Skip to main content

Transcript: The Atlassian Ecosystem Podcast Ep. 111 - Looking Under The Hood

Ryan Spilken
Ryan Spilken
26 February 21
Adaptavist Live Podcast Banner

Show Notes

Some news with hefty implications for the future sends hosts Matthew and Ryan down to ye olde horseless carriage garage to peer under the Atlassian hood. Articles covered in this episode include:

Atlassian Cloud Updates, Feb. 8 - 22:

Confluence 7.11.1:

Bitbucket 7.10.1:

TEAM Central BETA:

New Trello:

Cloud Extensibility Updates:

Confluence Cloud Macro Browser Updates:

Atlassian Security Certifications Update:

Jira Tips and Tricks Webinar:


Ryan Spilken: Hello and welcome to Adaptavist Live, the Atlassian Ecosystem podcast. This is episode 111, and we're looking under the hood. I'm your host, Ryan Spilken, and joining me today is Matthew Stubblefield. Matthew, are you ready to pull this old horseless carriage into ye oldie garagie, and give her the once over?

Matthew Stublefield: You know, I've had my caffeine, I've had my pastries. I am ready for the podcast.

Ryan Spilken: Oh, man. Pastries are definitely missing from my lineup today, but-

Matthew Stublefield: You got to fuel up, you got to fuel up.

Ryan Spilken: We noticed that looking at over today's articles, that they're a little deep, a little chewy, a lot of in the weeds.

Matthew Stublefield: Yeah it's sort of like, it's not exactly behind the scenes because you [crosstalk 00:01:00] can see it. We're going to link to the stuff, but it's good to know. We wanted to give you all a heads up about it.

Ryan Spilken: But as is the case with any good inspection, we're going to start with the surface news, and what's more surface than Atlassian cloud? That metaphor, whoa.

Matthew Stublefield: What are you trying to say, Ryan?

Ryan Spilken: I have no idea. We're reviewing changes to Atlassian cloud from February 8th to the 22nd. We are recording on February 23rd. And for the Jira platform, the reminder is out that from March 31st, all users will be moving to the new issue view in the Jira cloud products. This has been communicated several times, but there is a new notification up on the page that you'll see in the show notes. And remember it's coming. If you don't like it, get your comments in now.

Matthew Stublefield: Though it's worth noting, even if you don't like it, Atlassian has stated shortly after the 31st, they'll be removing access to the oldest issue view. So it is time to make peace with the new issue view. There are some improvements, and they'll continue making improvements, and changes, but this is coming. If you have invested in Jira cloud, you will be on the new issue view probably in April, and certainly by May.

Ryan Spilken: Well, not only are they changing things, sometimes they're changing things back. Because in the new issue view, field tabs are now back on the left-hand side. So Atlassian is listening to the comments that said that moving those tabs was maybe not the best bet, and they have replaced them. You're also able to manage and edit portal groups, and request types faster inside of the service desk function. Support for third-party repositories and marketplace app integrations will allow you to view code repositories with your Jira project and see third-party information as well as manage your third-party app integrations and more. And finally for the general Jira platform, in the next generation projects, custom fields are collapsed in the advanced issue search, which I thought was just going to be JQL. But I guess the advanced issue search in the cloud is no longer that. You've got fields to check and uncheck, and your custom fields from next-gen projects are now found in the advanced issue search.

If you want to try that out, select search, and then choose advanced search for issues, and then use the more dropdown to look for your fields. Over in Jira software, for the roadmap, you can now drag and drop your story-level issues. So while you're in the roadmap, you can just click and drag to move things to a new epic, or adjust the issues rank and its current epic, move it to a new one. So on and so forth. Designed to make roadmap maintenance, a total breeze. Does that feel breezy to you, Matthew?

Matthew Stublefield: You know, it's something that people have asked for, for a long time, and when back in JIRA portfolio land, that's like V2, it was always a bit perplexing why you couldn't make changes to things like story rank very easily through modifying things like Portfolio. So this type of functionality in advanced roadmaps is very, very nice. That tighter integration, like we talked about at the start of the year between software, and advanced roadmaps.

Ryan Spilken: Yeah sounds great.

Matthew Stublefield: And also worth noting, I'm mistakenly saying advanced roadmaps, but then this actually isn't an advanced roadmaps feature this is just roadmaps.

