How to Release with Next-gen Jira Projects

February 28, 2020
#How To#Jira
2 min

Using next-gen Jira projects can be convenient for small, autonomous teams that are new to agile. These projects don’t need much configuration, and you can set them up in five minutes. These projects don’t need much configuration, and you can set them up in five minutes. If you want to recall how to do it, watch our handy tutorial.

When next-gen projects first appeared in Jira, you could not find the Releases option. After 14 days of having the status Done, your issues were simply removed from the board and archived. There was nothing else you could do to control your releases and versions. Sounds frustrating?

But here is the news: from the end of November 2019 you are able to use the Releases&versioning feature in next-gen Jira projects. The tricky moment is that this feature is disabled by default. So, you need to enable it manually. Go to the Project Settings tab → Features → Releases&versioning.

feature release in Jira

Now you can find the Releases tab in the project menu and assign/create a fix version for your issues right from the Jira issue view.

releases tab in Jira

Let’s check the Releases tab. Here you can see the list of all your versions along with their statuses, current progress, and release dates.

release hub in jira

Note that after your version is released, the related issues won’t dissappear from the project board immediately. You still have to wait: the board will be automatically cleared in two weeks.

How to Deal with Numerous E-mails from Jira

November 7, 2019
#How To#Jira
4 min

If your team uses Atlassian Jira for product management and bug-tracking, you and your teammates may receive hundreds of e-mail notifications related to different issues and their statuses. It is impossible to read all the messages thoroughly, but, obviously, you can’t just ignore them. To know how to deal with the so-called “Jira spam” effectively, follow our useful tips.

Tip 1. Batch e-mail notifications

To reduce the number of e-mails caused by updates of a single issue, batch your e-mail notifications. Jira won’t send every separate notification immediately, it will group them together and you’ll receive only one summary e-mail for the chosen time window.

Let’s assume that you’ve chosen to receive notifications every 10 minutes. If your issue is updated 10 times in the first 10 minutes and five times in the following 10 minutes, you will get only two summary e-mails instead of 15 separate ones.

To set the appropriate time window, go to the Administration tab (System → Batching e-mail notifications). This feature is available in Jira 8.0 and newer versions.

Tip 2. Create new project roles

If you use the Default Notification Scheme for your projects, you may notice that issue watchers, current assignees and reporters receive notifications about all the types of issue events.

But there are a lot of cases when other users want to be updated about the project (for example, certain developers and QA engineers). The easiest way is to add the corresponding Jira groups (or project roles) to the customized notification scheme. The disadvantage of this solution is obvious: every developer and every QA engineer in your company will be bombarded with multiple e-mail notifications.

So, we suggest you create and use additional roles for your projects:

  • Create a new role for users that need to know everything about the project. Let’s call it “Listeners_<Your Project Name>”.
  • Add users that want to follow all project issues to this new role. For example, your team lead, some curious developers and QA engineers, etc.
  • Add this project role to the customized notification scheme as it is shown in the picture below.

Tip 3. Use @mentions

Sometimes you may not be sure if this or that user wants to be updated about an issue. So, it is not a good solution to add them to the Listeners_<Your Project Name> role. But there is a simple way out: just use @mentions.

The @mentioned user will be notified only once. If the issue appears to be crucial, then he or she will be able to watch it and get all the forthcoming updates.

Want to learn more?

If you want to know more about Jira and other Atlassian products, visit our official YouTube channel.

Unravelling the Mystery of Confluence-Administrators Group

December 8, 2017
#How To#Confluence
8 min

We continue our blog series for Confluence users and administrators.

If you are here for the first time, you can check our post featuring several useful resources to consider when looking for the best way to learn Confluence essentials. And if you deal with space administration in Confluence, you can learn about a cool hack to make your space read-only in one click.

Today we will dig deeper into Confluence permission management. You will discover why members of confluence-administrators group are also known as super users.

We will show you how users with different permission sets manage the same situation when they need to view the restricted page:

  • Space administrator vs restricted content.
  • System administrator vs restricted content.
  • Confluence-administrators group vs restricted content.

