Atlassian speeds up search, buffs up boards in Jira Software 8.0

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Atlassian has promised Jira users a big hit of speed with the latest on-prem version of the bug-tracking-cum-everything platform this week, with promised improvements in indexing and search times in particular.

The vendor claims that in Jira Software 8.0, it has shaved 31 per cent off search times, with a 70 per cent improvement in data range searches. Agile boards and backlogs should load twice as fast on average, while “the largest boards (10,000+ issues) can load up to 21x faster”.

Re-indexing times have been squished, typically by 71 per cent it claims, while indexes themselves being shrunk, by 48 per cent. This had been achieved in part with an upgrade of its search-based subsystem engine, Lucene. The vendor said just copying the index from node to node was taking up to five hours for its biggest customers under the previous version.

Talking of search options, users can now search updates by by author, or for issues that are linked by type.

At the same, it claims to be fostering speed improvements by making email notifications “less chatty”. In practice, this means batched email notifications, and grouping issues updates, comments and edits made in a single ten minute slot into a single email.

Priority level icons have been given a makeover, with one noticeable difference being the lowest levels switching from green to blue.

Scrum and Kanban boards and backlogs have all been given a makeover, with the promise that the changes won’t affect existing workflows or apps. The default backlog view has been changed to display just 100 issues, while back end changes should result in faster loading over all. Atlassian claimed that in tests a 10,000 issue backlog loaded in 4 seconds, compared to 85 seconds in earlier versions.

It’s worth noting that the performance improvements cited above apply to the server version of Jira. Improvements with the data centre version of 8.0 are generally in the same ballpark, and better in the case of browsing boards.

Talking of other platforms, there will be native iOS and Android apps for Jira. These are currently in beta.

Looking at all these improvements might make one think Jira had become somewhat unwieldy.  Head of growth for Software Teams Sean Regan told us back in October that there was less than 1 per cent “founder code” left in Jira. At the time, he said that many installations were perhaps “over structured” and that “We learned a couple of things from Trello about simplicity and ease of use.”