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(Yet Another) Request for Case Cloning Feature

Last week I attended the FogBugz 6 World Tour presentation in Seattle and was disappointed to learn that the ability to clone a case to multiple projects had not been added. When I asked Joel about it [thanks, Joel, for taking my questions], he said that although there had been interest in this feature, it hadn't been implemented [if so, why not?]. However he said that one could copy/paste the relevant information to a new case. In reality, this adds quite a bit of "friction" to entering a case against multiple projects: for each project I have to copy/paste the title, add a "see case x" link to point back to the original case and update the Project, Area, Category, and Estimate fields with info I already entered for the original case.

While the wiki and estimation features are certainly impressive, what I *really* needed was the cloning feature. I hope this gets added at some point.
Allen Moore Send private email
Sunday, September 9, 2007
 
 
I'd like to throw my vote in for this. As we start a new project, I find that I'm creating many identical cases as the skeleton of the project. As our process gets more and more formal with Fogbugz, it will be an increasingly big time-saver to be able to clone a batch of cases.
Paul D. Send private email
Monday, September 10, 2007
 
 
Correct me if I'm wrong, because I'm trying to understand what you're looking for exactly, but it sounds like you just want a button on an existing case that would take you to a new case edit page, but the title/priority/assignedto/project/area/fixfor would be the same as the previous case.  All you'd need to do was fill in the description?  Or are you talking about some other kind of cloning?
Michael H. Pryor Send private email
Monday, September 10, 2007
 
 
That would be one way that I could see it working. But, the real value (to me, at least), would be being able to select a whole batch of cases in list view and clone them to a new project with all other attributes (minus history) being cloned over.

Practically speaking, we've got several active projects which all have the same set of Areas: HW design & implement, SW design & implement, Mechanicals design & implement, Testing, Pilot production, etc.

Within each of those areas, there are many, many cases which are practically identical across projects: Write product spec, develop schedule, create preliminary schematic, send prelim board out for fab, write user interface doc, etc.

It would be great if, after creating a new project, there was a really quick way to create this large batch of cases in the appropriate areas.

Maybe another way to think of it is as a way to create a "project template."
Paul D. Send private email
Monday, September 10, 2007
 
 
I think Paul and I are talking about two slightly different things. I currently support about eight different projects for one client, all different, yet all sharing a lot of the same code and features. So it's quite common that an issue or feature change in one project will apply to multiple projects. When I open a new case against this change, the project dropdown would allow me to select *multiple* projects. If I select three projects (say A, B, and C) then FB would create three new cases (N, N+1, N+2) which would all initially have the same information, depending on what was filled in (typically title, area, category, estimate, initial description) and a set of links pointing to each other. After this point the cases would otherwise be independent of each other and would be resolved separately.

I can do this manually now, but as I stated earlier, it entails a lot of what feels like unnecessary work, copying the same information to cases that differ initially only in case number and project.
Allen Moore Send private email
Monday, September 10, 2007
 
 
Allen,

Would you ever have 3 different programmers fixing that same bug?
Michael H. Pryor Send private email
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
 
 
Since I'm the only programmer, no. I use FB as a personal bug tracking system for my contracting/consulting work.
Allen Moore Send private email
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
 
 
I have a somewhat similar situation to Allen's. I have common code modules shared across multiple products. If a bug is fixed or a feature added in that common code, strictly speaking there ought to be a release note (at least) in each of the dependent products the next time that common code is absorbed into it.

It's not so much an issue of different programmers working on the same case. It's an issue of managing what's happened to multiple projects sharing code and with different release timetables for absorbing that shared code.
Steve Troxell Send private email
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
 
 
Another spin on this type of function.. We have a number of bugs, features etc. that require multiple departments to be involved, normally at the "same time". What we end up doing is having to create cases with the same information but for different departments. We link the cases together so we can always go back and find out the status of each related cases and for the engineers to be able to find out who has the other piece of the issue.

Being able to clone, duplicate... a case would save us a ton of time in entering and copy/pasting identical information.
Ed Castillo Send private email
Thursday, September 13, 2007
 
 
Thanks for all of the detailed use cases.  It's helpful to see what our customers need.

But I think it also points out one of the difficulties we have with implementing a "case cloning feature".  We have four customers in this thread, each of whom wants different functionality from "case cloning".  We'd like to satisfy all of our customers, but even though each of you has a clear use case for cloning, the use cases don't match, so we have to consider how we can figure out a compromise that is satisfactory.
Eric Nehrlich Send private email
Thursday, September 13, 2007
 
 
This would be most excellent.
Chrystyna Send private email
Thursday, September 13, 2007
 
 
Quick thought: would GreasMonkey scripts be able to help out with cloning?

Sunday, September 16, 2007
 
 
I actually have an idea on how to do this via the api and a little tool.  I'll run my experiment tomorrow (should only take an hour to code up).
Michael H. Pryor Send private email
Sunday, September 16, 2007
 
 
This should solve Paul D's case of needing to "batch" create cases...

CaseCloner is a small VB app that lets you create a "template" of cases that you want to submit to FogBugz.  Then you can edit all of those cases at once and change their Project, for example, and submit to FogBugz (creating a whole new set of cases).  It was written in one hour using the FogBugz API.  Let me know if you have any comments or questions.

http://blog.fogbugz.com/Articles/2007/09/17.html
Michael H. Pryor Send private email
Monday, September 17, 2007
 
 
Re: CaseCloner

I can't for the life of me figure this out. How do I make a list of cases? The "New" button brings up an "Edit" dialog. I have a single case I identify by a case number. I want to clone that case into a second project. What do I do?
Steve Troxell Send private email
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
 
 
It doesn't do that.  It solves what paul was trying to do which is create case "templates" and then have FogBugz create like 5 cases in this project, and then a month later do the same thing.

It doesn't do the fancy copy & paste you're trying to do, although I could write another app which does that...
Michael H. Pryor Send private email
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
 
 
So tell me if I have this right: I click the "New" button, where I define some set of case properties. This becomes a case template. I can have several of these. When I click "Send To FogBugz" each of those templates will generate one new case with whatever values I put in there.

If I have this right, then I'm having a problem because I created a template with a title and assigned to project A. When I clicked Send to FogBugz it created a new case in project Z. No matter what project name I put in the Project field, the case gets created in project Z. That project happens to be the last alpha-ordered (closest to Z) project name I have.
Steve Troxell Send private email
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
 
 
The project name has to match *exactly*, but I know you're familiar with the API, so check out the debug window below in the app and see if you notice anything odd.
Michael H. Pryor Send private email
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
 
 
If I send just Project, it doesn't work. It assigns the case to the last alphabetic project.

If I send Project AND Area, it works. It assigns the case to the correct project. I assumed it would default the area if left blank.

If I have any nonblank properties in the template and I edit the template, erase one or more of those properties, and click OK, it doesn't save the changes. If I Send to FogBugz after that, it still sends the original values. If I edit the same template again, all those properties show their original nonblank values.

If I change a nonblank property to some other nonblank value, it does save that change. Just can't go from nonblank to blank.
Steve Troxell Send private email
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
 
 
Yes, the area is required.

Also, you shouldn't blank out the fields unless you are editing more than one case at a time.  Leaving a field blank means "don't change this value" in the list of cases you are editing.

But if you are editing one case, all the fields are necessary.

The design is kinda crummy, but I did it in an hour.  Instead of blank it should say [various] or something I guess.
Michael H. Pryor Send private email
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
 
 

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