This post is the second in a series of “deep dives” into the latest
version of JIRA. The first post talked about issue search and the JIRA experience.  Stay tuned to the JIRA Blog for more details on JIRA
4.2.

Operation dialogs

Initially, the addition of dialogs for nearly all common operations may not seem earth-shattering, but once you start using them you’ll notice a whole slew of time saving conveniences and new benefits.

First of all, dialogs load almost instantly reducing page-loads when compared to the previous experience. You can also access every dialog using keyboard shortcuts saving precious mouse clicks. This is particularly valuable when working through many issues one after the next, for example when triaging issues (Mike also illustrated this well in his Summit 2010 keynote presentation – around 73 min).

jira-42-dialogs.jpgIssue actions

The following issue actions are performed using pop-dialogs in JIRA 4.2:

  • Assign
  • Comment
  • Log work (time tracking)
  • Attach files
  • Link
  • Clone
  • Labels
  • Delete

Workflow transitions

Dialogs are also used for any workflow transition that includes a screen. For example, the Resolve step on the default workflow shows this dialog:

jira-42-resolve.png

Cool tricks

Workflow transition dialogs can be used in a number of ways to implement cool tricks in JIRA.

Enforce time tracking

Dialogs are especially cool since JIRA 4.2 now provides time tracking on workflow transition. So, if you want to encourage (or force) everyone to enter the amount of time spent on an issue when they Resolve or Close the issue, the dialog above can look like this:

jira-42-time-tracking.pngBy including time tracking fields on the dialog, you capture your time spent while it’s fresh in your mind. There is no need to remember to go back to an issue later and recall how much time you put into it.

Time tracking fields can be added to any workflow transition and you can even force them to be required.

Custom edit screens

Another killer use of workflow transition dialogs is to create custom edit screens for simple things, like estimation or triage.  As an example of the former, the JIRA team has created a custom workflow transition called “Estimation”:

jira-42-estimation.pngThe transition pops up this simple dialog to capture estimation details and return you to the same workflow step as before.  This trick allows users to edit just the fields applicable to the task at hand without using the complete issue edit screen. 

This can be applied to any task that requires a user to update the same subset of fields on an issue regularly.  What would you use this for?

Check out the JIRA 4.2 Release Notes to learn more about all the new features. Stay tuned to the JIRA Blog, we dive into keyboard shortcuts and more in the coming weeks.

Get JIRA 4.2 today

Download JIRA 4.2 now to upgrade or get started with a free 30-day trial. You can also check out our Online Trial (also free for 30 days) or play around with our live Sandbox.

Existing JIRA Hosted customers can now upgrade for free by filing a support request at http://support.atlassian.com under the ‘Enterprise Hosted’ project.