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Transcript: The Atlassian Ecosystem Podcast Episode 115 - Team-Minus Five... Four... Three... Two...

Ryan Spilken
Ryan Spilken
23 April 2021 Podcast
Adaptavist Live Podcast Banner

Show Notes

With #AtlassianTeam21 approaching next week, Matthew and Ryan dive into a hearty collection of updates from across the ecosystem, including...

Atlassian Cloud Updates, 5-19 April:
https://confluence.atlassian.com/cloud/blog/2021/04/atlassian-cloud-changes-apr-12-to-apr-19-2021
https://confluence.atlassian.com/cloud/blog/2021/04/atlassian-cloud-changes-apr-5-to-apr-12-2021

Jira 8.16.1:
https://confluence.atlassian.com/jirasoftware/issues-resolved-in-8-16-1-1055950844.html

Jira Service Management 4.16.1:
https://confluence.atlassian.com/servicemanagement/issues-resolved-in-4-16-1-1055950850.html

Confluence 7.12:
https://confluence.atlassian.com/doc/confluence-7-12-release-notes-1044092467.html

Bitbucket "Data Center and Server 7.12":
https://confluence.atlassian.com/bitbucketserver/bitbucket-data-center-and-server-7-12-release-notes-1044112744.html

Introducing Point A:
https://www.atlassian.com/point-a

Atlassian acquires ThinkTilt:
https://techcrunch.com/2021/04/19/atlassian-acquires-thinktilt/

Thanks for listening. Connect with us on social @Adaptavist.

Be sure to join us for Adaptavist Team Talks, going on now!

Transcript

Ryan Spilken:

Hello and welcome to Adaptavist Live, the Atlassian Ecosystem Podcast. This is episode 115; Team-minus five, four, three, two. I'm your host, Ryan Spilken, and joining me today is Matthew Stublefield. Matthew, good afternoon, sir.

Matthew Stublefield:

Good to see you, Ryan.

Ryan Spilken:

Always a pleasure. It looks like we have a good chunk of news to cover from various sources, and there's even a hot GIF alert, whoa. And this all one week away from Team 21. So let's begin as we always do in the Atlassian cloud, where on the Jira platform, there are changes that are coming to the roadmap. Atlassian says that you can say adios to the context switching and extra clicks and give a warm welcome to current and future sprints on the roadmap. Now, initially, we were a little confused because we thought, oh, now you can schedule sprints in the backlog, but they said roadmap.

Matthew Stublefield:

Yeah, I was confused because they linked to a couple of pieces of documentation, and we'll note, this is on the blog post changes April 12th to April 19th. We are recording this on April 20th, but it's flagged as both rolling out and new this week. It links to two pieces of documentation, both of which show creating future sprints in the backlog, not in the roadmap, and in my own Jira cloud instance, when I go to the roadmap, there's no way to view sprints or create sprints or do anything with sprints.

Matthew Stublefield:

So either the writer of these release notes mixed up the words backlog and roadmap, I legitimately could not tell you right now if creating future sprints was there in the backlog before I think it was. But now I have that, like that doubt-

Ryan Spilken:

That nagging voice.

Matthew Stublefield:

Or it just hasn't been rolled out to me yet, which is probably more likely, so right now you can view weeks, months, and quarters on the roadmap. My guess is there's going to be a sprints toggle, and hopefully, if they make it where you can schedule it through the roadmap, they make it easy. Because like right now you've got to set a due date in order to do something on the roadmap. You actually have to edit the epic or the story and set due dates for it instead of dragging it into a spot or setting a period of time. So like, if we can see sprints on the roadmap and shift things around, that'd be pretty sweet.

Ryan Spilken:

Yeah, we did a little screen share and it was not exactly all that the release notes had pointed out, but again, it could be coming to you. We'd love to hear if you've got that feature, let us know on social, @adaptavist.

