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Jira Account

Jira and Confluence share user accounts. You can obtain an account for both by self-registering. (Note that this account is managed separately from your Sakai account on Collab,


Sakai uses Atlassian's Jira software for issue management. It is used to track bug reports, suggestions for new functionality, tasked work, community contributions, etc. Outlined below are the general practices, procedures, and definitions adopted by the Sakai community for using Jira.


Issue Type

Issue Type

Definition for Sakai


An error in design or implementation which directly impedes a user from achieving their expected result.


A new capability being added to Sakai.

Feature Request

A desired capability, which may be selected for implementation in a future release of Sakai.

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Contributed Patch

A community-contributed patch to a particular version of sakai. The origin of such issues may lie in Bugs or Feature Requests which Sakai has not yet evaluated for implementation. Under such circumstances a linked issue is generally created by cloning the orignal issue in order to track Sakai's work on the issue. [Use at your own risk!]




Definition for Sakai


Issue is under consideration.

In Progress

Issue is actively being worked on.


Issue was thought to be resolved, however, it did not pass QA and needs further work.


Issue has been addressed and is ready for testing.


Work on issue is complete and has passed testing.



Definition for Sakai


Issue is under consideration and/or actively being worked on.


Issue has been addressed through changes to the design or code. When viewing an issue, the "Subversion Commits" tab provides specific details regarding code changes.

Won't Fix

Issue will not be addressed because it does not match project goals. Such an issue might become a Feature Request.


Issue turned out not to be a problem with Sakai. Such an issue might result in a Feature Request or become an entry in the Sakaipedia if it is a common point of confusion.


Issue is a duplicate of a previously submitted issue. A link to the original issue is added so that progress on the issue can be easily accessed.


Not enough information has been provided to identify the issue.

Cannot Reproduce

Issue cannot be reproduced. Perhaps it was a non-Sakai problem or it was resolved as a by-product of other work.


Each Jira issue has an Affects Version and a Fix Version. Generally speaking Sakai uses these values to indicate:

  • Affects Version - Version in which an issue is observed.
  • Fix Version - Version in which an issue is resolved.

Both of these versions, however, are not necessarily meaningful for all issue types. The table below summarizes how they are used for each specific issue type.

Issue Type

Affects Version

Fix Version


Version in which bug was identified.

Version in which bug is expected to be or has actually been resolved. (star)


Not required, but may provide useful context for comments on the issue.

Version in which new capabilitity is expected to appear or has appeared. (star)

Feature Request

Not required, but may provide useful context for comments on the issue.

Not applicable. (Note that Feature Requests selected for implementation are currently converted to one or more Tasks for tracking the actual work.)

Contributed Patch

Version to which the patch can be applied.

Not applicable. (Note that Contributed Patches are cloned to provide a separate Bug or Feature Request for tracking Sakai work on the issue.)

(star) For both Bug and Task issues the fix version is set fix version depending on whether the issues is unresolved ("expected" fix version) or resolved ("actual" fix version). For unresolved issues, which are still being worked on, the fix version is set to the "whole" release number (e.g., 2.1.0) in which the issue is expected to be resolved. For resolved issues, the fix version is initially set to the actual interim QA release number (e.g.,, in which the issue was resolved. After a release is made, the interim QA release versions are merged into a single release version number for clarity, (i.e.,,,, ... are merged into 2.1.0.)


The Priority field in Jira is used by Sakai to reflect a combination of issue characteristics, including:

  • Number of users affected
  • Resources required to resolve

In practice, the Jira Priority field is utlized by Sakai at two times: during prioritization of requirments for implementation and when making decisions on what will actually appear in a release. Initial priorities, when an issue is first reported, may be changed to reflect those needs.

As a release date approaches, prorities will also be adjusted – and lowered, if necessary – to reflect the decreasing availability of time and resources.


Definition for Sakai


Release will not be completed until issue is resolved.


Issue will most likely be resolved for release.


Issue should be resolved for release.


Issue may be resolved for release.


Issues that might be resolved before a release.


  • A brief statement summarizing the issue. (Field is limited to < 255 characters.)


  • A description of the Sakai enivronment in which the issues was encountered, e.g., web browser, operatings system on which Sakai is installed.
  • For QA participants this is a good place to note on which test server the issue occurred (e.g., MIT Stable HSQL, MIT Stable Oracle, MIT Stable MysQL, Nightly)


  • A detailed description of the issue, including the steps necessary for reproducing the issue.
  • You can also add attachments, including screen shots to help illustrate the issue.


  • The particular part or parts of Sakai related to the issue.

Security Level

  • Controls the visibility of the issue; currently toggles between viewable by anyone or by just the committers and testers (and the reporter of the issue).

General Workflow

What happens when an issue is created in Jira? The workflow for a given issue is dependent on what type of issue it is. The sections below describe the overall path an issue of given type will follow. Guidelines are also presented for the variours groups interactig with issues, such as Designers, Developers and QA, and discuss when and how to adjust an issue's status, resolution, versions, etc.

