18 min read

Transcript: The Atlassian Ecosystem Podcast Ep. 123 - Release the "Like" Button

Ryan Spilken
Ryan Spilken
6 August 2021 Podcast
Atlassian Ecosystem artwork

Show Notes

Atlassian's Q4 FY21 letter to shareholders:

Jira Software Cloud Insights:

Atlassian Cloud Updates 19.07 - 02.08:

https://confluence.atlassian.com/cloud/blog/2021/08/atlassian-cloud-changes-jul-26-to-aug-2-2021

Cloud Release Tracks:

Jira Software 8.18.1:

Jira Service Management 4.18.1:

Bitbucket Data Center and Server 7.15:

Confluence 7.12.4:

"Atlassian Certified Master" renamed to "Atlassian Certified Expert":

Transcript

Ryan Spilken:

Hello and welcome to the Atlassian ecosystem podcast. This is Episode 123: Release the "Like" Button. I'm your host Ryan Spilken And I'm joined today in eager anticipation of that like button showing up by Brenda Burrell, Matthew Stubblefield. Brenda, Matthew, howdy.

Brenda Burrell:

Hello.

Matthew Stubblefield:

Ryan, good to see you. Though... 1, 2, 3. That's like the key combination of my luggage. That's weird how that's also the podcast title.

Ryan Spilken:

Somebody call my secretary and have them change the combination of my luggage.

Brenda Burrell:

Mine is not 1, 2, 3. So... Can eliminate one three-number combination from my luggage locks.

Ryan Spilken:

One down, billions to go.

Brenda Burrell:

We do love a good spreadsheet here.

Matthew Stubblefield:

So we are starting this episode of the Atlassian Ecosystem podcasts with a rip-roaring news update. Spreadsheets, spreadsheets, spreadsheets.
This fine Wednesday, August 4th, when we are recording this podcast, which is not live dear viewers, we have the Q4 FY21 letter to shareholders, which in our typical vein on this podcast, we have read so you don't have to. And also to spare you all I'm not going to read it to you. Though, as always, we will link this in the show notes. Or if you prefer, you can just Google Atlassian shareholder letter. It is on their blog.

Ryan Spilken:

That would make a heck of a yule log though.

Matthew Stubblefield:

Yeah. Yeah. If you need to get your grill lit, get your barbie going, just print this out and stuff it under the coals. You are good to go. Now Atlassian writes whoever wrote this it's a Q4 was a ripper, as Aussies would say. Ryan and I have greatly enjoyed the emojis sort of sprinkled delightfully through this blog post. So some notable things from this extremely long letter, year on year revenue of 30%, subscription revenue growth up 50%, they really highlight their different tiers of cloud, enterprise, premium, free. And Ryan, as you were saying before we recorded the podcast, this sort of strategy that we were talking about a couple of months ago with distinguished product manager Sherif Monsour.

Ryan Spilken:

Quite.

Matthew Stubblefield:

Of having tools to meet the needs of not just different organizations, but different people in the organization. From one end of the spectrum with significant command and control to the other end of very loose, fast, collaborative, very communication-focused. That strategy seems to be paying off for Atlassian.

Ryan Spilken:

Looks like it. And I really regret not naming this episode "Release the Ripper."

Brenda Burrell:

It's not too late.

Matthew Stubblefield:

You could go back. So they highlight a lot of improvements sort of across the board. They don't just talk about the revenue. They talk about search engine optimization and marketing. Growth channel and marketplace partners of apps. The release of Forge to general availability, which we've talked about in this podcast. A number of employment awards that they've won. And I thought the customer highlights were particularly interesting. So they highlight the growth of customers, particularly Trello, single-user accounts, as more people are signing on for that. The growth of customers above certain sort of revenue points and tiers year on year. So sort of diving into those details. And then the financial highlights are where we get the things that in addition to emojis, I understand. Some spreadsheeting. So all in all, really good balance sheet cash flow figures. Everything's good. It was kind of interesting.

