Importing Work Items into Azure DevOps without the Team Explorer AddIn

One of the common methods of importing work items into Azure DevOps is via Excel. I’ve previously discussed this in another blog I’ve linked below.

What is Azure DevOps and can it help with user adoption

A video demonstration of how this works is also in the above blog. The method shown previously, requires the Team Explorer Add On to be installed and also requires the Excel worksheet being imported to be setup for Import to Azure DevOps in the first instance.

Releases to the different modules of Azure DevOps are made regularly and in one such release, a new method of importing work items was introduced. We can now import work items directly from a CSV file.

Import Work Items via CSV

The below video demonstrates how to locate and use the latest method of importing work items into Azure DevOps.

Importing Work Items via CSV Import

There are a few differences between using this method and using the excel add on.

CSV ImportExcel Import
No validation of Field Types and Values. It is assumed the values in the file are already in the correct format and exist in ADO.Validation of Field Types and Values prior to import. Increased chance of importing successfully the first time the sheet is imported.
ADO field names must be known as if the name is incorrect, the import will fail.The column names are added to the sheet using an interface, providing up front validation.
Suitable for inserting work items onlySuitable for both inserting and updating work items.
Mandatory fields must be known and added to the worksheet. If the expected fields such as Work Item Type is not present, the import will fail. The columns which are mandatory for the success of the import are added to the sheet automatically and once the work item type is selected, the associated fields are auto populated.

After my analysis of this feature, I personally would not recommend this as a viable option when completing major data imports into ADO, as the time saved during setup will likely be lost during import. However, I think this feature will be useful for quick imports to a project as it requires less setup.

2 thoughts on “Importing Work Items into Azure DevOps without the Team Explorer AddIn

    1. There is no specific template. You need to create a CSV file and ensure the names of the columns match with names in your Azure DevOps work item. As mentioned in the post, the CSV import is different from using the excel add on as there is no up front validation. The validation is done as you import the record. Therefore you need to know up front what fields are mandatory or have rules within your work item. Does that help?

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