JIRA 4.4 EAP 5 Release Notes


9 May 2011

JIRA 4.4 EAP 5 (a.k.a 4.4 milestone 5 or 'm5') is a public development release leading up to JIRA 4.4. An Early Access Preview (EAP) release is a snapshot of our work in progress, primarily focused on allowing JIRA users to see the new features in advance and provide us with some useful feedback. It also gives plugin developers an opportunity to test and fix their plugins in advance of an official release. For all production use and testing of JIRA, please use the latest official release.

While development work on JIRA 4.4 commenced relatively recently, we want your involvement from the earliest days. Please provide feedback here.

JIRA 4.4 brings you a visual Workflow Designer and Workflow Viewer. We are also very pleased to announce that the JIRA installation process has been improved and simplified.

Note to developers: Much of the View Issue page has been converted to Web Panel Plugin Modules — a new type of plugin module in JIRA 4.4. Also please see the Plugin Developer Notes for JIRA 4.4.

Highlights of JIRA 4.4 EAP 5:

Thank you for your interest in JIRA 4.4 EAP 5
Download EAP

Upgrading to JIRA 4.4 EAP 5

JIRA EAP releases are available here. When upgrading, please follow the JIRA 4.4 Upgrade Notes.

Do not use in production

  • EAP releases are not safe — EAP releases are snapshots of the ongoing JIRA development process. As such:
    • While we try to keep these releases stable, they have not undergone the same degree of testing as a full release.
    • Features in development releases may be incomplete, or may change or be removed before the next full release.
  • No upgrade path — Because EAP releases represent work in progress, we can not provide a supported upgrade path between EAP releases, or from any EAP to the eventual final release. Thus, any data you store in a JIRA EAP release may not be able to be migrated to a future JIRA release.

Highlights of JIRA 4.4 EAP 5

 

Visual Workflow Designer For Administrators (improved since EAP 4)

JIRA 4.4 provides a visual representation of your workflow, making it easy to map out your business processes.

Simply go to 'Workflows' in JIRA administration as usual, and click the 'Design' link for the workflow you wish to edit. If you hover your mouse over an individual Step or Transition, a 'cog' icon appears, which you can click to access more functions.

In EAP 5, the layout of a workflow is now preserved whenever you 'Copy' or 'Create a Draft' of an existing workflow. We have also implemented a few improvements to the status editor.

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Workflow Viewer on the 'View Issue' Screen

You can also see a read-only view of the workflow from the 'View Issue' page — just select 'View Workflow' from the 'More Actions' menu. We've made it simple for everyone to use, without requiring Flash to be installed.

The workflow viewer also highlights the current status of your issue in the workflow.

(info) A new permission called 'View Read-Only Workflow' is required to access the workflow viewer feature from the 'View Issue' page.

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User Time Zones (improved since EAP 4)

We are very pleased to announce progress on JRA-9, one of the most highly-voted requests for JIRA: times will be displayed to a user in their local time zone, rather than the server's time zone.

You can set a default user time zone at an administration level, and individual users have the ability to choose their own time zone.

Time zone support has been implemented for quick searching, simple searching and advanced searching, chart and report gadgets, date/time-based custom fields, as well as issue histories, work logs and source code check-ins (via the JIRA FishEye Plugin).

In EAP 5, all times are now associated with user time zones. Date fields, which have no time component, such as due dates, release dates (associated with versions) and custom date fields, solely record date information (and no time zone-related information).

(info) Be aware that EAP 5 shipped with a bug (JRA-24525) that affects the date selection calendar. To resolve this bug, please install the patch file (zip archive) attached to this JIRA issue after you install or upgrade to EAP 5. Patch instructions are included in the patch file.

JIRA administrators can change the default time zone by going to 'Administration' => 'General Configuration' (under 'Global Settings'), and editing the 'Default user time zone'.

Users can also change their individual time zone setting via their user profile:

Note to developers: If you develop JIRA plugins that handle dates and times, please be aware of the Formatting and Parsing Dates Using the Appropriate Time Zone section of the Plugin Developer Notes for JIRA 4.4.

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Editable Options for Custom Fields

We are also pleased to announce progress on JRA-2983. You can now edit the options for custom fields of the following field types:

  • Select List
  • Multi Select
  • Cascading Select
  • Radio Buttons
  • Multi Checkboxes

Because your custom fields may change over time, JIRA now gives you the ability to:

  • edit a field's options — that is, change the text of an option.
  • disable an option — that is, hide an option so that it is no longer available for selection. Options that have been used cannot be removed (to preserve data integrity), but due to changing business requirements, they may become invalid over time and so you may wish to make them unavailable for new issues.

