26th of April, 2017
Download the latest Structure and Extensions
Structure Demo Server
Changes in Detail
With Formula column, any user can perform some calculation on every item in a structure and display the result in the Structure grid. It is very similar to how formulas are used in Excel or other spreadsheet software.
To add a formula to your Structure view, click "+" at the top right corner of the grid, just like when adding a new column of other type. Scroll down to the bottom of the list and select "Formula..." to write your own calculated expression, or select one of the metrics from "Calculated" section.
When configuring Formula column, you can define the calculated expression using Expr Language. It allows you to use values coming from issue fields, Structure-provided attributes (like totals) and other formulas. The values can be combined together, using arithmetic operators and more than 70 functions, to arrive at a single numeric or text value. Not only is that value displayed in the Structure grid, but it can also be used to sort the structure (just click on the column header) or to group items with the same value together, using Text Attribute grouper.
The potential applications for Formula column are truly limitless – from all kinds of metrics to status reports to cramming different information into a terse text. Structure 4 comes with just a few examples like "Percentage of Bugs" and "Weighted Shortest Job First" metric, but any user (not necessarily a JIRA administrator!) can set up their own formulas.
Work Logged by User
The Work Logged column has been around for a while already – it shows total amount of time logged during a specific period (for example, during last week).
In Structure 4, this column has an additional "Author" option. By default, it is empty and the column shows the total work during the selected period for all users – as it did before. If a user is selected, then only work performed by that user is considered.
This lets you build a work distribution report for a small team – just add several Work Logged columns and select a specific user in each.
Oh, and, by the way, you can use the value from Work Logged column in a formula!
Documentation: Work Logged Column
Making Static Copy of a Structure
Manage Structure page in Structure 3 lets you create a copy of a structure. Additionally, you can opt to create clones of all issues in the structure and populate the new structure with clones. See Copying Structure and Cloning Issues for details.
Starting with Structure 4, you have an additional option that governs what happens with Generators and the dynamic content that they produce. (As a reminder, dynamic content is something that gets updated automatically when things change in JIRA. It is created by generators – see Automation feature description and Structure 3 Quick Start Guide.)
You can decide to leave the same generators in the new structure (so they would provide similar content), remove generators altogether (which means removing dynamic content as well), or to remove generators but replace the dynamic content with a "static" copy. The latter option is especially interesting as it allows you to "freeze" a structure in time so that further changes in JIRA do not affect the composition of the structure.
Documentation: Copying a Structure
Exporting Structures to Other Add-ons
We have made it possible for other add-ons to provide additional options in the Export menu on the Structure Board.
At the moment, we have integrations with the following products:
We are also working with a few other add-on vendors on more integrations.
Notable Fixes and Improvements
There are a number of issues addressed and improvements added in Structure 4.0. The following are worth mentioning:
Structure 4.0 and all extensions support JIRA versions from 7.1 to 7.3.x. All editions of JIRA (JIRA Core, JIRA Software, JIRA Service Desk) are supported. JIRA Data Center is supported.
This release is backwards-compatible with Structure 3.4–3.6. Structure extensions – Structure.Pages, Structure.Testy, as well as Colors plugin and other plugins that integrate with Structure 3.4 or later should work with the new version.
Installation and Upgrade
If your JIRA server does not have Structure yet, the installation is simple:
Upgrade procedure from versions 3.x is simple:
Enterprise Deployment Notes
Structure 4.0 does not have a lot of core changes compared to Structure 3.6.
Formula Column Notes
The largest feature – Formula Column – is completely new and will not affect how the rest of the product is working. However, the feature itself is open to all users – anybody can add a formula and start calculating the values for structures. The Expr language engine is very fast, however, a lot of calculations on large structures may result in general slowdown due to constant retrieval of issue values. This is an unlikely event though, and if there's a really large structure that could cause such trouble (100,000 issues or more), it would produce the load on JIRA server regardless of the Formula column.
Access to User Properties
Structure 4 has the ability to extract custom user properties, defined in the JIRA's user management section. In a vanilla JIRA installation, there are no properties, but one can use them for defining, say, the hourly rate of a user or a category of a customer. These properties can be used in Formula columns, based on some user field.
The side effect of this improvement is that user properties become visible to everybody, because anyone can use Formula or Attribute column to display them. If you'd like to keep the users from gaining access to these user properties and disable attributes that provide them for the formulas, you can turn on
Copying and Cloning Structures
The updated Copy / Clone feature provides more opportunities to start cloning a large number of issues. Like in other cases, this may be a problem if a structure is large enough or has an unbounded generator that produces a lot of issues.
The feature has sufficient warnings to the user, notifying them about the number of issues that are about to be cloned. If, however, you need to turn Copying/Cloning off for your JIRA instance, please let us know and we'll provide instructions about how to do that.
Please create Structure backup before upgrading. Turn off Backup History option unless you really need it.
Testing on Staging Environment
You can try load testing and stress testing Structure 4.0 and JIRA on a staging environment before upgrading.
It makes sense to test the following parts:
The usual load and stress testing can also be applied.