JIRA 6.1 Beta 1 Release Notes

26 August 2013 

Atlassian is proud to present JIRA 6.1 Beta 1.  This public development release is part of our Early Access Program (EAP) leading up to the official JIRA 6.1 release. We are making these EAP milestones publicly available so that developers can start assessing the impact of the changes that we are making.

Important Information for JIRA Developers

If you are a JIRA developer, please see Preparing for JIRA 6.1 as well as our Java API policy for JIRA. This milestone contains breaking changes that could stop your add-ons from working.

We are announcing potentially breaking changes as far in advance as possible; check this Summary of Changes for details.

Please provide us with your feedback here.


(minus) Read before you install/upgrade: Atlassian does not support upgrades either 'from' or 'to' EAP releases. EAP releases should not be used in production environments as they are not officially supported. For all production use and testing of JIRA, please use the latest official release instead.

Key features

Create workflows and fields with ease

New workflow designer

JIRA has a new workflow designer – it loads quickly, scrolls easily, and lets you build and edit workflows faster than ever. The designer view also appears in view issue, one of our highest voted feature requests.  

Workflows are one of the tools in JIRA that provide it with its amazing flexibility and we want to ensure that workflow creation and management is the best in its class. Making sure that all of our users (JIRA administrators to our most casual users) understand workflows is one of our biggest design and feature improvement goals. Look for more changes in this area in the near future.


  • Full screen mode!
  • Workflow viewer shows the transition lines as they are drawn using the Workflow Designer, another big feature request.
  • Incoming and outgoing transitions relevant to each status are displayed.
  • Global transitions are now first class citizens in the designer.
  • Geometric snap lines (snap to other statuses!).


Click here for usage notes on the new workflow designer...
  • Zoom the diagram with your mouse wheel. Pan the diagram by clicking and holding the mouse while on white space, then moving your mouse across the diagram.
  • Click and drag a status to move it.
  • Red lines popping up indicate snap points that can be used to change your diagram layout.
  • You can change where the transitions connect to the statuses by clicking on the connection line and moving it.
  • Delete statuses and transitions with the delete key.
  • On the View Issue page, all statuses except the current one are displayed with the white background and blue text. The current status is in the blue background and white text to give it more prominence.
  • The concept of a current status does not exist outside of the View Issue page.
  • The project workflows pages have also been updated to show the new worfklow designer.
  • Pages for transition post-functions, conditions, and validators have been redesigned with the Atlassian Design Guidelines.  
  • The Flash version is still accessible from classic mode, as shown here.

For differences from the previous version of the workflow designer, please see the  Upgrade Notes.

Add a custom field while viewing an issue

JIRA Admins can now add a custom field to an issue type while in View Issue, and even configure the options for that custom field. Soon, you will also be able to add an existing field as well!

Custom fields are another powerful JIRA tool that enable JIRA administrators to quickly customize the way issues look, to fit your company's process. This new way of adding custom fields is much simpler, making the entire experience fast, effective, and powerful. Not only do we add the field to the View screen, but we add it to the Create and Edit screens as well. This means you can edit the field you just created instantly, and input data into that field the next time you add an issue.

Also, when creating a custom field, you now can choose between Standard and Advanced types. For Standard types, a preview image is shown for each type, so you can see what you are creating in advance. This ensures that you get the custom field you want, much faster.


New project templates

Simple Issue Tracking project

This project provides you with a quick and easy way to get JIRA up and running for simple issue tracking. This project is aimed at users who want to track their issues through a simple three-step workflow, while taking advantage of JIRA's other powerful features. Later on, it's easy to extend to other, more complex workflows provided by JIRA.

For more details on this project template, see Simple Issue Tracking project.

Software Development project

This project provides you with an easy to use template for software development. It includes a simple workflow with statuses representing tasks that go through a development and review process. You can later customise this further to suit your team's evolving processes.

For more details on this project template, see Software Development project.

More integration with your coding tools

You've always been able to link commits from Bitbucket and Stash to JIRA issues, making it easy to understand which issues are fixed and the code changes involved. However, we're adding new features to expand the ways you can manage commits, builds, and deployments within the context of your planning resources in JIRA.

