Why the New YouTrack Matters

We’re going through a crazy patch right now where pretty much everything that’s being developed here at JetBrains is capped with a public release. If you look at JetBrains home, the product section on the left is glittering like a Christmas tree with “just released” tags: IntelliJ IDEA, dotTrace, dotCover, TeamCity, and PyCharm have all been recently updated, and this is not to mention early access to AppCode and dotPeek, and the upcoming ReSharper release. Today, we welcome another major update, this time with the arrival of YouTrack 3.0.

This one is huge. This is the most substantial update to the intelligent issue tracker since its initial release. Changes involve the internals of the product as well as the conditions under which the tool is available to the public. Here’s why the new YouTrack 3.0 makes a difference:

  • Free edition: YouTrack is now free for 10 users, with no limitations on the number of projects. In fact, the entire editioning scheme has been revised in favor of five different user packs: the free 10-user, plus commercial 25-user, 50-user, 100-user, and unlimited packs. Long story short, if you’re a startup or a small team, you simply download YouTrack and use it as long as you don’t exceed the 10-user limit.
  • Open source and classroom licenses: Unlimited YouTrack is now available by request to open source projects, training courses and educational institutions. We’ve been helping open source developers and academia with free licenses for ReSharper, IntelliJ IDEA, RubyMine and other tools for a long time, and YouTrack is a great addition to the toolset available for non-commercial use. To apply for an open source or classroom license, please visit YouTrack licensing page.
  • JetBrains database: The free edition, open source and classroom licenses wouldn’t have emerged if not for the development of our own database that superseded Berkeley DB and freed us from licensing restrictions. On top of that, the YouTrack team reports substantial performance increase as a result of database transition. There’s a reason to believe that claim: our own YouTrack installation contains over 300 thousand issues, and it still feels good from a performance perspective.
  • Hosted plans. YouTrack will develop as a hosted service in addition to being a standalone application, and following community feedback, we’ve agreed on a hosted service pricing scheme that we hope would fit everyone. Highlights of hosted pricing include a free 3-user plan limited to 3000 issues; and $7 per user/month plan for teams of up to 10 developers, with additional 50 external reporter accounts coming free of charge. As a limited-time offer, when you purchase a year of service, you get 50% off on all hosted plans. For details on hosted pricing, once again, refer to YouTrack licensing page. We’re hoping to start selling hosted plans in a few weeks; meanwhile, YouTrack Hosted Beta is still free.
  • Customizable workflow. Workflow management is one thing that has prevented YouTrack from challenging the big guys in the competitive field, but the problem is now solved in arguably the most brilliant way possible. YouTrack 3.0 implements elaborate functionality to define the life cycle of issues, and does it in a genuinely geeky way: you edit workflow rules in a dedicated IntelliJ-like editor enforced with IntelliSense, inspections and other stuff you’d expect from a JetBrains tool, using a custom-tailored domain-specific language. This screencast gives an overview of how it works, and as a teaser, here’s a workflow rule that requires commenting an issue when closing it as won’t fix:
    when issue.State.becomes({Won't fix}) { assert comments.added.isNotEmpty: "Please leave a comment"; }
    Isn’t that unbearably cool?

There’s actually a ton more impressive stuff in the new YouTrack, including issue attributes customizable in any way you want, “add watcher” to get your workmates subscribed to updates of a certain issue; applying issue commands right from VCS commit comment (provided you have TeamCity integration enabled); and search between any specific dates. As usual, you can get a more balanced overview of new and improved features from What’s New in YouTrack 3.0.

All in all, considering that TeamCity is free for small teams, there’s a very capable ALM solution from JetBrains that is from now on affordable to everyone, and usability-wise, goes beyond many free

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