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I would like Inflectra to reinstate the functionality in SpiraTeam for customizing the sort order of Test Folders and Test Cases.
Our government agency has used on-premise SpiraTeam since 2009. We were planning to upgrade from SpiraTeam v4.2 to v5.3, but that was before we
upgraded our TEST environment to v5.3 and saw what the new folder system did to our Test Folders and Test Cases (and Test Sets, Documents, and
For years we have painstakingly arranged thousands of Test Cases and Test Folders in the sort order and hierarchy that suits our work practices and
helps optimize productivity. The behavior introduced in SpiraTeam v5 destroys the logical order of our artifacts, sorts them alphanumerically by Name,
and prohibits us from specifying the sort order unless we do so by using a naming convention for the artifacts. To preserve our customized sort order, we
would have to rename thousands of artifacts by using a naming convention that would exploit the alphanumerical sorting. Anyone who has tried to do this
in Windows Explorer knows that the naming process becomes cumbersome as you continue to add, move, and delete folders and files.
I read the Inflectra article "Why Did We Change How Folders Work?", and the article states that "The new folders...are in the same place in the folder
tree". I disagree. In the v5 folder system, our folders are no longer in the places we put them in the tree for the last eight years; their positions have
changed and there is now a "Root" folder that never previously existed in our tree. Likewise, the Test Cases in v5.3 are not in the positions we placed
them for the last eight years.
I recognise the value in many of the changes from v4.2 to v5, but the changes didn't need to be made at the expense of Users being able to customize
the sort order of Test Folders and Test Cases. It is interesting that the Inflectra article also says that the folders "In a lot of ways now behave just like
Windows Explorer" (the v4.2 Help says "The structure is very similar to the folder structure in Microsoft Windows Explorer"). It is interesting because
Microsoft displeased many Users by removing the functionality that enabled Users to manually arrange folders and files in Windows Explorer. Microsoft
removed the options to disable "Auto Arrange", "Align to grid" and "Auto Sort" in Windows Explorer, and that resulted in Users complaining about the
removals, petitioning for their reinstatement, and creating a registry hack to reinstate the options.
Such changes displease customers because of the effect on customers' customizations. A tenet of software upgrades is that they should not delete
customers’ customizations that the software previously allowed, but this is what SpiraTeam v5 does. I liken the effect of the v5 folder system on our
artifacts to someone else rearranging the Transitions in customised Workflows to occur in alphanumeric order by Name instead of the logical order that
the User created. An upgrade that deletes customers' customisations is likely to result in disenchanted customers.
Our agency is fortunate in that we have the on-premise SpiraTeam so we can test before we upgrade. From what I've read in the SpiraTeam Support
Forums, Users of the Cloud version of SpiraTeam have had their customized sort order of Test Folders and Test Cases undone without knowing that it
would happen. At least our agency can choose to remain on v4.2 and keep eight years of customizations.
I am grateful to Inflectra for this forum and their willingness to consider feedback from customers. Maybe other customers will add their comments to this
thread. Maybe we can convince Inflectra to reinstate the functionality in SpiraTeam for customizing the sort order of Test Folders and Test Cases.
Thanks for the feedback, I have passed it on.