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Synchronization Workitems

Stephen McCafferty edited this page Mar 20, 2018 · 19 revisions

SpecLog requirements can be synchronised with a work item tracking system through a SpecLog server.

Supported work item tracking systems

The following work item tracking systems are currently supported:

  • Microsoft Team Foundation Server 2010 or later
  • Microsoft Visual Studio Online (Team Foundation Services,
  • Atlassian JIRA 5.2 or later

Please contact us if you require support for different templates or work item tracking systems.

Setting up work item tracking synchronisation service

The work item tracking synchronistion service is executed as a plugin for the SpecLog server, and has to be configured individually for each repository.

The setup procedure for the service depends on the type of work item tracking system used:

Enabling synchronisation for specific requirement types (V2 and earlier plugins)

If you are using V1 or V2 of the synchronisation plugin for JIRA/TFS, you need to enable synchronisation for each individual requirement type by enabling the corresponding check box in the card template or using the <SynchronisedTo/> XML element in the card template configuration of the repository.

This step is not necessary when using V3 of the synchronisation plugin, as the card mappings are defined in the plugin's configuration instead.

Re-synchronising existing requirements to work items

SpecLog only synchronises requirements from the repository to the work item tracking system when they are updated in SpecLog. Existing work items are updated while new work items are added.

You can force SpecLog to resynchronise all existing repository requirements with your work item system. To do so, select "Synchronize Requirements" from the plugin menu in the "Configure plugins" dialog of the repository.

This can be useful if:

  • You already have a shared repository and have configured the synchronisation of work items after some requirements have been added.
  • You are publishing a stand-alone repository to a shared repository (where you can only set up work item synchronization after publishing).

Work item synchronisation mechanisms

The plugin acts as a SpecLog client that connects to the shared repository. Updates received from the server are forwarded to the configured work item tracking system as updates. The plugin may combine individual updates before forwarding them to work item tracking systems, in order to shorten the change history (this depends on the plugin). Changes to work items supported by the backward synchronization mechanism are forwarded as updates to the SpecLog server. You can configure the forward and backward synchronisation intervals.

Each configured plugin instance (a separate plugin instance for each repository that has synchronization enabled) hosts its own repository file, like any other SpecLog client. By default, the repository file is stored in %ProgramData%\TechTalk\SpecLog\Plugins (you can change the location in SpecLog.Server.exe.config).

Work items linked to SpecLog requirements are tracked with a special speclog:// identifier in the requirement.

The following work item synchronization mechanisms are available:

  • Forward synchronization from SpecLog to the work item tracking system. The following requirements elements are synchronised:
    • title,
    • actor, goal, value,
    • tags,
    • acceptance criteria with attachments,
    • estimates,
    • parent/refinements and relations (not available in TFS V3)
  • Backward synchronization from the work item tracking system to SpecLog:
    • estimates (JIRA V1)
    • tags (JIRA)
    • requirement estimates only (TFS V1)
    • updates to requirements created initially in SpecLog (TFS V2)
    • automatically create requirements from new TFS work items (TFS V2 with Create requirements from new TFS Work Items enabled)


SpecLog includes command line tools that you can use to test your connection to TFS and JIRA. More details are available here.

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