Atlassian Summit Retrospective

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Atlassian’s tenth Summit user conference has just ended in Las Vegas.

We thought we should break the adage that What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas and give you an overview of the exciting product announcements from the conference. 

And so, with apologies to “The King” of Las Vegas, Elvis Presley, It’s Now or Never.

Cloud

During the last keynote of Summit, Atlassian co-CEO Mike Cannon-Brookes made a specific commitment for Atlassian to design for a cloud first future, as they recognise that this has become a mainstream deployment option for most companies. He quoted a statistic that over 90% of companies already use cloud software somewhere in their business.

But, he stressed that Atlassian recognises that every company is moving at a different pace on their journey to the cloud and that Atlassian will continue to build for today and where organisations will be in the future. See below for changes coming to Data Center and Server.

But back to Cloud…

Atlassian announced new Premium editions of Jira Software Cloud and Confluence Cloud with great new features:

  • Jira Software Premium - Includes features that enhance the way teams build roadmaps, manage team capacity, and communicate plans and progress.
  • Confluence Cloud - Provides key new features for administrators that need more control and visibility over what’s happening in their Confluence instance, such as analytics and the ability to debug permission issues easily.

These products also come with service commitments from Atlassian that will reassure customers with demanding requirements:

  • 99.9% availability SLA financially backed with service credits
  • Unlimited storage,
  • 24/7 Premium support with a 1 hour response time for critical issues

The standard versions of Cloud did not miss out either: 

  • 10,000 users - This announcement of a closed early access programme for customers interested in hosting more than the current 5k user limit. Their stated aim is to remove all user limits, eventually.
  • Data centre distribution - Singapore and Sydney announced last year have come online and they have also added a data centre in Frankfurt. This reduces the latency for users and prepares for future developments offering data locality.
  • Significant performance increases - Boards load 50% faster, backlogs 80% faster, navigation via the sidebar is 100% faster, i.e. twice as fast to navigate between boards and projects. Impressive. 
  • Admin experience - Unified the administration experience in one central place, the Atlassian admin hub. Brand new Admin API also launch.
  • Atlassian Access - Announced last year, Atlassian Access provide 2-factor authentication and Single Sign-On. Besides the already supported 5 biggest identity providers for SAML integration, they announced two new identity providers: Google Cloud Identity and Microsoft Active Directory Federated Services. Automatic user provisioning is also new.

Data Center

The Data Center range of products also had a series of exciting announcements: 

  • Support for Amazon Aurora - AWS’s MySQL and PostgreSQL-compatible database will be supported for DC products. It is up to 5 times faster than standard MySQL databases and 3 times faster than standard PostgreSQL databases, Aurora is also a fully managed Amazon Relational Database service, reducing time-consuming administration tasks like database setup, patching and backups. It also is hugely scalable and fault-tolerant. 
  • CDN Support - To support the requirements of distributed teams, Atlassian are enabling content delivery network support, for example AWS CloudFront. This will allow customers to speed up the performance for remote users as they interact with the UI of the products and reduce load on application instances. 
  • Smart Mirror Farms - Announced last year, smart mirrors are local mirrors of upstream Bitbucket repositories. These mirrors can significantly improve Git clone time for distributed teams. For enterprise Bitbucket customers, Smart Mirror Farms takes this one step further and clusters several mirrors into “farms” behind a load balancer, improving performance further for intensive CI/CD requirements. 
  • Rate limiting for REST APIs - Initially for Bitbucket but planned for all the DC products, Atlassian is introducing rate limiting for API calls for the Bitbucket, Jira Software and Jira Service Desk Data Center products. 
  • Issue Archiving - Following on from last year’s announcements of Project Archiving, Issue Archiving allows customers to archive individual issues or groups of issues using JQL queries as a bulk operation. An API is coming soon.
  • Hardware configuration recommendations - Getting the best out of the DC products is challenging. Atlassian has started more prescriptive guidance over the past year like node sizing, performance testing frameworks and more. Soon, they will also add hardware configurations to the list. 
  • Updates to Data Center AWS and Azure Templates - Atlassian has updated every single one of the AWS and Azure templates to make them easier to manage and customise for each customers’ requirements. 
  • Centralised license and permissions visibility 

Server

The server range of products also had a series of announcements reflecting the recently delivered platform releases: 

  • Confluence 7.0
  • Jira Service Desk 4.0
  • Portoflio for Jira 3.0
  • Bitbucket 6.0
  • Jira Software 8.0

Just some highlights: 

  • Portfolio for Jira 3.0
    • An intuitive planning UI

    • Enhanced drag and drop scheduling functionality

    • New filtering options and view settings

    • Improved dependency management capabilities

  • Jira 8.0
    • 31% faster JQL searches

    • Agile boards loads twice as fast

    • Re-Index  71% faster. Index size cut in half.

  • Bitbucket 6.0
    • Code Insights puts information from third-party systems directly into the pull request UI, reducing context switching for developers and keeping them in the flow. For example, CI/CD results, code-coverage reports, security checking products, such as our partner Sonatype, can all be shown next to a pull request, allowing reviewers to make informed decisions prior to accepting. 

AgileCraft → JiraAlign

Atlassian recently acquired AgileCraft and announced this week they will rename it JiraAlign. The name change really reflects the benefits of the product, because it supports teams align themselves with organisational goals at scale.

The product allows 100s of programmes and teams to make work visible with a common set of goals and budget and in a single unified single view across Jira, Jira Service Desk and Trello. Each story, epic and issue is tied back to the “why”. This makes it easier for teams to understand the context of their work.

Coordinating work across teams at scale is difficult and complex, with hundreds of activity streams and thousands of moving parts. JiraAlign’s program board makes changes of scope, current priorities and goals are visible in real-time to all the teams. Priorities and dependencies across the company are made visible. The results of work activities can also be measured against OKRs (Objectives and Key Results), all linked to teams in Jira. 

We are very excited to bring the capabilities of this product to our customers. 

Apps and Integrations

As always at Summit, there were many announcements of new Apps and integrations for the Atlassian products in such categories as: 

  • Productivity and Communication
  • DevOps
  • Asset Tracking
  • Support
  • Design, Marketing and Analytics
  • Identity and Security

We will follow up with a blog post covering some of the most important of these exciting developments and what they offer customers.

Consider subscribing for an email notifications at the top right-hand side of this page. We promise to keep your email address safe and we hate spam too!

Conclusion

So that summaries Atlassian Summit 2019. Lots to digest but we can definitely confirm that the Atlassian ecosystem is in great health.

Again with apologies to “The King”:

Thank you very much.

About BDQ

BDQ is a digital transformation specialist founded in London. We combine great products with highly experienced consultants to help our customers manage tasks, automate work and collaborate more effectively. 

 

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