Ryan Spilken:

Speaking of features that Matthew also doesn't have, we found in Atlassian Community, there's a new update to the list view in the issue navigator where you can just edit your issues directly from that view with dropdown menus for the status and presumably other fields from that view. You don't have to open the issue to edit what's within it, and that's a really nice quality of life working. They claim that it's five times faster. Matthew, if you had that feature, would you be able to perform five times faster?

Matthew Stublefield:

I mean maybe, what we saw when we were trying to look at it earlier was that I kind of had it through that three-dot more immediate, I can change status there for instance, but visually it doesn't give you the lozenge and it doesn't give you the coloring, so it's a little bit harder to do than what they show in the GIF of being able to click in the cell itself, like in the column.

Matthew Stublefield:

If I needed to edit a bunch of issues, I would do a bulk change instead of going down a list and doing them one at a time, but you know that you need them to be different statuses or something like maybe I would edit stuff through the list view. I know I would love to be able to modify summary that way, and if they make it where I can click into the summary and edit it, it's a little unclear, they refer to being able to edit issue operations, which in Jira lingo an issue operation is create, edit, and view, so I don't know.

Matthew Stublefield:

Again, I feel like there's a bit of a disconnect between who I suspect are the marketeers that are writing these release notes and blog posts and the engineers who are making them, so when they say issue operation, they probably don't mean create, edit, and view in this context, but I don't quite know what they mean. I think they mean changing status.

Ryan Spilken:

Well, yeah, and the way that the GIF, that hot GIF I was talking about, the way the GIF illustrates it, it does look like you should be able to click into the cell and edit any given field, but the language [crosstalk 00:04:56].

Matthew Stublefield:

But only when they click into a status.

Ryan Spilken:

True, true.

Matthew Stublefield:

Only when they click into a status, so I'm hesitant.

Ryan Spilken:

Yes, a little skeptical.

Matthew Stublefield:

I would love you to be able to click summary though. So, Atlassian, if we can hook that up...

Ryan Spilken:

Yeah, let us know. Let us know what's going on there because we would sure like to be able to do some editing in the issue view. I also spotted a new lozenge in the release notes for coming soon. The first feature to get this coming soon lozenge is for the new issue view on the Jira platform where you'll be able to save time configuring multiple projects by copying field layouts, so interesting.

Matthew Stublefield:

Is this a new, new issue view because we've had a new issue view. Which new is this?

Ryan Spilken:

It's the so new, new issue.

Matthew Stublefield:

How new is it? When will then be now, Ryan?

Ryan Spilken:

Soon, in your issue view. This is interesting because a field layout is not a field scheme anymore. That's very deliberate, that's a different word. That means something, schemes are changing. The air, I can feel it.

Matthew Stublefield:

It feels like what they've done is they're abstracting a little bit like the scheme is still there, but you're going to have a different method of interfacing with it, and it's surfacing that. It's removing a few clicks to get to it.

Matthew Stublefield:

We were trying to figure out what different buttons did earlier in our great wisdom and expertise. Ryan was like, "I'll click on that configure there. Maybe that's what makes the roadmap work. Maybe then we can do it." And it was actually changing the field layout for epics, right? [crosstalk 00:06:38] way to just copy that from one issue type to another or something like that, what you're really doing is a scheme association, but you're doing it in a much more intuitive manner, which is really nice.

Ryan Spilken:

Well, they say that more specifically in Jira Software Cloud, an issue layout will be able to be copied to other projects that use the same screen, and in Service Management Cloud, request types layout can be copied to other request types that use the same screen. So, yeah, interesting. I look forward to seeing that in action when it actually rolls out new this week ASAP.

Ryan Spilken:

On Confluence Cloud, and this feature I hear is exciting people in the Atlassian Community, getting pumped about controlling when your page or blog post gets published. That's right, so when you want to schedule that release of your brand new blog, about your new process, you can do that. A page or blog needs to be published at the right moment, right? To coincide with a project start, a product release, or a company announcement, so now no more calendaring, no more sticky notes. You just hit the publish button under the three-dot menu to the right of create. No notifications go out, nobody can see it.

Matthew Stublefield:

That's nice.