In this first release of these improvements, if you use Bitbucket or Stash to manage your code repositories, you'll be able to create code branches directly from issues in JIRA or JIRA Agile. The new Create branch link will open your connected repository application and launch the process of creating a branch for you. If you have multiple applications connected, then you can choose where you'd like to create the branch.

Create Branch link in JIRA

Create Branch link in JIRA Agile

If you use these features, we'd love to hear what you think!

(info) The ability to create feature branches will be available in Stash at the end of September.


Expand this section for the project administration changes associated with this functionality...

A new section on the project administration screen, Development Tools, has been added to give you an overview of the development tools that are connected and which users can use the integration features between them.

  • View permission - This section lists which users can see the development tools integration features (like the Create Branch link) on the view issue screen, as well as other development-related information, like commits, reviews and build information. This ability is controlled by the "View Development Tools" project permission (which was previously named the "View Issue Source Tab" permission).
  • Applications - This section shows which development tools are connected to JIRA via application links. You can take advantage of these new integration features in any any development tool that's connected to JIRA.

Open the detailed view by clicking the Development Tools link on the left navigation bar to administer these settings.

A feast of usability improvements

Continuing on from JIRA 6, the JIRA 6.1 release improves usability in a number of areas, described below.

Easier issue navigator column configuration

JIRA lets you change the columns of the table of search results for any search results displayed using the List view (as opposed to the Detail View). Click Columns at top right of the issue table to open the column configuration dialog, shown below.


Updates to workflow text mode

In line with the updated workflow designer, we have also updated many of the pages in text mode. Specifically, the page that allows you to view a particular status or transition, as well as its post function, conditions and validators.

New look for email notifications

Email notifications are improved in JIRA. For details, check here.

New default workflow

We've simplified JIRA's out-of-the-box experience, with new, better defaults to make issue tracking quick and simple. Previously, the JIRA default workflow required you to be the assignee in order to move an issue from one status to another, this is no longer the case. Anyone can transition issues and the assignee field will automatically be updated to that user.  You can always change back to the old behavior, or just import the Classic Default JIRA Workflow from Marketplace

All newly created issues are now unassigned by default

Along with a new default workflow we've also simplified JIRA's out-of-the-box experience for new projects and their default assignees. This allows issues to be worked on by anyone, rather than having one person being the bottleneck.

The default for Allow Unassigned Issues is now set to ON for new instances and the Default Assignee is now set to Unassigned when you create a new project. See Defining a Project for details.

Existing instances keep the current default (Allow Unassigned Issues is set to OFF).

Faster access to JIRA reports

You can now access JIRA reports directly from its own tab under the Browse Project page.

New whitelist for JIRA

JIRA's whitelist is now more intuitive and easier to configure. Read more...

Enterprise Enhancements

Change usernames in LDAP

JIRA now supports changing usernames when connected to an external LDAP user directory. Previously, if you changed the name of a user in LDAP, JIRA would interpret that as deleting and adding a user. This wouldn't work because of the data associated with the user. Now, it will be correctly treated as a rename.

For most LDAP implementations, this will work out of the box. However, in a very small minority of cases, you may need to configure the LDAP settings in JIRA: read more.

JIRA password policy

The JIRA password policy feature enables JIRA Administrators to set limits and restrictions on the types of passwords their users can create. Read more...

Additional Improvements and Changes

Name changes for JIRA add-ons

GreenHopper has been renamed to JIRA Agile and Bonfire has been renamed to JIRA Capture. This is part of a move to align these two add-ons more closely with JIRA. You will see associated UI changes in JIRA in this release. Please be assured that your existing licenses and support entitlements are unchanged. This is a change of product name only. Read this blog post for more information.

JIRA Redmine Importer now available

We've added a JIRA Redmine Importer plugin that enables you to import data from Redmine directly into your local JIRA site. For more information, see Importing Data from Redmine.

Removal of JQL function "echo()"

The echo function is a testing function in JIRA. It has been removed from JIRA as it provides no user value. Existing filters that make use of this function will no longer work; please fix these filters, or remove them.

Last modified on Aug 30, 2013

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