The three years that were Jira 7

Now that Jira 8 has been out for a few months (and the enterprise version of Jira is currently pegged at 7.13.X), it is a good time to take inventory of my favorite features introduced in the past 3+ years. Yes, it has been that long. Anyway, the list of features and changes is huge so I will not  be touching on all of them in this post. To that point, here’s my list of favorite features (great and small) that I love and, maybe, you overlooked.

My list will be roughly broken down by feature type.

System Administration

Here’s my list of features system administrators should appreciate.

SAML Data Center single sign-on: In version 7.3 Atlassian added the ability for Data Center users to use their existing supported Identity Provider (IdP) and provide users with a single sign-on experience.  If you have any needs beyond simple SAML functionality, we still recommend system admins utilize a 3rd party SAML addon.

Data Center zero downtime upgrades: Again, a Data Center only feature but still awesome. Basically, this features allows system admins to perform minor upgrades of Jira without bringing a Jira cluster down for maintenance.

Live monitoring with JMX: You could use JMX to monitor your Jira process almost since day one. However, this feature allows you to get access to Jira application stats like issue counts, etc.

Sprint / Kanban Updates

Sprint management permissions: Jira Software added a new project permission — the ‘Manage Sprints’ permission. This new permission is used instead of the ‘Administer Project’ permission for the following sprint-related actions:

  • Creating sprints
  • Starting sprints
  • Completing sprints
  • Reopening sprints

Parallel Sprints out of Labs:  Clients were afraid to turn this on back in the 6.X days. No more!

Reopening sprints:  Adding reopen sprints was a huge thing, believe it or not.

Kanban backlog: Again, a huge, huge feature. It changed the way I used backlogs.

UI Administration Updates

Priority Schemes  This was / is so huge.  You would not believe how often large and small organizations would complain about how some of their uses wanted “Highest” as the top priority and then some users wanted “Top” as the top priority. Priority schemes ended those fights.

Shared configurations for projects: Added to 7,X was the ability to share the configuration of an existing project with the new project.  The shared configuration consists of the following schemes:

  • Issue Type Screen scheme
  • Field Configuration scheme
  • Workflow scheme
  • Permission scheme
  • Notification scheme
  • Issue Security scheme

This was my favorite feature of 7.X, PERIOD.

UI / Usability

Rich Text Editing – What you see is now actually what you get: Finally, WYSIWYG came to Jira.

(From the release notes)

this…

when you can format like this!

Subtasks drag ‘n’ drop:

Until 7.X, the only way to reorder your subtasks was to use the up and down arrows, which was really painful, especially with long lists of subtasks

Wrap up

This concludes my first installment of my favorite feature of Jira 7. In my next  post, I’ll cover the rest of my favorite Jira 7 features and maybe touch on a few Jira 8 goodies I love too in a future post.