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Atlassian revamps Jira Software, adds roadmaps tool

Atlassian revamps Jira Software, adds roadmaps tool

Redesign follows a multi-year migration of the popular issue-tracking app to the AWS cloud and the acquisition last year of Trello

Credit: Dreamstime

Atlassian has overhauled its Jira Software Cloud issue-tracking application, adding a simplified user experience, new third-party integrations and a product roadmap tool.

The Australian company has been laying the foundation to update Jira for a while, breaking down the application, created in 2002, into smaller microservices and moving it to the Amazon Web Services cloud.

The latest stage in Jira’s redevelopment is to modernise the user experience and interface.

With a more streamlined and simplified application, Atlassian hopes to appeal to a wider range of business execs involved in the software-creation process, said Sean Regan, head of growth for Software Teams at Atlassian.

“What we are seeing is that the software team is now made up of a more diverse group of functions,” said Regan, with a range of business departments – from data scientists to marketing professionals – providing input on software development.

“In order to accommodate them, we need to democratise and open up Jira and make it something that feels like a much easier collaboration experience, but still has the power that was necessary to do really complex work,” Regan said.

Pricing for the software varies by the number of users. It costs US$10 per user per month for teams of up to 10 people; $7 per user per month for teams of between 11 and 100 users; and varying prices for teams larger than 100. The company also offers a free seven-day trial.

Redesigned UX

Atlassian has made it easier for individual teams to tailor aspects of Jira to better suit their needs, such as adding custom issue types or managing permissions and user roles; a new Jira “issue” component highlights relevant information more effectively.

Regan said this “next-generation” of Jira Software has been influenced by Trello, the task management app acquired by Atlassian for $425 million in 2017. 

new jira issue Jira

The Jira user experience has been redesigned to make using the tool easier.

“What we tried to do in this new experience is mirror the power that people know and love about Jira, with the simplicity of an experience like Trello,” he said.

Users can move cards and create columns within a Jira Software board much as they do in  Trello, for instance,; that then triggers updates to the workflow automation engine for each project. Previously, these kinds of workflow updates required a deeper knowledge of Jira Software.

There are also new integrations with third-party applications, which Atlassian said should help appeal to a broader range of job roles that interact with developers.

These integrations include  Adobe, Sketch and Invision, a popular prototyping tool for designers, which allows users to comment on the latest version of a prototype from within Jira.

Other tie-ins include Facebook's Workplace, as well as updated integrations for Gmail and Slack –  part of a new partnership between the two companies that followed a decision to discontinue Atlassian's own team chat tool, Stride, in July. (That move angered Stride users and prompted Atlassian officials to last month apologise for the disruption.)

Jira now has more than 600 third-party integrations, Atlassian said.

A new roadmapping tool

One of the major features unveiled today is a roadmapping tool. It provides a high-level view of tasks under way and shows how that work relates to specific items in each project. 

jira roadmaps Jira

Jira's new roadmapping tool is design to bring more order from development chaos.

“When you have multiple teams coordinating on multiple projects at the same time, shipping different features at different percentage releases, it’s pretty easy for nobody to know what the hell is going on,” said Regan. 

“It is hard to keep track of all that stuff, but that is how modern software teams work,” he said. “Roadmaps helps bring order to the chaos of software development.”

The feature will help Jira compete with scaled agile framework [SAFe] applications such as Aha! and Roadmunk, said Thomas Murphy, a research director at Gartner.

“Roadmaps is a lightweight way to think about scale without going the full SAFe route or another scaling framework,” he said.

The updates to Jira Software follow the launch of another tool in Atlassian’s growing portfolio of Jira applications at its user conference in Barcelona last month – Jira Ops, which aims to help IT operations teams deal with costly software outages.


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