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February 28, 2019

Everything you need to know about Jira 8.0

NB
Nic Brough 5 minute read

Released by Atlassian earlier this month, Jira Software 8.0 showcases a number of exciting evolutions in user experience, scalability and performance. 

In this blog we'll share our experiences of using Jira 8.0 so far, the implications for both our add-on and services customers, and suggest some recommendations for Jira Server and Data Center customers considering an upgrade.

What's new with Jira 8.0?

Jira 8.0 ushers in a raft of user interface (UI) changes and search improvements that make it much simpler to complete your essential tasks. Here are our highlights:

  • UI improvements in Scrum and Kanban boards - finding the right information is easier than ever with cleaner views that place crucial information directly in front of users.
  • More streamlined email settings - cut down on inbox clutter with the ability to bundle emails and send them at smart intervals. This enables users to focus on the content of their emails, not the quantity sitting in their queue.
  • Goodbye to linked pages count - Jira has dropped the count of pages linked to epics and sprints. This is great news in terms of platform responsiveness and resource savings.  
  • Improved re-indexing - by upgrading Lucene, the search software behind Jira, Atlassian has given Jira's indexing capabilities a massive overhaul. Indexes will be smaller, faster, and perform better over time. This will also improve searching and speed up complex JQL searches considerably.

  • Using sprints when your backlog isn't sorted by rank - Jira 8 allows you to simply right click and add issues into your sprint, even when your board isn't sorted by rank. 

  • Jira Server mobile app - Jira's Cloud app will soon be joined by its long-awaited Server counterpart for Android and iOS, currently in beta mode —  stay tuned!

Meeting the need for speed

What makes these updates really exciting is the impact they have on overall performance improvements in Jira.

By modernising many underlying components of Jira's technology, Atlassian has unleashed the fastest release of the platform yet. This makes it much easier for Jira admins and end-users alike to get more from the platform, faster. 

When directly compared to Jira 7.13 processing speeds at two million issues, the numbers speak for themselves:

  • Viewing boards: 62% faster (Data Center: 60%)

  • Viewing backlogs: 87% faster (Data Center: 87%)

  • Searching with JQL: 33% faster (Data Center: 31%)

  • Browsing boards: 16% faster (Data Center: 22%)

These improvements represent a big step forward for customers running their own installations of Jira. Data Centre customers at enterprise level, meanwhile, will be able to scale more cost effectively due to more streamlined resource usage and higher availability.

Upgrading to Jira 8.0: what to consider

Smaller businesses familiar with frequent upgrades, or those looking to address performance issues, should benefit from a move to Jira 8.0.

However for enterprise customers, this is a big upgrade. The search technology, underlying components, libraries, built-in plugins and servlet container software have all been updated. Whilst all of this has been carefully tested together by both Atlassian and Adaptavist, only real-world usage will prove there are no impacts with your specific system and configuration.

Our own internal testing has not uncovered any significant problems, but because of these factors, any decision to upgrade must be carefully evaluated based on a balance between three aspects:

  • Your requirements to use the new features in Jira Software 8
  • Your need to exploit the performance benefits of the upgraded software
  • Your appetite for deploying a thoroughly tested but not yet widely-used piece of software

We recommend that customers upgrade to Jira 8 for production use only after significant investment in testing with their own real-world production load and configuration. We anticipate an Atlassian Enterprise release of Jira 8 and suggest those requiring the highest levels of availability and support to wait for that. The current Atlassian Enterprise release of Jira Software is version 7.13.

What Jira 8.0 means for your Adaptavist apps

As an Atlassian Top Marketplace Vendor and the largest independent app vendor, we have been extensively testing Jira Software 8.0 for some time through a combination of Atlassian's Early Access Programme, beta versions, and release candidates. This is to ensure that the release meets our needs for stability, performance and functionality of our add-ons, and the early signs are encouraging. It's our goal to make sure our apps will not be a blocker to upgrading to Jira 8.0, and we have implementing a rigorous testing process to ensure the highest quality and performance. 

Overall, teams using Adaptavist apps on Jira 8.0 on Server and Data Center are seeing a considerable increase in speed, performance and reliability. For example, advanced JQL searches for ScriptRunner for Jira, and the loading of agile boards for large enterprise customers (with 10,000+ issues) are now 31% faster in Jira 8.0. We'll be announcing more improvements and customer benefits for Jira 8.0 in the months to come.  

Adaptavist apps that are now Jira 8.0 compatible: 

Adaptavist apps that will soon be Jira 8.0 compatible: 

To upgrade your apps to Jira 8.0, simply go to "Manage apps" in your admin panel and follow the upgrade instructions.

Next steps

The release of Jira Software 8.0 is very welcome news. It delivers huge performance improvements and solutions to a number of long-standing challenges with Jira, and forms a fantastic foundation for helping teams work effectively together. 

If you'd like to talk to us about making the most of this opportunity and plan your upgrade, or if you have any further questions about Jira 8 and Adaptavist apps, speak to your account manager or contact us here.