Using the Work Item Server API to create Work Items

How can one create a work item in a follow up action? How to link such a work item to the work item that was just saved? If you are interested in some more details using the work item server API continue reading.

These are questions that come up often in the Jazz Forum. There are several answers already in the forum, but I did never take the time to publish anything here.  Lets change that now.


The post contains published code, so our lawyers reminded me to state that the code in this post is derived from examples from as well as the RTC SDK. The usage of code from that example source code is governed by this license. Therefore this code is governed by this license. I found a section relevant to source code at the and of the license. Please also remember, as stated in the disclaimer, that this code comes with the usual lack of promise or guarantee. Enjoy!

Just Starting With Extending RTC?

If you just get started with extending Rational Team Concert, or create API based automation, start with the post Learning To Fly: Getting Started with the RTC Java API’s and follow the linked resources.

You should be able to use the following code in this environment and get your own automation or extension working.

Which API’s are available in the server SDK and which should I use?

The Java API available in the server SDK is the common API and the server API. The common API usually is in packages with *.common.* in the namespace. The server API usually is in packages named with *.server.* in the namespace.The Interfaces names available in the RTC SDK also often have a postfix such as Common or Server or Service. As example the interface

is an important common API for work item manipulation.

Another example is the interface

which is is an important server API for work item manipulation.

It is important to note, that the common API is also available in the client SDK. This is important, because the common API can then be used in client code as well as in server extensions. The client SDK and the Plain Java Client Libraries package the common API and also provide a client API. The client API usually is in packages named with *.client.* in the namespace. Like the in the pattern above the interface names often have a postfix Client in the name.

So, the interface

is available in the server SDK/API as well as in the client SDK/API and an important common API for work item manipulation.

The interface

is only available in the client SDK and the Plain Java Client Libraries.

It is also important to note, that he common Interfaces are usually included in the Client and Server Interfaces. As an example the interface IWorkItemServer extends IWorkItemCommon

public interface IWorkItemServer extends IWorkItemCommon {

Similar in the client API with IWorkItemClient

public interface IWorkItemClient extends IWorkItemCommon {

This pattern repeats across the available APIs. The specific client and server interfaces like IWorkItemServer and IWorkItemClient just add a few very specific client side capabilities.

TIP – Try to use the Common API over the specific client or server APIs

If you can, you should use the common API and prefer it over the more specific ones. That way it is possible to use a lot of code in both contexts. Unfortunately I became aware of the importance of this too late and a lot of the example code on this blog uses the more specific client and server interfaces. So look at the examples and always check if there is a common interface you could use. Fall back to the client or server related API if the common API does not have what is needed.

Creating a work item in the Server

In the client API it is possible to use the class which deals with error handling. As we have learned in the paragraph before, this is client only API and not available in the server API.

For most of the operations needed to work with the data for a work item, the common interface IWorkItemCommon. Examples for methods likely needed are

  • IWorkItemCommon.findAttribute()
  • IWorkItemCommon.findWorkItemType()
  • IWorkItemCommon.resolveEnumeration()
  •  IWorkItemCommon.findCategories()
  •  IWorkItemCommon.findCategoriesOfProcessArea()

To create the work item on the server, you have to use IWorkItemServer.createWorkItem2(), then set the attributes and finally use IWorkItemServer.saveWorkItem3(), IWorkItemServer.saveWorkItem2() or IWorkItemServer.saveWorkItems() to save the work item(s). Which one you use depends on what needs to be saved.