Matthew Stubblefield:

I was on a call last week with our head of product management. He goes, "Whoa, what just happened? Atlassian stocks just shot up. What's going on? Did they buy somebody? Did they sell something?" And it was like, oh, quick Google... Oh. Yep. Yep. "Here's the Q4 report. I bet... Yeah, look that revenue. There it is." So Atlassian continuing to succeed and grow and their continued investments in the cloud, which we're going to talk about the updates soon. We've been talking about cloud for, it's got to be eight years now. Eight or nine years. Even at this point, I forget what it was called something else before cloud and at the moment, I'm forgetting what but... Atlassian has been dedicated to this. They had this vision, they continue to invest in it. Some of the things they talk about in this Q4 report, it's sort of like, "Oh, shouldn't that have been there all along?"

Matthew Stubblefield:

We talk about that sometimes so it's sort of like, "Oh, huh, this is a new feature, right?" At the same time, commitment to agile, commitment to iteration, getting stuff out there, trying to... Getting feedback, making it better. That strategy too, I think is really paying off. So great report here. If you're a shareholder, I'm sure you're quite happy. And we'll link it in the show notes if you want to learn more about it. But all in all, positive indications. One last note on it, there was a threat on the Atlassian subreddit earlier this week of somebody going "Is Atlassian software really going to stick around? Is this really something my company should start using? I don't know. Is this just a fad?" Well Redditers, no, not just a fad. I think it's going to be around. I think they're doing quite well.

Ryan Spilken:

It's all about that ladder. You get them hooked early and then you get them on the comeback. You know. As the company expands, they continue to use your conveniently accessible tools. And speaking of conveniently accessible tools, let's jump into the juicy list of Jira cloud updates beginning with a post on Atlassian community introducing insights for Jira software cloud. Now, is it really introducing insights? We've talked about insights on the podcast a couple of times before, and this is related yet different.

Matthew Stubblefield:

Yeah. It's an insights panel, which like at first blush Ryan was like, "Do we need to talk about this?" And I was like, "Oh, we already talked about this. This is the BitBucket insights, right?" But Ryan correctly pointed out, "No, it is not, it is not BitBucket insights."

Ryan Spilken:

It's related. It's looking at deployment frequency, but it's in a totally different view. It's now in line.

Matthew Stubblefield:

Well, and not just that. But the deployment frequency, which we see in the deployments tab, insights has now also been added to the backlog tab where you see sprint commitment, issue type breakdown. So they've kind of built this insights... Not brand, but like component feature where you get contextual information, depending on what screen you're looking up.

Ryan Spilken:

Yeah. The reporting is just getting more nuanced and easily accessible throughout the whole platform. And it's not available in my project yet.

Matthew Stubblefield:

Oh, of course.

Ryan Spilken:

Of course, of course. And neither are many of the other updates from this set. However, they are still exciting. And if you're using them, I want to know. Because you know, that's pretty cool. Let's start off with the Jira platform.

Brenda Burrell:

Somebody's jealous, isn't he?

Ryan Spilken:

I just...

Matthew Stubblefield:

I would like to get them first. I want to be in that 10% that gets them first. I don't know if anybody at Atlassian's listening, if you feel that.

Brenda Burrell:

If you're listening...

Matthew Stubblefield:

If you could promote our instances, because we got to tell the people. The people want to know, we got to tell them.

Ryan Spilken:

Yeah. And we like playing with toys. Come on, who doesn't.

Brenda Burrell:

There's that.

Ryan Spilken:

Now, the first one that really got my attention was on the Jira platform in general, where for a company-managed project, which I have, if it's a software project, the feature page allows you to just turn features in the project on and off. So if there are aspects of a Jira project you don't want to use and you're not going to mess with and you don't even need to see, bye-bye.

Matthew Stubblefield:

Nice.

Ryan Spilken:

Right. Can't wait. It's just another page on your project administration screen. So there you go. Now in the issue view, which is, they still call it the new issue view. It's the issue view at this point. In the issue view, when you add links from third-party apps, they're going to be grouped together. And all I can say about that is... Sweet. Continuing onto advanced roadmaps for Jira, live plans have been discontinued entirely. We talked about this three weeks or two months sometime ago... Time's a flat circle.

Matthew Stubblefield:

Yeah. It's been a few months now I think. Because they gave really, pretty far advanced notice about this.

