Atlassian has released the version 5 iteration of its collaboration software in a bid to offer an updated social software product development platform. Jira 5 is capable of connecting development team members with the applications they are working on and the associated "activity" that surrounds the software development process as a whole.
The company defines social activity as "mentions" of individual users within a live activity stream and has engineered its product to facilitate "collaborative information sharing and real-time discussions" — a phrase that may sound heavily marketing spun, but will arguably be of importance to developers as it eludes to the creation of an annotated trail of conversation to track project progress.
JIRA 5's new sharing and mention features make it easy to pull team members or coworkers into the conversation. Live activity streams update team members on all related activities and information, much like Facebook and Twitter activity streams. JIRA 5 is offered on demand or on site and now has an expanded plugin API and improved REST APIs — these should allow third-party software vendors to integrate with JIRA and create products that are compatible with future releases.
"JIRA 5 continues to push the software development process forward, this time through new social capabilities that improve real-time communication and better connect developers, technical teams, business users, and customers — basically everyone building software products together," said Jay Simons, president of Atlassian.
"JIRA 5's enhanced integration platform also helps connect information from other enterprise products — a sales ticket from Salesforce.com, or a customer service request from Zendesk — directly to the JIRA issue tracking and workflow engine, putting more information directly into the hands of product teams."
Atlassian says that JIRA's key developer USP is its ability to sit at the center of the software development process, connecting teams with development tasks such as bug tracking, feature development, agile planning, and activity monitoring. JIRA 5's new stable plugin API and improved REST APIs allow integration partners and other plugin developers to build integrated software products.
More than a quarter of JIRA's 400 plugins and more than 15 remote SaaS integrations are launching with JIRA 5 compatibility. Plugins built using the JIRA 5 stable plugin API will be compatible with future upgrades to JIRA.