Chat with YouTrack Jabber-Bot

Today we would like to introduce you to our YouTrack Jabber-Bot – a killer feature in YouTrack 4.2. Check the demo by Hadi Hariri.

With this awesome feature, you can talk with your YouTrack via Jabber. Send search requests and apply commands in reply to a jabber notification, or simply start a chat with YouTrack.

How to start conversation with Jabber-Bot?

To enable Jabber-Bot you must have Low-level Administrator Permissions. Enabling Jabber-Bot is easy:

  • Open Administration > Settings page
  • InCloud users: You can’t change Jabber-Bot’s username or server. It will be named your_instance_name@myjetbrains.com:

    Enabling Jabber-Bot

  • Stand-Alone users: Enter Jabber-Bot’s server, port and user credentials
  • Enable Jabber-Bot in Administration > Settings > Jabber notifications panel
  • Send a test message from Jabber-Bot to your jabber account:
  • Enabling Jabber-Bot

    You should receive a contact request from YouTrack Jabber-Bot:

    Add Jabber-Bot to your Contacts

    ** If you don’t get a contact request, please add Jabber-Bot’s contact details into your jabber contact list manually.

Congrats! The setup part is over, so just enjoy your pleasant conversation with YouTrack.

Hello, Jabber-Bot!

From now on, you can start a conversation any time by simply typing any command or search query to YouTrack Jabber-Bot, or by replying to any jabber notification.

What topics to discuss with Jabber-Bot?

Help
If you’re not sure how to start a conversation, just ask for help! Type /help and get basic tips on the syntax used in commands and search queries:

Jabber-Bot Help

Usage Statistics
If you don’t like reading manuals or asking for directions, there’s another topic available anytime. No, it’s not weather, but the current usage statistics of your YouTrack server. Just type /stat:

Usage Statistics

Search for Issues
For a search request, just add a slash before your query. YouTrack Jabber-Bot will happily return the top 10 results matching your query. Here I’m asking for a list of issues assigned to me in project JBD (Jabber-Bot Demo):

Search Results

Apply Command
You can manage your issues by applying commands to specific issues directly from your Jabber:

Apply Command

Add Comment
Just type ‘comment’ after issue ID, or as part of a command, to add a comment:

Add Comment

Stay in Context – Skip Issue ID
Did you notice how I just skipped JBD-4 (the issue ID) in my second command? A true partner in conversation, Jabbet-Bot pays attention and stays aware of your context. When you receive a jabber notification from YouTrack, you can skip issue ID in reply and start directly with the command or comment that you want to add to the issue. Likewise, after you’ve just edited/commented a particular issue, you can skip its ID in the following commands/comments:

JBD-7 duplicates JBD-4

Get Issue Details
You can easily get issue details just by providing its issue ID. YouTrack Jabber-Bot will show you the issue description, summary and fields:

JBD-7 Details

JBD-7 was resolved as duplicate of fixed JBD-4:

We’ll continue improving Jabber-Bot. Soon we’ll add an avatar to InCloud Jabber-Bot. For Stand-Alone, you can add it yourself.

Please enjoy the conversation and be nice to your Jabber-Bot, else it could take offense and stop talking to you! :-(

What else would you like to talk about with your Jabbet-Bot? Please share your ideas by leaving a comment below. Your feedback is highly appreciated.

Chat with YouTrack with pleasure!
JetBrains YouTrack Team

Posted in features, tips | Tagged , | 2 Comments

YouTrack 4.2.1 is here with fixes and updates for even more tracking pleasure

We are happy to introduce YouTrack 4.2.1. This release includes set of fixes and minor updates on jabber notifications, file attachment, CSV export, issue deleting and more. Please check the release notes for the full list of changes.

Download YouTrack 4.2.1 or sign up for the newest YouTrack InCloud. Existing YouTrack InCloud sites will be updated to the latest version on Monday, March 25, according to our Events & Maintenance Calendar

Keep tracking with pleasure!
YouTrack Team

Posted in release | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Webinar Recording. From Bug Tracking Chaos to Issue Management

As you remember on March 12 we organized a webinar “Umbraco meets YouTrack: From Bug Tracking Chaos to Issue Management” with Umbraco Project Manager Sebastiaan Janssen and JetBrains Technical Evangelist Hadi Hariri. The recording is now available JetBrains.tv and YouTube.

