Update existing Work Items with new custom attributes

It is the third time that I receive this request from a customer or from the field and I could not recall precisely the correct answer. So I decided to share it with you and post it as a reminder…

When you add a custom attribute to an existing Work Item type, there is a tricky place to ask to the RTC Eclipse client to refresh the user interface of the work items which have been created prior this modification.

Actually, if you add a custom attribute to an existing Work Item type, even if you didn’t update the presentation attached to this work item type, the Work Item editor for a new Work Item will appear with a new “Custom” page listing the new attribute.

Now, if you open a Work Item which has been instantiated before the Work Item type modification, the Work Item editor will not display the “Custom” page for this Work Item.

To fix that, the Online Help is very clear (Defining work item types and attributes) BUT you need to find this page!

To manually update existing work items with new or modified custom attributes:

  1. Run a query so that the query results contain all the work items that you want to update.
  2. In the Work Items view, select the work items that you want to modify.
  3. In the row of one of the selected work items, right-click the Type icon and select Synchronize attributes.

The tricky point is on “right-click the Type icon “. if you right-click on any other column, you will not be able to find it…
Generally I recall pretty well that the menu item is defined in the Work Items view menu, unfortunately I cannot recall that the item menu is only visible and accessible when the mouse is located on the Type icon.

So I hope this post will help reminding it…

Thanks to Jiong Xie who had the kindness to remind me the trick…

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7 thoughts on “Update existing Work Items with new custom attributes

  1. Thanks for the Post! It works great.

    I have a followup question. I added and removed some of the custom attributes I created. I used the synchonize attributes function. The existing work items display both the removed and new items now. New work items just display the new items. Is there any way to update the existing work items not to show the old items?

    Thanks so much for your time!

  2. Hi,

    Although it is an old post, thought it would be helpful to share an additional way i received from IBM Support, to do the sync procedure :

    – Go to Configuration / Work items / Types and Attributes
    – Click on the link “Check attributes usages in repository”
    – A “Missing Custom Attributes” should come up
    – Click the button “Synchronize Attributes”
    see synchonize-all-wi.png

    This way is helpful if you have more then 1000 existing WI that need the sync for the new attribute.

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