JIRA 2.6 Release Notes
Only three months after the release of JIRA 2.5 (and two after our last point-release), Atlassian are continuing our tradition of frequent, worthwhile upgrades with JIRA 2.6. In the process, we've fixed more than 110 known bugs, and added over 70 individual improvements or new features. All a free upgrade if you've purchased your JIRA license in the last year.
As always, we strongly encourage you to back up your data before upgrading.
Prior to 2.6, the only way to integrate JIRA with CVS was via syncmail, a clumsy and error-prone solution. For 2.6, we have overhauled the CVS support so that now JIRA can get all the information it needs directly from the CVS repository itself. Wherever a JIRA issue key is mentioned in a CVS commit message, JIRA will link the commit to the issue, as shown below:
Enterprise customers also have the ability to associate multiple CVS repositories with a single project, just in case your project spans multiple repositories, or moves from one to another.
The quick search bar on the top right of the screen is a very useful feature in JIRA, allowing you to quickly jump to an issue by its key, or run a full text search. If you use the keyboard shortcut (ALT+Q), then it is even quicker.
In JIRA 2.6, we've made the quick search even more powerful: it now tries much harder to guess what you are searching for. It will recognise the following in your search terms, and narrow your search accordingly.
- Project keys
- Project names (single word names only)
- Issue statuses
- Issue types
So, for example:
- "JRA open bugs" will search for all open bugs in the JIRA project.
- "my JIRA open improvements" will search for all open improvements in the JIRA project that are assigned to you.
Streamlined Search Results
On the subject of searching, we've improved the site's navigation by giving you the ability to move through your list of search results without returning to the search results page. When you visit an issue from a search, the navigation box shown below will allow you to skip quickly to the next and previous results, conveniently bound to the hot-keys ALT+N and ALT+P respectively. ALT+F will take you back to the search results page.
Per-Search Column Ordering (Enterprise)
Users of the Enterprise version of JIRA can now have custom column-ordering for each of their saved searches (previously, there was just one column-ordering preference that applied to every search). This gives you much more power to build custom issue reports containing just the information you want to know, in the right order.
XML-RPC/SOAP interface to JIRA
JIRA now has an external programmatic API, a much-demanded feature from users who wanted a more direct way to interact with their issue-tracker, or to integrate JIRA more seamlessly with their business. It also provides a raft of new features for Mark Derricutt's Intellij IDEA JIRA Plugin. The API is available in SOAP and XML-RPC flavours, and is documented here.
You can also get an XML view of any issue by adding '?view=rss' to the end of any issue page's URL.
If you come up with some interesting use for the API, or application that takes advantage of it, let us know. Similarly, if you have any suggestions for features that would make the API more useful to you, don't hesitate to tell us.
Screenshots and Thumbnails
Our new screenshot feature makes it easy to attach screenshots to your issue: it's as simple as pasting your screenshot directly into the applet provided, and hitting enter. (Currently, this feature is only available for Windows clients)
Any image that is attached to an issue is automatically displayed as a thumbnail, giving you a much better idea of what each attachment might contain. You can see an example of this online: JIRA 2.6 Release Notes. These thumbnails can also be configured to display in search results, for organisations that make heavy use of screenshots in issue reports.
Trackback and Confluence Integration
Confluence is the latest Atlassian product, and you can now link Confluence docs to JIRA issues and vice versa. When a JIRA issue contains a link to a Confluence page the server will automatically inform Confluence that it has been linked to, so Confluence can in turn refer back to the issue. This works both ways, of course, so when a Confluence page refers to a JIRA issue, JIRA also links back to the page. (For example, see http://jira.atlassian.com/browse/JRA-2789)
This is all done with the standard trackback API. Trackback is also widely supported by weblogging software, so you can see when people are talking about a particular issue on their blogs.
If you don't want trackback, you can easily turn it off in the administrative configuration. (By default, JIRA will receive trackback pings, but not send them)
JIRA's email integration is greatly improved. For people sending email to JIRA:
- JIRA can be configured to create new user accounts for anyone who sends an email to JIRA who does not already have an account (great for support!)
- HTML emails that do not contain a plaintext alternative will be converted to text
- Email attachments are automatically added as attachments to the issue
And for people receiving email from JIRA:
- Emails sent by JIRA are properly threaded, so if your email client supports threading, all notifications on a particular issue will be grouped together.
- JIRA's emails will no longer prompt mail clients to send 'vacation' messages (which previously would cause erroneous issues to be created)
- JIRA can be configured to use a different "from" address per project.
- Administrators can now send emails to a group of JIRA users from within JIRA.
JIRA can now produce release notes: a cleanly formatted changelog of issues that have been resolved since the previous version. You can see the 2.6 Professional release notes online, or read the documentation.
The release-notes page contains a convenient text-box that allows you to cut and paste the HTML source directly from JIRA to your website.
JIRA now ships with a gzip filter, which will compress pages before sending them to the web browser. In some pages, this results in a size-reduction of 90%, massively decreasing download times and bandwidth usage for JIRA installations. This is most useful for installations of JIRA on the Internet: if you enable it on your LAN, the time the server takes to compress the pages will likely be greater than the time saved by them being compressed.
It is not enabled by default, but can be enabled from the Administration pages.
- Searching in all UTF-8 languages is now supported.
- The process of translating JIRA has been improved: adding support for a new language is now as simple as dropping in the localised jar file and restarting.
- The Calendar popup window now works in your selected language.
- JIRA i18n now works on Resin 2.1.12 on linux.
- Bulk deleteof issues is now supported
- Bulk edit can set issues' fix-for version
There are over 110 Bug Fixes in this release. If you raised a bug, chances are that it is fixed.
- Currently we only have internationalised files for JIRA 2.5.3, so much of the interface is only half translated. We are in the process of co-ordinating the translation of 2.6, and new translations will be made available in future 2.6 point releases.
- If you are upgrading from 2.6 RC1, mail threading may not work correctly for issues that were created before the upgrade unless you upgrade via export / import. Issues created after upgrading to the 2.6 release will thread correctly.
- The printable view for a single issue is broken: it just redirects you to the normal, less printer-friendly page.