Here some code that I used in an example follow-up action

 * @param thisItem
 * @param workItemType
 * @param someAttribute
 * @param someLiteral
 * @param parsedConfig
 * @param monitor
 * @return
 * @throws TeamRepositoryException
private IWorkItem createWorkItem(IWorkItem thisItem,
		IWorkItemType workItemType, IAttribute someAttribute,
		ILiteral someLiteral, ParsedConfig parsedConfig,
		IProgressMonitor monitor) throws TeamRepositoryException {

	IWorkItemServer fWorkItemServer = this.getService(IWorkItemServer.class);

	IWorkItem newWorkItem = fWorkItemServer.createWorkItem2(workItemType);

	XMLString targetSummary = thisItem.getHTMLSummary();
	XMLString newSummary = targetSummary.concat(addition);
	ICategoryHandle category = thisItem.getCategory();
	if (category != null) {

	IIterationHandle iteration = thisItem.getTarget();
	if (iteration != null) {
	if (null != workItemType) {
		newWorkItem.setValue(someAttribute,someLiteral.getIdentifier2() );

	Set additionalParams = new HashSet();

	fWorkItemServer.saveWorkItem3(newWorkItem, null, null, additionalParams);
	return newWorkItem;

Please note, that rules apply in the server  as well. Required attributes will be required and need to be provided to be able to save. The server operation runs in a context with specific privileges and it has only the permissions provide by the user context.

The next part of the code is for creation of tracks links and saving the links with a work item. The idea is t

 * This method manages creating and linking the work items and saving the
 * new references.
 * @param thisWorkItem
 * @param monitor
 * @throws TeamRepositoryException
private void createAndLinkPhaseWorkItems(IWorkItem thisWorkItem, IProgressMonitor monitor) throws TeamRepositoryException {

	IWorkItemServer fWorkItemServer = this.getService(IWorkItemServer.class);

	// Create the work items and the links and return the references
	List newItems = createWorkItems(thisWorkItem, monitor);
	IWorkItemReferences sourceReferences= fWorkItemServer.resolveWorkItemReferences(thisWorkItem, monitor);
	for (Iterator iterator = newItems.iterator(); iterator.hasNext();) {
		IWorkItem targetItem = (IWorkItem);
		ILinkType tracksLinkType= ILinkTypeRegistry.INSTANCE.getLinkType(WorkItemLinkTypes.TRACKS_WORK_ITEM);
		sourceReferences.add(tracksLinkType.getTargetEndPointDescriptor(), IReferenceFactory.INSTANCE.createReferenceFromURI(Location.namedLocation(targetItem, getPublicRepositoryURL()).toAbsoluteUri()));
	Set additionalParams = new HashSet();

	// Save the work item we created new linked items for
	IStatus saveStatus = fWorkItemServer.saveWorkItem3(thisWorkItem,
			sourceReferences, null, additionalParams);
	// Handle the error
	if (!saveStatus.isOK()) {


I wanted to post that for a long time, finally I was able to take the time. I hope this helps someone out there starting with extending and automating RTC.

4 thoughts on “Using the Work Item Server API to create Work Items

  1. Hi Ralph,

    After reading up on this and the “Learning To Fly” article, I’m still a but confused as to where I’m able to get the actual “Work Item Server API” or the “;” .jar and other “.service.” libraries that I’d be able to use.

    I appreciate all the help and articles!

    • The Learning To Fly is basically an overview page with links to the serious examples.

      The Client API provides ITeamRepository.getClientLibrary() to get the client libraries (client side service API). See relevant link to the client API post in “Learning to fly”.

      Server extensions must extend AbstractService which provides AbstractService.getService().

      Older server API sometimes still use getPeer() to get other services. I have never used that or even mentioned this here.

      The SCM API is a bit special in some places. See or other examples here on the blog.

      • Hey Ralph,

        Thanks for the swift reply! After further research I’ve been able to import the sdk libraries, but for some reason there doesn’t seem to be an AbstractService jar for me to import to the project.

        Is there a certain place I’m suppose to get this library from..? Maybe there’s something crucial I’m missing here in terms of setting up my environment. Sorry to bother, I appreciate the help!

        – John

      • There is no AbstractService.jar.

        You are supposed to run the Extensions Workshop to understand how to work with the SDK.

        I created all the overview blogs so that users follow the guidance to read up the correct how-tos. I wanted to avoid having to do personal training for every user.

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