Atlassian gives Jira a makeover

Jira 6 runs faster and provides the user with a cleaner interface, according to Atlassian

Atlassian has revamped the Jira bug tracking tool with a new user interface, which the company said will offer faster navigation and a simplified workflow.

"We really tried hard to create a whole new, more efficient Jira," said Dan Chuparkoff, Atlassian group manager for Jira marketing. "It should be easier to use and easier to learn."

Jira 6, released on Tuesday, also comes with performance improvements and the first interface designed specifically for mobile clients.

First released in 2002, Jira was originally created to provide a way to track bugs during the software development process, allowing a development team to identify issues in the code base they were working on, and then track how these problems are being remedied.

The software is increasingly being used for tracking issues in realms other than software development. Now two-thirds of the software's users deploy it to manage non-software development projects. Atlassian has estimated that more than 25,000 organizations use Jira, including companies such as Citigroup, eBay, Netflix, Coca-Cola and United Airlines.

Atlassian redesigned the user interface to speed access to the most widely used functions. The software comes with a new navigation bar, which provides a quick launching point for many tasks. This version also comes with a new view that allows users to split screens, minimizing the need to jump between multiple pages.

Another view, called detail view, encapsulates more information on a single page. "This allows you to work with a list of issues in a phenomenally more efficient way. On the left side you have a list of issues and on the right side of the same screen you have the actual detail of each issue. The whole team can read the details of the issues without having to jump back in forth between list view and detail view," Chuparkoff said.

The process to create a new project has been streamlined as well, so that templates can be set up to handle agile development workflows such as scrum or kanban. The company has also compiled 20 workflows configured for specific industries or tasks.

The new version of the browser-based software also includes an interface specifically designed for mobile clients, providing many of the most popular capabilities found in the full version. Users can now assign, prioritize and comment on issues from any smartphone, and even bring in additional participants.

"This is the first release where we delivered a mobile optimized version," Chuparkoff said. "We decided that creating an HTML5 mobile experience is the right method for us, as opposed to building separate apps," for each smart phone.

Jira is available either as a hosted offering, starting at US$10 for 10 users per month, or as software package that can be installed in-house, starting at $10 for 10 users, or $1,200 for 25 users.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com

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