Now that Bacula Systems SA exists, it is possible to sponsor funded development projects. This is a contractual relationship where the Bacula Systems developers agree to implement a specific project within a specific time frame. All code that is developed by Bacula Systems developers, goes into the Bacula community source repository, so is available for everyone to use.
If you are not interested in sponsoring a development project, you can nevertheless submit a feature request to have a favorite feature implemented (and even submit your own patch for it).
In the past, users informally submitted feature requests by email, and we collected them, then once a version was released, we would publish the list for users to vote on.
Now that Bacula has become a bigger project, this process has been formalized a bit more. The main change is for users to carefully think about their feature, and submit it to the Bacula Mantis bugs database: http://bugs.bacula.org much like you would a bug report but to put it under “Project: Feature Requests”.
The best time to submit a Feature Request is just after a release when we officially request feature requests for the next version. The worst time to submit a feature request is just prior to a new release (we are very busy at that time). That said, if it is submitted to the bugs database, it will not be lost as was sometimes possible under the prior system of simply sending in emails.
Once the Feature Request has been adequately discussed, Bacula Project Manager (Kern) will either reject it, approve it, or possibly request some modifications. If you plan to implement the feature or donate funds to have it implemented, this is important to note, otherwise, the feature, even if approved, may wait a time for someone to implement it.
The current (though possibly somewhat old) list of projects can also be found on the Web site by clicking on the Projects menu item.