Ryan Spilken:

Yeah, it's been a while, but now it's over. You are now into the new view of advanced roadmaps. And lastly, in the Jira platform, you're able to add custom fields to all your screens in Jira. They've introduced a checkbox on the custom field screen association page so that you can add your custom fields to all the screens across your instance. In Jira software, there's only one update. For project pages, instead of having to direct a Jira project to a entire space, they can now be linked directly to a specific Confluence page. If you have a project plan on a specific page, just direct it there and then tie that to your Jira. Happy days.

Brenda Burrell:

Happy days.

Ryan Spilken:

In Jira service management, Atlassian has improved the view of knowledge base articles for the customer in their portal. So when the customer, in order to deflect tickets, when a customer starts typing, they will have better visibility of knowledge base articles that are tied in with your service desk.

Matthew Stubblefield:

And specifically this is to increase the width of knowledge base articles as they're displayed through the customer portal. Which is really key if you are using tables or larger images, maybe a delightful GIF because the width... I now kind of want to go measure how many pixels it is. But I have in my head, it was like 600 or so when you would pop up the knowledge base article.

Ryan Spilken:

Yeah.

Matthew Stubblefield:

No. So especially on larger screens. So being able to have that wider is really nice for displaying some of that information.

Ryan Spilken:

The next feature in Jira service management is managing drafts from within the knowledge base. So drafts or knowledge base articles that are in progress or unpublished. Now you can get an overview of drafts that you've created and are contributing to from within your knowledge base. Lastly, in Jira service management, you're able to now link multiple Confluence spaces to your knowledge base. Hmm. Yeah. Matthew is... You might have felt it in the presence but Matthew is holding his arms above his head in victory. I was a little conflicted. Matthew's excited.

Matthew Stubblefield:

This is so good.

Ryan Spilken:

Yeah, you think?

Matthew Stubblefield:

The only terrible frustrating thing about it is that it's in Cloud and not Data Center.

Ryan Spilken:

Yeah.

Matthew Stubblefield:

Yeah. Because being able to have multiple knowledge bases connected, it makes Confluence management easier in a number of different ways. Both in terms of like creating drafts and versions of articles and connect to them, having multiple teams contributing and not having to change the way those teams are contributing. Maybe decreasing versions of pages across knowledge base. So it's giving some flexibility there that I think is really nice. And then on top of this, agents can... You know, as they kind of came up before, can filter articles by linked spaces. So you can kind of flip through that. So this also gives the potential, and I think this is probably where it will be used most, to have a single support form, but with a bunch of knowledge bases. So instead of "We have right now, I have 20 different Jira service desk customer portal forms to look through. Which one do I pick and where do I go?" You can have a single one with a single field, but as you type in, you get knowledge-based results back to deflect those tickets, and for the end user that is so much easier.

Ryan Spilken:

I have thoughts on this. I have thoughts on...

Matthew Stubblefield:

Dubious. Dubious.

Ryan Spilken:

You had me. The first three-quarters of what you said there, I was like, "Okay, I'm sold." And then the last thing about the single input, right? Because currently with Jira Work Management, that's what I have. My project has a...

Matthew Stubblefield:

Single input.

Ryan Spilken:

Single input. And unless they develop some smarts that allow me to delineate what that ticket is before I see it, at which they don't exist at this point, you have nothing. I have no customer miscibility beyond a very limited scope. So unless they introduce something that allows those tickets to do a little bit of pre triage for me, some automation there, I'm going to be salty.

Matthew Stubblefield:

Have you ever heard of this little app called ScriptRunner, which in which you could create a listener to pick up certain keywords and then apply things like labels or change custom fields.

Ryan Spilken:

Listen, I am a big fan of this company. They're small in the market. Little guys, little scrappy team called Adaptavist putting out this product called ScriptRunner. This young princely gentleman, Jamie Echlin.... What? Brenda.

Brenda Burrell:

Hip.

Ryan Spilken:

Oh, oh, so hip. Yeah, no, I'm a fan, but everybody has a slightly different way of describing things.

Matthew Stubblefield:

Yeah, no, I get what you're saying. Yeah. That's one of the benefits of Jira service management services, the customer portal, where the user doesn't have to select these fields, but depending on which form they pick, then we can set a bunch of stuff automatically. Totally get that. I think sometimes we, the collect of the world, we IT people who run service desks, we go a little overboard with splitting things out into different forms. Just like some companies go overboard with making really complex workflows when really all they need is four statuses.