Ryan Spilken:

And it will have a little lozenge that indicates publish as scheduled when you look at the page.

Matthew Stublefield:

Yeah, I don't know how many times I've set permissions on a page because I don't want to publish it yet, and I just have to go in and remove those restrictions.

Matthew Stublefield:

I was attending the Netherlands ACE, the Atlassian Community Event earlier today, which included Natalia Baryshnikova, she's the Head of Product Management for the Confluence Experience and a really positive reception, both on this feature, the scheduled publication of Confluence pages, also an expansion of emojis coming to Confluence and the ability to have more options there.

Ryan Spilken:

Now, Matthew, you told me about a speaker at the ACE who had a particular use case for them, because look let's face it, I love emojis and I think it's a fun way to communicate. but I haven't really considered their productivity aspect, and Matthew heard a really interesting use case. Could you share that?

Matthew Stublefield:

Yeah, one of the presenters at the ACE was demonstrating some of the Confluence pages they use for their product management group, I think it was. Because they were discussing feature discussions and work that they were going to do, and they would create a table with a few different columns for emojis, and that was sort of how they would vote on things. It was how they reacted to these ideas.

Matthew Stublefield:

One of the challenges he had was that there were very few available in Confluence. I've experienced this, as well. I like to use the green checkmark and the little red X and whatnot, but that there just aren't very many images to use, so if you need a bit more nuance or you need to communicate a scale, it's hard to do that visually.

Matthew Stublefield:

He was really excited to see these more options, I think both because it creates more opportunity for scale. But one of the things we're seeing in the design world, particularly with emojis, I'm seeing this in Slack, is creating more opportunity for diversity and inclusion. Having things be different colors, for instance, and more representative of the diversity, more connected to an individual personally. We didn't get a lot of detail, but there was a screenshot of just probably 150, 200 emojis. I don't know exactly what's coming to Confluence, but really positive reception from a lot of people there of different ways they can use these to facilitate communication.

Ryan Spilken:

Did you happen to notice the party wizard?

Matthew Stublefield:

I did not. I did not notice that. I mean, you can always attach something to a page, but I don't think party wizard was going to be one of the Confluence defaults, unfortunately.

Ryan Spilken:

Look, if we have any members of the cult of party parrot at Atlassian, you've got to hook us up, guys. I need the wizard.

Matthew Stublefield:

Natalia, if you're listening to this, give it a think, please, party wizard.

Ryan Spilken:

Yeah, just a little bit. Finally, in Confluence Cloud, you're now able to use anchor macros in the new editor. You'll be able to add a target to a page or a blog so that a link can be created that jumps to that part of the page. We've all known what anchor macros have done for a long time, and now in the new editor, you can use them, too.

Matthew Stublefield:

Exiting the Cloud and coming back to a smooth landing at a Jira airport near you, 8.16.1 Jira software has been released as a point release, with just a few bug fixes. I think the key one that I want to highlight is deleting a custom field gives a data center license required error. If you're running Jira software 8.16.1 with a data center license, but you're running it as a single node non-clustered DC, which is an ability that Atlassian added last year, and you try to delete a custom field in 8.16, you get an error that the license is required.

Matthew Stublefield:

There is a workaround. We'll link to the release notes here so you could either use that workaround or upgrade to 8.16.1. A couple of other bugs fixed, as well as adding the ability to have options to disable a survey and mobile app links from the batch notification email, so if you are sending notification emails to users and you don't want them to have those links, disable it. But real, real small things here at 8.16.1.

Ryan Spilken:

Jira Service Management coming at you with version 4.16.1. Clearly, their release cycles are locked in.

Matthew Stublefield:

Though, interestingly, as a difference here, when we look at the Jira issue macro on this page, like two-thirds of them say waiting for release or in review, even though it was supposedly released today.

Ryan Spilken:

I was about to say, are these issues actually done and they just haven't closed them, or are they actually not going to roll those features out? How does that work?