General Workflow by Issue Types


  1. Issue is Opened.
    • Affects Version:
      • This should be set to the version of Sakai in which the issue manifests itself.
      • Multiple versions can be specified.
  2. Issue is vetted for accuracy and completeness of information and linked to related issues.
    • (Duplicate) If it duplicates a previous issue, then the newly opened issue is:
      1. Linked to the original issue as "duplicates"
      2. Commented with a note to look at the original issue to track progress
      3. Closed with a Resolution of "Duplicate"
    • (Non-Issue) If it turns out that the issue was the result of a mis-understanding of how Sakai operates, then:
      1. An effort is made to clarify the situation.
      2. If the mis-understanding does not suggest a design flawy, then it is Closed with a Resolution of "Non-issue"; otherwise, it maybe continue as a Bug or be turned into a Feature Request.
    • (Incomplete) If insufficient information is provided to describe the issue, then:
      1. An effort is made to obtain additional information.
      2. If insufficient information is provided in a reasonable time-frame, then the issue is closed with a Resolution of "Incomplete"; issue can always be Reopened.
    • (Cannot Reproduce) If the issue cannot be reproduced on one of the QA test servers, then:
      1. An effort is made to obatain additional information.
      2. If insufficient information is provided in a reasonable time-frame, then the issue is closed with a Resolution of "Cannot Reproduce"; issue can always be Reopened.
  3. Initial estimates of the scope of the bug and the resources required to address it are made and the reported Priority and Fix Version are updated accordingly.
  4. Issue is assigned to an appropriate individual.
  5. An issue may be re-assigned to others or Watchers added to facilitate discussion of its resolution. The Priority, Fix Version, Components, etc. may also be updated as necessary.
  6. Assignee Resolves issue with relevant Resolution, when work is completed, and updates Fix Version as necessary.
    • (Fixed) Most issues that reach this stage are resolved and their resolution is set to "Fixed".
    • (Won't Fix) Some issues are identified as conflicting with the expectations of the currently adopted design or are determined to represent techinical "impossibilities" and resolved as "Won't Fix". Some of these issues may become Feature Requeests for future consideration in re-designing the system.
  7. QA team verifies resolution of issue. (QA verification only occurs against known releases, not against the SVN Trunk.)
    • If it passes verification, then it is Closed.
    • If it failes verification, then it is Reopened and re-assigned for further work.


  • Issue is vetted for accuracy and completeness of information.

Feature Requests

  • Issue is vetted for accuracy and completeness of information.
  • What exactly happens next is being determined as part of our ongoing development of a community requirements process. The current practice is:
    • Feature Requests are evaluated by designers and developers for inclusion in a future Sakai release. This generally occurs right after a release is completed, though by no means is limited to this time-frame.
    • Feature Requests selected for incorporation are converted to one or more Tasks to track the actual implementation work.

Contibuted Patches

  • Issue is vetted for accuracy and completeness of information.
  • A matching Bug or Feature Request issue is generated to track Sakai's design and development progress on addressing the issue and is linked to the original Contributed Patch issue.
  • What exactly happens next is being determined as part of our ongoing development of a community requirements process. The current practice is:
    • Contributed Patches, like Feature Requests, are evaluated for inclusion in a Sakai release.
    • In some cases, a Contributed Patch may run counter to the Sakai design and cannot be incoporated, then the corresponding Bug issue will be marked as Won't Fix and an explanation as to why provided.

General Workflow by Task


The workflow for the requirements process (post Sakai 2.1 release) is being developed in the Sakai Working Group: Requirements Process.

Designers and Developers

  1. A Bug or Task issue is assigned to someone to work on.
  2. Work begins on issue. Issue is updated, modified, re-assigned, etc. as necessary to achieve resolution.
  3. When work is done, Issue is resolved as "Fixed" (or "Won't Fix" if necessary), and meta-data fields are updated accordingly:
    • Fix Version:
      • In general the Fix Version is set to "Nightly/SVN-Trunk".
      • At Feature Freeze, all the resolved issues are evaluated for inclusion in the release, and those that are selected have their Fix Version updated to the first interim release (e.g.,
      • Afater Feature Freeze, and during QA, if an issue is intended for a specific interim release, then the Fix Version is set to the appropriate iterim release (e.g.,, or, if it is unclear to Nightly/SVN-Trunk (and the release team will update it as necessary).

Quality Assurance (QA)

  1. QA personnel select an appropriate issue from the list of issues "QA Awaiting Verification".
  2. An attempt is made to verify the issue.
    • If it passes verification, then it is Closed.
    • If it fails verification, then it is Reopened.
      • If is not clear to whom the issue needs to be re-assigned, then assign it to default.
    • Some issues can not be easily verified and may require special testing conidtions or input from developers, and further discussion is conducted as necessary.
  • No labels