11 min read

Transcript: The Atlassian Ecosystem Podcast Ep. 108 - The Long Holiday

Ryan Spilken
Ryan Spilken
15 January 2021 Podcast
Matthew and Ryan discuss the news from Atlassian, including updates to Jira, Confluence, Bitbucket, Trello, and more!

Transcript

Ryan Spilken:

Hello, and welcome to Adaptavist Live, the Atlassian Ecosystem podcast. This is episode 108, The Long Holiday. And to all of you listeners out there, we say welcome back. Who's we, you might ask? Well, I'm your host, Ryan Spilken, and joining me today is the one and only Matthew Stublefield. Welcome back to you, Matthew.

Matthew Stublefield:

Hi. Thank you. Good to see you, Ryan.

Ryan Spilken:

A pleasure, Matthew. It's been so long. Now you were back for the Sipcast, where we daintily sipped, but now 2021 is here and we're ready to talk Atlassian once again.

Matthew Stublefield:

My coffee, no whiskey in it even, and we are ready to go through this. Well, I mean, not a plethora, not an abundance, like a drizzle of updates, like a little-

Ryan Spilken:

Smattering?

Matthew Stublefield:

A smattering of updates from Atlassian. I think they were taking an extended holiday as well, which... Good.

Ryan Spilken:

Yeah. Matthew wrote a blog for internal consumption about how to successfully take a long holiday. And if we ever share that publicly, I think everybody should read it because I don't have any idea how to vacation appropriately.

Matthew Stublefield:

It was the longest amount of time I've ever taken off work. It was eight weeks of paternity leave. And for our viewers at home, the blog post is really about how to make it where when you come back months later, you're not inundated with old business, with a bunch of stuff that stalled or didn't get done. And it just really comes down to planning it ahead, and transitioning things well, and teaching people, so that when you come back you have very little work to do. Much like this podcast, we're coming back to it weeks later and there's almost no stories to talk about.

Ryan Spilken:

Yeah, that's because you prepared so well before you left.

Matthew Stublefield:

You did such a good job with that Sipcast. The last thing was like, "We're just going to take off.

Ryan Spilken:

You guys take care, take it easy. But that's not actually true. We did review all of the Atlassian documentation from the last couple of weeks, and this is what we got. So let's go ahead and jump right in. Yeah?

Matthew Stublefield:

Yeah. Let's do it.

Ryan Spilken:

All right. Let's kick off with the cloud. There are two sets of updates to the cloud, which we will of course link you to here in the show notes. But most of the changes on Jira cloud come in the form of changes to the roadmap function. You are able to do quite a few new changes in the roadmap in the cloud, where you can create issues directly from the roadmap.

Ryan Spilken:

You're able to match those issues to assignee and label filters right off the bat. And you can also edit Jira issues from the advanced roadmaps feature. Also some changes for the Jira cloud administrators out there, or project administrators, where you're able to go to an issue types configuration page from the issue view. So you don't have to, it's basically taking clicks away where you can now get into configure an issues fields right from the issue view by selecting the configure button. So if you're seeing that, we'd love to know how that's working out for you.

Matthew Stublefield:

This reminds me of years ago on server when you could go straight from the issue view to look at the workflow. And that was both a really nice way of visualizing that, showing it to users, but being able to pop in and edit something straight from that if you've got the permission, very nice. I wonder, I've said for a long time and Atlassian has kind of hinted at this, they're looking at simplifying administration in cloud, they've talked about the end of schemes in the future, right? Like really simplifying project config and administration. And this is still getting into that, getting into those existing menus, but this feels like a step in that direction of making the issue management a lot more straightforward.

Ryan Spilken:

I remember being at Summit, maybe 2017.

Matthew Stublefield:

At least two years ago.

Ryan Spilken:

It was 2016 or 2017. And speaking with some of the Atlassians and they were just asking, just like off the record, what do you think? How could we get rid of schemes? And I was like, first of all, you're asking the totally wrong person. And second, here's what I think. It basically just came to giving your backend administrators a lot of mapping options was my idea. I'd love to get rid of schemes, but in order to keep data coherent, you got to be able to do it somehow. So give them those options. Anyway, I'm not saying that my input gave any rise to this because it definitely did not. Finally, if you connect Jira cloud to Bitbucket cloud, you've got more information available to you directly from the insights panel inside deployments view. You get a little bit more information about deployment metrics without having to click. And that's really the big theme, less clicks, more action.

