GitHub autonomous work
GitHub autonomous work
Sync GitHub and DevRev so issue status is always real time and driven by code.
By
DevRev

GitHub autonomous work

Sync GitHub and DevRev so issue status is always real time and driven by code.

Overview

Connect GitHub with DevRev, and ensure your work stays in sync between the two systems, such that issues and statuses are always real-time and driven by code activity. GitHub autonomous work is a predefined automation that has been used by several organizations, and ties DevRev issues closely with Git activities, eliminating the need for humans to manage issues.

Why should you un-manage your work? You should use this automation if you want to reduce work about work. Let machines manage issues, including creating and updating statuses, so developers can focus on work that matters. You’ll resonate with this, if you have ever:

  • Delivered a hot-patch and realized you never had an issue to track it
  • Wasted time just updating your team on the status of an issue
  • Or just felt that creating and managing issues is a distraction

If your team’s best practice is to link your GitHub activity to an existing issue-ID during branch creation, commits and PRs, then this automation will honor that and enable a GitHub driven issue state, without auto creating issues. Here are the different ways you can link your DevRev issue to GitHub branches, commits and PRs.

However, if you choose to work in GitHub and never created or linked an issue, you shouldn’t have to sweat it. This automation will automatically create issues that track all associated commits, branches and pull requests. The auto-created issue is enriched with PR description and related GitHub events. The status of these issues is driven by GitHub activity, and the issues will auto-transition stages, from In Development to In Review, and Closed. Your work is always accounted for and more importantly your team members have visibility and know what you’ve been up to, resulting in fewer interruptions.

How it works

To enable GitHub autonomous work, click on Install and we'll walk you through a few simple steps including connecting with GitHub. You'll have a default set of configuration settings and the option to further personalize this automation. Learn more about the features in this automation.

Features

This automation is powerful, and has several configurable features. As they say, the power is in the defaults! When you install this Flow, we'll configure defaults that are tried and tested. You always have the option to personalize further.

Automatic status updates

You can associate GitHub commits, branches and pull requests with the DevRev issue they correspond to. Doing so allows you to see GitHub activity in the corresponding DevRev issue and to act on those events, allowing you to automate away your manual tasks. Mention DevRev issues in GitHub, and route the relevant GitHub events to this issue. They can be mentioned either as display IDs (ISS-34) or object IDs (issue:34), case insensitively. A DevRev issue can be mentioned in branch names, commit messages or PR titles.

Autocreate issues from GitHub branch

If you do not explicitly associate your DevRev issue to GitHub branches, commits or PRs, then we can autocreate your issues so you have an account of all your GitHub activity. This feature automatically creates an issue when a new branch is created, and tracks all associated commits and Pull Requests on this issue. The auto-created issues will move status based on Git activity, to in development based on branch and commit activity, and in review when PRs are created and merged. If desired, when PRs are merged, you can personalize the automation to move the issue to closed status. However, this template by default will keep the issue in an open state.

Autocreate issues from GitHub PRs

You can choose to automatically create issues when a new PR is created, and it is not linked to an existing DevRev Issue. The behavior is similar to how issues are auto-created with new branches. The auto-created issues will move status based on Git activity, and events are posted on the DevRev issue timeline. If desired, when PRs are merged, you can personalize the automation to move the issue to closed status. However, this automation by default will keep the issue in an open state. It is recommended you enable either one of Autocreate issue from GitHub branch or Autocreate issue from GitHub PR, but not both.

Issues autocreated from GitHub branches or PRs are called autonomous issues, and have the tag autonomous.

Attribute part to autonomous work

Autonomous issues originating from GitHub will be attributed to a default part. You can configure the default_part, while setting up your flow, Every issue on DevRev must have a Part attribution

Enrich autonomous work descriptions

Enrich autonomous issues with information derived from GitHub PR events. The title and description of an autocreated issue is enriched with the PR data. When a new GitHub PR is opened or edited, then the related autonomous issue description is updated with the latest PR description. If the user has removed the auto generated text, then the automation will no longer update the description from PRs. Similarly, autonomous work titles are updated with the PR title, if the user hasn’t already updated it.

Link autonomous work with related issue

Create a parent-child link b/w the work-items mentioned in the PR body and the autonomous issues tagged with the branch/PR. When a new GitHub PR is opened/edited, for all the autonomous tagged work items(by branch/PR), automatically make the issues mentioned in the PR as parents.

Automatically close autonomous work

Autonomous work gets closed when its related PR is merged. However, if there is no PR activity on this work, then the autonomous work is closed after configurable period.

Frequently asked questions

What is an autonomous issue?Autonomous issue is an issue created automatically from an external event, such as a new GitHub branch or PR. These issues have the tag autonomous.
How does an issue change status?
Stage
FromTo
New branchAny but not closed statusIn development
Commit pushedNo change
PR openedAny but not closed statusIn review
PR closedIn reviewIn development
PR reopenedAny but not closed statusIn review
*PR merged (without /close)In reviewIn development
PR merged (with /close)Any but not closed statusResolved
*This change happens only when change_stage_to_in_development_on_pr_close is true
What are the autonomous work configuration options?
ParameterValueDescription
create_work_item_on_new_branchEnabled or disabledCreates autonomous work items on a new branch when no work-id is mentioned
create_work_item_on_pr_openEnabled or disabledCreates autonomous work items on a new PR, when no work-id is mentioned
mention_work_directly_in_pr_bodyEnabled or disabledLink work-id to a PR, when its found in PR body
enable_magic_commandsEnabled or disabledUse magic commands /close and /toward in your PR
close_autonomous_work_on_mergeEnabled or disabledClose the autonomous work when the PR is merged
default_partpart display idAutonomous work is created under this default part
update_autonomous_work_from_prEnabled or disabledEnrich autonomous work item title and description with PR data
link_autonomous_issues_with_pr_mentionEnabled or disabledLink the work item mentioned in PR to the autonomous work created
change_stage_to_in_development_on_pr_closeEnabled or disabledAutonomous work changes stage to `in_development` when a PR is closed
How can autonomous work creation be disabled?You can disable the parameters create_work_item_on_new_branch and create_work_item_on_new_PR to not autocreate issues. If you choose to turn this off as an exception, you can choose to begin your branch name or PR title with nw-(e.g, nw-new-branch)
How can you attribute a part to an autonomous issue?This automation will infer the part from a repository, if possible. If not, the issue is created with a specified default part.
When is the automous issue closed?The autonomous work item is automatically closed when its source PR or a PR on its source branch is merged.