomControls;

While working through this investigation process I’ve found the following resources very useful, and my thanks go to their authors:

Customizing Work Items

Create custom work item control for TFS Web Access 2010 (TWA)

How to use Custom Controls in Work Item Form

Custom Controls in Work Item Types