Ryan Spilken: Straight up roadmaps.

Matthew Stublefield: Right?

Ryan Spilken: Yep, that is what according to the notes, this is not advanced roadmaps.

Matthew Stublefield: We should call it that from now on. We should just call it straight-up roadmaps.

Ryan Spilken: Straight-up roadmaps.

Matthew Stublefield: Straight-up roadmaps and advanced roadmaps. Yeah.

Ryan Spilken: I'm sure there's a market for someone looking for straight-up roadmaps in the Atlassian ecosystem. App developers, you're welcome. I'll give you that title for free, or will we give them that title for free? I don't know.

Matthew Stublefield: You can do whatever you want. Ryan. You're the host.

Ryan Spilken: Well finally in JIRA software cloud, the last edition of the podcast, you may remember that we discussed visualizing deployment information in a single JIRA project. That has now been extended to allow visualization across all of your JIRA projects. So you can turn on deployments at a wider scale now in JIRA software cloud. And last but not least in the Atlassian cloud user space, on confluence premium administrators will now be able to archive up to 500 pages with a single action called bulk archive, which can be found in your spaces sidebar. That's it for the cloud.

Matthew Stublefield: So let's dive into a server real quick. We've got confluence 7.11.1. So in the last podcast, we talked about just the whole bevy of improvements to team calendars. I haven't seen some team calenders love in a long, long time, and that was not all the last release was about, but that was a good chunk of it. And seven., it's a kind of team calendars bug fix week. So released on 18th of February. If you're a big team calendars user, you probably want to go ahead, and grab this update to fix a handful of bugs related to [Caldav 00:06:25], or calendar reminders, parsing dates, that sort of thing. No JIRA server data center release notes to speak of this week, but we do have some news from Bitbucket data center, and server. Also real slim, 7.10.1 is out. A couple of bug fixes, not too big a deal, but there is a privilege escalation vulnerability fixed in this release.

This affects the Bitbucket, if you're running it on a windows server. So if you're on Linux, presumably this is not so much an issue for you in a wide range of versions. So fixed versions include 6.10.9, which was a long-term support release 7.6.4. Also LTS, and 7.10.1. Now the vulnerability here, take a look, see if it's concerning to you. It is ranked as high severity, but the attack factor is local. So if you're in a pretty secure data center, hardly anybody has access to the box. Probably not too big of a concern, but if somebody can get access high, high impact on confidentiality, integrity, availability, and this allows for multiple privilege escalation vulnerabilities. So take a look at that upgrade, and keep your... Not just your Bitbucket, but your server and your network more secure.

Ryan Spilken: And now moving on underneath the hood. The first thing that we would like to call attention to, is a new function coming to the cloud called Team Central. Now, this claims that it's going to take the static out of status reporting. But status reporting has always been one of the big selling points to JIRA, right? That was one of the things that we talked about constantly, was if people are... If you have your issues updated routinely, and everything's where it should be, and people are communicating, and using the tools, status updates should be a breeze, you should be able to pull that information out, right? I'm wrong though, because now there's more static in status reporting. How did dura not solve it in the first place?

Matthew Stublefield: Well, in these pages, so Team Central gives a new UI. It's pulling everything together into this concept that Atlassian introduced a few years ago called Home, which some of our listeners may recall. A new take on it. It does look quite nice in the cloud. It pulls together into a patient's... Kind of a confluence-looking page, or a Wiki-looking page with pulling together project data, and whatnot. I was talking to Ryan before the podcast. I'm in a place of deep cynicism right now, when it comes to stats reporting. We've always known that one of the challenges is the data has to be right to begin with, people have to be updating their tickets fairly, typing in good data, and you can influence this with your configuration.

The challenge I'm running into more and more, and it's not a problem that can really be solved by software. I think that's a big weakness here, of you see features like this, and you might think to yourself, "Ah, at long last, all of our problems will be solved. We can cancel all of our meetings, we can look at these status pages, we're all going to get it." And the big problem is, is the human. And it's communication between teams.

Ryan Spilken: Every time.

Matthew Stublefield: Every time those humans. Those damned dirty apes. There's a ton of research out there that indicates that the biggest consumption of time in an organization is between teams. It's one team understanding another team, their perspective, their vision, what they're working on, the language that they use, how they communicate something, and more, and more I'm seeing that's where these types of status update tools don't really help because they kind of do the opposite of what we need, which is the relationship.

