YouTrack 5.1.2 Is Available

YouTrack 5.1.2 is released! This minor version includes important bug fix, which solves the problem you might have experienced upgrading from 5.1 to 5.1.1 using the exe file.

Get the latest YouTrack 5.1.2 right now or check the full list of release notes for more details.

Just to remind, if you are using YouTrack InCloud, your instance will be updated to the 5.1.2 version on Monday, March 24, according to our Maintenance Calendar.

JetBrains YouTrack Team

 

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YouTrack 5.1.1 Is Out

Please welcome a fresh update for your favorite Agile issue and project tracker – YouTrack 5.1.1. This minor version brings a number of important bug fixes and cute little goodies for the recently released YouTrack 5.1.

The most important things you need to know about YouTrack 5.1.1 are:

1. A number of fixes for the mailbox integration, including processing emails with attachments, inline images and reply emails, checking a mailbox automatically etc.

2. JT-23695: a small improvement of our help desk support: an ability to download attachments for the unregistered users. Your external customers will now receive the email notification which contains a link to view/download attachment even if the customer doesn’t have access to your YouTrack issue, originally created from his/her email.

3. JT-22115: improved email filtering: user account is not created for a sender of filtered email, means that a new user account wont ever be created for spam or auto-reply email.

4. JT-23708: Agile board improvement: now you choose a sprint to move unresolved tasks from when creating a new sprint.

5. Multiple fixes and enhancements for our custom workflow.

Please take a look at the full list of YouTrack 5.1.1 release notes for more details. Get YouTrack 5.1.1 now and to enjoy your tracking process even more! By the way, if you are using YouTrack InCloud, your instance is already upgraded to the latest version, according to our Maintenance Calendar.

Keep tracking with pleasure!

 

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Multi-Level Agile Boards or How We Support Epics

We get quite a few questions from our customers which can be summed up as “Does YouTrack support multi-level agile boards, and do you have epics?” The short answer is “Yes.” For the long answer, please read on.

What is it all about?
Though there are no clear-cut rules in Agile for using the terms epics, user stories, features, and tasks, we understand epics as complex user stories divided into smaller and simple user stories, which are then split into particular tasks for developers. Another distinguishing feature of epics is their duration: they are usually complex, time-consuming, and in development for several sprints. Sometimes an epic may include user stories from different projects.

The question we need to answer is how we can effectively monitor both overall progress of implementing an epic, and plan and monitor particular tasks, on a daily basis. The former is more of a manager’s task while the latter should be tuned to each development team’s workflow.

What we suggest

In terms of YouTrack epics, features, tasks are an issue types.

In YouTrack Agile Board, you can see three levels of hierarchy: swimlanes, tasks, and their subtasks. However, at the third level, subtasks are displayed as a list of linked issues in the description of the parent task, in detailed view mode. That is, subtasks are not shown as separate cards on the board.

Swimlanes and tasks are associated by the parent->subtask link type. So in our case of multi-hierarchy,  epics and user stories (features) should be linked in the same way: all user stories included into an epic should be linked as subtasks to the corresponding parent epic issue. On the second level of hierarchy, all the tasks included into a user story (feature) should be also linked as subtasks to the parent user story issue.

To visually support multi-level hierarchy: epics->user stories->tasks we suggest using two boards—one for managers to monitor epics and user stories, and one for developers to view user stories and tasks. Here’s how you can do that:

  1. Add a new issue type ‘Epic’ for all projects the board will be associated with.
  2. Enable Time tracking for these projects. This way YouTrack will automatically calculate estimates and spent time in features and epics. The trick is to use the same Estimation and Spent time fields for all the projects on the board.
  3. Create a board for epics and set Swimlanes defined by issue of ‘Epic’ type. Epics will then occupy the highest level on the manager’s board.

    Epics Board Settings

    Epics Board Settings

  4. Select the appropriate Estimation field. It should be the same field we use for the Time Tracking.
  5. Your epics board will look something like this:
    Agile board with epics

    Agile board with epics

    As you see, it’s pretty easy to monitor the overall development progress with such a board. Epics are shown as swimlanes with the cards of user stories or features in development. If you enable the detailed view (click the down-arrow icon next to the view mode switches, and select ‘With description’ mode), you will see feature descriptions on cards as well as lists of these feature tasks.
    For the sprint in general, all the estimates and spent time are calculates automatically, due to enabled Time Tracking. You can see the circle charts for the sprint progress and for each column on the board.
    In addition to easy monitoring, planning is also made easy. Create new features on the board,
    or add them from the backlog (even with all their tasks and subtasks, you can just drag them to the board).

