Atlassian JIRA is known well as a superb issue tracking system for project management and incident control. But the usage of JIRA is not limited to software development, and more and more companies adjust and customize it to their actual production needs. JIRA has become an excellent collaboration platform for multiple teams and departments where everyone can get quick access to the required issues and find out the required information.
Spheres of application of JIRA are expanding every day and more and more enterprises install it for project management, purchase control, sales accounting, resolution of issues from citizens in the governmental institutions and others. Each procedure can be also accompanied with collection of documents, images, photos, and other files. JIRA provides a convenient interface for managing files attached to issues and tasks, but this functionality lacks some key functions that can significantly simplify the overall user experience and accelerate management of attachments.
And here comes Smart Attachments add-on which increases JIRA’s usability to maximum and makes this platform ideal for any document exchange and file aggregation procedures. So now even the most demanding customers with complex workflows will be able to smoothly migrate to JIRA for quick and efficient document flow.
Smart Attachments add-on has been developed as a handy timesaver and great optimizer for managing attachments in JIRA. So what features does the add-on offer?
Categories with Access Restrictions
The add-on adds a dedicated administration section into each JIRA project so the project administrator can add categories and set access restrictions for each of them. Categories are special folders for storing the attached files and their distribution for easier navigation among files. The administrator can also restrict access to categories for users, user groups and project roles. For each category you can set an individual set of access restrictions so each category will be visible only to the selected users, user groups or project roles.
This allows administrators to easily delegate access to the appropriate categories and keep other categories hidden and secured from other users. If no longer needed the project administrator can remove some categories, and all attachments stored within them will be moved to the native JIRA’s category – ‘Uncategorized’. This category preserves all specific parameters of categories, except one thing – this category cannot be deleted, only renamed.
Management of Attachments in Issues
The add-on propagates the created categories with the defined access restrictions to the entire JIRA project. Once the user opens the JIRA issue, he/she can upload one or multiple files to the issue in multiple ways – via drag-n-drop directly to the category or via the Attach File form when the user can also select the appropriate category for upload.
The add-on also tracks the standard attachment field on screens and adds the field for selecting the category for the uploaded files. This allows users to upload files to issues on any step of workflow while creating, resolving or closing issues. The add-on correctly processes the attachment field on any screen or tab, so users can always upload files to the target category.
It is known that JIRA is equipped with the revision tracking mechanism that highlights the newly uploaded files and grays out the prior revisions. Smart Attachments introduces a bit different way to manage file revisions.
For each file loaded to the issue, users can upload a new revision. All the loaded revisions are preserved in the issue and are mapped to the parent file. The user can always expand the document and view the list of loaded revisions and download the appropriate revision at once.
When the user tries to download the document, the add-on automatically fetches the latest revision, so the user will always have the version with the latest corrections and modifications. To preserve the history for revisions users can use comments, which can be added during file upload or added when convenient. The documents and file revisions with left comments are highlighted with the corresponding icon, which when pointed shows the comment.
All the operations that are available to common attachments, can be also applied to files with revisions. So when performing a bulk operation, the action is applied to the file with all its revisions. When moving or deleting a batch of files, the file with all its revisions will be also moved or deleted accordingly. But during download of a batch files, only the latest file revision will be included into the archive.
Renaming of the generic document or file name, does not affect anyhow names of the loaded file revisions. Their names remain original until you decide to manually rename some revision.
The add-on supports bulk operations that allow uses to quickly delete, move to another category or download a group of attached files. This will allow people to be more efficient and don’t waste time of routine operations.
The add-on correctly processes the defined JIRA permissions for users and allows users to perform actions depending on the granted permissions and workflow step. For example, if the user cannot delete attachments loaded by other people, the add-on will automatically hide checkboxes for files that that cannot be deleted by this user. This preserves integrity of information and disallows users to remove files that may be necessary to other people.
Download of multiple files is available to users having a permission to create issues on any workflow step. So after closing the issue you can always download a batch of files from some categories.
The function of moving files to category is not only available when the issue is in read-only status, in the rest of situations users can quickly select the files and move them to the appropriate category.
Plans for Future
StiltSoft team is not going to stop development of the add-on and wants to tailor the add-on to actual needs of users. You can always leave a feedback about the add-on or request a feature, or contact us directly. We are open to any ideas and will greatly appreciate if you can describe your workflow of managing and working with attachments. This will allow us to add many more useful features and satisfy the most demanding customers.