AgileTrack Version 1.1.0 Released
It has been a couple months since the last release, but it has reached the time to make another release. This release is 1.1.0, and will apply a database schema update when installed. It is wise to backup your database before applying the update.
Special thanks in this release go to Matteo Combi and Gianluca Moretti for providing an Italian language translation of the interface. And also thanks to Denis Zhalnin for providing a Russian language translation.
Thanks also to users who have submitted detailed error reports. The stack traces have been especially useful and some of the intermittent and hard to find problems have been fixed.
The focus of this release has been to provide flexible reporting capabilities in the system. The reporting system is not complete, but a major portion of it is being release, and will be described later in this post.
To celebrate the acquisition of the agiletrack.com domain and this latest release, a promotional code is being release. Use the code below generating a purchase quote to receive a 35% discount. The coupon code is valid until April 30th, 2007.
Release Update Summary
Below is a list of most of the changes and fixes in this release:
The project panel allows project time estimates to be entered in hours or days. A new system configuration option has been added which allows the number of hours in a day to be specified. For example, an ideal work day may contain 8 hours. By going to the system configuration options, the desired number of hours in a day can be customized. Since the time estimate for a project is stored in minutes. It will be automatically converted to days based on the number of hours in a day.
The reporting system has made good progress. The reporting system has been designed to be quite flexible in terms of the data set used for reports, the types of grouping done on the data, and the type of output that can be generated for the report. At this point, the report output options is incomplete, but the data gathering is working pretty well. The reports feature is enabled by default, but it can be disabled by using the system configuration menu.
Reports are created in the reports tab. Reports belong to individual users, just a queries do. Reports are run by utilizing three record types: "Query", "Inquiry", and "Report".
To generate a report, an issue set must be provided. The set of issues can be generated using Queries, selecting Iterations, selecting Projects, selecting Users, or selecting Releases. The report will generate summary information based on the set of issues used in the report. For example, if an iteration is provided to generate the issue set used in a report, then all of the issues assigned to that iteration will be included in the issue set.
The issue set is processed, grouped, and summarized using the new "Inquiry" record type. An Inquiry specifies the grouping and data summary options to be applied to a set of issues. To create an Inquiry, a user must have permission to create and edit inquiries. The Inquiries tab can be displayed by using the Window menu, or the Administration context menu. When configuring an inquiry, it is important to understand how issues are grouped, and how the data is summarized.
When processing the issue set, the selected grouping rules will be applied in the order they are specified in the inquiry definition. For example, assume the issue set includes the following:
If the inquiry specifies grouping by User, then by Iteration, then the issue grouping would result in user Bob having two iteration groups, and user Joe would have on iteration group.
The data summary rules would then be applied to the individual issue groups. In the example, assume the time estimate is summarized. The results would be:
Notice that inquiries allow data to be grouped by month, day, etc. When a report is executed, it will have a time span that controls the context of the report. The data summarization is applied based on the time span of the grouping. For example, if issues are grouped by week, and the summarized data is the time logged on the issue, then result would be the total time logged on the issues in the group for each week in the time span.
The best way to understand the inquiriy processing will be to create a test inquiry and report and experiment with the parameters. Please post questions to the forums so things can be clarified.
As described above, a report uses an issue set and an inquiry to generate the report data. Reports also need a time span to control the scope of the report data. Several pre-set time spans are available for selection, or custom date ranges can also be provided.
After the data source (issue set), inquiry, and time span are specified, the report can be executed. The result of the report execution is provided in the report's output tab. Currently, the report output is a simple table breaking down the data grouping and summary data. The output can be copied and pasted into a text editor or Excel.
As another example, one could create a Query that finds all completed issues. An Inquiry could be created that groups issues by Project, then by User. The summary data for the Inquiry could be logged time. A report could then be created using the query and inquiry and specify the date range to be last month. When run, the result would show a breakdown of the time logged last month by each user in each project that has closed issues.
I believe the flexibility provided by this reporting system will allow people to be able to accommodate any of the reporting needs they may have. Additional grouping and data summary options may need to be added over time, but the general concept is extremely flexible and should allow very useful custom reports to be created.
Now the output of the reports needs to be defined. It is expected that some PDF output template will be defined that work well with certain groupings and data summary results. Charts will also be made available which work with different types of inquiries. If there are particular charts and reports that people are interested in, please provide a description and sample if possible.
Progress has also been made on a generic web interface that can be run with the server distribution. An early release of the web application is not yet ready, but is likely to be available in the next few weeks.
Again, thanks for those who have provided feedback and contributions. Please continue to submit bug reports and feature requests.
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