Matthew Stublefield:

Because it is today. It says released 20th of April. It's the 20th of April today when we're recording, is it releasing an hour from now or is this going to roll?

Ryan Spilken:

I mean, why would they make-

Matthew Stublefield:

So many mysteries, Atlassian. There's so much we don't know.

Ryan Spilken:

As Matthew pointed out to me, the two that are actually marked as closed overlap from Jira 8.16, so unclear if these Jira Service Desk issues are actually included in this release or not.

Matthew Stublefield:

I would like to think, I don't know what I would like to think. I don't know which is better, that yes they are, but they didn't close them or because that suggests not managing your release very well or that the release is going out without these, which is fine. In which case they just didn't update the fixed version. Either way, it really should have been visible in Release Hub, so much like the Jira Cloud mysteries of earlier in this podcast, maybe these things are rolling out and maybe they're not.

Ryan Spilken:

These teams are putting in a lot of hard work leading up to Team and we are sure that there's going to be some exciting new stuff coming right around the corner, so we don't want to bust their chops too hard, but mysteries!

Matthew Stublefield:

4.16.1, take a look. If you're getting any of these errors, we would love for you to install the upgrade and see if the errors are fixed and let us know because we don't know if the bugs are fixed or not.

Matthew Stublefield:

The Confluence team, on the other hand, firing on all cylinders, 7.12, a whole host of features and bugs and resolved issues for Confluence Data Center. You can unlock some data and insights about your site. This provides a way to create what they're calling a data pipeline, exporting the current state of Confluence through the REST API, and then being able to connect that up to a business intelligence platform. I think this is super cool, effectively it would let you build your own real-time dashboards around Confluence data and performance, or what people are doing, so really, really neat.

Matthew Stublefield:

Some improvements to diagnostic information is included in thread dumps for both data center and server, as well as fixing some bugs about page history, versions, property reports, connection to Azure PostgreSQL, so if you're using my assumption is this is Postgre hosted on Azure, so if you're a Microsoft Azure customer this will probably be interesting to you.

Matthew Stublefield:

Just a few other things, most of them are fairly minor, but all good ones too. I think 7.12, definitely one you want to look at it if you're using Office macros or embedding different things or running into any sort of JavaScript errors or team calendar errors, check this one out. All the issues appear to be closed. Now, in their defense though, this release came out on the 13th of April, so they've had another week to make sure all the issues are done.

Ryan Spilken:

Also under interesting communication choices, we have updates for Bitbucket Data Center and Server 7.12 release notes, a little bit of a different naming convention on these release notes.

Matthew Stublefield:

Mm-hmm (affirmative), flipped around.

Ryan Spilken:

For Data Center, you're able to now configure multiple IDPs using SAML and OpenID Connect configuration. The feature is also available and we have covered this for Jira 8.16 and Jira Service Management, as well. You're now able to disable the basic authentication in Data Center and Server. I think we covered this on the last podcast for the other products, as well, didn't we?

Matthew Stublefield:

Yeah, yes.

Ryan Spilken:

So they're just bringing it in line with the other-

Matthew Stublefield:

Well, actually, when we were talking about it on the last podcast, so there are some differences here. When we were talking about it on the last podcast, we're talking about it in Cloud, being able to add multiple effectively user directories to your Cloud instance, which was new. Being able to have multiple identity providers on server and data centers has been the case for a long time.

Matthew Stublefield:

Why this is in the release notes here, I think it's partly because we're talking about Bitbucket Data Center, being able to have multiple IDPs in SAML and OpenID. This is something that was added to Data Center on Jira and Confluence a long time ago, but it's just getting to Bitbucket now. As you know, the call-out of Bitbucket Data Center and Server is a bit new instead of just saying server. In fact, the URL still has it as just Bitbucket Server.

