We are ending this month on a high note: YouTrack 4.0 has been released and is available now! Our development team has worked very hard to provide this release on time and you can start using it right away.
One of the main focuses of this release has been supporting Agile methodologies. This includes support for our brand new visual board and backlog management.
Let’s take a look at some of the new features.
Support for Agile teams
As mentioned previously, our main focus in this version has been to support Agile teams. With the introduction of the board, YouTrack now allows us to visually manage our tasks. Whether we’re a team that practices Scrum or a Kanban process, we can plan, visualize and manage our work at a glance via the board. This board is available under new Agile Board link at the top of the YouTrack page.
When we first click on the Agile Board, it will prompt us to set up it up and from there on we are ready to work with it. On the top-right of the screen we’ve also introduced a What’s new link which provides insight on how the board works and get up and running.
A progress bar on the top left shows the relative distribution of tasks on the board by states, visually displaying the projects progress toward release date. Tasks are single work items (YouTrack issues), represented by a card on the board and are separated into configurable columns based on states: Open, In Progress and Fixed in this case.
Swimlanes allow us to group tasks belonging to a feature or a user story on the board. By default YouTrack issues of type “Feature” become swimlanes and their subtasks (see “Subtasks support” below) become swimlane tasks. Orphan tasks are standalone issues that belong to the current sprint, but are not grouped under any swimlane, i.e., they are not a sub-tasks of any feature.
All tasks can be dragged and dropped between state columns or swimlanes. This effectively modifies their state (Open => In Progress => Fixed) or a story they belong to. Also, following our tradition of being issue tracker that is extremely keyboard-friendly we’ve made it possible to move tasks around by using Ctrl+Left/Right/Up/Down shortcut.
Clicking on each task also enables us to apply commands and get insight into issues easily, all from the same screen.
Scrum or Kanban? Both!
YouTrack is flexible enough to allow for both Scrum and Kanban development processes. We can define Sprints, user stories and tasks to match a Scrum methodology. Alternatively, we can remove swimlanes and work with tasks of various states representing different stages in the Kanban Pipeline. It is also possible to define a maximum amount of Work in Progress (WIP) for every state.
Filtering issues on the board
The board also allows to leverage the full power of YouTrack’s queries. By entering queries in the search box, we can create filters and view only what we want to on the board. All queries that are supported in the “Issues” YouTrack screen work from the board too.
For instance, the query below displays issues fixed in YouTrack 4.0, updated recently, created by Valerie Andrianova and having no attachments.
Custom notification templates
It is now possible to customize email and jabber notifications to suit our needs. We can control information sent to users when a new issue is created, updated, commented or reassigned. It is possible to add our own subject, change the language, adjust the message text, and more, using the Freemarker templates.
Custom reordering of issues and subtasks support
Reordering of issues is now also possible: we can reorder issues in search results and saved searches. The ordering is persisted for saved searches which allows us to share links easily.
Creating subtasks is also possible in version 4.0. We can now link issues as “parent” or “subtask” and see this relationship using the Tree View mode
In this view, we can also define parent/subtasks relationships by dragging issues up to the root or subtask level to create tasks hierarchy of any depth (don’t goo too deep, though!). When using swimlanes, tasks will be shown as subtasks of the issue.
The project drop-down menu which has a list of projects, also now contains tags and saved searches.
Once we choose an entry in this menu it becomes our personal context upon which all queries are applied. We can now work in this context until manually switching to another one. If we need to query issues across all projects in YouTrack, we can simply choose Everything as our context. To keep a list of our contexts compact and uncluttered, we can pin and unpin projects, tags and saved searches in the sidebar below it.
Importing from AgileZen
In addition to the existing list of imports available, we have now added support for AgileZen project management. It has support for the import of users, projects, stories and tasks related to each story. By default each story is imported as a feature, and story tasks are imported as feature subtasks.
Tagging users in comments
Previously, in order to have someone receive notifications, we had to add them as Watchers of the issue. With YouTrack 4.0 we can now tag users in comments and they will automatically be added as watchers. The syntax is @username. This functionality is implemented as a workflow, which demonstrates yet again the flexibility of YouTrack. In order to use it, import this Workflow from our Workflow Repository.
Sometimes sending too many notifications may annoy users that are watching a particular issue. For instance we need to apply updates to several issues that are not necessarily detrimental for a watcher to know about. For these case, we can now use the Silent Apply option when executing a command:
In addition to the previous features, we have added numerous enhancements to make it easier, faster and more efficient to work with YouTrack. Some of these include
For a list of 600+ fixes, improvements and features, please see the release notes.
You can download the new YouTrack version right now and try it yourself. Let us know what you like about this new release, what you don’t like, what you’d like us to improve. All feedback welcome. As usual you can contact us on our new forum, Twitter, or of course, log an issue in our tracker.
YouTrack InCloud Support
We will be upgrading our InCloud service based on the maintenance calendars that you will find here. This is done in order to respect the current schedules and let our customers know ahead of time of any potential downtime.