It's spending time together to develop a shared understanding. But often, organizations look at these tools as a way to decrease people's time talking to one another. To decrease the time gaining a shared understanding. And so the end result is actually less knowledge, less communication, less understanding, more slowdowns because we're not building the community. We're not building the shared symbolism. We're not collaborating actually. We're all doing our thing, and putting it in the system, and then somebody goes and looks at it.

Ryan Spilken: But do they?

Matthew Stublefield: Well, somebody does, and then they go, "Oh, I know." I appreciate the snark on this page of, I love status reporting, said no one ever. And they say status reporting needed a make-over, welcome to the after. It is very pretty. I think it's cool. Maybe it'll be helpful, but I think we all go through this. I think this is a common experience in our industry. I have gone through that phase, and you sway back, and forth over time, right? I've gone through that phase of more automation, more templates, more pull stuff together, more pull the data in, more quantitative analytics, more write your weekly update, write your slacks. I've got stand uply running in Slack right now for one of my teams, where we type in our daily stand-ups in Slacks. We've got that record, and we can pull metrics of like...

But do people understand the vision of what we're trying to achieve, and is the work they're doing aligned with that? And that's where we run into the challenges. So you can activate this for free. As I say, give everyone access to real-time progress, which again is literally just taking the data you already have in your system, and repackaging it. But I'm definitely at a point right now here on Tuesday, February 23rd, when we're recording this, of just deeply, deeply feeling like this doesn't solve the problem. And that's what we really need to be wrestling with.

Ryan Spilken: And now that I've dug a little further into the page, I'm going to provide just a little bit of counterpoint.

Matthew Stublefield: Great. I need it.

Ryan Spilken: Okay, nice. And again, this is coming from my childlike optimism that... But actually, they're kind of going for a little bit of social media rendition of a person's work with embedded media. When they talk about embedded media, they literally say, "Woo your readers with video updates. Followers, tell people who is reading your content." This is about making work consumable in a way that's a little bit more gamified, a little bit more social, like, "Whoa, Lex in accounting, what a picture." You know you put a selfie with anything, you're going to get some people talking.

Matthew Stublefield: Yeah. Because if there's one thing we can say about Facebook, is that it's helped us understand each other better, and more productive as a society. Definitely, definitely. Make sure you connect with us on social. Okay, no that's totally fair, that's totally fair.

Ryan Spilken: I'm desperate. I'm desperate for a solution. That's where I'm at, and I've been trying the video updates recently. It's like this is one of my tactics this year, and over the last six months of recording. Even just short like, "Here's me, 36 seconds, five minutes, or less. Here's what it is." Or just trying to keep stuff quick with sketches, and writing, and sending it out there. And what I'm finding, I think is exacerbated now. That we're all working from home, all the time. We never get together in person. It's not getting the job done. So again, I would want to use this. I don't currently run projects on cloud, but I think I'm going to be soon. I will totally use this. I'll set it up. But for our viewers at home, don't neglect the relationships within your team, or the relationships between your team and others. This does not solve for that, and not that I think they're trying to, or they're claiming it does, but I do think. I think I've done this in the past where I look at this type of thing and go, "Ah, this is what I need to fix this problem." And if you've got a team communication challenge, if you've got people not understanding the vision, if you've got people not collaborating well, or not understanding the work that's happening in other departments, this isn't going to do it.

Matthew Stublefield: But will the brand new Trello? Will the brand new Trello be the thing that does it-

Ryan Spilken: That solves all of our problems at once?

Matthew Stublefield: Oh that must be what does it. Let's talk about the brand new Trello. So Trello hitting a ten-year anniversary, which is very exciting, kudos, and congrats. I'm trying to recall how long it's been since Atlassian acquired them. I feel like we're probably around four or five years at this point, and you all know Ryan and I love Trello. We use Trello heavily for work, for our personal lives. Big, big fans. They've got a cool video about some of the changes on Trello, we'll link to this. You could look at the pictures. Some of these are... I mean, from my perspective, it's just taking power-ups, and putting them in a different location. It sort of reminds me when Atlassian took what was Jira, Agile, and JIRA service desk, which were plugins, and turned them into "applications".

