Recycle bin feature in a MSF Agile project

The recycle bin feature in Urban Turtle is a global filter (global here means that this filter will be applied in all application views) for items in a particular state.
Users are able to change work items state to this particular state by drag and dropping items from the Planning Board to the recycle bin and view items that in this state by clicking the recycle icon in the Planning Board.

This feature is available "out of the box" with the Microsoft Visual Studio Scrum 1.0 process template because this one declares a Removed state for most of the work items it defines:

  • BugProduct Backlog ItemTask
  • In the default Urban Turtle mapping configuration file for the Microsoft Visual Studio Scrum 1.0 process template, the removed state is defined as the Cloaked state.

In the default Urban Turtle mapping configuration file for the Microsoft Visual Studio Scrum 1.0 process template, the removed state is defined as the Cloaked state.


Urban Turtle will never show any Bug, Product Backlog Item or Task in the Planning Board and in the Task Board if their state is equal to Removed.

In order to enable the Recycle Bin feature with another process template,  a common Cloaked state will have to be defined for every work item that could be recycled. In this example, the MSF 5 for Agile Software development process template will be updated to be able to recycle useless items of type Task, Bug or User Story.

To add this common state to the targeted work items, the Process Editor will be used.

Select the menu : Tools >> Process Editor >> Work Items Types >> Open WIT from Server

Connect to the Team Foundation Server and the Project Collection and select the User Story work item type in a project created with the MSF 5 for Agile Software Development process template


In the work item type editor, select the Workflow tab. The initial workflow should appear:


Note: The present diagram has a Proposed state defined to activate the Approval feature in Urban Turtle.

Open the Toolbox and drag and drop a new state called Removed in the diagram. You can edit the name of the state by double clicking in the state box.


A different transitions from existing states has to be created. In most cases, the Recycle bin will be used to cloak some items that do not give value anymore (duplicated, obsolete, misunderstanding...).
Select the Transition Link tool in the toolbox and create a link between the Proposed state box and the new added Removed state box. You can repeat this action to add a transition from the Active state box and the Removed state box.

The new workflow for this work item would enable you to remove work items of type User Story in the recycle bin but you probably want to be able to reactivate removed work items. To do so, another transition fron the Removed state box to the Proposed state box  has to be added (this will allow your Product Owner to reevaluate the relevance of the user story).

The final workflow should look like this one below :


Do not forget to add any required reasons for all the added transitions and save your work item definition.

The process template is now able to support the recycle bin feature. The feature can be activated in the urban turtle configuration file. On the Team Foundation Server Application Tier, find and edit the Urban Turtle configuration mapping file from your updated process template.

Warning: It is strongly recommend to make a copy of this file before editing it.

%TFS INSTALL DIR%\Application Tier\Web Access\Web\UrbanTurtle\configuration\project

Add a new element in the Features Section, defining the cloaked state.


Finally, this new configuration file needs to be applied to the existing project in Urban Turtle. To do so, connect to your project in Urban Turtle and select Project >> Configuration in the Urban Turtle toolbar.


Select the updated configuration file (in this example the MSF 5 agile) and click Apply.

The feature ca be tested by creating a new user story in the updated team project. This story can now be hidden from the backlog just by draging it in the recycle bin in the iteration and area toolbar.


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