Matthew Stublefield:

I really like on the deployments insights, they've got a little, kind of like a flow chart around deployment frequency. And this is one of the new things added and seeing the sort of bottom graphic of 17 deployments yesterday, which your average was, how frequently things are rolling out, very helpful monitoring tool. And so, I always like, you know this data is being captured, right? You know that all this is back there, but getting to it and seeing it and having it be actionable is challenging. And it's really quick where you can go, typically we're doing at eight, yesterday there were none. What happened? Or there were only two, or suddenly there were 17. Helping keep everybody on the same page is good.

Matthew Stublefield:

So that's Jira cloud. Over in Confluence cloud land, we've had a bit of controversy on the podcast in the past around adding links to pages that don't yet exist. And the monsters that would do that. I have less feelings about this than some, but yeah, the Confluence team keeps adding new possibilities, new adventures for linking in the new editor. So now you can search for pages or blogs in your site in addition to just doing a new URL or recently viewed. So again, server feature been around for a long time. You can search for something, select it. The thing you're searching for must exist. You can't search for something in potentia, but yeah, being able to search. I know for me, I often will open up a bunch of pages and tabs, just so they're in my recently viewed. Because I find that just a convenient way to do it, but yes, search works too.

Ryan Spilken:

I totally see what you're saying there and that's how I've dealt with it in the past. But I bet you with all the smarts that they're trying to lay into the platform, that's going to get much better.

Matthew Stublefield:

The smart search. Yeah. I remember talking about that last year and how they are improving search in Confluence cloud. Hopefully that will come to, I guess, data center now. Not going to come to a server anymore, but yeah. So, improvements to being able to search for content to link, you can also now just create a new page with one click. You can search for templates in the editor or get started on a blank page. I think that's super, super cool. So instead of, in the past, it's been there as a create button and then there's like a little more menu and you decide if you want to select a template there.

Matthew Stublefield:

Now, it sounds like you're going to be able to switch your template while you're editing the page. So the question will be, I was going to say, I have my cloud instance up, but it's Jira. I don't have Confluence cloud, so I haven't played with this, but... But yeah, you start typing in a blank page or you switch templates. It reduces a click, makes it easy to switch. My question is how will it handle existing content? Like, can you switch templates after you type some stuff? So I don't know, maybe I'll set up a Confluence trial and find out.

Matthew Stublefield:

And then browsing templates in any space across the template gallery. You can get there from the global navigation menu to start browsing those for page creation. So that feels sort of like we're not getting rid of the ability to go straight to templates. You don't have to create a page to look at the templates, but because we have made this change, we've now added a new menu for getting the templates. So that is all the cloudy news we've got for you folks.

Matthew Stublefield:

Oh, but wait, I spoke too soon. This is actually older bit of news. This was while we were on holiday, while we were taking an extended holiday. A very nice blog post on the bitbucket.org blog from Max on December 16th. Manual steps in parallel groups available for pipelines. So this was actually one of the highest voted feature requests for Bitbucket cloud. It had 185 votes to be able to manually trigger a step. So you've got a pipeline running with some automated stuff and you could have a step in there that requires clicking a button to be able to run that sort of manual thing in parallel with the automated steps.

Matthew Stublefield:

So, just nice to have that in there. It's not just in the code, but it's visualized very nicely. I like the way that they set up the UI for it, continues to add value to pipelines and Bitbucket cloud above and beyond what we see elsewhere. This may be obvious, but for those who aren't as keyed in, this is not a feature that will be coming to data center because pipelines aren't in data center. So, out of luck there, but that's okay. We'll get to Bitbucket data center 7.9 shortly. First though, Ryan let's take a look at Confluence.

Ryan Spilken:

Let's indeed. Let's take a look at Confluence because on the 7th of January, this year 2021, Atlassian released Confluence 7.10.1. And this looks like a bug fix release. There is one comp server, 60377, reads like a bug, but it's listed as a story. But basically just some repairs to Confluence behavior in Confluence 7.10 with the page properties report now displaying special characters in the page property macro, attachment repairs, plugins velocity module is disabled. So I'm just going to cut that bit and other fixes that will just help your Confluence run better. So of course, if you are experiencing any of these problems, check out the release notes linked in our show notes and then upgrade on staging before you head to server.

Matthew Stublefield:

This is particularly valuable if your Confluence instance is not in English. So the special characters in question are things like, I don't know what it's called above that. I don't think it's called a tilda when it's above a letter, you've got an accent, you've got an umlaut, it's those in page property reports in the heading [inaudible 00:12:12] were broken. So if your Confluence instance is non-English, if your language chooses those accent marks, then this update's for you.