Thank you Sebastiaan and Hadi for the great session, and thank our attendees for their attention and questions. Some of the questions were related to the following topics:

  • Matrix reports: The question was about sharing matrix report with the team. Currently, it is not possible. If you are also interested in this feature, please feel free to vote for it.
  • Agile board: We are working on making YouTrack agile board better. View the suggested enhancements, vote for the ones you like and add your own.
  • Custom and out-of-the-box workflows: We think that workflows are worth to organize the whole webinar about them. Follow our further announcements.
  • Integration with TFS and VCS: Currently integration is possible only via TeamCity. The details are listed here. In TeamCity you have to create at least one build configuration. However, you don’t have to actually build anything with TeamCity. Another good news is that it’s free.

So far please enjoy the recording of the webinar:

Sebastiaan Janssen walks us through the wide range of YouTrack features he regularly uses at Umbraco: doing complex searches in second, using keyboard shortcuts and command console, integration data from the tracker into release page via YouTrack REST API and more advanced tricks.

We hope to see you on next YouTrack webinar. For future announcements we recommend that you follow us on JetBrains Facebook, YouTrack Twitter, or YouTrack Product Blog.

Keep Tracking with pleasure!
JetBrains YouTrack Team

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Upcoming Webinar. March, 12. Umbraco Meets YouTrack: From Bug Tracking Chaos to Issue Management

Join us Tuesday, March 12th for our free webinar, Umbraco Meets YouTrack: From Bug Tracking Chaos to Issue ManagementUmbraco’s Project Manager Sebastiaan Janssen will go through the wide range of YouTrack features he uses to easily stay on top of their product development.

We’ll be looking at:

  • Doing complex search queries in seconds
  • Using custom fields to support the community in contributing to the source
  • Making the day more productive by using the command console and keyboard shortcuts
  • Taking advantage of the Agile board to get an overview of the release at a glance
  • Integrating the data from the tracker into our custom roadmap and release page, using some Knockout.js and the YouTrack API
  • And more power user tips and tricks along the way

This free webinar will take place Tuesday, March 12th from 16:00 – 17:00 CET (Central European Time). Space is limited; please register now.

This webinar will be hosted by JetBrains Technical Evangelist Hadi Hariri, and Sebastiaan Janssen, Project Manager at Umbraco.

About Sebastiaan Janssen

Sebastiaan is a .NET developer and has recently started working as the project manager at Umbraco, one of the most deployed Web Content Management Systems on the Microsoft stack. Sebastiaan is originally from Holland but moved to Denmark for this new challenge a few months ago. Before his move he has been implementing websites using various content management systems on the .NET platform. He has been a very active contributor to Umbraco for years, doing talks atmany user groups and the yearly Umbraco conference called CodeGarden.
 
Keep tracking with pleasure!
JetBrains YouTrack Team

Posted in events, tips, webinar | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Post-Mortem of YouTrack InCloud Availability Issue

As you might have noticed, on Wednesday, February 20, there was the problem with YouTrack InCloud availability. The problem caused downtime at around 19.00 GMT and another downtime at around 23.00 GMT.

What was the problem

We use Nginx server which is focused on high concurrency, performance and low memory. On February 20 Nginx was unusually high loaded. This caused Out of memory error and we decided to restart Nginx on another server. We got 30 minutes downtime, finally. Honestly, longer than we expected.

What we’ve already done to solve this issue

Our Nginx was restarted on another server which is more powerful. Some technical issues which made downtime while moving to another server longer than expected were solved. All  YouTrack InCloud instances should work fine since 23.30 GMT.

Please, contact our InCloud support if there is still a problem with your YouTrack instance.

What we are willing to do to prevent further issues

Current solution prevents similar problem for a long time. Though, we plan to configure second nginx server and use Elastic Load Balancing automatically distributes incoming application traffic across multiple Amazon EC2 instances.

We apologize for the inconvenience you might have experienced due our system downtime. We have done our best to solve the problem as soon as possible. This issue taught us a lesson how to achieve greater YouTrack InCloud fault tolerance with higher loads.

