Putting professional software teams first has always been the goal for Bitbucket Server & Data Center. How can we help your team move faster, worry less about mundane tasks, and adopt new ways of working – like DevOps – without seeing an impact to your security or scalability?

There’s no better way to understand how we tackle this challenge than to have a chat with one of Bitbucket Server/Data Center’s resident product managers, Imran Khan. At Atlassian, the product management team help guide the roadmap based on a number of factors including customer needs and requests, market trends, and a touch of intuition. Recently Imran sat down to answer some questions and reflect on what we’ve delivered to customers so far in 2017 and a peek into the future.

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Q: Can you tell us a bit about your background and your role as a Bitbucket Server/Data Center product manager?

A: I have been in the software development world for 10 years in various roles. I live in Sydney, Australia and in my spare time I love to watch/play football – or ‘soccer’ for the Americans (smile) – and I’m a photography enthusiast.

In my role as product manager, I shape and prioritize the roadmap. This includes defining the ‘how’ and ‘what’ new features are implemented.

Q: Can you tell us a little about Bitbucket Server’s history and what makes it unique?

A: Bitbucket Server is Git repository management built for professional teams. We released Bitbucket Server to the public back in 2012 with the goal of supporting teams who require more control over their version control system. Today there are 2 permeations of self-hosted deployment options, Server and Data Center, with Data Center providing additional support for high availability, performance at scale, and other Enterprise-grade features. Some of the items that make Bitbucket Server and Data Center stand out include:

  • a better code review process with customizable workflows including merge strategies, default reviewers, restrictions and more.
  • deep integrations with Jira Software and Bamboo, and other popular development tools via add-ons in the Atlassian Marketplace.
  • the ability for teams to use modern development workflows while maintaining a secure, traceable, and scalable development environment.

Q: Bitbucket Server releases about every 5 weeks. When you look back on the last 6 months there have been a lot of changes. Which ones have been the most exciting for you and the team?

A: There have been a lot of interesting releases over the past 6 months, including a version change from 4.x to 5.x. If I have to narrow it down to the most impactful and exciting features, I’d say:

  • Iterative Review – Sometimes, pull requests have a large number of comments with frequent updates. It can be hard for reviewers to keep track of what code has already been reviewed or which comments have been addressed. Since we “dogfood” (e.g. use our own products) our own development teams were experiencing the same inefficiencies with the pull request process as many of our customers. With the introduction of iterative review, Bitbucket shows the reviewer exactly what has changed since the last review, making the process much faster.
  • Commit verification and required signature – For teams who face strict compliance requirements we added the Verify Committer hook, the ability to enforce only the author of a commit can push it to Bitbucket, and the Verify Commit Signature hook, which rejects all commits that are not signed with a GPG public key. Both of which make it easier to adopt modern version control technology and workflows while still complying with organization regulations.
  • Updates to smart mirrors in Bitbucket Data Center – Smart mirrors help global teams speed up pull operations in high-latency and low-bandwidth environments by placing read-only mirrors in dispersed locations. In the past 6 months we’ve added several updates to make them easier to work with including authentication cacheing and push proxying. The notion of keeping track of your work with a mirror is a thing of the past, it just works.
  • Enhanced Jira Software integration – Deep integrations with Jira Software are key to developer productivity and efficiency. Over the past several releases we’ve added even more integration points, including issue links and repository shortcuts, making it easier for developers and stakeholders to find the information they need exactly when they need it.

Q: Can you give us a glimpse into Bitbucket Server and Data Center’s future?

A:  Your version control solution plays a key role in the development process. As more teams make moves to improve said process, e.g. by adopting more DevOps practices and workflows, we’re aiming to make that change as painless as possible. For example:

  • Modern CI/CD – we’ll place a focus on enabling teams to adopt continuous integration and delivery
  • Compliance – making sure organizations who face strict regulatory requirements can still take advantage of the power of distributed version control
  • Efficiency – we’ll place an emphasis on building features that help developers stay focused on code without their tooling getting in the way
  • And much more…. I can’t list all the exciting stuff in the works, but stay tuned in coming months for many more new features and enhancements

And there you have it, a quick look back at the past 6 months with a glimpse into the future of self hosted Git management with Bitbucket Server and Data Center. We believe helping teams be more efficient without over-complicating the development process should be a vital part of your version control solution. This has always been and will continue to be the driving force behind Bitbucket Server and Data Center. Give it a try or upgrade today!

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The past 6 months included much more – 276 jira.atlassian.com issues to be exact! For a full rundown of new features check out our release notes.

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