The Paid Issue Queue (PIQ) is a system by which new features and bug fixes may be prioritized by providing direct financial support. It is coordinated by the CiviCRM Core Team and all work performed is done by the Core Team or by individuals they designate. All work is licensed under the GNU Affero General Public License
How Does it Work?
Potential paid issues should first be reported and discussed in the appropriate project in Gitlab. They can be escalated by the reporter to the paid issue queue by labeling them "paid-issue-queue". This indicates a willingness to provide financial resources to solve the issue. Likewise, the Core Team may designate any issue at their discretion as “paid-issue-queue”.
The Core Team will provide an estimate directly in the issue of the time and cost required to complete the request. This estimate includes time spent on initial discovery. If during the discovery period, we find that the fix is trivial we may resolve the issue at no cost.
Payment for each issue is managed on a case by case basis. We may ask for a deposit or payment in full prior to work starting. Payment terms are at the discretion of the Core Team.
Work will begin once you, the reporter, accept the estimate and indicate so via a comment in the initial issue.
All issues are fixed in the next released version of CiviCRM (e.g. an issue reported in 4.6.2 is fixed in 4.6.3); we do not fix issues in the ESR or in older versions of CiviCRM. All issues submitted to the queue should be of interest to a significant proportion of our user base.
Bugs for the paid issue queue should be reported on our issue tracker and replicated on one of the demo sites. Before submitting a bug, please take a few minutes to search for an existing issue. If the bug affects a part of CiviCRM that cannot be tested on the demo site, we can create a dedicated development site to replicate the issue. In any case we will create a development site which will be used for the client to test and approve the work.
The paid issue queue can be used for small feature requests and improvements (typically 5 days work or less). Features should be described in detail on the issue tracker with references to appropriate supporting documentation. We create a development site to demonstrate new features. This site will also be used for the client to test and approve the work.
Completion and sign off
Issues are considered resolved when signed off by the client after testing on the site which was set up to work on the issue. At this point the client can also test the issue by running the upgraded code on their own development site.
The Paid Issue Queue does not include deploying the issue to the client website. However, the client has a period of 60 days after the release of the version of CiviCRM in which their issue is resolved to deploy the issue onto their production site to ensure that it meets their requirements.
All work done via the Paid Issue Queue includes adding or extending automated tests whenever applicable to prevent future regressions.
What about 'unpaid' issues?
In an ideal world, we would resolve all issues reported to us on the issue queue. In reality, we do not have the resources to do this, and so have to prioritize the most important issues. We do this as follows. Highest priority are major security issues and issues that result in data loss. These will always be fixed free of charge as soon as possible after they are reported, and take priority over all other issues. All other issues are prioritised by the Core Team according to the impact they have on a site, and the number of sites affected by the issue. We fix as many issues as we can in each upcoming release of CiviCRM. Issues that we would like to fix, but do not have the resources to fix are assigned to a future version of CiviCRM. The paid issue queue provides a mechanism for people with the resources to do so to get issues that are important to them fixed sooner.
Open source software may be free to download and free to use, but it is not free to write. Operating a paid issue is one way in which we strike a balance between keeping CiviCRM free to download and use while funding its continual improvement. We are grateful to all organisations that pay us to fix issues. As well as solving their particular issues, they are ensuring that CiviCRM remains a successful free and open source product for its thousands of users for years to come.