Ryan Spilken: Yeah.

Matthew Stublefield: It has that similar feel to me of just making these more core to the experience. But the timeline view is cool. We've always liked the calendar view dashboards. I am more skeptical of dashboards these days. Again, correct. Not finding as much value from them, but whatever. It's nice to have these tools in here. It feels like a more grown-up, more usable thing. And actually, there's a non-profit I was talking to recently that is looking at Asana. And after seeing these new Trello features, I'm going to send them this article and say, "Hey, you should take a look at this." Now it's worth noting all of the new ways of viewing, and interacting with your cards. A good chunk of that is for Trello Enterprise and Business users. These aren't free features. So worth being aware, but if you are an enterprise or business customer, or that's something that is potentially on your roadmap, take a look at this because I think some of these, particularly the roadmap, and we've found the calendar views to be very helpful.

And now, we've looked at the outside.

Ryan Spilken: Yeah. We've opened the bonnet, and now we're really getting deep into the works because there are some developer-specific news that we think everyone should be aware of out there. You might not necessarily use it in your day-to-day, but it is good to know of some of the things that are happening behind the scenes, so that when changes rollout, you're not completely surprised. And we're going to begin with extensibility updates in the cloud. Extensibility being related to the functionality available through the API.

Matthew Stublefield: Yeah. So for those of you not familiar with how the cloud works when it comes to plugins. It is very different from server and data center. The plugins have to have... The developers have to have their own external services running, and then they interact with Cloud through the API. This introduces tons of limitations. There's a lot of things that a server app can do that a cloud one can't because it's limited to the REST API. And what these extensibility updates go into, is a whole slew of new rest endpoints, or fixes to existing ones, or changes to existing ones. So for those of you who are admins in the cloud space, or you're cloud users, what this means is you may see some new features coming from some of your existing apps. There may be new apps launched to take advantage of them.

So all good news there. There's also a reminder posted in here that Forge is coming to general availability, this month of February. This was actually published in December of 2020, but they've sent a reminder which says, "Hey, it actually is happening." And forge from the developer's perspective was interesting, because it removes as I understand it, it removes that need for running external services. So instead of the app developer having to build up their architecture, Atlassian provides it by the way of Forge. This should result in tighter integration, better performance, better security. Security is one of the main reasons, that Atlassian launched Forge, because it means they can control that end-to-end connection, and make sure it complies with all of their security requirements. So we're not seeing a lot of Forge uptakes, it's kind of been in beta. I know there's still a ton of limitations to it, but it is coming along, and Atlassian's invested in that. So we'll link to these if it's something you want to investigate further but mostly wanted to call out just to highlight... The continuing development of this story of Atlassian investing in cloud, and continuing to expand it. And both for confluence, and Jira, this was a pretty big chunk of API improvements.

Ryan Spilken: Adaptavist ScriptRunner users might be interested to know if this is the update that allows us to bring "Behaviors" to the cloud. More on that in the future, but when will then be now?

Matthew Stublefield: Soon. But yeah, not set in a date. No guarantees on that. Here's the thing. Let's leave that aside, let's talk about some confluence cloud macros. This is an update to a story from December, 2020. We talked about in a podcast that month that there's a new macro browser coming to the cloud. It's causing some consternation amongst Confluence cloud app developers, because it shoves them all together into this browser, and it makes a little bit harder to organize, and whatnot. Atlassian's been taking in lots of feedback on it, and making changes. I highlighted here, it's primarily for developers, but I highlighted it for two reasons. One, as this post puts it, it's time to dog food your apps.

Ryan Spilken: Yummy.

Matthew Stublefield: Out with this. So app developers are being strongly encouraged, start trying it. So it's seeing how it's going to work, see how it's going to look, look at the contextual configuration. And then it has the rollout plans on here, which is potentially relevant for any cloud admins, or cloud users. So remaining changes will hopefully be finished by April 2nd, 2021, and progressive roll out to customers. That means it won't hit everybody at once, but it will start reaching customers on April 19th. So if you are a confluence cloud user, your macro menu is going to change potentially starting April 19th. It'll roll out over the course of four weeks. Just start with 10% of customers, that the goal is to have it fully rolled out to all Atlassian cloud customers, including enterprises by May 14th, 2021. So, customers, you're going to receive notifications from Atlassian to give you a heads up about it, I'm sure there'll be documentation, things like that. But just be aware that this is coming in the April to May time frame.

