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Everything great about Jira 8


Posted by
Balkis KHOUNI

February 19, 2019

Throughout the previous Jira releases, we witnessed performance improvements that affected the overall user experience, including creating issues, viewing boards, etc. The highly anticipated Jira 8.0, released on February 11, 2019,  comes with even more promising improvements focused on performance and scalability.

Like any platform release, Jira 8 brings significant changes that anyone using/administrating the tool needs to know. A presentation at the recent AtlasCamp event provides an in-depth view of the changes that come along with this platform release. Developers and users that are interested in preparing for the breaking changes this release will have, they can check out the Jira Software 8.0.x release note here.

Let’s take a look at the highlights of these changes and how they may impact your experience while using the tool.

What is great for end users of Jira 8

The changes on the UI are not major, but they will definitely improve your experience when browsing through Jira. Jira 8.0 brings a more responsive UI, as well as a cleaner view for boards and backlogs.

Backlog

There are a few details on the backlog which have changed:

  • Clear highlighted sections around sprints and backlog items
  • A limit of 100 issues displayed, with an option to expand. This means the backlog loads faster

 

 

Jira 7.12

 

Jira 8

 

Boards

The board view has been amended with a slightly tidier issue cards layout. There is a faster loading time for boards, due to the limit of number of issues.

Jira 7.13

 

Jira 8

 

Better email notifications

With Jira 8, it is now possible to batch email notifications and get one single summary email of updates that happened within a 10 minute window, instead of multiple emails for each action. Much less annoying than getting a cluttered inbox!

Jira 8 and JQL updates

Using Jira Query Language, It is now possible to search for issues that were updated by a specific user, and within a specified time range.

Here is how to find issues updated by a specific user:

issue IN updatedBy(jsmith)

 

You can also find issues updated by a specific user, between a certain date – let’s say between June and September 2018:

issuekey IN updatedBy(jsmith, "2018/06/01", "2018/08/31")

Find Link Types

Another cool new feature is the ability to search for issues that are linked to other issues by a particular link type.

For example, here is how to find issues with an issue type of “duplicates” or “is duplicated by”:

issueLinkType in (duplicates,"is duplicated by")

 

Jira 8 for Developers

Lucene Upgrade

The search and indexing engines in Jira are based on an open source library called Apache Lucene.

Lucene is definitely where Atlassian needs to invest to make Jira faster and more scalable. For quite a while, Jira was implemented with the same version of Lucene (3.3). Built with an improved version of Lucene that was recently released (7.3), Jira 8.0 now introduces an even more powerful search and a better index.

This Lucene upgrade means some preparations need to be considered before upgrading to Jira 8.0. More information on this is here.

API Changes

The most important changes affecting Jira API are:

  • Simpler API
  • Dates stored as numbers: This will lead to a smaller index and faster queries
  • End of support for com.atlassian.fugue (Jira Service Desk)

Platform changes

Starting from this version, Jira will run on Java 11. However, it will still be compatible with Java 8. Compatibility will only be released in later versions. Java 11 introduces some major and minor improvements, that also led to platform changes. Here are the highlights:

  • Libraries updates
  • Guava upgrade
  • Jira Core and Jira Software plugins updates (e.g. jira-issue-search-plugin)
  • Spring upgrade to 5.0.10 → No component auto detection. We will be relying on parameter based injection.

Although not mandatory, using Java 11 is recommended if you are upgrading the Jira 8.0.

On another note, Tomcat has been upgraded to version 8.5.32, which results in changes on the server.xml file.

Jira 8 and End of Support

Sometimes letting go means making room for something better, so Jira 8.0 also includes a few goodbyes. There will be end of support for:

  • PostgreSQL 9.3
  • MySQL 5.5
  • com.atlassian.fugue (Jira Service Desk)

Upgrade to Jira 8

Ready to start benefiting from all the new features that Jira 8 has to offer? Get in touch with Valiantys – as one of the leading Atlassian Platinum Solution partners in the ecosystem, we can ensure your upgrade happens without a hitch.