We have finally recovered from the jetlag, impressions and hangovers related to the Atlassian Summit 2011, so it is time to wrap up on all the good things we have seen and heard in San Francisco.
What would keynotes be, if there were not some major announcements to make. Well the same holds true for Summit. JIRA 4.4 Beta was announced (final release should be coming somewhere this year). The installation and upgrade process are massively improved and should now ease administrators’ frustrations with the help of Install4J. Also the user interface changed a bit to allow users and especially administrators to work faster and easier within JIRA. And as of this version, JIRA does not need to be restarted anymore when a new plugin is installed. To top it of, they fixed JIRA bug JRA-9, which asks for User Time Zone support. Kudos to the dev team (only they know the pleasure it brings to close a 9 year old ticket :-)).
Mike Cannon-Brookes (one of the Atlassian founders) at the first keynote.
Also Confluence 4.0 got announced and should be available this year. The biggest change would be the new rich-text editor that was already announced during the Atlassian Road Trips. The wiki-markup editor has been removed, but (and this is really great for those that love to use the wiki-markup language and even tend to speak it) you can just use the wiki-markup language in the rich-text editor, which will then automatically style it for you as you type along! This allows you to create and edit Confluence pages much faster and gives you better feedback about how the page will look.
Two newly announced products will join the Atlassian family. The first one is Team Calendars (available as of now). This plugin for Confluence allows your teams to know when each member is or is not available, which, among other things, helps to plan for releases and support activities. It also helps to plan and streamline company wide events, e.g. such as press releases from the marketing team when a new version of a product is released. It allows to keep your teams focused and helps to track important events related to your company’s projects.
The second announced product is Bonfire (still in beta release). Bonfire’s aim is to improve the incorporation of testing in the agile methodoloy used in so many project nowadays. Using a browser plugin (available for Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome and Safari) it allows the tester to create JIRA issues right from the browser, add screenshots to the issue, edit these screenshots and comment on them. The tester never has to leave the browser and can just focus on testing the functionality he or she is looking at. For a demo have a look at this Atlassian blog.
Apart from the announcements we were quite interested in how the other products went along since last year. As of now all Atlassian products can be integrated using Application Links (as a matter of fact, all products are now shipped with Application Links included), which was already used in some integrations between a few products. Using Application Links to get the Atlassian products talking with each other allows for a standard, easy and fast way of setting up the integrations.
Bitbucket, the code hosting site for Mercurial DVCS (Distributed Version Control System) has been growing rapidly since Atlassian acquired them. And the good thing is, it is free and provides unlimited disk space for a team of up to 5 users, making it a great code repository for startups. Go check it out if you already did not. Bitbucket integration is also available with all the Atlassian products. However with the new Fisheye you will get the most out of it, since it also provides the new commit graph views! These commit graph views allow developers to easily see to which branches their code has been merged and where not (this is great for example to ensure if your bug fix has really been moved into the new release of your project)!
Bamboo is also been greatly improved and, if it already did not, it fits even better like a glove on those Agile projects using the continuous delivery functionality that has come available! Together with the possibility for parallel builds (great for those ever taking Selenium tests for example), stages, artifact passing and the numerous tasks added in the last release, this is one of the best dreams coming true, if you are a developer that is. This Atlassian blog talks more about the seriously great continuous delivery functionality that Bamboo has to offer.
Apart from the (new) fancy products and new features, Atlassian has, of course, a lot more to offer. Those guys have been growing the Plugin Development Ecosystem a lot this year. Many new interesting plugins have become available providing lots of great functionality to all of the Atlassian products. With the introduction of Speakeasy a whole new set of plugins can be created and provided to users, even allowing users to control the functionality they want or want not. This mature ecosystem allows Atlassian customers to reap the benefits from functionality that is available right now and has proven their value at other customers, lowering risk and avoid wasting time (and money) on projects that aim to deliver the same functionality that is already available! The Atlassian Plugin Exchange should help you find the plugins you never knew you needed so badly.
The forums of Atlassian are going to be replaced by Answers, so be sure to check it regularly, as more and more partners, Atlassian developers, support and other people are moving to that place.
And finally (we already got a preview during the Atlassian Road Trip) the Atlassian University has been widely announced. It offers a firm introduction to the main Atlassian products and understanding of how these products work for a very attractive price.
References to help you to more information
So we were really impressed and enthousiastic about the (new) things we heard and saw during the Atlassian Summit. Slides of all the presentations can be found here and of course you can browse the Atlassian blogs or their site if you want to know more about the things we mentioned here. Products can be downloaded here and via the specific product download pages you can get to the downloads of the early access program (if you tend to get your hands dirty on JIRA 4.4 and Confluence 4.0 ;-)).
Photos on this site are obtained from the Atlassian Flickr page (thanks for publishing them guys).
Yep, that is us at the lower righthand corner :-)!