Ryan Spilken:

In the latest round of Confluence cloud updates, you're now able to resize table columns easily with a distribute columns button. Another one where the team is excited. Yes, absolutely.

Brenda Burrell:

Hands above head.

Ryan Spilken:

Yeah, really nice.

Brenda Burrell:

I spend so much time fussing around with column widths.

Matthew Stubblefield:

Yep.

Brenda Burrell:

Thank you, Atlassian, from the bottom of my heart. That is all.

Ryan Spilken:

Yeah. We'll make sure to include a link to these articles. You'll be able to find how to use these features. It's really easy and straightforward. The new table release feature. Confluence has also had an Android release 1.88.9, Where you can now view and reply to inline comments within the body of pages. So if you're an Android user, you'll be able to get that inline commenting experience. And lastly, I am going to need some help with this, Matthew, because I'm an iPhone guy, but Connie Android 1.70 release notes.

Matthew Stubblefield:

I have no idea. I thought maybe this was for people named Connie who have Android phones and multiple Confluence sites where they may have to switch between them. So yeah, I don't know what the proper noun is there for.

Ryan Spilken:

Yeah. And I don't know why there would be a 1.7 release and a 1.88 release. Does Android run on... If you're on 1.88, is it?

Matthew Stubblefield:

Well, no, that's the version of the app. That's not the version of Android. I kind of wonder if this is a typo. If they meant to say Confluence for Android and somehow typed Connie.

Ryan Spilken:

Is it an Australian thing?

Matthew Stubblefield:

Atlassian mobile team, maybe it's an Australia. Maybe that's what they call Confluence internally. Just call it Connie.

Brenda Burrell:

I wondered if maybe Connie was like a name for the menu where you switch instances?

Matthew Stubblefield:

Hmm. It would be the first I've heard it. Though I have heard that there are multiple names for that menu. Connie is new to me. Anyways, but the actions available in the three dots menu at the top right of the app, to let you switch between multiple Confluence sites without having to log out, which is nice.

Brenda Burrell:

I'm going to call that Connie from here on out. That three dots menu, that's Connie.

Matthew Stubblefield:

We used to call it the burger menu.

Ryan Spilken:

Yeah, the burger menu.

Brenda Burrell:

Burger menu. Three dots

Matthew Stubblefield:

We're just going to call Connie from now on.

Brenda Burrell:

Connie.

Matthew Stubblefield:

Connie, yup.

Brenda Burrell:

Connie.

Ryan Spilken:

And now I regret not naming this episode, Release the Connie.

Matthew Stubblefield:

Well, something that I'm sure Connie would get excited about.

Brenda Burrell:

Whoever she is.

Matthew Stubblefield:

A new feature for cloud product release tracks, I'm so excited about this, this is something that I had talked with Anu at a summit about. She's now the VP of products at Atlassian. Back then she was the product manager for cloud. And we talked about customers struggling with cloud updates rolling out constantly. You know, multiple, sometimes in a single week and enterprises not being able to rely that their software is going to stay the same and make change management very difficult and training. Product release tracks as they're calling them, refers to your cloud products, your applications, and there are three track options to which you can subscribe. The first is bundled. So products in the bundle release track receive the same changes as products on the continuous track. The changes are held back for up to four weeks, added to the bundle, rolled out two weeks later.

Matthew Stubblefield:

So that could be moving a button or a new setting or something. Continuous, you've received changes of features as soon as they become available. Preview, as sandboxes on a pre-release track, get the bundled release track to changes two weeks before they're rolled out with the bundle track. So having these three really nice. You can go to admin.atlassian.com, go to products and release tracks and change your track there. So really nice to see this run out. I think this is a very clever way to go about it. When we talked about it a couple of years ago, there was just sort of going to be the single option of wait four weeks and then you can get it. But having sandbox be separate from bundled, I think is really nice. And then if you want to stay on continuous, you can. So I think a lot of admins probably want to go out and check the setting now, as always willing to in the show notes, but it's pretty easy to find it at admin dot Atlassian. Just go to products and then release tracks.