So let’s unravel the mystery of confluence-administrators group.

Confluence super users

Confluence recognizes two types of administrator:

  • System administrator that has the complete control of all administrative functions.
  • Confluence administrator that can manage users and groups.

The confluence-administrators group is a default group with both system administrator and confluence administrator permissions you can’t change in the administration console. So it means that the members of this group are super users.

System administration is their job that’s why they must have access to all parts of the system. By default they don’t have the ability to see the restricted content and do anything with it. However, they can grant themselves any permission they need.

We will tell you more about one of the default permissions that is not so evident for Confluence users and might be not fully explored by the members of confluence-administrators group. Let’s see how it works.

Issue overview

For example, John Smith who was a member of sales department is no longer working in the company. John was also a space administrator of the space called Sales&Marketing.

The head of sales department is another space administrator of Sales&Marketing. She knows that John should have prepared one more report on smartphone sales. However, she doesn’t see this report. So she wants to check if there is any restricted content in this space.

Space administrator vs restricted content

She opens the space settings clicking the Space tools tab in the bottom left corner of the screen. She needs to choose the Permissions tab. After that she opens the tab called Restricted Pages. When she tries to open the restricted page, Confluence informs her that she doesn’t have permission to view it.

But actually she can open the restricted page. For that purpose she needs to return to the Restricted Pages tab and click the unlocked padlock icon in the View line. The padlock icon in the Edit line will again redirect her to the page she saw before.

Confluence redirects her to the page information. To view the content she needs to click the View Page button.

Here is the report on smartphone sales!

This way the space administrator automatically removes all restrictions.

System administrator vs restricted content

Now let’s check how the system administrator solves the problem with the restricted content.

In this case a person from the management team doesn’t have space administrator permissions. So the management team asks the system administrator to check the content.

We will show you the example when the system administrator is not a member of any group in Confluence. She has all administrative functions as a separate user. The confluence-administrators group has the same permissions.

The first thing she needs to do is to grant herself the space permissions. She opens the Space permissions tab of the administrative console and clicks the Recover Permissions button in front of the required space.

After that she can manage the space permissions. She opens the Restricted Pages tab in the space tools and performs the same manipulations as the space administrator did.

This means that the system administrator also automatically makes the restricted content available for everyone.

Confluence-administrators group vs restricted content

OK, now let’s see the restricted content through the eyes of the super user. The management team asks the Confluence administrator to check if there is a report on smartphone sales in the space Sales&Marketing.

The Confluence administrator is a member of confluence-administrators group that can view absolutely all content in Confluence in the page tree of any space. However, when users create pages and set viewing restrictions the members of confluence-administrator won’t see this page in the updates on the dashboard.

Now let’s get back to the issue. Of course, in this case the Confluence administrator can open the space tools and act like we have already described.

But he sees all restricted pages right in the space. So he opens the space content and finds the restricted page called Smartphone sales 2016 in the page tree.

He clicks the padlock icon to check the restrictions applied to this page.

When John created this page, he wanted to be the only viewer and editor of this document. Andrew is a super user and can grant himself or any other user permission to view and edit the page.

So in this particular case he chooses No restrictions, clicks Apply, and reloads the page. After that the head of sales department and other users from the sales-dept group have access to this page.

Resume

Now you know that space administrators and system administrators can remove all page restrictions using the Restricted Pages tab.

All members of confluence-administrators group can view restricted pages by default with no need to open the space tools. They can grant permissions to certain users if required, unlike space administrators and system administrators.

So this feature can be useful when an employee leaves the company and your management team needs to find and change the restrictions left behind.

If you want to learn more Confluence tips and hacks, subscribe for email notifications about new posts in our blog (enter your email in the ‘Newsletter’ section on the sidebar).

If you have any questions, feel free to comment on this blog post.

A Useful Hack to Quickly Make Your Confluence Space Read-Only

August 18, 2017
#Confluence#How To
5 min

Confluence became today’s way to keep your information all in one place, share ideas, and take decisions together with your team. It is getting more and more popular among modern enterprises all over the world. The more team members in your company use it, the more profit you receive. Because Confluence facilitates collaboration and knowledge sharing across the entire organization.

