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What’s Next: YouTrack 2021 Roadmap

It’s the start of a new year, and what better time than now to tell you about the plans we have for it.

We’re constantly looking into feedback from more than 50,000 teams that are using YouTrack. This input helps us understand the current trends in project management and what features we should focus on developing this year.

The features we are considering include: Notification Center, out-of-the-box Helpdesk solution, Visual Workflow editor, enhanced Time Tracking, Interactive Gantt chart, and improvements for large-scale organizations.

Our product commitment

First and foremost, we are committed to supporting the core functionality of YouTrack. We try to strike a balance between the extensive features we use as software developers and accommodating the needs of other teams in the organization.

Issues and projects are crucial for the daily work and collaboration of every team across an organization, and we’re committed to maintaining and continuing to develop the key extensibility and customizability we have.

Different teams may expect different functionality from their project management tool. For them it may be crucial to have features such a Knowledge Base, monitoring and reports, time tracking, or workflow customization. We will continue to develop YouTrack to be a project management tool for every team.

We also believe that our customers should have the option of using the cloud service or a standalone installation, and we will be developing YouTrack InCloud and YouTrack Standalone in tandem, making all the features available, stable, and performant in both versions.

Major changes to expect in 2021

There are numerous ways we use to get feedback and to listen to our customers, and, of course, there is our public tracker where people can make feature requests and vote on issues. We have been paying close attention to the issues there. Read on for what we found.

Trending now: bringing more to one place

Notification center: one place for everything. Keeping updated about your projects is important, as is how you get the updates themselves. We plan for YouTrack Notification center to display a stream of all the notifications and reactions on your tasks and projects. It will allow you to choose how you receive them: via YouTrack, in your email, or by getting a digest of the missed and unread notifications in your inbox.

Helpdesk solution. YouTrack is often used as a helpdesk solution as it can be configured to support incoming mail requests. We are working on providing an out-of-the-box Helpdesk solution. We know that there are customers who have been waiting for this for a while, some of you since 2019. We have already started bringing in some of the essential functionality for that module already, including the built-in Knowledge base feature and the streamlined YouTrack Lite interface. Now we’re planning to add an embeddable form for incoming requests and begin covering typical helpdesk scenarios such as having external users and helpdesk agents.

Adjusting business processes on the fly

Mobile app adoption. The necessity to work with projects from our mobile devices has amplified the last year. Even customers who tend to use the desktop version of YouTrack are starting to use the YouTrack Mobile app for some of their tasks. To facilitate this, we are planning to add Knowledge base access, Notification center, and an offline mode to the YouTrack Mobile app. We’re also going to support adding spent time, viewing VCS changes, adding video attachments, and creating tags to issues through the app.

Visual workflow editor. The ability to customize your workflows to your team’s existing workflows is very powerful. YouTrack provides several default workflows that cover most general use cases, such as workflows that automatically assign an issue to a subsystem owner. But there are countless possibilities for unique workflow customization using JavaScript. We’re planning to bring this level of customization to every team, with a visual workflow editor that will allow automating business processes without writing a line of code.

Plugins. One of our priorities is to provide extensibility and flexibility out-of-the-box. We would like to do this in YouTrack by supplying better functionality to work with plugins. Plugins could be used for third-party application integrations, company-specific user interface customization, workflows, reports, and imports.

Flexible planning and progress tracking

Many teams are looking to expand their project management and use YouTrack to track progress on a multi-project or multi-team level and across a whole organization. We’ll continue to enhance YouTrack to meet these demands.

Time tracking view. We’re expanding the ways in which you can track time and report it and including scenarios for logging the time of external team members and contractors. We will be implementing calendar and table views for clearer reporting on tasks and various work processes.

Software development teams using JetBrains IDEs will be able to report the time they spent coding in their IDE to YouTrack. The JetBrains IDE plugin will be able to track your activity while you’re working on your coding tasks and create work items in YouTrack automatically.

Gantt chart. YouTrack’s Gantt chart already provides a report on your project components and the dependencies between tasks, time estimations, and progress. We’re planning to upgrade the Gantt chart with options to change tasks, order, dependencies, and estimations. There will be the ability to reorder items right on the chart, zoom in for fine details, and zoom out to get a big picture of the entire project.

Planning tools. Gantt charts do not work for everyone. To accommodate other requirements, we’ll explore other popular approaches, with possible alternatives including an additional planning board and a roadmap view.

Extensibility and performance for large companies

Organizations. We are planning to add more ways to structure projects and teams for complex organizations using YouTrack. Users from different organizations will not be able to see other users and projects belonging to the other part of an organization. What’s more, it would all be covered by the same YouTrack license.

We are working on providing options to configure YouTrack for organizations at the project level and above. Agile boards, reports, workflows, and other settings will be configurable for an organization.

Multi-node. This feature will provide better performance and high-availability characteristics for large-scale companies. Technical improvements will allow running YouTrack either in primary node mode or in secondary node mode.

Effortless project management for growing teams

Simpler processes for project administrators. We are planning a number of improvements to help manage project teams and users in YouTrack. We will also look at how we can improve and streamline the parts of YouTrack used by project administrators, such as settings and administration pages.

Current experiences to be upgraded

We will continue to polish and improve the user experience across the platform.

For YouTrack Lite, we are planning further improvements, including support of viewing time tracking, and VCS changes in the issues.

In YouTrack Classic, we expect to add the WYSIWYG editor text formatting option.

In Knowledge Base, we’ll be working on usability improvements, adding sorting options for the article tree, making the collaboration experience better, and enhancing media embedding.

Feature requests

If you are following our public tracker, please find below some issues we’re going to pay particular attention to. These are by no means the only features we will be working on this year, but these tasks each have a significant number of votes and will be prioritized. We hope that they correspond to the features you are hoping for.

JT-18173 – Integration with Zapier
JT-25147 – Support story points estimations
JT-22671 – Support links for string custom fields
JT-24315 – Dependencies between fields
JT-19629 – Undelete issues
JT-625 – Email notification digest
JT-57849 – Inline comments in Knowledge Base
JT-12687 – Provide access to issue history in workflow
JT-5819 – Roadmap page
JT-55627 – YouTrack as a cluster, performance improvements

Please note that though this is the plan right now, some of the items and the order they’ll be introduced may change. There are some features we will follow a broader direction with, but their implementation may take longer than a year and become part of our 2022 roadmap.

We value your feedback, so please share your thoughts in the comments below. To get the latest updates, subscribe to our blog and follow us on Twitter.

Thank you,
The YouTrack team

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