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Software developer productivity toolmaker Atlassian has launched a new no-code automation engine for Jira Cloud that frees up developers from having to manually update routine project management and project-tracking tasks.
The new functionality comes from Atlassian's acquisition of Code Barrel last year. Atlassian bought Code Barrel for its Automation for Jira technology, which has now been integrated into Jira. This new functionality is now available to all Jira Cloud customers, even those using the free version.
The core premise of DevOps is that dev and IT teams need to collaborate and share knowledge to work better together, said Sean Regan, head of product marketing at Atlassian, who noted that this technology becomes all the more relevant in times such as these, when dev teams are encouraged to telework due to concerns over the new coronavirus pandemic.
Indeed, workflow has been one of the most popular add-ons for Jira, said Thomas Murphy, an analyst at Gartner.
"There might be the case where you start a project and you may want to follow a standard set of setup steps: create the project, create a wiki, create a Git repo, set permissions for users, etc." Murphy said. "If you have a repeatable process, you can now automate that."
But when a team is made up of multiple groups spread across different offices and time zones, individuals could wind up spending a disproportionate amount of time trying to collaborate in meetings and doing status updates, rather than automating that process, he said.
Automation for Jira is based on an "if this, then that" rules builder that helps developers focus on high-value work by automating away manual and repetitive tasks.
"With automation, we're making the project management and project tracking tool work for you instead of the other way around," Regan said. "Automation is arriving at exactly the right time here to automate the tedious parts of collaboration and give people a collaboration tax refund. … It feels like time you didn't know you were getting back."
The automation in Jira will give each user about two weeks' worth of time back per year, Regan said.
JIRA can do live tracking in a development team's Git repository. When moving code through the repository, automation for JIRA can automatically update the issues in JIRA so that a developer's work is reflected to the whole team and developers don't have to do anything extra.
In addition, the new tooling provides a true drag-and-drop, no-code interface for setting rules, Regan said.
Thomas MurphyAnalyst, Gartner
This can also be a no-code platform for people to build other types of automated workflows, but it will take a bit for that to happen. Jira as a platform isn't as completely formed as competitive products like Salesforce, ServiceNow or Pegasystems, Murphy said.
"So, I doubt it will really impact the low-code market at this point, but there is plenty of opportunity just in the developer space to automate routine, tedious tasks," he said.
Automation for Jira can democratize development
Users who don't know how to read and write code can use Automation for Jira, which helps the rest of the software team keep up with developers.
"Your designers can automate how the developers are alerted about new designs, or your marketing teams can be automatically alerted when new features ship," Regan said.
Also, support teams can be automatically updated when bugs have been fixed or new capabilities are available.
"You could go into Jira and you could set up a rule for your developers that says if a developer commits code in Bitbucket or GitHub, then automatically update the Jira board and tell the designers that the artifact has been shipped to production," Regan said.
Under Code Barrel, Automation for Jira had 6,000 customers and now the more than 65,000 Jira customers will have access to this automation at no cost.