  6. Create another board for the development team. Use the same project(s), with the same Estimation field, but make swimlanes defined by issue of ‘Feature’ type. That’s it!
    Settings for development board

    Settings for development board

    The development team board will look something like this:

    Board for developers team

    Board for developers team

    You don’t see epics here, but it’s not essential for the developer team in their routine. What is essential is that all standard options for planning and monitoring team’s work as designed, while providing data for the overall monitoring.
    As long as we have Time Tracking enabled and we use the same estimations and spent time fields in all projects involved, the estimates and spent time are summed up for the features and are automatically added to the indices on the manager’s board, with epics.

YouTrack aims to provide you with all the means to practice Agile methodologies. We hope this post gave you some useful tips on how to make your daily routine more effective and easy keeping your eyes on the target and monitoring the progress.

Your comments are very welcome below.

Keep tracking with pleasure!
~ YouTrack Team

Posted in features, how-to, tips | Tagged , | 20 Comments

Using YouTrack 5.1 as Your Help Desk

Update: With the YouTrack 5.2 we introduced the enhanced Help Desk workflow that allows you to support multiple customers in a single ticket/issue. Please refer to the Helpdeskers, Support Multiple Customers in a Single YouTrack Thread blog post for the Help Desk configuration and setup instructions.

It’s been a while since we added mailbox integration in YouTrack. Mailbox integration is a key feature that allows you to create an issue from email and add replies as comments, in effect turning YouTrack into a help desk.

With YouTrack 5.1 we made great changes to our help desk support. Now you can involve your customers in your issue tracking process without the necessity to create user accounts for them in YouTrack. We made this possible with the help of a brand new workflow called NotifyUnregisteredUsers, comes with YouTrack 5.1.

Use Case

We want to have a project in which YouTrack will create issues from emails from our customers, but we don’t want to register every customer in our YouTrack. Yet we want to be able to notify these unregistered users about their requests, and hold a conversation with them in YouTrack. How can we do this?

Step-by-step Configuration for YouTrack Help Desk
Our help desk configuration contains the following parts:

  • Checking/Configuring system-wide email notification settings.
  • Creating and configuring a help desk project.
  • Attaching workflow to the project.
  • Configuring mailbox integration for the help desk project.

Quick note before we begin:
You must have low-level administration permissions to follow the described procedure.

Part I: Configuring System Email Notifications

First of all, we need to make sure that email notifications are enabled and configured correctly on our server.

If you are using YouTrack InCloud edition and haven’t change the default settings, you can skip this part and move on to the Part II. In this case we have already enabled and configured sending email notifications for you.

If you are using YouTrack InCloud edition and have change the default settings or if you are using YouTrack Standalone edition, you need to make sure that sending email notifications is enabled and working properly.

    1. Open Administration > Settings, and scroll down to the ‘Email’ section.
    2. Select the ‘Email’ check-box to enable sending email notifications.
    3. Provide SMTP server configuration and test the connection.

Important Note About Using Google Mail:
If you are using Google mail server for sending email notifications, please make sure that the email address you use for the notifications is the same address you use for the help desk notifications. Google does not allow substituting sender’s email addresses. Thus, the per-project address you provide for a help desk project will not work if differs from the system-wide email notifications address.

When sending notifications is enabled and configured, you are ready to proceed to the Part II of the help desk configuration.

Part II: Creating and Configuring Your Help Desk Project

Create a new project, which you will use for the help desk:

  1. Open Administration > Projects and click the link Create new project.
  2. Set the project’s name (‘Help Desk’), ID, and select a project lead.
  3. Assign an email address for the Help Desk project.
    Please pay attention to this step: To keep conversation with our users in YouTrack, we need a separate, unique email address for our project, so our customers get notifications from and reply to this particular email address. Typically this would be your support/feedback email address.

    New Help Desk project

    New Help Desk project

  4. Configure issue fields the new project ‘Help Desk’: Add assignees, remove unrelated default fields, configure remaining related fields. In our case, we decided to leave only four fields: Type, Priority, Assignee and State (we renamed it to ‘Request State’).

Part III: Attaching the Workflow to the Help Desk Project

Attach the default NotifyUnregisteredUsers workflow to the Help Desk project. This configuration step is also important because this particular workflow implements sending notifications to your customers.

  1. Switch to Projects > Help Desk > Workflow tab and click the link Attach Workflow.
  2. In the ‘Workflows for Help Desk’ dialog box, select the workflow ‘jetbrains-youtrack-notifyUnregisteredUsers’.
    Selected workflow and suggested Quick Fixes

    Selected workflow and suggested Quick Fixes

    Important! Another key point in our configuration: When you select the workflow, YouTrack will suggest two Quick-Fixes to add a couple of additional fields to the project:

    • Customer Email — the field that will contain actual email address of the requester, hence allowing your customers to receive notifications without registering in your tracker.
    • Last comment author — the field that will allow your customers not to receive excessive notifications (as unregistered users they can’t configure their notifications, so in a way we will do this for them).

