Last night, I attended what was billed as the first-ever Atlassian user-group meeting. Scott Farquhar, one of the founders of Atlassian Software Systems in Australia, was here in northern Virginia for the event.
One of the more interesting segments of the evening was Farquhar’s roadmap of future Atlassian products and what’s coming in new versions of JIRA and Confluence. In addition to those issue-tracking and wiki products, Atlassian will be releasing a continuous integration product called Bamboo (available for download in early beta form), and a single sign-on and identity management product called Crowd. Both products will be priced in the $1,000 to $5,000 range.
One of the key motivators for Bamboo was that existing CI products, like CruiseControl, are complex to install and configure, Farquhar said. A goal of Bamboo is to be up and running in five minutes.
Crowd will be Atlassian’s release of Authentisoft‘s IDX single sign-on product, developed in J2EE. Atlassian acquired Authentisoft earlier this month. More about the IDX acquisition is available on this TSS discussion thread.
For existing products, Farquhar said coming in JIRA 3.7 will be project roles and Issue Navigator views. Version 3.8 will support hierarchical project categories. Internally, he said, JIRA 4.0 will be built using Maven 2, and more of the base functionality will be pushed into plugins for easier customization. Coming in Confluence 2.3 will be a clustered version to scale to several thousand users (with the help of Tangosol’s Coherence clustered caching product), and a people directory to view and find other wiki users.
It was interesting to hear that Confluence has a bigger need to scale than does the more popular JIRA issue tracker. Most JIRA installations manage projects for a division, he said, but companies are installing Confluence to be their corporate-wide collaboration tool, so it needs to be clustered. Because more large companies are using Confluence, Farquhar said, version 3.0 will add improved WYSIWYG page editing, as well as LDAP support, better backup and restore, and a simple installer.
Also as part of the evening, Jonathan Nolen from Atlassian talked about the latest JIRA and Confluence plugins. Some of the plugins, like embedding an Excel document in a wiki page and displaying a calendar from an iCal file, look downright useful.