Note to developers: If you develop JIRA plugins that handle single- and multi-select custom fields, please be aware of the Single- and Multi-Select Custom Field Changes section of the Plugin Developer Notes for JIRA 4.4.

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Issue Linking when Resolving an Issue (new in EAP 5)

When resolving an issue, you can create links to other issues on an issue resolution screen. This is handy when you want to resolve an issue as a 'duplicate' of another and at the same time link to the duplicate issue.

(info) If you are upgrading from an earlier version of JIRA, you need to configure this feature manually through the JIRA administration console. Please refer to the Upgrade Notes for details.

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Multiple File Selection and Upload from the 'File Upload' Dialog Box (new in EAP 5)

When using JIRA's 'Attach Files' dialog box, you can now select multiple files in the 'File Upload' dialog box that appears after clicking the 'Browse' button.

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Improved Setup Wizard

Our trusty wizard has had a makeover:

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Database Configuration Now Part of the Setup Wizard

In JIRA 4.4, configuring a connection to an external database is now part of the standard setup wizard. Customers can now connect JIRA to their database directly via JDBC, rather than having to rely on a JNDI-based connection to a datasource specified in the application server.

The database configuration step of the setup wizard will change before the final 4.4 release, but here is how it looks so far:

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Improved Linux Installers and Uninstaller

Console Installer

A simple command line/console installer wizard is now available for Linux operating systems.

To install JIRA, simply download the Linux .bin installer file and at a shell prompt, execute this file and follow the remaining prompts!

You can install JIRA as either the 'root' user or a non-root user under Linux. Currently, however, JIRA will be run as the same Linux user account which is used to install JIRA via this wizard. We intend to change this behaviour in a future EAP.

(minus) If you use the console installer wizard to install JIRA as the root user on your Linux operating system, then for security reasons, you should not use this JIRA installation in a public-facing environment.

Silent Installation

After installing JIRA on Linux using the .bin installer file above, a configuration file called response.varfile is generated in the .install4j subdirectory of your <JIRA Installation Directory>. This file contains all the settings you specified manually while installing JIRA at the shell prompt, such as the Tomcat port numbers for JIRA and the location of your JIRA Installation and Home directories.

You can use this response.varfile file to re-install JIRA again 'silently' (without the need for any user input) by doing the following:

  1. Before deleting your original JIRA installation, copy (cp) the <JIRA Installation Directory>/.install4j/response.varfile to the same directory containing the Linux .bin installer file.
  2. Enter the following command at the shell prompt:
    ./atlassian-jira-4.4-m3.bin -q -varfile response.varfile

Uninstaller

After installing JIRA on Linux using the .bin installer file above, an executable file called uninstall (located in <JIRA Installation Directory>) is available to conveniently uninstall JIRA.

To uninstall JIRA:

  1. Log in as the user who installed JIRA.
  2. At the shell prompt, change directory (cd) into your <JIRA Installation Directory>.
  3. Execute the uninstall command.
    (info) No additional flags or parameters are required.

(info) Please note:

  • The uninstaller will not delete the JIRA Home Directory.
  • All log files that were generated while JIRA was running will not be deleted.
  • All files within the JIRA Installation Directory will be deleted (with the exception of the Tomcat log folder located in <JIRA Installation Directory>/logs).

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Improved Windows Installers

The installer wizard for Windows now works smoothly for Windows 7 and Vista.

The process for installing JIRA as a Windows service has also improved and the wizard now allows you to specify the port numbers used to run and access JIRA.

Silent Installation

When you execute the installer file at a shell prompt and complete your installation of JIRA, a file called response.varfile is generated in the .install4j subdirectory of your <JIRA Installation Directory>.

This file contains all the settings you specified manually while installing JIRA at the command prompt, such as the Tomcat port numbers for JIRA and the location of your JIRA Installation and Home directories. You can use response.varfile to re-install JIRA again 'silently' (without the need for any user input) by doing the following:

  1. Before deleting your original JIRA installation, copy the <JIRA Installation Directory>\.install4j\response.varfile to the same directory containing the Windows .exe installer file.
  2. Open a command prompt and enter the following command:
    atlassian-jira-4.4-m2.exe -q -varfile response.varfile

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REST API improvements

There are new REST APIs for

  • Listing and managing Project Components.
  • Listing and managing Project Versions.
  • Listing and managing Project Roles.

Have a look at the reference documentation.

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Other Enhancements and Fixes

For the list of issues resolved in JIRA 4.4 so far, click here.

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