Please make sure you have applied these quick-fixes! Otherwise the workflow won’t work correctly for the help desk project.

Before we proceed to the next part of the configuration, let’s check the current list of issue fields in the project just to make sure all necessary fields are in place:

Issue fields in Help Desk project

Issue fields in Help Desk project

Okay, all fields are in place, so we can now set up Mailbox integration.

Part IV: Configuring Mailbox Integration

  1. Open Administration > Mailbox Integration page.
  2. Add the mailbox for your project’s email (the one you provided as “Project ‘from’ email” while creating the Help Desk project. In our case we used ‘youtrack.demo.helpdesk@gmail.com’).

    "Add Mailbox" Dialogue

    “Add Mailbox” Dialogue

  3. Add mail processing rule: click the Add Rule link and set up the following parameters:
    1. On the Main tab select project-Help Desk, Mailbox (the one we have just created), and Maintainer:

      Main tab of a mailbox integration rule

      Main tab of a mailbox integration rule

    2. Switch to the Filter tab, click the Folder drop-down list and select the folder from which we will fetch the emails. We used INBOX for our IMAP account.

      Filter tab of a mailbox integration rule

      Filter tab of a mailbox integration rule

    3. In the Reporter tab, select the option ‘Always set <username> as reporter’ and select the user who will be the reporter of all issues created from collected emails. This is what guarantees that YouTrack will not create a user account for each new customer who sends you a request.

      Reporter tab of a mailbox integration rule

      Reporter tab of a mailbox integration rule

    4. In the Postprocessing tab, provide the following commands:
      • In the field “on issue created”, Customer email ${from}. This command will be applied to each new issue in the Help Desk project created from email. It actually assigns the ‘from’ email address—your customer’s email address—to the field ‘Customer email.’
      • In the field “on comment created”, Last comment author ${from} command, which will be applied to each new comment created from email in the Help Desk project created from email.

      Providing these commands is another key point in configuring your help desk system.

      Postprocessing tab of a mailbox integration rule

      Postprocessing tab of a mailbox integration rule

After saving the new mailbox integration rule, your configuration is finalized. Now your tracker is ready to start serving as your help desk system and handling email requests from your customers.

Summary of Configuration Key Points

Here we’d like to list once again the key points of the help desk configuration that you should keep in mind:

  • When creating a project, make sure to set the “Project ‘from’ email” to your feedback/support email. Thus the notifications will be sent to your unregistered customers from this email, and they will reply to the correct address.
  • Attach the notifyUnregisteredUsers default workflow to your help desk project.
  • Make sure to apply the quick-fixes suggested by the workflow to add these two fields to your project: ”Customer email”and “Last comment author”.
    If you somehow missed the quick-fix, you can create and/or add these fields manually. Just keep in mind that both of these fields must be attached to your project in order to make the help desk work.
  • The mailbox integration should be set for the same feedback/support email address as the Project ‘from’ email.
  • Use the Always set User as reporter option to exclude the possibility of creating new user accounts automatically.
  • Make sure to specify these two commands to apply during the post-processing of an email:
    • Customer email ${from}” command for each new issue created from the email.
    • Last comment author ${from}” command for each new comment created from the email.

How the Process Will Look to Your Customers

So we’ve just configured YouTrack to function as a help desk. To give you an idea of how the conversation between a customer and a support team looks like in such a help desk, here is a sample of typical processing of a customer request:

  1. Your customer sends an email to your help desk address:

    Original email from a customer

    Original email from a customer

  2. From the original email a new issue is created in YouTrack:
    New issue created from the customer's email

    New issue created from the customer’s email

    The customer’s email is stored in the issue.

  3. A support engineer adds a comment to the issue, replying to the customer request:

    Support engineer replies in a comment to the issue

    Support engineer replies in a comment to the issue

  4. Customer receives a notification with the comment:

    Customer receives notification by email

    Customer receives notification by email

  5. The customer replies to the received notification in email:

    Customer replies to the notification in email

    Customer replies to the notification in email

  6. From the customer’s reply email, YouTrack adds a new comment to the original issue:

    Comment created from the customer's reply

    Comment created from the customer’s reply

As you can see, for the customer this is nothing more than exchanging emails with your support team. For the support team, it comes down to simple commenting an issue. Plus, you get all the advantages of the tracking system. And, of course, you can enhance the help desk configuration and tweak it to match your support routine. For instance, you can apply additional commands to new issues in Mailbox Integration, or you can attach other default workflows to notify the project lead about unresolved issues.