Best regards,
JetBrains YouTrack Team

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YouTrack 4.2 is Ready to Chat With You

Valentine’s Day is meant to be spent with your loved ones. That’s why we’re releasing YouTrack 4.2 today – the latest and greatest version of our favorite agile issue tracker and project management tool. Now you can chat with YouTrack Jabber-Bot, share Zendesk tickets with YouTrack, enjoy new workflows and more!

Chat with YouTrack Jabber-Bot

We’ve already raved about our brand new Jabber-Bot, and soon enough you’ll see a whole blog post dedicated to it. Talk to it to apply commands, search for issues or view issue details. For now, check out this conversation on a very important Valentine’s Day project:

Integration with Zendesk

Share your Zendesk ticket with YouTrack to create a new issue in YouTrack and automatically synchronize further changes between Zendesk and YouTrack.

To do this, first initiate a sharing invite from Zendesk, and then accept it from YouTrack. Conveniently, as you accept an invite, you can choose which field in YouTrack will represent the Zendesk ticket Status.

Here Zendesk ticket ‘Restaurant reservation’ with status ‘Open’ was shared with a YouTrack project:

Zendesk Integration

Zendesk ticket status corresponds to Issue State in YouTrack. All comments were shared automatically. From this moment on all further changes to this ‘Restaurant reservation’ ticket will be applied to YouTrack issue VD-1.

Zendesk Integration

Shared issues are synchronized both ways, i.e. all issue changes in YouTrack will be applied to the corresponding Zendesk tickets.

For mode details see our updated documentation.

Many New Default Workflows

New workflow for “depends on” link. Now you can get a notification when the ‘depend on’ issue is resolved.

We’ve made “+1″ comments do what they really mean to. Now if you type ‘+1’ in your comment, YouTrack will offer you to vote for the issue. This idea was previously described here.

Sometimes we all forget to actually attach things we referred to in our messages. Never again. We’ve added a reminder to add an attachment or a screenshot if the word ‘attach’ is mentioned in the comment.

According to the updated ‘subtask’ workflow, parent issue state will now take the minimum value from the child state, instead of having only Open / Fixed values. For example, if you had four child issues with states Submitted, Fixed, Fixed and Verified parent issue state would be Submitted.

Now you can mark a sprint as completed to prevent further changes.

Now it’s possible to create a blacklist for spam filtering. This workflow prevents submitting a description or comment with words from the blacklist. Now it is much easier to protect your YouTrack from spammers.

We’ve also added a timer (on/off or changing state In Progress/Fixed) workflow for adding work items automatically. You can track time spent on issue just by changing issue state (from In Progress to Fixed).

New Commands: “Visible to” and “Delete”

We’ve added a new command and search query, “Visible to”. Now you can directly define the group your issue/comment is visible to, or search for issues visible to a particular user group.

You asked us for a way to delete multiple issues, and we made it possible. With the new “Delete” command, you can delete multiple issues at once instead of deleting each issue separately from its full issue screen.

Other Great Enhancements:

We’ve improved Mailbox Integration in YouTrack 4.2 with a couple of small but significant updates. First, you can now eliminate endless quoted text in comments generated from emails – keep just the actual replies, plain and simple. Hooray! Second, you can now configure custom text patterns to search for in a message body. This way you can automatically filter out messages and ignore them along with auto-replies while processing fetched emails.

Import work items from RedMine: YouTrack 4.2 allows you to import work items from RedMine. Just use “-t” option when running the script from the command line.

Performance improvements: With YouTrack 4.2, you can track faster than ever before.

Try Now

Check What’s New for more details and download YouTrack 4.2 or sign up for YouTrack InCloud right now! As always, we welcome your feedback.

If you are already using YouTrack InCloud, your site will be upgraded to the latest version automatically according to our Maintenance Calendar.

Keep tracking with pleasure!
JetBrains YouTrack Team

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Welcome to YouTrack 4.2 Early Access Program

Are you ready to try YouTrack 4.2? Good, because YouTrack 4.2 Early Access Program (EAP) is officially opened as of today. Oh, and after you do please give us your feedback.

What’s already in there?

  1. Chatting with YouTrack Jabber-Bot: this feature is hilarious, honestly! The idea is that now you can really chat with YouTrack via jabber: send search requests and apply commands in reply to the jabber notification or simply by starting a chat with YouTrack! Here is just a short episode of my conversation with YouTrack:
    What can you chat about? 