Matthew Stublefield:

Answering one of the questions that has been out since Atlassian's announcement that they were killing off Server last year was, so where's Bitbucket headed? Where's Bitbucket Data Center? Is that a thing? The assumption was, yes. We've known Bitbucket Data Center. It's it's been out there for purchase and whatnot. It's still like a little hazy because there weren't a lot of differentiating features. It looks like they're starting to add some of those in. Bamboo, still just server pricing, I guess. It's just Bamboo. There is no server or CC split there, so still waiting to see if there's going to be a Bamboo Data Center or if it's just sort of going to stay Bamboo.

Ryan Spilken:

That'd be interesting.

Matthew Stublefield:

You can't see my hand gestures, I'm realizing.

Ryan Spilken:

To our viewers, it was a good one. You missed a classic.

Matthew Stublefield:

Yeah, sorry viewers. I realize this communication, it's lacking. You're only getting about 20% of it right now.

Ryan Spilken:

Also in Bitbucket Data Center and Server 7.12, in the pull request div, you can now expand the context button from either the upward or downward direction and to reduce loading time, you'll also have control over all lines, expanding by limiting them to 25 at a time. When commenting on a pull request, you can now take advantage of a new formatting toolbar that's in the editor. That means you can bold, italic, put in-line code in your code, yo dog, and strike through with the click of a button or a keyboard shortcut, yay. Finally, they've also added support for running Git.2.31 for Server, as well. You'll find links to this and all of the other release notes that we're discussing in our show notes.

Matthew Stublefield:

I had a moment there worrying that we were just totally dropping the ball and not doing a good job here, so I went out and looked up Bamboo's release notes where the last one was 23rd of November, 2020. So, I guess we're doing okay, Ryan. We haven't lost that one at least.

Ryan Spilken:

Oh man, I thought we were slipping.

Matthew Stublefield:

Yeah, I was worried for a moment. I was like, oh my God, maybe everything has changed. That's still good. But something that is changing is Atlassian, sometime in the last two weeks, since the last podcast announced Point A with this tagline, where good ideas become amazing products.

Matthew Stublefield:

Point A is presumably a project or a code name, and it's a collection of teamwork tools, some of which we've talked about on the podcast before, like Team Central, which feels to me like the previous concept with the home view or it's pulling things together. There's Jira Work Management.

Ryan Spilken:

Oh yeah, we've discussed the Jira Work Management, as well. That's the first place where I saw them dabbling with updating fields in a column in a list view, so those are connected.

Matthew Stublefield:

True, yeah, and I know the teams I work with we're really excited to get our hands on these and we think that it's going to simplify things a lot. There's a lot of things we do around building out epics and stories and roadmaps that then feed into business cases and trying to look at resource needs and sort of justification on different things. Team Central is actually going to make tracking the success of that. After you make the business case and you get approval and you move forward, being able to see, are we on track? Are we doing it? Team Central is going to really help with that.

Matthew Stublefield:

There are some new things on deck though for Point A that I'm really excited about. One that's called Compass. It's in alpha, just marked as coming soon. All the information we have is in a paragraph on the page, discover and assess your software, the teams that produce it in a single trusted place. Understand your engineering output, teams that support them, and use insights and best practices to improve them.

Matthew Stublefield:

That is a beautiful two sentences. I'm curious if it happens. But one of the things that I'm just increasingly... I mean, this isn't like news, it's a thing I'm aware of, but I feel it deeper and deeper in my soul every week is that we need much better tighter, complete connection and collaboration between every team involved with a product. That's not just dev ops. It's not just engineering and design, but it's getting engineering, and UX, and product management, and marketing, and support, and education with the tech writers. All of us need to be really collaborating and working together in this constant feedback cycle and collaboration cycle. I'm wondering if Compass is going to give us a way to look at that when it talks about the teams that support them.

Matthew Stublefield:

Then the other feature which I've joined the waitlist for is called Jira Product Discovery. The paragraph here is really one sentence, build what matters with a tool that helps product managers create great products by rallying teams around priorities, from discovery through delivery. This gets to that same vision I have of all of these teams where it doesn't work for the product manager to try to just figure it all out themselves and bring this idea forward. It really has to be a team working together.

