The Trac Ticket Workflow System
Table of Contents
The Trac issue database provides a configurable workflow.
The Default Ticket Workflow
Environments upgraded from 0.10
When you run
trac-admin <env> upgrade, your
trac.ini will be modified to include a
The workflow configured in this case is the original workflow, so that ticket actions will behave like they did in 0.10.
Graphically, that looks like this:
There are some significant "warts" in this; such as accepting a ticket sets it to 'assigned' state, and assigning a ticket sets it to 'new' state. Perfectly obvious, right?
So you will probably want to migrate to "basic" workflow;
contrib/workflow/migrate_original_to_basic.py may be helpful.
Environments created with 0.11
When a new environment is created, a default workflow is configured in your trac.ini. This workflow is the basic workflow (described in
basic-workflow.ini), which is somewhat different from the workflow of the 0.10 releases.
Graphically, it looks like this:
Additional Ticket Workflows
There are several example workflows provided in the Trac source tree; look in
.ini config sections. One of those may be a good match for what you want. They can be pasted into the
[ticket-workflow] section of your
Basic Ticket Workflow Customization
[ticket-workflow] section in
Within this section, each entry is an action that may be taken on a ticket.
For example, consider the
accept action from
accept = new,accepted -> accepted accept.permissions = TICKET_MODIFY accept.operations = set_owner_to_self
The first line in this example defines the
accept action, along with the states the action is valid in (
accepted), and the new state of the ticket when the action is taken (
accept.permissions line specifies what permissions the user must have to use this action.
accept.operations line specifies changes that will be made to the ticket in addition to the status change when this action is taken. In this case, when a user clicks on
accept, the ticket owner field is updated to the logged in user. Multiple operations may be specified in a comma separated list.
The available operations are:
- del_owner -- Clear the owner field.
- set_owner -- Sets the owner to the selected or entered owner.
.set_ownermay optionally be set to a comma delimited list or a single value.
- set_owner_to_self -- Sets the owner to the logged in user.
- del_resolution -- Clears the resolution field
- set_resolution -- Sets the resolution to the selected value.
.set_resolutionmay optionally be set to a comma delimited list or a single value.
Example: resolve_new = new -> closed resolve_new.name = resolve resolve_new.operations = set_resolution resolve_new.permissions = TICKET_MODIFY resolve_new.set_resolution = invalid,wontfix
- leave_status -- Displays "leave as <current status>" and makes no change to the ticket.
Note: Specifying conflicting operations (such as
del_owner) has unspecified results.
resolve_accepted = accepted -> closed resolve_accepted.name = resolve resolve_accepted.permissions = TICKET_MODIFY resolve_accepted.operations = set_resolution
In this example, we see the
.name attribute used. The action here is
resolve_accepted, but it will be presented to the user as
For actions that should be available in all states,
* may be used in place of the state. The obvious example is the
leave = * -> * leave.operations = leave_status leave.default = 1
This also shows the use of the
.default attribute. This value is expected to be an integer, and the order in which the actions are displayed is determined by this value. The action with the highest
.default value is listed first, and is selected by default. The rest of the actions are listed in order of decreasing
If not specified for an action,
.default is 0. The value may be negative.
There are a couple of hard-coded constraints to the workflow. In particular, tickets are created with status
new, and tickets are expected to have a
closed state. Further, the default reports/queries treat any state other than
closed as an open state.
While creating or modifying a ticket workfow,
contrib/workflow/workflow_parser.py may be useful. It can create
.dot files that GraphViz understands to provide a visual description of the workflow.
This can be done as follows (your install path may be different).
cd /var/local/trac_devel/contrib/workflow/ sudo ./showworkflow /srv/trac/PlannerSuite/conf/trac.ini
And then open up the resulting
trac.pdf file created by the script (it will be in the same directory as the
After you have changed a workflow, you need to restart apache for the changes to take effect. This is important, because the changes will still show up when you run your script, but all the old workflow steps will still be there until the server is restarted.
Example: Adding optional Testing with Workflow
By adding the following to your [ticket-workflow] section of trac.ini you get optional testing. When the ticket is in new, accepted or needs_work status you can choose to submit it for testing. When it's in the testing status the user gets the option to reject it and send it back to needs_work, or pass the testing and send it along to closed. If they accept it then it gets automatically marked as closed and the resolution is set to fixed. Since all the old work flow remains, a ticket can skip this entire section.
testing = new,accepted,needs_work -> testing testing.name = Submit to reporter for testing testing.permissions = TICKET_MODIFY reject = testing -> needs_work reject.name = Failed testing, return to developer pass = testing -> closed pass.name = Passes Testing pass.operations = set_resolution pass.set_resolution = fixed
Example: Limit the resolution options for a new ticket
The above resolve_new operation allows you to set the possible resolutions for a new ticket. By modifying the existing resolve action and removing the new status from before the
-> we then get two resolve actions. One with limited resolutions for new tickets, and then the regular one once a ticket is accepted.
resolve_new = new -> closed resolve_new.name = resolve resolve_new.operations = set_resolution resolve_new.permissions = TICKET_MODIFY resolve_new.set_resolution = invalid,wontfix,duplicate resolve = assigned,accepted,reopened -> closed resolve.operations = set_resolution resolve.permissions = TICKET_MODIFY
Advanced Ticket Workflow Customization
If the customization above is not extensive enough for your needs, you can extend the workflow using plugins. These plugins can provide additional operations for the workflow (like code_review), or implement side-effects for an action (such as triggering a build) that may not be merely simple state changes. Look at sample-plugins/workflow for a few simple examples to get started.
But if even that is not enough, you can disable the ConfigurableTicketWorkflow component and create a plugin that completely replaces it.
some ideas for next steps
New enhancement ideas for the workflow system should be filed as enhancement tickets against the
ticket system component. If desired, add a single-line link to that ticket here.
If you have a response to the comments below, create an enhancement ticket, and replace the description below with a link to the ticket.
- the "operation" could be on the nodes, possible operations are:
- preops: automatic, before entering the state/activity
- postops: automatic, when leaving the state/activity
- actions: can be chosen by the owner in the list at the bottom, and/or drop-down/pop-up together with the default actions of leaving the node on one of the arrows.
This appears to add complexity without adding functionality; please provide a detailed example where these additions allow something currently impossible to implement.
- operations could be anything: sum up the time used for the activity, or just write some statistical fields like
A workflow plugin can add an arbitrary workflow operation, so this is already possible.
- set_actor should be an operation allowing to set the owner, e.g. as a "preop":
- either to a role, a person
- entered fix at define time, or at run time, e.g. out of a field, or select.
This is either duplicating the existing
set_owner operation, or needs to be clarified.
- Actions should be selectable based on the ticket type (different Workflows for different tickets)
This is becoming a frequent request, with clear usecases. The closest the current implementation will allow is to have a plugin provide a
triage action that sets the next state based on the ticket type, so a
new ticket would move to
new_defect, etc., and the workflow graph would separate at that point.