Last week’s release of Jira 4.3 included a bunch of additions and improvements to search that make it faster and easier to find what you’re looking for.

JQL Improvements

Jira 4.3 brings lots of new functionality to Jira Query Language (JQL).

Search change history

This release introduces a new operator to JQL: “was”. The “was” operator is unique, as it’s the only JQL operator that lets you explore an issue’s past.

Using Jira’s default workflow as an example, let’s say you want to find all issues that have never been started. You could just search for all issues with status “Open”, but that could include issues that were “In Progress” at one point, but have since been transitioned back to the “Open” status. Using the “was” operator, you can now quickly find those issues that were never started with the query: status was not “In Progress”.


Being able to search through your issues’ status history should yield some new and interesting techniques for finding your Jira issues!

Relative Dates

The second improvement to JQL is the ability to search for issues relative to the current day, month, week or year. The functions (listed below) allow you to find issues with created, modified, or due dates relative to the current date.

Relative date functions

  • startOfX()
  • endOfX()

Where X is one of: Day, Week, Month or Year.

For example, to see all issues created this week, perform the query: created > startOfWeek().

To find all issues that are assigned to Ken Olofsen, due this month, and have not yet been started, you could query: assignee = kolofsen AND due < endOfMonth() AND status was not “In Progress”.

Relative versions

The final JQL improvement in Jira 4.3 is a set of functions that help you search for a project’s soonest to-be-released version, or its most recently released version:

  • earliestUnreleasedVersion(project)
  • latestReleasedVersion(project)

If you’re working on a project called Test, earliestUnreleasedVersion(“Test”) will be the version you’re currently working on that will be released next, while latestReleasedVersion(“Test”) will be the version that you just released.


Using these functions, you can create powerful dynamic filters that display information about the previous and upcoming releases for your projects.

Quick Search Improvements

Jira’s Quick Search (accessible via the search bar in the top-right of every page in Jira) also got some love with the 4.3 release. Quick Search is one of Jira’s more powerful — but often overlooked — features. It allows you to jump directly to an issue by entering its key, perform free text searches, and compose complex filters quickly by using Smart Search keywords. Check out the video below for a quick tutorial.

Wildcard operator

When searching for issues with a specific fix version with the ff keyword, or affects version with v, you can now insert a wildcard symbol (*) to filter for multiple versions.


Entering ff:4.* into the Quick Search box returns all issues whose fix version is set to 4.0, 4.1, 4.2… etc. When searching for issues across multiple versions, this can be a huge time-saver.

New keyword

Lastly, Jira 4.3 introduces a new keyword to Quick Search querying. Specify a reporter with the r keyword, for example: r:kolofsen returns all issues that were reported by Ken Olofsen.


Watch the video below for a refresher course on Jira’s Quick Search, including Jira 4.3’s new additions of wildcard version search and the reporter keyword.


Get Jira 4.3 Today

Download Jira 4.3 now to upgrade or get started with a free 30-day trial. You can also check out our Online Trial (also free for 30 days) or play around with our live Sandbox.

Jira 4.3 Deep Dive – Search Improvements