Matthew Stublefield:

My hope is Point A is going to start addressing this and pulling it all together. Honestly, one of the conversations I've been having with a lot of different people is the value that Atlassian provides or the power that Atlassian provides when compared with its competition. Everybody's having these conversations. Now that Atlassian's killing Server, people are going to be leaving. They're going to be leaving. They're going to be going to something else, and I go, man, there is nothing else out there that brings your developers and your business users into the same place where they can be working on the same thing, having a shared vocabulary, a shared view, getting all on the same page, knowing what's going on, collaborating and contributing together. These tools seem to drive that further and add more to it, so I'm really excited to see them.

Ryan Spilken:

Even with prices changing, it's still considerably below entry-level on some of the old blue-chip, like IBMs, HPs, et cetera.

Matthew Stublefield:

Not just that, but where there is comparable pricing. If you look at a user-to-user Cloud price, for instance, you go, ah, really Monday.com is about the same price as Jira, but Monday doesn't have the full suite of utilities. When you have to buy those other things and then integrate them with Monday, it ends up costing the same or more. I think Atlassian still has a good leg to stand on for competition against others and GitHub, which does a lot of things that say, Jira plus Bitbucket does and Confluence, for that matter. There's Wiki, too. But my impression is it's attractive to developers. If you've got to get your marketers and get your finance team using the same toolset, it doesn't quite deliver.

Matthew Stublefield:

I'm really excited about Point A. I'm a little worried about the join-the-waitlist approach. I still feel burned by Stride, which was like two years of waiting but I'm excited by the three sentences we have to read on these things. I'm really looking forward to really getting deep into Work Management and Team Central.

Ryan Spilken:

It seems like they are inviting users into their innovation plans. They're really looking to get feedback on these products. They're looking to put that rubber to the road and get that immediate feedback, so if you're listening to this podcast, there's a really good chance that they want you to be a part of it because you're paying attention to what's going on, so sign up for Point A.

Matthew Stublefield:

Yeah, and there is a link at the bottom right of the Point A page where you can join a community group to participate in this. They've got walkthroughs on here. They've got some additional things and small so far, not a lot of activity, but I think it's going to grow.

Ryan Spilken:

It will probably be a big part of next week's Team 21. We'll probably be hearing about that in Team 21.

Ryan Spilken:

Finally, on this week's edition of the podcast with Team rapidly approaching, I'm sure we're going to hear a whole lot about this next week. Atlassian has acquired ThinkTilt, the makers of no or low-code form builder, Proforma. All I have to say about this is I wonder what tier of Cloud you're going to have to be on to get access to it.

Matthew Stublefield:

That's a good question because dynamic form creation obviously drives tremendous value in Jira Service Management, and it makes it a lot easier to work with. Atlassian has had a track record though, of these becoming premier features, so you have to have that upper subscription level to get access to it. That wouldn't shock me either.

Matthew Stublefield:

The model I keep expecting them to have is you can be a regular customer, not premier, but then sort of like an à la carte basis. I want to add Proforma, like you would any other add-on, right? I'm going to add this. I'm not going to pay for the full premier, which gets you a whole bunch of stuff. I think that would be worthwhile.

Ryan Spilken:

Like when Jira software was just a plug-in.

Matthew Stublefield:

Right, yeah that's a fair point. You're probably right. I would like them to do that. I don't think they're going to, I think it's going to be premier and I think it's going to be bundled in it at the premier tier.

Ryan Spilken:

Okay, all right. Well, it's a fantastic tool. I have seen demos of proforma before. It gets positive reviews amongst Adaptavist chatter, so good for them. I look forward to hearing about Atlassian's plans for the future there in Team 21.

Ryan Spilken:

That's it for this edition of Adaptavist Live. Be sure to tune in next Friday for a special edition, where we cover what went on at Teams and present some big news from Adaptavist ourselves, as well. If you want to talk with us before then, be sure to get ahold of us on social, @Adaptavist. For Matthew Stublefield, I'm Ryan Spilken and we'll see you next time on Adaptavist Live.