Simply speaking, there are two broad categories of support provided for midPoint:
- MidPoint subscription is a commercial (paid) support for midPoint product provided by Evolveum.
- Community support is free support on "best effort" basis. This support is provided only by the means of public mailing lists. This is community service, which means it is provided to the community by community. It is not provided by Evolveum. Evolveum only maintains the means of communication (mailing lists) and participates in the service.
Issue Tracker Is The Law
MidPoint development team is guided by the information in our issue tracking. The content of issue tracker is the plan. Developers work on the issues tracked there. Strictly speaking, they should work only on the issues files in the issues tracker. Therefore, if you want your bug to get fixed or your feature to get implemented then it has to go into issue tracker. For midPoint subscribers this is often done by the subscriber or partner, as this the best way to maintain communication fidelity. However it is also a common practice that midPoint developer creates an issue for the subscriber. Regardless of the actual method, all bug reports, feature requests, improvement suggestions and other development tasks must be recorded in the issue tracker to make sure they are addressed.
From the perspective of a support process there is one thing that is more important that anything else: priority. MidPoint development team is guided by issue priorities. MidPoint Development Process is time-based, with two releases every year. Releases are planned to accommodate estimated amount of support requests and subscriber features. Release dates are always slightly adjusted, but they are not meant to move in any dramatic way. There is no way around the iron triangle. We do not want to compromise on quality and customers are not going pay more than negotiated amount. Therefore if release dates won't change, then it is the scope that has to change. Low-priority items are moved out from milestones and releases. This usually affects community issues, as subscriber issues are prioritized. But this principle is also important to estimate when a particular issue will be addressed (including subscriber issues).
Following table summarizes the priority system used in midPoint development and support:
|Priority||Who can report||Usually used for||Typical reaction time|
(but no gurantees)
|Blocker||subscriber||Issues that block everything and everybody.|
Production environment is down.
Financial or reputation damage imminent.
|Immediate (hours)||Do not abuse this priority. Developers will drop everything and work on this issue. We will be very upset if this priority is abused.|
It is better to start on lower priorities and escalate as necessary.
Production environment is affected in a non-trivial way.
Risk of financial or reputation damage.
Quick (hours, days)
|Sometimes used by the development team to mark the most important features in a release. MidPoint won't be released unless all critical issues are addressed.|
May cause milestone delays. May cause release delays.
Development or project is affected in a non-trivial way.
Risk of financial or reputation damage if the issue is not addressed eventually.
|Appropriate (weeks, months)|
Usually addressed within development milestone.
|Usually addressed within development milestone, but may be postponed to a final stabilization phase (after feature freeze) if needed. Major issues may block releases. But in rare cases even major issues can be postponed to the next release, but that needs to be negotiated with the subscriber.|
May cause release delays.
|Minor||subscriber, community||Minor nuisance.|
Makes life a bit harder, but not a big problem.
Negligible risk of financial or reputation damage.
|Eventual (months, years)|
Usually addressed within a release cycle. But no guarantees.
|Addressed during the final stabilization phase (after feature freeze). Development team will try to address as many minor issues as can fit into the development cycle. But it is almost certain that some of them will be left unsolved and moved out. Minor issue will never block a release.|
|Trivial||subscriber, community||Cosmetic issue.|
Not really important.
Just an idea.
No guarantees. No promises. No estimations.
|Can be freely moved in the plan. The most likely candidate to be moved when the time runs out.|
Times indicated above are the times when a developer starts working on the issue after it is reported. Which means actual developer, not some kind of automated response system that acknowledges receipt of the report. The numbers above are our best estimates that we have about the times and we will try hard to fit into that time. But there may be rare cases, such as when the development team is overloaded by support requests or when a developer with a special skill is temporarily unavailable. The times may be a bit longer in such cases.
Time to fix is not guaranteed for any issue. We are sorry, but we cannot do that even if we wanted to. Some issues might be fixed in a couple of hours. But it may take days or even weeks to fix issues that are triggered by exotic configurations, issues that appear randomly, issues triggered by external events and so on. It is impossible to predict how long the fix will take, therefore we simply cannot guarantee that. The priority system is the best we can offer.
This may sound harsh, but there is a good reason for that. We work with L3 issues, which means product bugs, feature requests and similar product-based issues. We do not have the option to "hack" or "work around" the issues that affect only specific configuration. However, deployment engineer may still be able to work around the issue on L2 level. E.g. the issue may be avoided by changing the configuration, isolating midPoint from external events, mitigating effect of the issue and so on. This is where issue resolution times might be predictable. You may have such options because you know your environment, configuration and tolerances. But we do not have such privilege. Therefore we cannot guarantee fix times.
Developers are free to increase priority of any subscriber issue. Priorities of non-subscriber issues can be changed by developers in any way they seem appropriate, but priorities of those issues are usually going down. If you do not like this, there is a simple way to improve your chances: get midPoint subscription.
Security issues are always the highest priority, no matter who is the reporter. When reporting issue to the issue tracker please clearly indicate that this is an security issues (e.g. use word SECURITY in the title). Appropriate priority will be set be the developer reviewing the issue. If the issue report is sensitive and it may put others at risk then you can use our responsible disclosure mail address firstname.lastname@example.org.
Priority abuse: Please, do not abuse the priority system. Attempts to abuse priority system may result in decreasing issue priorities (including subscriber priorities) and/or lower success rates during escalations. We will absolutely hate to do that. Therefore please do not force us to do it. If there is some confusion about appropriate priority it is usually better to select lower priority and explain the situation in the comment. Every new issue is reviewed by midPoint team member. The priority sometimes gets increased during this review if the reviewer thinks that a higher priority is appropriate or if there is a risk that the issue may affect larger number of users.
Development cycle is the same for every release: There are development milestones. Those are usually three milestones M1, M2 and M3. Each milestone will introduce new functionality. There is a dedicated time for bugfixing at the end of each milestone. That's where major-priority issues are addressed.
Last development milestone is a feature freeze. This means that all features planned for the release are done. Feature freeze is followed by a stabilization phase. That is the time of a more intense testing. All development efforts are dedicated to bugfixing. All "red" (blocker, critical, major) issues should be addressed at this time. Some "green" issues (minor, trivial) are likely to be addressed as well, but it is almost certain that not all of them will be solved. Remaining issues will be re-planned when release date comes.
Development milestones were introduced in midPoint 4.0 release. Therefore please allow some time for the development process to adapt to this new regime. Therefore the times and procedures indicated above may slightly vary during the first few releases in the 4.x family. We kindly ask for patience and understanding. We are doing our best, but developers are people too.
Most issues cannot be properly addressed unless there is a good cooperation between issue reporter and developer. The developer often needs additional data for the issue. Our usual strategy for all issues is to follow test-driven bugfixing approach. Therefore we try to reproduce the issue in a controlled environment. Additional data are often needed to achieve that. We expect that it is a responsibility of the reporter to respond to requests for additional data. The usual communication is carried out by the means of comments in the issue tracking system.
We reserve the right to close the issue if the reporter does not respond to communication.