Ryan Spilken: And get excited about it, because it's a significant improvement to the macro usage experience. I think it improves things dramatically by putting the settings in context.

Matthew Stublefield: Yeah. I mean, my only frustration is the lack of a curly bracket to put in a macro. I'm so used to doing that on server, and not being able to just type that on Cloud, and have it pop up my macro browser while I'm typing is an adjustment.

Ryan Spilken: Ah, and finally, while we are checking the belts and hoses, we've got an update from Atlassian on their security certifications. It looks like they've added a whole bunch to the stable.

Matthew Stublefield: Yeah. So Atlassian back in, 2018... I mean it was at a summit-

Ryan Spilken: Time is irrelevant.

Matthew Stublefield: ... Together, time after 2020. I mean, who even knows at this point. Some time ago, I've talked about this a few times. They made the statement. They want Cloud to be more secure than your behind the firewall on-prem data center. So security certification, which is from an external company, an external inspector, and these are a big deal. Keeping those up-to-date, and expanding them is really important. So on February 16th, Atlassian provided updates about their SOC two certification, and compliance as well as ISO, and IEC 27.00127018. Notably, they've now received their suit certification renewals for the ISO certs for Jira cloud, confluence cloud, Bitbucket, Trello status, page ops, GT, Jira, Align, and now Jira service management. And for SOC two, they've obtained type two reports for JIRA cloud, including automation for Jira, which I think is really key for them.

They just acquired automation for Jira, I want to say about a year ago. I mean last year was like 15 years, so it's hard to tell at this point, but I want to say it was about a year ago. So, getting an automation tool, SOC two, both compliant and certified, I think that's the key because you'll be compliant without going through the certification process. Getting it certified is a big deal, and ditto for Confluence Cloud, Bitbucket Cloud, Trello, Ops GT status page, and Jira line. They've also added Halp, and Jira service management to their SOC two compliance. So if you require security, and you've had some interest in Cloud, these types of certifications should remove that barrier, at least somewhat for you. I think there are probably still barriers around financial data, and HIPPA, but their continued investment in data residency that they're working on, and some of the other scary things. They're clearly driving in that direction. They want to be able to replace your data center.

Ryan Spilken: Yeah. I would not be surprised to see FedRamp coming soon. And finally, a little bit of news from Adaptivist. And when I say a little bit of news, I mean, it's a whole lot of news, because Matthew Stubblefield, and I are going to be throwing down on a webinar. Are you ready, Matthew?

Matthew Stublefield: We are taking the show on the road, and by on the road. I mean-

Ryan Spilken: Beaming it in.

Matthew Stublefield: From our homes where we are right now. So probably wearing our pajamas, I don't know.

Ryan Spilken: But I tell you what, we could sell you the seat, but you'll only need the edge. We are going to be doing a webinar for those of you who are new to the Atlassian ecosystem, or to you who are deeply experienced. Matthew talking about that curly bracket earlier, that is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the tricks, tips, and advice that we're going to give out to Atlassian users. So it's just going to be a, make your life easier, and better with Atlassian kind of thing, and I'm really looking forward to it. We're going to have some fun, huh?

Matthew Stublefield: It's like this podcast, it's me and Ryan chewing the fat, and talking through an outline. But the last one we did, I think we scheduled it for 45 minutes or an hour. We tried to leave 15, 20 minutes for questions. I think we ended up going... We just decided to stay on for an hour and a half answering people's questions. So take a look, sign up, join us on March 16th for that webinar. We'll put a signup link in the show notes, and if you have questions that go beyond the agenda, I mean it's us. You can show up and ask if you want it. We'll do our best to answer. And if we don't know the answer, we'll get it for you, and send it afterward.

Ryan Spilken: That's true. We will follow up on this one. We're not messing around. So yeah, we look forward to seeing you on the webinar.

And that's it for this edition of Adaptivist Live. Thank you so much for listening. Be sure to connect with us on social, and let us know what we should be talking about. Until next time from Matthew Stublefield, I'm Ryan Spilken, and we'll see you later on Adaptavist Live.