    • Send search queries for quick results. For example, type /for:me #unresolved to get the top 10 unresolved issues assigned to you.
    • Apply command(s) to specific issue(s). For example, type Erp-24 fixed tag ready to be tested to fix issue Erp-24 and add the tag ‘ready to be tested’.
    • Ask for help by typing /help.
    • Simply chat if you feel like talking to someone :)

    This guy is really worth a separate blog post, so expect it soon! Please take a look at the YouTrack Chat-Bot Manual before you start chatting.

  2. Integration with Zendesk: This brand new integration allows you to share Zendesk tickets with YouTrack. When you share a ticket, a new issue is created in YouTrack automatically and all the changes will be further synchronized between Zendesk and YouTrack. For details about configuring the integration click here.
  3. A bunch of brand new workflows, bundled with YouTrack and ready to be used in your projects, such as:
    • workflow for ‘depends on’ link
    • detect +1 in comments and suggest to vote for the issue
    • reminder to add attachment or screenshot, if ‘attach’ is mentioned in the comment
    • blacklist for spam filtering
    • be notified when the ‘depend on’ issue is resolved
    • mark sprint as completed to prevent further changes
    • Timer (on/off or changing state In Progress/Fixed) workflow for adding work items automatically
  4. ‘Visible to’ command and search query: Now you can directly define the group your issue/comment is visible to, via the command window, or instead search by the visibility group:
  5. Performance improvements: Now YouTrack is even faster! Try v4.2 and feel the difference.

You are welcome to check the full list of changes included in YouTrack 4.2 EAP. Download YouTrack 4.2 EAP build and enjoy all the latest tracking goodies!

Your feedback is extremely important to us. Please share your thoughts via:

Keep tracking with pleasure!

JetBrains YouTrack Team

Posted in features, release | Tagged | 6 Comments

Hosting a YouTrack instance on Windows Azure

YouTrack can be installed on different platforms. We have a stand-alone version which can be downloaded and installed on your own server. If you prefer a cloud-hosted solution we have YouTrack InCloud available for you. There is always a third way as well: why not host YouTrack stand-alone on a virtual machine hosted in Windows Azure?

In this post we’ll walk you through getting a Windows Azure subscription, creating a virtual machine, installing YouTrack and configuring firewalls so we can use our cloud-hosted YouTrack instance from any browser on any location.

Getting a Windows Azure subscription

In order to be able to work with Windows Azure, we’ll need a subscription. Microsoft has several options there but as a first-time user, there is a 90-day free trial which comes with a limited amount of free resources, enough for hosting YouTrack. If you are an MSDN subscriber or BizSpark member, there are some additional benefits that are worth exploring.

On www.windowsazure.com, click the Try it free button to start the subscription wizard. You will be asked for a Windows Live ID and for credit card details, depending on the country you live in. No worries: you will not be charged in this trial unless you explicitly remove the spending cap.

The 90-day trial comes with 750 small compute hours monthly, which means we can host a single core machine with 1.5 GB of memory without being charged. There is 35 GB of storage included, enough to host the standard virtual machines available in the platform. Inbound traffic is free, 25 GB of outbound traffic is included as well. Seems reasonable to give YouTrack on Windows Azure a spin!

Enabling Windows Azure preview features

Before continuing, it is important to know that some features of the Windows Azure platform are still in preview, such as the “infrastructure-as-a-service” virtual machines (VM) we’re going to use in this blog post. After creating a Windows Azure account, make sure to enable these preview features from the administration page.

Once that’s done, we can direct our browser to http://manage.windowsazure.com and start our YouTrack deployment.

Creating a virtual machine

The Windows Azure Management Portal gives us access to all services activated in our subscription. Under Virtual Machines we can manage existing virtual machines or create our own.

When clicking the + New button, we can create a new virtual machine, either by using the Quick create option or by using the From gallery option. We’ll choose the latter as it provides us with some preinstalled virtual machines running a variety of operating systems, both Windows and Linux.

Depending on your preferences, feel free to go with one of the templates available. YouTrack is supported on both Windows and Linux. Let’s go with the latest version of Windows Server 2012 for this blog post.