Matthew Stublefield:

So as promised it didn't take long to get to it. There weren't that many Confluence updates. But you know, we've got a process here at Adaptivist Live. We've got an order we like to go in and we want to, even after a holiday, it helps to get back in that routine. We want to stick with that order. So now that we've talked about Confluence, let's take a look at Bitbucket server and data center 7.9. We're probably not going to have to say the server part for too much longer. It'll just be Bitbucket data center. And honestly, most of these upgrades, that's what it is. So the big one being upgrading without downtime. This is something that Atlassian has been talking about working towards for I don't know how long, maybe that same Summit you were talking about earlier, Ryan, at 2017, 2018. It was somewhere back there, zero point upgrades.

Ryan Spilken:

Yeah. It's been around for awhile.

Matthew Stublefield:

So yeah, being able to upgrade for bug and security fixes in your data center, being able to do a rolling upgrade with no downtime, even being able to automate at least part of the process, these are all features that are in Bitbucket data center 7.9. We'll link to those release notes. Server gets a feature as well, along with data center, of helping you prepare for upgrades. So a nice sort of planning menu, planning your upgrade to do some pre upgrade checks, check your method. Just kind of like putting some things together and giving you a download. Which, fun story, back when I was a freshly minted Confluence admin, I loved Confluence. I stored all of our documentation on it, how to do everything under the sun. And then one balmy night, I went to do an upgrade and realized my documentation I do the upgrade on was all on Confluence, which that's super helpful isn't it? Yeah. So, so yeah, here you can not only look at it, but it's got a nice download button. Download the documentation. Don't be like young Matthew.

Ryan Spilken:

Who learned his lessons from him directly. Now don't forget, in the newest version of Bitbucket server and data center, you can now use elliptic curve GPG keys.

Matthew Stublefield:

You don't want to forget that.

Ryan Spilken:

Do you know what those are?

Matthew Stublefield:

You don't want to forget about it though, that's for sure. They're encryption keys supporting specific types. I would guess elliptic curve are probably low impact on your joints and they just help you be healthier longer. It's a type of encryption. I don't know. For those who know though, this is probably good news for you. And hopefully it brings you joy.

Ryan Spilken:

And finally, a little bit of news from Adaptivist. You may remember the big story of last year was the sunsetting of Atlassian server products. Well, there are lots of questions about frankly, how much is this going to cost me at the end of the day? So Adaptivist has released an online cost calculator. Now, of course we can not guarantee you a hundred percent accuracy with this, and there are all sorts of disclaimers for it. But what it does is it gives you the chance to see your pricing if you renewed before the February 2nd deadline, which is coming right up, versus switching to data center versus switching to cloud, and it shows you your options for all of that going forward.

Ryan Spilken:

The price jump to move to data center looks pretty steep right now. There still hasn't been that lower tier that there were some rumblings about the end of last year. So you'll be able to really kind of see where you're going and maybe it could help you decide if you want to lock in your server pricing before February 2nd or not. So we'll include a link to that in the show notes and use it to figure out what your bill's going to look like in the next couple of years.

Matthew Stublefield:

What's cool about it is it's not just the server to data center, but you can select your different products. You've got a bit of a table of that and the sort of the first year price comparison server data center cloud. But then down below, you can click, do I want to migrate to data center or do I want to migrate to cloud and get that summarized. Not just for right now, but with potential discounts, years two and three and four onwards. So you can kind of get that multi-year pricing. So, real slick tool. We'll link to that.

Matthew Stublefield:

Take a look if you're trying to figure this out and feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions, there's a contact form at the bottom. It's really one of those things where if you're going to be on Atlassian for at least a year, lock in your pricing now. Find some way to do that because it's going to save you a bundle. And I mean, we know net present value, the dollars now are going to be worth more than they are in a year or two. That price jump, it's legit. I actually was talking with somebody last week and I said, honestly, when you look at the entire landscape of portfolio management, knowledge management tools, Atlassian still comes out very competitively price wise. But yeah, lock it in before February if you can. Because you know.

Ryan Spilken:

The price is, it's not a joke. So now's a great opportunity. You got about two weeks and change left. Act now. Supplies are limited to unlimited. We can only download it so many times. Well, Matthew, that's it for this edition of Adaptivist Live. That sure went quick, didn't it?

Matthew Stublefield:

Much like my toddler's nap time. This podcast is coming to an end sooner than expected.

Ryan Spilken:

All right, everybody. So welcome back. Thank you for joining us in 2021. We can't wait to inform you on all of the news and updates from around the Atlassian ecosystem for the remainder of this year. And look out for a new edition of Team Titans next week. Make sure that you connect with us on social at Adaptivist. So from Matthew Stublefield, I'm Ryan Spilken and we'll see you next time on Adaptivist Live.

Matthew Stublefield:

There you go. You got there. He got there in the end.

Ryan Spilken:

Eventually.