Table of contents
We've put UX and ease of configuration the heart of this release. This version comes with a completely redesigned admin interface featuring a field configuration tester, a new snapshot field category, and more.
Important notice - Breaking changes
This version might brings breaking changes, we recommend you to carefully read this release note and test the upgrade on a staging environment first.
v5 and v6 compatibility
Field values storage format
In this version, we have changed the way Connect stored field values in Jira.
For performance and consistency reasons, from XML we have switched the file format to JSON.
It means that field values stored with Connect v6 cannot be read by Connect v5.
As a consequence, if Connect is downgraded from v6 to v5 all the fields set or updated while v6 was installed will appear empty with v5.
We highly recommend you to run advanced test on a staging environment before upgrade to v6.
Elements Connect configuration
The storage location and structure of Elements Connect configuration has changed too.
Previously stored a single XML file stored in Jira properties the configuration is now stored in multiple AO tables in Jira database.
For this reason, if you upgrade to v6, make some changes in Connect configuration and then downgrade to v5, the changes made in v6 won’t be visible after the downgrade.
This can lead to inconsistency in the data stored in your Connect fields.
Compatibility with 3rd party apps
Other Jira apps are compatible with Elements Connect fields, like Eazy BI, Exporter or Midori’s apps.
Unfortunately, some of them directly use the value stored in Jira DB. Because of the change brought by this version, the compatibility could be broken.
We have already warned the vendors whose apps are compatible with Connect (at least the one we are aware of). On our side we released a new version of our own app - Copy and Sync - compatible with Elements Connect v5 and v6.
If you are a developer and if your app is compatible with Elements Connect fields, please have a look at the changes made to the storage format.
This warning also applies to Jira admins using Elements Connect field in Script Runner scripts.
The recommended way to work with Elements Connect fields is to use the Java API.
We've built a brand new field configuration tester which provides insights on your field configuration. It shows query results, a preview of how your data will be displayed in issues and metrics about query execution time.
We've added a new category of custom fields: snapshot fields. Instead of fetching data every time a screen is refreshed, snapshot fields get the record value from the data source only once.
HTML tags can now be used in the autocomplete editor.
You can use them to add some visual impact to the fields options.
A common way to display results in a read only multi values field is to use a table.
Until today, you had to write yourself the HTML code to generate a table.
With this new version, you won’t have to do it anymore as Elements Connect now offers a predefined “Table” table for those fields.
Query result picker
For clarity, “Query result picker“ field has been renamed to “Table”
New editors: Checklist & Radio button
Compared to drop downs, radio buttons and checkboxes:
- have lower cognitive load because they make all options permanently visible so that users can easily compare them
- are quicker to edit (1 click to select an option against at least two for drop downs - more if the user has to scroll to view all options)
However, drop downs are a better choice if the # of options is >= 6~8
For this reason, we have added two fields editors:
- Radio button
Velocity & query editor
The Velocity language is at the heart of Elements Connect.
We use it to add dynamism to queries, using conditional instructions (like if / else or for loops) and by including references to other issue fields.
When using dependencies, it’s not trivial to find the right syntax and custom field ID we’d like to add a dependency to
Autocomplete and syntax validator
That’s why we have added an autocomplete function to the query editor.
Just type ‘$’ in a query editor, and you’ll see the full list of velocity variables and functions available in the current context.
And because Velocity sometimes offers a weird syntax, we’ve added a syntax validator that live checks your query and will warn you if there is an error in your script.
Better field support
When using dependencies to options fields in your queries (fields like nartive checkboxes or select lists), you know directly have access to the option name in addition to the option id. Using the getOptionName() and getOptionsNames().
This will highly simplify the migration of a configuration between Jira instances.
We now also support the Sprint field provided by Jira Software
While we try to provide all the required features in Elements Connect, some use cases simply cannot be implemented without scripting.
Many users rely on scripting apps, like Scriptrunner, to leverage their usage of Elements Connect. For that matters, we offer a public Java API that can be used in scripts.
Now you can trigger the computation of an Elements Connect fields from any script, using the new computeFieldsValue() method.
We have also fixed numerous bugs: