Key Updates of Atlassian Products 2021 (what you should know)

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atlassian update

Atlassian acknowledged major changes in the business environment after the Covid-19 pandemic hit. But like always, it decided to work more towards team collaboration and communication, supporting business and non-technical teams as well. To keep up with the latest Atlassian updates, here’s a summary of Team 2021.

Let’s have a look.

Atlassian Cloud services are expanding

As expected, there have been significant updates in Cloud services. 

Remote work has increased, so the cloud gets almost 100 billion requests a day. To keep up, there is a 60% improvement in performance made available to everyone in the Cloud. 

Working towards the Cloud compliance roadmap, there have been updates in data residency across all paid editions in Jira Software, Jira Service Management, and Confluence. As such geographies have been expanded for hosting data and additional regions like Australia, Canada, Japan, and the UK have been added. And to increase their footprint in the EU realm, AWS Data Centers have been set up in Frankfurt and Dublin. 

For added security: 

  • Atlassian fully encrypts data stored in its cloud.
  • Apps are automatically scanned for known threats and vulnerabilities. 

Forge is a new hosted app platform that allows for customizations to run on Atlassian’s Cloud Infrastructure.

Watch the Atlassian Team 2021 video

There is an increased focus on centralizing User Management, wherein a central admin console has been provided across all instances. So applying security policies, setting up custom services, and getting usage insights from a central page is now possible.

To increase the speed of collaboration, you can now switch between products in the Cloud. Cross-product search is also available across multiple products.

Leveraging Atlassian’s investments in the Cloud platform to deliver cross-product capability, it has come up with a Point A Program.

Point A program

Working on customer feedback has always been at the crux of Atlassian products. So they have launched the Point A program where Atlassian product development teams collaborate with customers to build products that drive teamwork. 

Following are the 5 products introduced in this program: 

Jira Work Management 

This is built for business teams like Marketing, HR, Finance, Legal, etc to track, monitor, and coordinate their work with structure and consistency. We will look into its details in the coming section.

jira work management

Jira Product Discovery

This is a new product management tool for managers of Agile teams. Right from discovery to delivery, it handles everything that teams need to move ahead in their projects like capturing insights, prioritizing impacts, and planning around products. 

Team Central

This works as a shared place to report on projects and keep track of progress towards goals. You can learn about different projects and their goals, connect with teams, search for everything related to projects in one place and stay up to date on project information.

Compass 

It enables software teams to have a digital view of services and how they are connected to each other. It has “Health Score Cards” of services to show the health status of services, an “On-Call” feature for seeing who monitors the services, and a “Security Scorecard” which helps track organizations’ security and compliance needs. 

Halp

It is a conversational ticket management and request management tool that seamlessly integrates with Slack, Microsoft Teams and comes with an added layer for Jira Service Management and Zendesk to allow you to create and interact with tickets between tools. 

Cloud Enterprise Edition is here

Cloud Enterprise Edition is a new edition in Jira Software, Jira Service Management, and Confluence. It is in addition to the Premium Edition. It works well for the advanced collaboration needs of global organizations that want enhanced security and data governance needs and robust administrative control. 

It includes all features from the Premium plan in addition to:

  • 99.95% uptime guarantee
  • Centralized user billing
  • Unlimited instances
    • Support for data residency 
  • 24/7 dedicated customer support
  • Atlassian Access (Automated User Provisioning, SAML SSO, Audit Logs, etc) is included. 

All this together will make your experience worthwhile in cloud products and 3rd party apps you integrate with. 

Jira Software- Key Updates

Jira Software has always been a very important and probably the most popular part of the Atlassian Ecosystem. Following are its key updates:

  • New data insights have been added to increase visibility for teams and allows them to make smarter decisions. As such, Jira Software has been recently shipped with a Contextual Insights feature. With this feature, data from within Atlassian products or 3rd party tools can be serviced in the form of contextual insights into Jira. For instance, on the Backlog tab, information like how many issues have been completed in the past sprints can help teams with their planning.
  • You can now reduce the number of custom fields with global context using bulk identification and deletion.
  • There is a new connection screen in Jira which shows all the tools connected to your Jira projects and gives a bird’s eye view of your stack.
  • For developers, Gitlab, Git Repository, BitBucket, and GitHub are integrated into Jira software. So you can view Jira issue keys into your development work during commits or pull requests
  • Embedded AI and ML to bring smart data:
    • Allows Jira and Confluence to predict the top 5 assignees to a ticket, or mention it with an 86% accuracy.
    • Speeding up common processes like automating updates to customers if a large number of incidents have occurred or clustering similar tickets together.
  • New Jira Automation Library enables a “no-code automation playground”. So when you like templates like the daily summary in Slack, auto-close old support issues, and auto-assign issues, you can simply copy-paste the template into Jira to implement it. 
  • Allows for multiple view configurations of a plan so users can switch between them, export them into a CSV or embed them into Confluence.
  • Users can now anticipate fluctuations in future sprints like vacations or events while planning. 

Open DevOps project has landed

 

Open DevOps enables development teams to ship value to customers rather than integrating tools from different vendors that are not connected.

It aims at offering a pre-configured DevOps project in Jira Software combined with Jira Service Management, Confluence, BitBucket, OpsGenie and can extend to other partner tools like GitHub. This will lead to better project and product insights for ops teams and fewer status updates for development teams.

For Mobile Apps

Atlassian has introduced new features to help prevent data leakage and improve security policies, especially through mobile apps. 

It introduces Mobile Access Management which can help you control and manage your mobile apps remotely. With this, you do not need to enroll your devices and admins can enforce native security controls on mobile app usage. It is also available for Jira Service Management, Jira Work Management, and Confluence.

Atlassian Data Center is getting enhancements and new features too

Apart from Cloud, Data Center also has new enhancements. 

  • Atlassian introduces Bamboo Data Center which helps quickly recover from outages. 
  • Data Center now has improved performance and indexing time has been cut by 50% in Jira.
  • Data Centers can now be deployed on Kubernetes clusters using hardened container images and helm chart templates.
  • 0% downtime upgrade in both Jira Software and Jira Service Management: You can upgrade to the latest versions of Data Center products without any interruptions from users. This is enabled by nodes running on different versions of Data Center products while you upgrade them one by one. 
  • Integrated CI/ CD offers to seamlessly integrate BitBucket Data Center with Bamboo, Jenkins, and other CI/ CD tools for simplified pipeline creation. 
  • There’s advanced user management with features like SSO with SAML and OpenID Connect for secure authentication. 
  • It provides support for Amazon Aurora, a highly available PostgreSQL compatible database, enabling another level of resilience across the application stack. 
  • Elastic Search helps detect anomaly patterns like monitoring unsuccessful login attempts.

Migrating from Server to Cloud 

For effective migration from server to cloud, there are some new tools provided:

Sandbox: allows for testing an experiment before rolling it out to production.

Release Tracks: allows changes released to your instance at fixed intervals.

For Bitbucket

Rolling upgrades for bug fixes in Bitbucket and Confluence can help you upgrade without taking the instance offline.

To declutter instances, there is better repository management that will allow managing bulk old and inactive repositories.

Jira Core is now Jira Work Management!

Watch the Atlassian Team 2021 video.

As mentioned before, the power of Jira has now been extended to business teams as well. 

Jira Work Management has 25 project templates built for non-technical teams like marketing, HR, finance, legal, etc. 

It has built-in intuitive workflows suitable for any kind of department/ team. It also comes with business team-friendly features like Calendars, Lists, Forms, and Timelines (essentially Advanced Roadmaps). 

It is currently rolled out on cloud-based business projects, so there is no data loss while transitioning from Jira Core to the Jira Work Management system. 