Following the wizard, we can name our virtual machine and provide the administrator password. The name we’re giving in this screen is the actual hostname, not the DNS name we will be using to access the machine remotely. Note the machine size can also be selected. If you are using the free trial, make sure to use the Small machine size or charges will incur. There is also an Extra Small instance but this has few resources available.

In the next step of the wizard, we have to provide the DNS name for our machine. Pick anything you would like to use, do note it will always end in .cloudapp.net. No worries if you would like to link a custom domain name later since that is supported as well.

We can also select the region where our virtual machine will be located. Microsoft has 8 Windows Azure datacenters globally: 4 in the US, 2 in Europe and 2 in Asia. Pick one that’s close to you since that will reduce network latency.

The last step of the wizard provides us with the option of creating an availability set. Since we’ll be starting off with just one virtual machine this doesn’t really matter. However when hosting multiple virtual machines make sure to add them to the same availability set. Microsoft uses these to plan maintenance and make sure only part of your virtual machines is subject to maintenance at any given time.

After clicking the Complete button, we can relax a bit. Depending on the virtual machine size selected it may take up to 15 minutes before our machine is started. Status of the machine can be inspected through the management portal, as well as some performance indicators like CPU and memory usage.

Every machine has only one open firewall port by default: remote desktop for Windows VM’s (on TCP port 3389) or SSH for Linux VM’s (on TCP port 22). Which is enough to start our YouTrack installation. Using the Connect button or by opening a remote desktop or SSH session to the URL we created in the VM creation wizard, we can connect to our fresh machine as an administrator.

Installing YouTrack

After logging in to the virtual machine using remote desktop, we have a complete server available. There is a browser available on the Windows Server 2012 start screen which can be accessed by moving our mouse to the lower left-hand corner.

From our browser we can navigate to the JetBrains website and download the YouTrack installer. Note that by default, Internet Explorer on Windows Server is being paranoid about any website and will display a security warning. Use the Add button to allow it to access the JetBrains website. If you want to disable this entirely it’s also possible to disable Internet Explorer Enhanced Security.

We can now download the YouTrack installer directly from the JetBrains website. Internet Explorer will probably give us another security warning but we know the drill.

If you wish to save the installer to disk, you may notice that there is both a C:\ and D:\ drive available in a Windows Azure VM. It’s important to know that only the C:\ drive is persistent. The D:\ drive holds the Windows pagefile and can be used as temporary storage. It may get swiped during automated maintenance in the datacenter.

We can install YouTrack like we would do it on any other server: complete the wizard and make sure YouTrack gets installed to the C:\ drive.

The final step of the YouTrack installation wizard requires us to provide the port number on which YouTrack will be available. This can be any port number you want but since we’re only going to use this server to host YouTrack let’s go with the default HTTP port 80.

Once the wizard completes, a browser Window is opened and the initial YouTrack configuration page is loaded. Note that the first start may take a couple of minutes. An important setting to specify, next to the root password, is the system base URL. By default, this will read http://localhost. Since we want to be able to use this YouTrack instance through any browser and have correctly generated URLs in e-mail being sent out, we have to specify the full DNS name to our Windows Azure VM.

Once saved we can start creating a project, add issues, configure the agile board, do time tracking and so on.

Let’s see if we can make our YouTrack instance accessible from the outside world.

Configuring the firewall

By default, every VM can only be accessed remotely through either remote desktop or SSH. To open up access to HTTP port 80 on which YouTrack is running, we have to explicitly open some firewall ports.

Before diving in, it’s important to know that every virtual machine on Windows Azure is sitting behind a load balancer in the datacenter’s network topology. This means we will have to configure the load balancer to send traffic on HTTP port 80 to our virtual machine. Next to that, our virtual machine may have a firewall enabled as well, depending on the selected operating system. Windows Server 2012 blocks all traffic on HTTP port 80 by default which means we have to configure both our machine and the load balancer.

Allowing HTTP traffic on the VM

If you are a command-line person, open up a command console in the remote desktop session and issue the following command:

netsh advfirewall firewall add rule name=”YouTrack” dir=in action=allow protocol=TCP localport=80

If not, here’s a crash-course in configuring Windows Firewall. From the remote desktop session to our machine we can bring up Windows Firewall configuration by using the Server Manager (starts with Windows) and clicking Configure this local server and then Windows Firewall.

