Atlassian, a maker of software development and collaboration tools, announced Dec. 15 the release of JIRA Studio 2.0, a hosted, fully integrated suite of tools for development teams.
JIRA Studio 2.0 introduces JIRA 4, the latest version of Atlassian’s popular issue tracker, and Bamboo, a continuous integration (CI) server that allows the build process to be run in the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2). These latest improvements make JIRA Studio a complete, hassle-free solution for fast-moving development teams that want to focus on building software rather than maintaining tool infrastructure, Atlassian officials said.
Moreover, Atlassian’s overall message is about the overall evolutionary shift occurring in the development space around software as a service (SAAS). The company is now using OpenSocial as one of the first Google applications to aid in enterprise computing. Indeed, more often than not, it is the developers or “techies” that are the first people to adopt new technology, but when it comes to SAAS, they have been behind the curve. Business users have been outpacing development teams in the SAAS world.
But that trend is changing, said Jesse Gibbs, product marketing manager at Atlassian. Development teams who were previously paranoid about having their source code hosted are moving increasingly towards SAAS, he said. Even large teams with 100-plus developers are now confident to put their “behind the firewall” tools and most critical intellectual property into SAAS-based applications. Github is a good example of this, allowing developers to host their code online, he said.
Atlassian has noticed this trend with its hosted development product, JIRA Studio. “When we started, there was no such thing as Github,” said Michael Knighten, director of hosted services at Atlassian. “We thought the market would go in that direction, but it was an educated guess, at best. Now the idea of SAAS development collaboration is starting to gain traction.”
“One of the interesting trends we have seen is that JIRA Studio is one of our fastest growing products, and we see this as an indication that a lot of development teams are looking to SAAS and hosted solutions,” Gibbs said.
“JIRA Studio combines Atlassian’s most popular development tools with Subversion source control in a fully integrated system to let development teams get up and running in minutes,” said Mike Cannon-Brookes, Atlassian co-founder and CEO, in a statement. “Organizations are realizing that hosting their development tools is secure and efficient, and increasingly turning to solutions like JIRA Studio to save time and hassles.”
At the heart of JIRA Studio 2.0 is JIRA 4, the latest release of Atlassian’s bug tracking, agile planning and project management suite. The introduction of OpenSocial dashboards allows users to create customized dashboards containing information from any of the applications included in JIRA Studio, as well as external applications such as Gmail and Google Calendars.
The new JIRA Query Language (JQL) enables team members to run complex queries using a simple SQL-like syntax enhanced with auto-completion, and then save and share their reports anywhere.
JIRA Studio includes the latest agile planning and tracking features of Greenhopper, a popular JIRA plug-in. Teams can manage multiple product backlogs and then assign tasks to iterations using a simple drag-and-drop interface. Burndown charts can be displayed in any dashboard, and task-tracking is done by simply dragging tasks between customized states like “To Do,” “In Progress” and “Done.” JIRA Studio supports the most popular agile methods, including Scrum, Kanban, Lean and Extreme Programming, without forcing a team into a specific approach.
In addition, JIRA Studio 2.0 now includes Atlassian Bamboo, a continuous integration server that supports running builds in the Amazon EC2 cloud. With Bamboo, teams can run as many customized “build agents” as they want using EC2 resources, and only pay for the time that their build agents are running. Build agents can be started and shut down based on known peaks in demand, and the Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) can be customized to include any tools needed, such as compilers and automated testing.
“The addition of Bamboo to JIRA Studio makes it the most complete on-demand offering available to development teams today.” Cannon-Brookes said. “With Studio and their IDEs of choice, a development team has all the tools they need to work together effectively, available in minutes at an unbeatable price.”
Atlassian also has announced the release of Confluence 3.1, the latest version of the company’s enterprise wiki that enables business users to collaborate in a secure online environment. Version 3.1 introduces support for OpenSocial gadgets, drag-and-drop file attachments, support for Office 2007 and various usability enhancements to help enterprise users create and share content online.
“With Confluence 3.1, you can add any OpenSocial gadget to your Confluence page, including gadgets from our other products like JIRA, FishEye, Crucible and Bamboo,” Cannon-Brookes said. “It’s also a powerful framework for letting you share and consume information from third-party systems.” There are thousands of OpenSocial gadgets already available on the Web, including gadgets to access and display information from Outlook, Salesforce.com, Google Apps and more.
OpenSocial Gadgets can be added inside Confluence pages and blogs. In addition, Confluence serves up its own gadgets for use in other Atlassian products or other OpenSocial-compliant gadget containers. Confluence 3.1 ships with two preconfigured gadgets: Confluence Activity Stream, which displays a list of recent updates from a user’s Confluence site, and Quick Navigation, which provides Confluence search capabilities and suggests results as user type. These gadgets can be embedded into any OpenSocial container like JIRA or Gmail so users can see Confluence activity or search Confluence from directly inside these systems.
The latest release also features the ability to drag and drop documents and images right from a user’s desktop onto a Confluence page. This allows Confluence 3.1 to function much like a desktop application, reducing the learning curve and making the file sharing process simple, easy and efficient. Full Office 2007 support also provides users with the ability to view attached Office 2007 documents, such as PowerPoint presentations (.pptx) and Excel spreadsheets (.xlsx), right inside a wiki page.