You can even use this with Jira Align at a higher level to align with business management.

Confluence Updates

There are some very nice enhancements in Confluence as well allowing you to have a more personalized experience. 

  • It allows you to add cover images and emojis at the page level
  • Inline commenting in the edit mode is now possible.
  • There’s a 22% reduction in memory and CPU in Confluence so it loads faster and better.
  • There’s a new Personalized Activity feed. Get updates from pages only relevant to you or from people and spaces that you follow.
  • Nudges lets people know to look at a page if they haven’t looked at it yet.
  • Smart links allow for embedding files from other sites into Confluence pages. 
  • It now provides the ability to share confluence pages and spaces outside the company for external collaboration (available in Premium only).
  • Team Calendars are now available in Premium.
  • Page archiving and bulk archiving using automation can be done in Premium.
  • Use analytics tools for identifying new pages and spaces, who read your pages, and also identify page read-time. 
  • There’s a 60% increase in Jira and Confluence Cloud action performance 
    • This was achieved by changing the way applications load. Only changes were loaded instead of loading the whole application every time.
    • The bundle sizes are cut down by reducing the amount of data that needed to be downloaded each time you loaded the browser.

Jira Service Management gets augmented

Atlassian further boosted the power of Jira Service Management by acquiring ThinkTilt, a no-code/ low code form builder for Jira. ThinkTilt will help the IT teams to create dynamic cascading forms within Jira to help provide great service experiences and includes more than 300+ pre-built templates. 

Watch the Atlassian Team 2021 video.

Jira Service Management introduces a number of new features:

  • Embedded knowledge base, powered by Confluence, which will help for macros, inline, and page comments. So there are no additional costs of adding Confluence to your stack.
  • Democratization of service delivery by allowing teams to configure service desks by configuring request types, forms, fields, workflows, and automation without relying on the site administrator 
  • Better insights in the form of Cycle time and Deployment Frequency are also included. These insights allow data to be gathered from outside tools as well. Jira is the only tool that tracks Cycle time at the granular level of each stage in the software development workflow.
  • Atlassian acquired Insight Asset Management by Mindville (Formerly Riada), a market-leading asset configuration management capability. It is available for both Jira Service Management and Data Center offerings
  • You can combine Jira Service Management and Compass for real-time information on critical engineering components to get a clear picture of all things service-related
  • The alerting and on-call management capabilities of OpsGenie are now built into Jira Service Management. With this, the right engineering teams can be alerted. Also, OpsGenie alerts can now override “Do not disturb” on Apple phones, so you’ll never miss critical alerts.
  • Atlassian has recently acquired Chart i.o, a Cloud Analytics and Data Visualization Solution, which will help with better insights and reporting capabilities. 

Atlassian focused on the following key areas this year

The last year has shown rapid changes in the way teams work. Digital transformation was at the heart of it. So Atlassian focused on the following areas for supporting these changing business dynamics. 

Improvement in 4 key areas was their primary target:

  1. The human element of teamwork
  2. Cloud product improvement
  3. New cloud-native products
  4. Security and Compliance

Conclusion 

Atlassian always has a lot in store when it comes to updates and adding new features. It constantly strives to make the user experience better. 

This year, it has enhanced the Cloud service offerings by introducing the Point A program. For large enterprises with advanced security and governance considerations, it has come up with the Cloud Enterprise Edition.

Jira Software has a bunch of key updates which elevate business insights and decisions. 

Atlassian Data Center has a whole new set of integrations and considerable security additions. 

For a more personalized experience, Confluence has undergone many new enhancements. The loading time of Confluence has also improved considerably.

Jira Service Management has been augmented with a lot of new acquisitions aiming to make the experience worthwhile. And Jira Work Management is a much anticipated new product that promises to take the capabilities of Jira to business teams. 

DevOps is a whole new project template added to bridge the gap between development and ops teams. 

This all will surely encourage users from every domain to be a part of the Atlassian ecosystem.