Next, open Advanced settings.

Next, add a new inbound rule by right-clicking the Inbound Rules node and using the New Rule… menu item. In the wizard that opens, add a Port rule, specify TCP port 80, allow the connection and apply it to all firewall modes. Finally, we can give the rule a descriptive name like “Allow YouTrack”.

Once that’s done, we can configure the Windows Azure load balancer.

Configuring the Windows Azure load balancer

From the Windows Azure management portal, we can navigate to our newly created VM and open the Endpoints tab. Next, click Add Endpoint and open up public TCP port 80 and forward it to private port 80 (or another one if you’ve configured YouTrack differently).

After clicking Complete, the load balancer rules will be updated. This operation typically takes a couple of seconds. Progress will be reported on the Endpoints tab.

Once completed we can use any browser on any Internet-connected machine to use our YouTrack instance. Using the login created earlier, we can create projects and invite users to register with our cloud-hosted YouTrack instance.

Keep tracking with pleasure!
JetBrains YouTrack Team

Posted in tips | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Ready to migrate from Redmine to YouTrack?

Introducing the python-script ready to be used to import your projects, issues and users, along with their groups, roles and permissions from Redmine to YouTrack. It takes no time and allows to you to play with YouTrack on your own issues or continue your project right where you stopped, without loosing any data. Of course, you can migrate to any YouTrack version, either Stand-Alone or InCloud.

Download the latest version of YouTrack Rest Python Library and follow the step-by-step instructions to migrate from Redmine to YouTrack in no time!

By the way, our YouTrack Rest Python Library allows you to migrate from any issue tracking system, including Jira, Forbugz, Bugzilla, Mantis, AgileZen, Trac etc. Please check YouTrack Import page for more details.

Migrate to YouTrack and track with pleasure :)

Posted in features, release | Tagged , | 2 Comments

YouTrack Pricing Model Changes

When YouTrack 4.0 was released, we announced that we would make changes to our pricing model starting in early 2013. The changes were planned to affect Agile board only, making it a paid option. However, after we analyzed our statistics and your feedback, we decided to go further.

Why change the pricing model?

1. In 2012 we received a number of complains about the InCloud pricing model, saying it was complicated and had too many options. Many of our customers had trouble understanding the differences between Reporters and Users, or the differences between Private and Public projects. Our statistics showed that only 10% of our customers used Reporter accounts actively.

2. We realized that making the Agile board a paid option would make the choice even trickier. Meanwhile the Agile board appeared to be used by more than 80% of our customers, which easily proved its popularity.

3. There was some inconsistency between the Stand-alone packs and the InCloud plans: there were no reporters or private projects in Stand-Alone packs, while the Free plan/pack had different numbers of users.

4. We received many requests from our large customers interested in additional services, such as assistance in customization and configuration, and special support.

Considering all of these reasons, we decided to make the following changes to our pricing model effective from January 23, 2013:

Changes in InCloud Plans

1. Free plan is now extended to 10 users and unlimited number of issues.

2. Agile board is now included in all plans by default.

3. No more Reporter Accounts. Any active user account is counted against the plan limitation now.

4. Since you’re getting no additional Reporter accounts, we’ve reduced the prices for all plans up to 100 users. See the Pricing for more details.

Notice for existing customers:

1. Free plan customers: your current plan will be extended to the new parameters automatically by the end of January 2013.

2. Commercial customers: no changes will be made to your current plan, and you can use your current plan for as long as you want. You will need to choose a new plan only if you would like to upgrade your plan.

Changes in Stand-Alone Packs

1. Agile board is now included in all packs by default.

2. We’ve raised the prices for all packs, instead of making Agile board a paid option. Check the Pricing for more details.

3. We’ve introduced a new 500-user pack.

4. New Enterprise Pack with unlimited users and additional services, with customization, configuration, special support and more. Check details here.

Notice for existing customers: These changes will affect you only when you extend your upgrade subscription or upgrade your user-pack.

Please visit the YouTrack Pricing page for more details. We hope that now you’ll have an easier time choosing the pack or plan that’s right for you!

Posted in news | Tagged | 24 Comments