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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Protecting workflow transitions in JIRA

Today I created a bunch of new projects in our JIRA 4.0 instance and, for the first time, I needed to create a custom workflow for some issue types. JIRA is flexible and powerful and it was pretty easy to create a new workflow just cloning (copying) the default JIRA workflow. All I had to do to fulfill my requirements was:
  • Define a new status: Waiting for feedback
  • Define a new step: Waiting for feedback
  • Create new transitions to and from this new workflow state.

Leveraging JIRA's powerful administration console the new workflow was defined in just a few minutes. Once done, I defined a new workflow scheme and associated to some of my new projects.

It was with some surprise that I realized that the new transition wasn't restricted to developers: it was there for everyone to trigger. Obviously, I'd overlooked something in the configuration so that I checked the permissions and everything seemed to be fine until I realized what was wrong: workflow transitions are protected by conditions. In my case, I required that only the issue assignee could trigger a transition.

Although the workflow was being used, creating a draft workflow was a no brainer. In the draft workflow I added the required condition:
Only the assignee of the issue can execute this transition.

Once done, I published the new workflow. JIRA quickly converted the existing issue to the new workflow and the error was corrected without even bringing the project down.

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