Brenda Burrell:

After a lot of cool news from the cloud, including the Confluence table with resizing, which had me so excited. We'll shift gears a little bit and talk about Server. There's a new version of Jira Software, 8.18.1. This is chock full of bug fixes. So take a look at it. We'll link to this list of issues in the show notes. The one that has everybody on your podcast excited is the introduction of like and dislike buttons. You can now express your pleasure or displeasure with a comment by pressing like. Super exciting, asked for a long time.

Matthew Stubblefield:

Plus one.

Brenda Burrell:

Plus one. I like this. See what I did there?

Matthew Stubblefield:

Yeah.

Brenda Burrell:

There is a remote code execution in workflow import fix. So this is a security thing. In prior versions, there is a default OSWorkflow configurator class that allows remote attackers to import malicious workflow to execute arbitrary code via a remote code execution vulnerability.

Brenda Burrell:

There is a fixed issue for this in 8.18.1. It blocks the usage of unsafe conditions, validators, functions, and registers that are built into OSWorkflow library and other Jira dependencies. Atlassian made functions or functions provided by third-party plugins not affected by this fix. So there is information about that remote code execution fix.

Brenda Burrell:

A number of things for developers, some commit details missing on development panels on certain issues when sync is performed with GitLab repo. Kind of a big deal. For those of you using DVCS, there's a couple of fixes that make your life a little bit easier. A fixed for disabling or uninstalling advanced roadmaps disables Jira software. I feel like that ones... Again. So it was... There was a fix issued in 8.17.1. There's some additional work that needed to be done on it. A number of things around just some of the agile work that you do, scope change, showing incorrect value, widgets on dashboards, not updating correctly. Video attachments stopped playing on Chrome and safari. A lot of little just quality of life fixes, but there's a lot of them. So if you are administering Jira software on server and data center, go out, take a look at 8.18.1. As I said, we will link to a list of these issues in the show notes and go out there and get them like buttons.

Matthew Stubblefield:

Yeah, it's pretty frequent that I see a comment and I want to indicate I agree or I approve and having the like button is nice. As a callback to our previous episode from two weeks ago, 8.18.0 Had been pulled because it kind of crashed your Jira instance after four hours. So this is the subsequent update where everything should be fine and includes all these other delightful fixes. So 8.18.1 is or should be at least good to go. In Jira service management we have 4.18.1 with its own raft of 35 included stories and bugs. So lots going on here. Some key highlights, some of these do overlap with Jira software. That's often the case. But you know, some that jumped out at me for Jira service mmanagement specifically... The SLA ticking after the configuration has been updated when it should have been paused. That's behavior that... We've been seeing that type of thing for years and it's the type thing we've seen for years related to SLA corruption.

Matthew Stubblefield:

So nice to see we're continuing to invest in that improve. Got some bug fixes for insight to get some JavaScript on some pages. Being able to view the SLA through the customer portal. We talked about that an episode or two ago, some stories and improvements related to that. Being able to mention people in comments and descriptions. Some of these are things that we talked about a couple weeks ago, but then they were in an update that was pulled. So these features are now legit live, which is very exciting. Having that in data center and server. For all the other updates, as Brenda said, some kind of minor quality of life stuff. Some bugs fixed. I think 4.18.1, good update to install if it fits into your update cycle. I always got frustrated at the SLA issue. So seeing bug fixes related to that, I think are particularly good. So check it out. We'll link to the list of bugs and stories that was released on 22nd of July in our show notes.

Brenda Burrell:

And in BitBucket data center and server news, 7.15 was introduced on July 27th as well. Highlights including controlling what happens with source branches when merging pull requests. So this is what I was thinking of earlier. You can set an option to avoid accidentally deleting the source branch branches when merging a pull request. So the branching model page is now going to be named branches. And the default on this will be off meaning that the setting will be defaulted to not delete the source branch when users merge a pull request. I think this will make developers very happy.

Matthew Stubblefield:

I think it's interesting seeing the spreadsheet model where it's different between development and production. I think that's a very nice approach.

