The end of the year is typically a time to reflect on what we’ve accomplished in the past twelve months and set goals for the new year. If you’re part of an IT team, you’ve probably accomplished a lot, from managing software upgrades to dealing with major incidents and service outages. But how many times this year have people in your company stopped to say thank you?

Most people outside of IT don’t appreciate the work that goes into maintaining and scaling mission-critical tools. Business users just expect their tools to work. They might even gripe about your team, how difficult they think it is to work with you, or how “slow” your company’s tools are.

At the same time, many executives struggle to understand how to boost productivity. As a result, companies make multiple investments in tools and training in an effort to see what works. We know that implementing these changes can be a time-consuming, difficult, and thankless job.

While you’ve been busy keeping your company’s Jira and Confluence instances up and running, we’ve been busy trying to make your job easier, whether you’re a sysadmin, a network admin, an SRE, or in IT operations.

Thank you for your feedback

We want you to know that we’ve been listening. Atlassian admins like you consistently provide great feedback on how we can make you and your companies more productive. This feedback comes to us through several different channels: product analytics, research interviews, Support tickets, our Community, public forums, and events like Summit.

We appreciate the time and effort you invest in Atlassian tools and the insights you share with us, and we’re working to make your lives easier by addressing your biggest headaches with updates like:

Managing custom fields in Jira

You’ve told us that managing custom fields can be a big roadblock. Individual teams within an organization want Jira to be customized for the way they specifically work, but too much customization across your entire Jira instance can negatively impact performance.

To help you proactively manage custom fields and unlock space for more of them, we built the custom fields optimizer in Jira Software Data Center. Now, you can scan your Jira Data Center instance for the custom fields that are hindering performance and remove their global contexts with one click.

Project archiving in Jira

Survey results also told us that “system performance” and “improving readability” were the top two reasons you archive information in Jira. We also heard that cleaning up Jira can be a complex process that may require repurposing permission schemes, creating backup instances, and other creative solutions from an experienced Jira admin.

We introduced project archiving in Jira Software Data Center and Jira Service Desk Data Center so you can free up more space and unlock resources for data that’s still relevant, making Jira more performant and readable.

Externalizing processes for Confluence

Generating thumbnail images of files in Confluence can be very memory- and CPU-intensive, and the more complex the file, the higher the risk of out-of-memory errors. The same goes for PDF exports, which we’ve heard can be problematic for large sites.

In Confluence Data Center, we created an external process pool to handle resource-intensive tasks and minimize the impact on Confluence nodes. Conversion to PDF is now handled page by page, so if there’s an issue, we’ll let you know which page is the culprit. We’ve also improved error reporting to help you understand why some spaces may be difficult to export.

Minimizing downtime for Confluence

For many teams, finding time for planned maintenance; downtime on mission-critical applications can affect company-wide productivity and output.

So we introduced read-only mode to help minimize planned downtime in Confluence Data Center. In read-only mode, your users will be able to access content, but won’t be able to edit or change it. Administrative actions aren’t restricted, so you can turn read-only mode on before upgrading your Confluence Data Center instance, consolidating multiple instances, migrating to a new platform, or performing other maintenance work.

Continuing to implement your feedback

As we get ready to ring in the new year, we’ll continue to use your feedback to address some of your team’s biggest headaches.

For example, we recently released Confluence Server and Data Center 6.13.  With this release, we’re continuing to deliver features that make administering Confluence easier for you. We know that compliance has been a huge focus for many organizations, and the responsibility of enforcing these requirements typically lives with admin teams like yours. To help you meet your organization’s compliance requirements, we’ve given you the ability to delete a user account and anonymize associated personally identifiable information. Unlike workarounds or manual fixes, this native solution allows you to more easily delete a user’s personal information.

For more details, check out the release notes. Or, if your team wants to stay ahead of your company’s growth:

Try Confluence Data Center

Thanks again for all your feedback in 2018! We hope you continue to share your experiences with us in the coming year.

Dear admins: this one’s for you