Upgrading

Get YouTrack 5.1 and start using it as your help desk today.

NOTE: If you’re using YouTrack InCloud, your site will be upgraded to v5.1 automatically, according to our Maintenance Calendar.

Going Forward

This is the first in a series of posts demonstrating how YouTrack can be used as something more than an issue tracker, and showcasing the powers of YouTrack customization. Coming up next in this series will be Using YouTrack for Payment Management. Stay tuned to our news @youtrack.

We hope this post was useful for you and we look forward to receiving your feedback and ideas!

Track with pleasure,
YouTrack Team

Posted in features, how-to, release, tips | 58 Comments

[YouTrack - Not Just an Issue Tracker] Webinar Recording, Slides and Session Q&A

Thank you for taking time to join us for our live webinar: YouTrack – Not Just an Issue Tracker on Tuesday, January 21. The recording of the webinar is now available on JetBrains YouTube Channel, as well as the slides from the presentation.

During the webinar we demonstrated how to use YouTrack as an accounting/event management tool. The main idea was to show that YouTrack is so customizable that you can re-purpose it from tracking bugs to tracking anything! We also covered external automation using the REST API and YouTrackSharp:

We received tons of questions during the webinar and today we would like to share our chat history with you. We’ve chosen the most relevant questions and added more detailed answers:

Q: Can I use YouTrack to store snippets of information, web links, project requirements and details, general notes?

A: Yes, of course it’s not a traditional way of using issue tracker, but possible.

Q: I have “broken workflows” in a couple of projects… and I don’t know what to do about it. Please advise.

A: It happens when you change the custom field scheme. YouTrack normally leads you through the process of fixing broken workflows. If you mouse over or click on the highlighted workflow, YouTrack will guide you right to the broken rule. When you get to the broken rule, YouTrack will suggest Quick Fixes, such as adding a missing field value to your project. Apply the fixes, and YouTrack will complete the whole process for you.

And of course, you can always contact our support team if you need any help creating/editing your workflows.

Q: How does the WF editor get information about the customized database?

A: The WF editor downloads the custom fields scheme and workflows when you connect it to your YouTrack server.

Q: Is it possible to create a workflow that will execute an external API call?

A: Unfortunately, not. Please file an issue with an example of your use case.

Q: What is the underlying engine for the WF editor in YouTrack? I heard it’s MPS. Is it correct?

A: Yes,  YouTrack Workflow editor is based on MPS with a DSL developed specifically for creating custom workflows. It gives our customers full freedom of customization, being flexible enough to support even the most complicated business processes.

Q: How do you create a bespoke application using MPS?

A: You first create a set of DSLs using MPS language design functionality. Then you write your application code using these DSLs.

To create YouTrack, we first designed several DSLs to cover a common stack of web development tools: persistence, services layer (including REST services) and templating. We also created a typed JavaScript.

Q: How good is the issue text fields editor for large string fields? Is it Google Doc-like (WYSIWYG HTML), wiki-like, or just plain text?

A: Wiki markup syntax is supported. Please check the full Wiki Reference. The most popular HTML tags are supported inside the wiki as well. Here are some useful tips: highlight the code using {code} tag, add the link to the issue attachment [file:attachment.png], or insert the attachment preview [!attachment.png!].

Q: How well is YouTrack supported by Eclipse Mylin?

A: Mylyn connector plugin is being developed by JetBrains Intern and will be reviewed by the Mylyn connector team. The plugin is under testing now. It will be supported by YouTrack team. Please check the GitHub repository for current progress.

Q: The REST API deals with plain passwords for authentication? Any idea to handle this with encrypted passwords?

A: Consider leveraging TLS/SSL (HTTPS) to secure your channel and thus protect your data. Modern authentication protocols tend to avoid any ad hoc encryption and rely on TLS/SSL. For example, in OAuth they had ‘proprietary’ encryption which was abandoned in OAuth2.

Q: We did have a question/request. We would really like to be able to use decimal fields for time tracking, not just integer types.

A: Here is your feature request, please get some more votes and we’ll try to include it in the next YouTrack version.

Q: Will we get the link to the webinar recording by email afterwards?

A: Yes, we always send a follow-up email with the link to the recording to everyone who registered to the webinar. We also tweet about it @jetbrains and @youtrack, and announce it in our blogs. So stay tuned!

Please leave your comments with ideas for future YouTrack webinars. Let us know what you want to know about YouTrack!