Brenda Burrell:

So there is information about this and the page we'll link to in the show notes. There's also some additional reporting into exporting poll request activity, allowing you to export historical poll request. So this file contains information you would see in the activity section of the poll request overview tab and pulls a whole bunch of information that lets you go further back. Changes that happened from before the scope of the report, so you can set up a from date or more than 12 months ago if you did not set a from date are not included. It will increase the export duration. So if you don't need this data, you can choose to exclude it. Some more information about that data pipeline. And you can also now create, if you're an admin on the application, you can now create a repo directly from the admin menu. Repos create repository. Since BitBucket 7.0 pull requests, diffs, wrap lines that are too long, removing the need for horizontal scrolling.

Brenda Burrell:

I prefer that, but you can disable word wrapping in the unified diff if you prefer to have word wrapping them turned off. And as always there's information about... There's an upgrade guide and upgrade matrix so you can kind of prepare before you do an upgrade. Just a few issues solved in 7.15, as far as bug fixes, but some nice things to add in. So if you are admining a BitBucket data center or server, do take a look at the release notes for 7.15 and go ahead and install them if you think it's appropriate.

Ryan Spilken:

And lastly, on the server updates, we've got Confluence 7.12.4, which is simply a bug fix update. The first bug is two synchrony instances started during synchrony restart. And the second is space export fails with the error "couldn't back up database data".

Brenda Burrell:

Well that's problematic.

Ryan Spilken:

Is it the data, the database, or the data in the database?

Matthew Stubblefield:

But the backup one is relatively low priority. You could still do other exports. The synchrony one... Pretty major severity, because that would have a big impact on your system. It was reproduced on Windows, you had to go in and kill the process. So having this fixed is particularly good. They didn't identify whether it was happening on Linux, but theoretically it could. So if you are running your Confluence instance on Windows, and if you have collaborative editing enabled, this is an update you'll want to put in particularly if you're having to do frequently restarts of Confluence or synchrony.

Brenda Burrell:

Last but certainly not least some news from the Atlassian university. Some changes to... So you may be familiar with, if you have four Atlassian certifications, you have achieved a credential called Atlassian certified master. They have changed the phrasing to Atlassian certified expert. It is intended to be more inclusive, understanding that master is vocabulary that really could be replaced and helps move Atlassian toward more accurate and inclusive ways to represent our most accomplished learners as they say. There is also a new Confluence pro skills badge. If you are an Atlassian certified experts or are close to it, to help you achieve that, there will be upcoming changes to certifications for those of you that do hold certifications. A lot of the server certs are going to be retired with server into life. There's no need for certifications on servers. So Atlassian is building out basically migration paths to get you to the cloud credentials if you already hold those server certifications. So I hold two, I think Matthew, you probably hold two, or you hold more.

Matthew Stubblefield:

I think I have... No, I have four, so I am an Atlassian certified expert. I had five and I let one go because I was like, I already got four and I think I have another four or five badges on top of that.

Brenda Burrell:

Yeah. Yeah. So there will be some learning paths available to take the server certifications into the next iteration of what those certifications look like. But for now, just a few changes, stay tuned for additional information in the coming months. And yeah. Lots to look forward to there.

Matthew Stubblefield:

Yeah. And for the partners out there who are listening, you may have gotten notification that Atlassian has launched some new accreditations for partners that you can get. The only thing I want to mention on that is they are delivered through Atlassian's new LMS that they launched last month in July. Also the sort of backend for the new version of training for Jira, their cloud app. And they're using Intellum for that LMS. And just want to say, it's quite nice. I was impressed with some of the content authoring tools that are in there. So Atlassian University, you hope you're enjoying the new LMS. It made the accreditations a little bit more pleasant to get through. I particularly liked the little role-play sort of chat-type exercises or interactions. That was kind of neat, where you pick a conversation response. And so anyways, I think we're going to see some neat things from Atlassian University of certifications going forward as they build use these new tools.

Ryan Spilken:

And that's it for this edition of the Atlassian ecosystem podcast. Thank you so much for joining us. We are really grateful to all of our listeners out there. Be sure to check out the new show from the Adaptavist live podcast network, DevOps decrypted. We'll be linking to that in the show notes as well. As always, make sure you're connecting with us on social at Adaptavist and let us know what want us to talk about or if you want to come on the show, come chat with us. I'm just putting that offer out there. You got something to talk about, we want to hear it. So, we're Brenda Burrell, and Matthew Stubblefield, I'm Ryan Spilken. And this is the Atlassian ecosystem podcast, part of the Adaptavist live podcast network.