The Trac Ticket Workflow System
- The Default Ticket Workflow
- Additional Ticket Workflows
- Basic Ticket Workflow Customization
- Workflow Visualization
- Example: Adding optional Testing with Workflow
- Example: Add simple optional generic review state
- Advanced Ticket Workflow Customization
- Adding Workflow States to Milestone Progress Bars
- Ideas for next steps
Table of Contents
The Trac ticket system provides a configurable workflow.
The Default Ticket Workflow
When a new environment is created, a default workflow is configured in your trac.ini. This workflow is the basic workflow, as specified in basic-workflow.ini:
Additional Ticket Workflows
There are example workflows provided in the Trac source tree, see contrib/workflow for
.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
trac.ini file. However, if you have existing tickets then there may be issues if those tickets have states that are not in the new workflow.
Here are some diagrams of the above examples.
Basic Ticket Workflow Customization
Note: Ticket "statuses" or "states" are not separately defined. The states a ticket can be in are automatically generated by the transitions defined in a workflow. Therefore, creating a new ticket state simply requires defining a state transition in the workflow that starts or ends with that state.
[ticket-workflow] section of
trac.ini, 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 the permissions the user must have to use this action. ExtraPermissionsProvider can define new permissions to be used here.
accept.operations line specifies changes that will be made to the ticket in addition to the status change when the 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 — Clears the owner field.
- set_owner — Sets the owner to the selected or entered owner. Defaults to the current user. When
[ticket] restrict_owner = true, the select will be populated with users that have
TICKET_MODIFYpermission and an authenticated session.
.set_ownermay optionally specify a comma delimited list of users that will be used to populate the select, or a single user. Groups and permissions may also be included in the list (Since 1.1.3). When groups or permissions are specified the select is populated with all members of the group or all users that possess the permission.
- set_owner_to_self — Sets the owner to the logged in user.
- may_set_owner — Sets the owner to the selected or entered owner. Defaults to the existing owner. (Since 1.1.2).
- 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. The resolution(s) specified in this attribute must be defined in the database. Example:
resolve_new = new -> closed resolve_new.label = 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.
- reset_workflow — Resets the status of tickets that are in states no longer defined.
Note: Specifying conflicting operations, such as
del_owner, has unspecified results.
The example that follows demonstrates the
.label attribute. The action here is
resolve_accepted, but it will be presented to the user as
resolve_accepted = accepted -> closed resolve_accepted.label = resolve resolve_accepted.permissions = TICKET_MODIFY resolve_accepted.operations = set_resolution
.label attribute is new in Trac 1.1.3 and is functionally the same as the
.name attribute, which is now deprecated. If neither
.name is specified, the action will be presented to the user as resolve accepted, the underscores having been replaced by whitespace (Since 1.1.3).
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
The transition to
-> *) means the workflow operation determines the next status. The only configurable ticket workflow operation that determines the next status is
leave_status. However, another workflow controller can operate on an action with new status
* and determine the next status.
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 is one hard-coded constraint to the workflow: tickets are expected to have a
closed state. The default reports/queries treat any state other than
closed as an open state.
Ticket Create Action
The ticket create actions are specified by a transition from the special
<none> state. At least one create action must be available to the user in order for tickets to be created. The create actions defined in the default workflow are:
create = <none> -> new create.default = 1 create_and_assign = <none> -> assigned create_and_assign.label = assign create_and_assign.permissions = TICKET_MODIFY create_and_assign.operations = may_set_owner
Ticket Reset Action
_reset action is added by default for tickets that are in states that are no longer defined. This allows tickets to be individually "repaired" after the workflow is changed, although it's recommended that the administrator perform the action by batch modifying the affected tickets. By default the
_reset action is available to users with the
TICKET_ADMIN permission and reset tickets are put in the new state. The default
_reset action is equivalent to the following
[ticket-workflow] action definition:
_reset = -> new _reset.label = reset _reset.operations = reset_workflow _reset.permissions = TICKET_ADMIN _reset.default = 0
Since milestone:1.0.3 the
_reset action can be customized by redefining the implicit action. For example, to allow anyone with
TICKET_MODIFY to perform the
_reset action, the workflow action would need to be defined:
_reset = -> new _reset.label = reset _reset.operations = reset_workflow _reset.permissions = TICKET_MODIFY _reset.default = 0
Workflows can be visualized by rendering them on the wiki using the Workflow macro.
Workflows can also be visualized using the
contrib/workflow/workflow_parser.py script. The script outputs
.dot files that GraphViz understands. The script can be used as follows (your install path may be different):
$ cd /var/local/trac_devel/contrib/workflow/ $ ./showworkflow /srv/trac/PlannerSuite/conf/trac.ini
The script outputs
trac.pdf in the same directory as the
Example: Adding optional Testing with Workflow
The following adds a
testing action. When the ticket has status
needs_work, 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 is 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,assigned,reopened -> testing testing.label = Submit to reporter for testing testing.permissions = TICKET_MODIFY reject = testing -> needs_work reject.label = Failed testing, return to developer pass = testing -> closed pass.label = Passes Testing pass.operations = set_resolution pass.set_resolution = fixed
Example: Add simple optional generic review state
Sometimes Trac is used in situations where "testing" can mean different things to different people so you may want to create an optional workflow state that is between the default workflow's
closed states, but does not impose implementation-specific details. The only new state you need to add for this is a
reviewing state. A ticket may then be "submitted for review" from any state that it can be reassigned. If a review passes, you can re-use the
resolve action to close the ticket, and if it fails you can re-use the
reassign action to push it back into the normal workflow.
reviewing state along with its associated
review action looks like this:
review = new,assigned,reopened -> reviewing review.operations = set_owner review.permissions = TICKET_MODIFY
To integrate this with the default workflow, you also need to add the
reviewing state to the
accept = new,reviewing -> assigned […] resolve = new,assigned,reopened,reviewing -> closed
Optionally, you can also add a new action that allows you to change the ticket's owner without moving the ticket out of the
reviewing state. This enables you to reassign review work without pushing the ticket back to the
reassign_reviewing = reviewing -> * reassign_reviewing.label = reassign review reassign_reviewing.operations = set_owner, leave_status reassign_reviewing.permissions = TICKET_MODIFY
[ticket-workflow] configuration will be:
[ticket-workflow] create = <none> -> new create.default = 1 create_and_assign = <none> -> assigned create_and_assign.label = assign create_and_assign.permissions = TICKET_MODIFY create_and_assign.operations = may_set_owner accept = new,reviewing -> assigned accept.operations = set_owner_to_self accept.permissions = TICKET_MODIFY leave = * -> * leave.default = 1 leave.operations = leave_status reassign = new,assigned,accepted,reopened -> assigned reassign.operations = set_owner reassign.permissions = TICKET_MODIFY reopen = closed -> reopened reopen.operations = del_resolution reopen.permissions = TICKET_CREATE resolve = new,assigned,reopened,reviewing -> closed resolve.operations = set_resolution resolve.permissions = TICKET_MODIFY review = new,assigned,reopened -> reviewing review.operations = set_owner review.permissions = TICKET_MODIFY reassign_reviewing = reviewing -> * reassign_reviewing.operations = set_owner, leave_status reassign_reviewing.label = reassign review reassign_reviewing.permissions = TICKET_MODIFY
Advanced Ticket Workflow Customization
If the customizations above do not meet your needs, you can extend the workflow with plugins. 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 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. See also the AdvancedTicketWorkflowPlugin, which provides additional operations.
Adding Workflow States to Milestone Progress Bars
If you add additional states to your workflow, you may want to customize your milestone progress bars as well. See the [milestone-groups] section.