Posted in webinar | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Free Live Webinar: YouTrack – Not Just an Issue Tracker!

Join us Tuesday, January 21st, 14:00 – 15:00 GMT (9:00 – 10:00 EST) for our free live webinar, YouTrack – Not Just an Issue Tracker with Dmitry Nesteruk.

Did you think that YouTrack is just for tracking bugs? Think again! In this webinar, Dmitri  Nesteruk will demonstrate how to use YouTrack as an accounting/event management tool.

We’ll take a look at YouTrack database customization, implementation of business logic with the power of workflows, as well as external automation using the REST API and YouTrackSharp.

Space is limited, please register now.

Dmitri Nesteruk is a developer, speaker, podcaster and a technical evangelist for JetBrains s.r.o. His interests lie in software development and integration practices in the areas of computation, quantitative finance and algorithmic trading. He is an instructor of an entry-level course in Quantitative Finance. His technological interests include C#, F# and C++ programming as well high-performance computing.

 

Posted in uncategorized | 5 Comments

Happy Holidays! What has 2013 been like?

The New Year is just around the corner and it’s almost time for long holidays for us! First of all, we would like to wish you Happy Holidays. Let’s make these days the most wonderful time of the year, when the most precious dreams come true!

New Year is just the right time for summing up. Looking back, we would like to  share the most remarkable things happened to our Fast-flying-agile Bird during the 2013:

1. YouTrack mastered Spanish, Russian, German and French, with custom localization options also available.

2. YouTrack learned how to chat with you via Jabber.

3. YouTrack became extremely agile with the cross-projects agile boards, multiple agile boards and new backlog management.

4. A restyled UI with Darcula TV look-and-feel has made YouTrack way more stylish and trendy.

Overall, YouTrack has grown by 200% and our customer base has almost doubled this year.  These positive trends lead us to believe that we are on the right path to delivering the perfect issue tracking system and agile project management tool, which gives you enough freedom to create the best solutions for your customers. This is made possible by you — by submitting your feature requests and sharing your feedback with us!

We promise to do our best next year, to make you even happier with the brand-new-cool features we are already working on, as well as the best service and support you can imagine.

Join us today, by downloading YouTrack stand-alone or signing up for YouTrack InCloud!

Happy Holidays, and have a Great 2014!

Posted in events | Tagged | 1 Comment

YouTrack 5.0.6 Is Out

Please welcome the updated YouTrack 5.0.6! This minor version includes several bug fixes along with the improved REST API, which now allows you to merge users.

You are  welcome to download the latest YouTrack 5.0.6 to keep tracking with pleasure! Take a minute to check the full list of release notes for more details.

If you are using YouTrack InCloud, your site will be updated to the latest version on Monday, Dec. 9, 2013 according to our Maintenance Calendar.

JetBrains YouTrack Team

 

Posted in release | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

YouTrack 5.0.5 is Available!

We are thrilled to announce probably the last version from 5.0.x family — YouTrack 5.0.5. This update includes:

  • A shortcut for editing task estimation. Sometimes we overestimate or underestimate complex tasks. Just press F4 to edit your previous estimation.
  • From now on YouTrack administrator can easily access settings pages in one click. Welcome fresh YouTrack header look-and-feel:

  • Numerous useful bug fixes and usability improvements. Please check the release notes for the whole list of changes.

We kindly remind that it is perfect time to get YouTrack 5.0.5 with 40% OFF. Halloween Sale is just started!

You are welcome to download the latest build or sign up for YouTrack InCloud, hosted in the cloud by us. If you are already using YouTrack InCloud, your site will be updated to the freshest 5.0.5 according to our Maintenance Calendar.

Happy Halloween!

Keep calm and track it soflty with YouTrack 5 codenamed “Gentle”!
JetBrains YouTrack Team

Posted in news, release | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Track or Treat: 40% OFF on YouTrack Products!

So you’ve prepared your scary Halloween costumes, baked cookies for neighbors’ kids and carved pumpkins into spooky Jack-O-Lanterns. But if you think you’re ready for this Halloween’s surprises, think again.

That’s because we at YouTrack are announcing our chilling Halloween sale: Get 40% OFF YouTrack Stand-Alone or YouTrack InCloud yearly subscriptions!

The offer is valid from October 30 until November 15 and applies to any Stand-Alone pack and any InCloud yearly YouTrack subscription.

Great news for existing Stand-Alone customers, too: You can also upgrade your YouTrack pack at 40% OFF.

Hurry and get YouTrack for 40% OFF right now and experience the terrific tracking power!

Happy Halloween!

Keep tracking with pleasure!
Jetbrains YouTrack Team

Posted in news | Tagged | 6 Comments