Companies use Confluence for different purposes. The most popular are:

  • Intranet site – to collaborate on the projects within the company;
  • Extranet site – to use it as a public documentation portal to share information with the customers.

We have already written a blog post about how to start your successful Confluence experience. This time we want to show you an easy way to make your space read-only for your colleagues without changing the global permissions. Let’s see what we are talking about.

Permissions in Confluence

Confluence offers three-level permissions structure that allows you to choose the actions users can perform:

  • Global Permissions refer to the actions in Confluence at a site level;
  • Space Permissions determine your actions in the particular space;
  • Page Restrictions allow you to control who can view and edit your page in Confluence.

Confluence system administrator can edit the global permissions: grant permissions to individual users, user groups, or even to anonymous users. Note that if your system administrator opens viewing to anonymous users, you lose the ability to choose who you want to share your content with.

space permissions in Confluence

We will show you the way a space administrator can set up a read-only access for the space using the anonymous access in the space permissions when the anonymous access in the global permissions is turned off. But first let’s see the usual way to limit access to a space for Confluence users.

How administrators usually do it

For example, we have a space called ‘Internal Rules and Regulations’. We need to set up the following permissions:

  • all employees from different Confluence groups can view the space;
  • the ‘top-management’ group and system administrator can view and edit this space.

All Confluence users are added to the ‘confluence-users’ group by default and have access to all spaces. By default they can view and edit information in spaces.

In our case the system administrator deleted a standard ‘confluence-users’ group because he uses the external user directory to manage Confluence users. For that reason we have different user groups for all departments of the company.

So we need to add each user group to the space permissions. We go to the space directory, choose our space called ‘Internal Rules and Regulations’, open the space permissions, and manually add all the groups to the space permissions.

space restrictions in Confluence

It wasn’t difficult but a bit tiresome. The good news is that we know a quicker way to fulfill this task.

An alternative approach to make your space read-only

We will change only the space permissions without editing the global permissions.

We go to the space permissions, add only the ‘top-managers’ group, and turn on the view permission for anonymous users. Anonymous users outside the company can’t view this space because global anonymous ‘Use Confluence’ permission is turned off.

anonymous access Confluence

We receive the same effect like in the first example. All licensed Confluence users except the ‘top-managers’ group have a read-only access to this space.

It is an alternative way to manage your space permission in one click with no need to edit global permissions. It helps you to avoid mistakes and quickly show your space to all users without making a mess in the permission set. To prevent the leak of your data, make sure that the anonymous access in the global permissions is turned off.

To stay tuned, subscribe for email notifications about new posts in our blog (enter your email in the ‘Newsletter’ section on the sidebar).

If you have any questions, feel free to comment on this blog post.

Atlassian Certification: Steps to Get Certified

July 12, 2017
#How To#News
1 min

StiltSoft has successfully passed Atlassian certification this year. We have confirmed our Atlassian Solution Partner status (former Atlassian Experts status). It was an interesting and, of course, challenging experience we want to share.

If you are an experienced Atlassian administrator, it is high time to move to a new level and become an Atlassian Certified Administrator (ACP). This formal assessment from Atlassian confirms your skills and helps you join the elite group of Atlassian professionals.

We have already studied this topic down to the very last detail. We will tell you why every Atlassian administrator should get certified in 2017.

This blog post will highlight the key aspects of the Atlassian certification process.

Continue reading “Atlassian Certification: Steps to Get Certified”

First Steps in Mastering Atlassian Confluence

June 27, 2017
#Confluence#How To
10 min

We continue our blog post series for Atlassian newbies. We have already published two articles featuring different ways to start your Jira experience:

Let’s proceed to another Atlassian product – Confluence. It is a team collaboration platform where you can create and share rich content in a transparent and organized manner. This web-based enterprise information management platform helps you keep track of your team projects, discussions, decisions.

Confluence is a tool that enhances your productivity and simplifies the decision making within your teams and departments. Check out its intuitive interface with the carefully-elaborated workflows. Once you explore the basics of Confluence, you will understand that it is pretty simple to use.

We will highlight some of the resources to consider when looking for the best way to learn Confluence essentials:

So let’s focus on how to successfully get started with Confluence.

Atlassian Sources

Traditionally, we start our list with the resources Atlassian offers for Confluence beginners.

Atlassian Documentation

Starting your Confluence experience from Atlassian documentation makes sense. Here you will find all the required information for using Confluence to its full extent.

Both Confluence Cloud and Server Documentations have the same contents structure.

You can check two useful tutorials ‘Navigate Confluence‘ and ‘Space ace‘. In Confluence Server Documentation you will also find a quick start guide with the detailed Confluence information. At first, it may seem that there is too much information for a beginner. No worries, just follow the well-structured step-by-step guide.

Atlassian Confluence Blog

This blog is full of useful tips for all Confluence users and is essential if you want to be aware of the latest Confluence news.

Confluence blog.png

You may sort out the articles by topics you are interested in. You will find blog posts about the latest Confluence features, new add-ons, or real-life use cases. We recommend you to subscribe to this blog if you want to receive some fresh ideas, announcements, and inspiration for your team from Atlassian.

Atlassian University

Atlassian University offers ‘Getting started with Confluence‘ course for beginners.

You can choose the most relevant training content for you and your team because this course is available in various packages:

  • On Demand – for those who like to study on their own.
  • Public Virtual – a real-time interaction with an instructor and students from other companies in public classes.
  • Team VIrtual – a private class for your team delivered over a WebEx session.
  • Team Onsite – custom solutions for your team.

Upon completion you will learn how to use Confluence not just as a repository of content, but also as a collaborative working environment.

Today the price for individual On Demand course starts from $300.

Atlassian YouTube Channel

We think that practice with the help of video tutorials helps a lot, because you can follow the process step by step while listening to the tutor’s explanations. For that reason we offer you to check Atlassian YouTube channel.

All the videos are divided into topics, so it is easy to find what you need. You may like the following:

  1. Confluence Demos
  2. Confluence Tutorials
  3. Confluence Webinars & Presentations

Atlassian sources is a great start if you want to understand Atlassian values and philosophy. And, of course, one more good thing about using Atlassian sources is that you get the proven first-hand solutions.

Courses from Atlassian Partners

You may ask, ‘Who can teach me Confluence basics except the Atlassian team?’ We think that the courses from Atlassian Solution Partners are worth your attention.

cPrime

cPrime delivers Agile Project Management and Software solutions to large enterprises. They have training courses both for beginners and power users. We think that it is better to start with Confluence User Fundamentals – Online. This online training course consists of 4 modules, each module includes demonstration, lecture, and exercises. You will discover how to work with your page content, learn about templates and blueprint fundamentals, and will have an overview of macros.

StiltSoft

As an Atlassian Silver Solution Partner and Atlassian Top Platinum Vendor, Stiltsoft today has 4000+ customers from more than 80 countries worldwide. Our primary focus is app development. We’ve also released our free training courses for Confluence administrators that start their experience with this powerful platform and novice Confluence users.

These courses have included all our best experience collected over the eight years of company operation.

And more

Lynda.com

This learning platform offers a wide range of different courses with mostly positive feedback from readers. Installing and Administering Atlassian Confluence is a good choice for beginners. You will learn how to set up and create content of all formats in Confluence, use its community and social features. This video tutorial also provides information about creating users and groups, managing tasks and notifications.

To take this course you need to sign up. After that you can choose the learning plan that suits you best.

What to start with?

Atlassian offers a trial period for all their products. We think that practice can be the best way to study Confluence. So install Confluence and try to use it for a couple of days. If you have questions, consult the Atlassian sources we mentioned in this blog post.

We offer you to proceed to the paid courses once you study free solutions and check your skills in practice. Of course, it’s up to you to decide which of the options to choose.

We hope that this blog post will help you to start your successful Confluence experience. Feel free to comment below if you have any questions about Confluence usage.