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Custom Sort Order for TFS Fields

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At the moment is very difficult to get a good sort order for any field that is not-numerical. Give me the ability, either when I create a field, or when I create a query, to set a custom sort order.

This comes up all the time. But here are two examples.

Status: I have New, Active, Closed. I'd like to have the sort order match the chronology of the workflow, but all I can get is alphabetical.

Stack Rank: We use stack rank to organize the most pressing work item, but don't apply it to all items in our backlog. However, when i sort on this field ascending items that don’t have any rank at all are always put first. I need them on the bottom.

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John SB shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

As explained in this blog post (, we had updated the status of this suggestion to “Under Review” to let you know we are tracking it on our backlog. To better indicate which one we are actively working on or which ones are on our 6-month plan, we introduced the states “Started” and “Planned”. The goal is to give an update on in progress suggestions at least every 3 months. This suggestion is still on our backlog, but they are not part of the 6-month plan.

Ewald Hofman


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  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    There is currently no way to sort the States as you wish,
    And also there is also no way to rename the States as you wish so when the DevOps sorts them alphabetically in dropdown, dashboards etc. then they will be in the proper order per the workflow. (ref.

    So we're stuck! It makes it confusing for the users when the dashboard of bugs is sorted by Proposed, then Resolved, then Active.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Dear Visual Studio Team, this is a clear "Must have"-feature and should also be considered for visualization tiles (sorting list, columns, bars, etc.). If it is not easy to customize it, please offer at least an option to sort the attribut status by "natural order" (=as shown in KanBan boards from left to right).

  • Stefan commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    It´s a pain that values from a global list are sorted alphabetical in a dropdown list.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    7 anos depois do primeiro feedback e nada de incluir uma opção para definir uma ordem dentro de uma lista.

    Como disse o amigo abaixo: é muita frustração!

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Yes, there are many fields that we would like to see unsorted (kept in the order we specified) however since TFS always re-sorts alphabetically, this has created a lot of frustration within our teams and management. It would be nice to have a checkbox, to turn off TFS's need to sort in the Work Items, which should leave the Field items sorted in the order entered in the Field Definition Rules (ALLOWEDVALUES, SUGGESTEDVALUES) including those that use Global Lists from GlobalList.xml.

    James Forst

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Same for VSTS to create a new field with picklist (string) Type, all the values can only ordered by alphabet. It will be better if the values can be sort the order.

  • Markus Laakso commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    TFS Dashboards are great in overall especially in TFS 2017. But when you are showing the content to executive level management, you always have to explain separately that for example in a bug trend the labels are in alphabetic order instead of workflow order when sorted by State. We really would like to see this implemented as soon as possible. It should not be a big deal at all to implement!

  • Philip Sturdy commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Having the ability to make Status sort in a more workflow oriented way would be really good.
    It would also be good if Area and Iteration were able to be sorted as set on the Area and Iterations dialog, instead of always alphabetically. In fact, for us, we'd want Area to be alphabetical but Iteration to be as set on the dialog. Then our Iterations could be listed in the order they are happening.

  • Bob Lieberman commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Just want to add it makes no sense to sort Closed in between New and Active. I don't know about other fields but for workflow, there is already an inherent order that can be used. A simple checkbox would do for the field definition. Please don't make me define a custom sort order... that would mean if the workflow ever changed I'd have to remember to go change my sort order.

  • Demitrius Nelon commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I implemented a painful work around by adding a WITStateSortOrder field and using the copy action WHEN the state changes to achieve this.

  • Paul commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    whoops ... cut-n-paste this twice:

    Beta Testing
    Integration Testing
    Post Release
    System Testing
    Unit Testing

  • AdminVisual Studio Team (Product Team, Microsoft Visual Studio) commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Thanks for the idea, John. A note about the stack rank scenario: we changed the sort order behavior for numbers in the next version of the product to take into account this scenario. Now, blank values are sorted at the end of the list rather than the front.

    Jon Tsao, Program Manager, Team Foundation Server

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