State Owner

Each non-terminal state in a workflow has exactly one owner. The owner is the role in an organization that is responsible for acting on an issue in a given state. Consider an unreviewed bug: the user who confirms or denies an unreviewed software issue is most likely to be someone who performs the QA role. Therefore, the state owner of an unreviewed bug is the QA role.

A terminal state in a workflow does not have an owner because an issue in this state does not need someone to be responsible for taking an action on it.

In Issue Manager you choose one of four possible owners for a non-terminal state:

Note: A state owner is not a specific QA engineer or a specific inbox; nor is it related to a specific product, component, release, or platform. A state owner is a general designation of functional responsibility with respect to a state.

The owner is an important property of a state because the state owner and the routing rules together determine the specific inbox that will receive the issue (routing rules are described in Setting Up Routing Rules). Here is an example of how Issue Manager uses routing rules, states, and state owners to move an issue to a specific inbox.

Say that you decide that the owner of the Unreviewed state of all software bugs, regardless of specific product, component, and so on, should be the QA role. Individuals who fulfill this role will confirm that a reported issue is actually a bug. So, on the State Properties dialog for the Unreviewed state, you select the QA Owns This State radio button. To access this State Properties dialog, go to Issues > Configuration > Workflows, and then click Edit State.

Now consider routing rules for specific products. When you set up routing rules (Issues > Configuration > Routing Rules), you specify four specific inboxes for each combination of product, component, release, and platform. Each of the four state owner radio buttons corresponds to one of the four inboxes on the Routing Rules page: QA, Development, Enhancement, and Documentation.


A routing rule states that when a bug pertains to the Email component in any release of Product C on any platform, then route the bug to one of these inboxes: Mike - QA, Sonja - Dev, Dan - Dev (Product C), or Judy - Doc.

One of the four inboxes is selected based on two factors: the current state of the issue and the owner of that state. Assuming that the current state of the bug is Unreviewed and that you specified that the QA role owns unreviewed issues, then the issue will be automatically routed to Mike's inbox, Mike - QA.

When Mike acts on the issue, he will, in effect, move it along its life cycle to another state, which has another owner. Issue Manager will again determine the appropriate inbox based on the issue's current state, the owner of the state, and the applicable routing rule for the specific product, component, release, and platform.