This question is in reference to Atlassian Documentation: Advanced workflow configuration
Is there a date field that gets set when a transition occurs, or do I have to create one?
I have a workflow with multiple transition. I'm interested in determining how long a ticket has been in the current status for. for instance I have status called "edit". The next step in the workflow is "approval". While the status is in "edit" I want to be able to tell how long it's been there for. When the transition to "approval" occurs, I want to know when it happens and then see how long it stays in approval for. I could use a single field that changes no matter what Transition occurs.
You'll have to create one - JIRA has no way to know what transitions you might want to set up in a workflow and track dates for (imagine the 120 step workflow I saw the other day).
It does record the date/time of each transition of course, but that's not a field, it's a line in the history.
If you were on Server JIRA, I'd suggest writing a derived custom field that can look back through the history and pull the date(s) you need, but I don't think you can do that on Cloud, the best you can do is explicitly trap "now" and write it to a field.
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