New Release

JIRA 5 – a platform for collaborative Software Development

JohnStevenson
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Atlassian JIRA 5 has been released today, pushing the envelope for issue trackers. Jon Stevenson tells us more about what it can do

With the release of JIRA
5
, developers get an even greater level of collaboration when
it comes to building software. This release focuses on stability of
JIRA as a platform, integration with a wide range of apps and
social features to make work more inclusive.

JIRA provides a suite of integrated tools to help teams of all
sizes, from large organisations that manage a wide portfolio to a
two-man lean start-up.  Many customers are opting for the
Atlassian
OnDemand
service so they can focus on whats most valuable to
them.

JIRA is much more than an issue tracker

Think of JIRA as a really powerful workflow engine, that helps
you route issues (work) between roles and teams with ease – helping
ensure that valuable tasks and challenges don’t fall out of sight.
 Those issue can represent any activities that are part of the
way you work:  if your development team adopts scrum you can
define story cards & Epics; for a BDD approach you would manage
features & scenarios; testers and QA would raise bugs; the
service team can manage helpdesk requests and DevOps provision
equipment and services for deploying applications.

 

JIRA also has some great plugins such as Greenhopper
for Agile project management (Scrum / Kanban) and Bonfire for
quickly capturing information gathered during exploratory testing.
 There is an ever growing marketplace for open source and
commercial plugins
.

JIRA 5 Overview
video

         88
Reasons for JIRA – Seibert Media

JIRA 5 goes Social

In JIRA 4 teams were brought together with the visual workflow.
 Building on this collaboration, JIRA 5
goes social
and adds features that make it easy for adhoc
involvement and innovation to happen.

Simply mention someone in an issue
comment and they are invited to get involved.  Using the Share
button sends an ‘FYI’ to people & teams who might want a heads
up, but don’t necessarily need to participate.  You can even
share with email addresses outside of your JIRA users!

These features allow you to get people involved when its relevant
to them, reducing the information overload.

Integrate JIRA with anything


People do not work in isolation and neither does JIRA.
 Being able to link your issues to other applications helps
development teams stay connected to the rest of the organisation
and to those all important end users.  

Linking Confluence with
JIRA also helps you create meaningful documentation for your
project, scheduling work so that it fits in with product releases
and other important events.  The link with Confluence also
supports the so-called “soft skills
activities such as internal communications, marketing,
HR
, social clubs and technical communities.

Getting a focused view

Using wallboards is
a great practice and there are lots of cool examples out there.
 Sometimes you want to focus on a specific information, this
is where JIRA activity streams come in.

In the Atlassian suite of tools, activity Streams show you
real-time updates from Confluence pages, Bamboo builds, and source
activity in FishEye, Crucible, and even Bitbucket.

Using the remote issue links in JIRA 5 you can connect your
activity stream to tasks in any external systems such as: a
discussion topic from Get
Satisfaction
; a customer record from Salesforce; a document in
Box; a support ticket in Zendesk

An off-the-wall example of this integration is using Minecraft to create and resolve
issues in JIRA.

JIRA as a development
platform

If you can’t find the JIRA plugin you
need, or see an opportunity for a new application, you can use JIRA
to bootstrap your own
development
.  With a wide user base of 18,000 active
Atlassian customers and a low $10 entry level for JIRA, it is easy
to reach a wide market or community when your product is built on
JIRA.

The developer experience with the
JIRA software
development kit (SDK)
has evolved rapidly through 2011 and
together with a new set of RESTful API’s JIRA development has
become stable, future proof and really easy to get start
with.

Why not start your
plugin development
today!  All you need is JIRA 5 and a little
imagination!

Author
JohnStevenson
John is the UK ambassador for Atlassian and active organiser of several communities in London. He runs workshops and speaks on technical topics including open source projects, developer tools, continuous delivery, TDD & BDD practices and declarative (functional) programming (Clojure). John also presents on kanban as a way to help individuals, teams and organisations become more effective. He is a strong advocate of group learning and encourages others to get involved with the community for their own personal growth.
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