[Topic] AgileTrack Version 1.1.3 Released

It has been a little while since the last release, but the time for AgileTrack 1.1.3 is now here. This release focuses on improving the UI without altering the data structures so as to continue to be backwards compatible with the current 1.1.x releases.

The main changes are highlighted briefly before getting into more detail regarding the updates. New or significantly improved features include:

  • Keyboard shortcuts for common actions and navigation
  • A completely revamped and more useful "Home" tab
  • Improved time logging interface
  • User interface for managing available project and issue states
  • Tree view of issues in iterations
  • Time/date formatting flexibility across application
  • JFreeCharts for chart rendering

A large number of fixes have been added as well. A few that stand out are:

  • Report queries have been corrected and output table is improved
  • Attachments were appearing to not save, but work smoothly again
  • Time table sorting and editing is fixed up
  • Projects with the same name can be selected individually again
  • Improvements that should give better responsiveness when saving records and loading project trees

Various other details have also been fixed or touched up.

Keyboard Shortcuts

AgileTrack has long been needing keyboard shortcuts to make usage more efficient. The new keyboard shortcuts which have been added are described here. From most tabs, the following keyboard shortcuts are available:

  • Ctrl-S create/save records
  • Ctrl-N begin creating a new record
  • Ctrl-D delete the current record
  • F5 clear or reload the reload
  • Ctrl-Shift-F keyboard focus to top input field
  • Ctrl-M toggle toggle visibility of left panel record list
  • Ctrl-Shift-M maximize visibility of selected record
  • Ctrl-B toggle subscribe/unsubscribe for record

From the "Create" tab:

  • Ctrl-T creates or saves a template

From an open issue:

  • Ctrl-L toggle issue timer on/off

The main tabs can also be navigated directly:

  • Ctrl-Shift-C show creat tab
  • Ctrl-Shift-P show projects tab
  • Ctrl-Shift-L show issues tab
  • Ctrl-Shift-S show selected issue
  • Ctrl-Shift-T show selected sub-task
  • Ctrl-Shift-Q show queries tab
  • Ctrl-Shift-I show iterations tab
  • Ctrl-Shift-U show users tab
  • Ctrl-Shift-R show reports tab
  • Ctrl-Shift-H show home tab

Home Tab

The Home tab in previous releases had been long forgotten and didn't do anything very useful. The new home tab slightly resembles it, but with much more useful features. There are five sections to the view:

  1. The iteration selection and calendar area allows previous iterations to be selected so that basic reporting for past iterations can be viewed. The default is the current active iteration.
  2. An iteration burn-down chart is shown on the left. The burn down is based on the number of issues in the iteration.
  3. An iteration progress pie-chart is shown in the bottom-left corner. It shows the number of completed issues versus incomplete issues and measures them based on the estimated hours to complete the issues.
  4. The top-right area of the view shows all issues in the iteration, sorted by the most recently modified issues. It gives a quick view of what specific things are being worked on during an iteration.
  5. The bottom-right area has a selection of preset reports that are run using the reporting engine. All reports are run with the iteration issues being the data set, and the iteration date range being the time span. Various reports are provided.

With the changes to the Home tab, iteration progress is much more accessible and it will allow teams to respond better to change.

State Record View

Issue and projects states can now be defined by administrators. Using the Administration "Show States" toggle from the main Window menu or main context menu, the States tab can be displayed. All existing states will be listed.

  • The state name is what is displayed in lists throughout the tool.
  • States can have a list of available "next states" which are used when the state progression feature is enabled. The available "next states" is used to control the state workflow for issues, e.g. Prepare -> Open -> Complete. To specify which states are allowable as "next states", simply select them from in the list.
  • All states are defined for specific record types, e.g. Story, Task, Component. The type selection determines if they will be available for assignment within records of that type.
  • The state "Purpose" affects the highlight color of issues and projects.

Issue states are tied to the state definition only by the state name. If existing states are renamed, individual issues will also need to have their states reassigned manually.

Time Logging and Formatting

When time logs are manually entered, the user may now specify the log date, start and end times, and elapsed time when creating the log entry. Logs can also be editing in the time log table if there are any corrections that need to be made.

Anywhere times and calendars are shown, the user may use nearly any preferred format. The input fields will auto-detect the format the user is using and adjust formatting throughout the interface to match. For example, instead of typing "10/21/2007", a user may type "2007 Oct 21" and the interface will accept it. Times can be input using AM/PM, or 24 hour format. Time estimate fields allow fractional hours to be entered in addition to other formats, e.g. 2.5 instead of 2h:30m.

Conclusion

With this release, AgileTrack is beginning to reach a mature stage. It has most all of the features it was originally intended to have and the interface is pretty stable. Future releases haven't been planned yet, but are expected to include more flexibility in the data structures—user definable fields, etc.—and offer improved reporting and tracking.

Unless there are major problems requiring another release soon, it is expected that the AgileTrack documentation will be the next thing to be completed. In addition to that, the web interface (which is in development, but stalled for several months) will also be continued and released in the near future.

Thanks to those who have contributed bug reports and feature suggestions. As a reminder, users can create their own custom language translations, or otherwise customize labels in the interface. For instructions, just ask.

—Posted by Adam Lane on Oct 27, 2007


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