Jira 5.1 will focus on scalability for enterprise clients

Atlassian's project-tracking software also will get better throughput and dedicated enterprise support

Atlassian, makers of the Jira project- and issue-tracking system for software development, is emphasizing enterprise accommodations with recent and planned advancements.

According to Atlassian co-CEO Mike Cannon-Brookes, Jira dominates in enterprises. "Nine out of 10 Fortune 10 companies use Jira," he said Thursday at the Atlassian Summit conference in San Francisco. Responding to large enterprises, Atlassian recently began offering dedicated enterprise support and interactive user training, company officials noted. Enterprise administration certification has been added as well.

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Meanwhile, Jira 5.1, the next version of the product due in a month, is focused on scalability, with 40 percent more throughput than version 4.4 on very large systems. The most recent version of Jira from the 4.4 series was released in March.

A Jira user at the event, while a big fan of the platform, nonetheless cited a need for improvement in the product's ability to scale. "Scalability has been lacking at the enterprise level. As you may have heard today, that's something that they've been focusing on for the last year or so," said the user, Dave Thomas, a software configuration management team member at Fidelity Information Services, which has 2,600 Jira users.

Integrations with other Atlassian products also could be better, he added. But Thomas called Jira "far and away the best thing that we've ever used for software development." He cited the product's plug-in ecosystem and flexibility as big benefits.

Atlassian at the conference this week is announcing:

  • Jira Real Life application, in which users can take a photo with an Apple iPhone and submit it as a Jira task
  • The Confluence 4.3 content and social collaboration tool, featuring a mobile component for devices, including Apple's iPad and iPhone and Google Android systems
  • Jira Travel app, for managing travel activities
  • Version 4.1 of the Bamboo continuous integration server, which improves Jira integration and integrates with the HipChat chat service and Stash tool for managing Git repositories
  • Version 5.10 of Greenhopper, which adds agile project management to Jira; the upgrade includes a "Rapid Boards" capability, for interacting with issues in an agile environment

Also revealed by Atlassian was the addition of 59 commercial add-on, plug-in tools for Jira to the Atlassian Marketplace. "Effectively, we're creating a way for customers to buy third-party add-ons through us. That's an enterprise consideration," said Atlassian president Jay Simons.

One of the add-ons is the TenXer data analysis tool. TenXer is a venture being launched by Jeff Ma, whose story was made famous in the movie, "21," about a team of blackjack players from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who used mathematics to win big in Las Vegas. Ma was a guest speaker at the conference on Thursday.

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