Configuring a dependent enumeration value set

You can configure a value set customization so that the values of one enumeration type attribute are set based on the value of another enumeration type attribute.

About this task

This task uses the Dependent Enumerations value set provider to populate the list of values for one attribute based on the value of another attribute. Both attributes are of the enumeration type. In this example, the set of values for the Browser attribute are set based on the value of the OS attribute.


  1. Open the Attribute Customization page:
    1. In the Team Artifacts view of the Work Items perspective, right-click the project area and select Open.
    2. Click the Process Configuration tab.
    3. Expand Project Configuration > Configuration Data > Work Items, and then click Attribute Customization.
  2. Select Value Sets, then click Add. Enter a name that describes the customization. Select Dependent Enumerations from the Provider drop-down list. Click OK.
    Screen capture of Add Configuration window with Dependent Enumerations selected in the Provider field.
  3. In the Configuration section, select the source attribute and the dependent enumeration. Click a value in the Source Attribute column, then select the corresponding value or values in the Dependent Enumeration column. For example, in the following figure, the dependent enumeration, Browser, gets its values from the source attribute, Operating system. When the OS X 10.6 Operating System value is selected, the Browser attribute is populated with Firefox 3.6, Safari 5, and Chrome values.
    Screen capture of Configuration section with operating system values mapped to browser values.
  4. Click Attributes and Types. Select the work item type, such as Defect or Task. Scroll to the Attributes section. Click Add. Create a custom attribute for Operating system. In the Type field, select Operating system (Enumeration). Click OK to save the new attribute. Click Add to create a custom attribute for Browser. Select Browser (Enumeration) in the Type field. In the Value Set field, select Browser, the Dependent Enumeration customization that you created. Click Add Dependency icon, the Add Dependency icon, then select the source attribute, Operating system. Click OK.
    Screen capture of Add Custom Attribute window for Browser attribute. Browser is selected in the Value Set field, and Operating system is shown in the Dependencies field.
  5. Click Editor Presentations. Select the editor presentation to which you want to add fields for the two new attributes. Select the tab and then section to which you want to add the fields. For example, the Details section on the Overview tab. With the section selected, click Add Presentation to add fields for the new attributes.
  6. Click Save to save your changes to the project area.


When users create work items, the values listed in the Browser field are set based on the value of the Operating system field.
Note: The Dependent Enumerations value set provider does not populate the dependent enumeration list in plan views. All enumeration values are shown.