What are attributes?

An artifact is a collection of attributes. For example, a Defect artifact may have attributes such as Summary, Description, Version Found In, and Version to Fix In. Project members supply values for attributes when creating, modifying, or searching for artifacts, and when running reports.

From the Administration tab, you define a pool of attributes that can be used by one or more artifact types. For example, a Priority attribute may be useful for artifact types such as Defect and Request for Enhancement. Each artifact type can have overlapping but unique sets of attributes. For example, a Defect will require a different set of attributes from a Request for Enhancement, however, these two artifact types may also have common attributes, such as the name of a customer who originated the defect report or enhancement request. You can define an unlimited number of attributes, but CollabNet recommends you keep the list of attributes as short as possible for ease of use by project owners.

If you move artifacts between projects, the artifact attributes are mapped between the origin and the destination.

When defining attributes, be sure they are:

Every project that uses Project Tracker contains artifact types. Artifact types are the building blocks of a project. An artifact type is a template for a specific kind of data. For example, CollabNet supplies a default Defect artifact type. A project may require several kinds of artifact types, for example, Defect, Enhancement Request, and Test Plan. An artifact type serves as a template for users who create instances of defect reports, enhancement requests, and so on. Project members who have appropriate permissions can enter instances of each new artifact type in a project.

Artifact types consist of sets of attributes. Attributes describe characteristics of an artifact. For example, a Defect artifact type may have attributes such as Severity and Assigned To. Users enter values for attributes when they create or modify an artifact, search for artifacts, and create reports. User attributes are a specific type of attribute that describe a user's relationship to an artifact. For example, Q.A. Contact and Assigned To are user attributes. Attribute values can be email addresses, integers, single or multiple select lists or short or long text strings.

How do attributes define the behavior of an artifact

Attributes help define artifacts and their behavior. Some attributes are used to categorize artifacts. Each artifact type has a unique set of attributes like Summary, Description, Milestone, Priority, Status, Resolution and Severity. Attributes generally have a default set of values. Your project administrator can alter the set available for your artifact type.

Attributes can be organized in groups. If duplication checking is active, you enter a subset of attributes for the artifact. This subset is used to check for duplicates in the database. After the duplication checking process is complete, you can enter values for the remaining attributes.

An artifact type may have a set of required attributes. Values for the required attributes must be entered before committing the artifact. Required attributes are identified by an asterisks (*) beside the name of the attribute.

On many results pages you can change which attributes appear on your screen. After selecting the Enter new tab, you can select from the available artifact types and enter values for the available attributes. Attributes appear with a drop down box or list of options to select from or a text entry form for you to enter text. You can select one item from a drop down box and multiple items from attributes with lists. All attributes with an asterisks (*) beside the title must have values before saving the artifact.