I'm sure I can comfortably speak for all Computer Science nerds when I say that visual-based programming, and visual-based programming languages, are looked at as a bit of a joke. But I can also confidently say that in Jira Cloud, the level of ease associated with creating automations is hard to beat. I was truly amazed and grateful to see how easy it is to use. In fact, it opens up a world of opportunity for project administrators who need to automate repetitive and time-consuming tasks in Jira.
Here are two key features that showcase the power of automation within Jira Cloud:
In the automation settings under a project in Jira Cloud, you initiate any given automation rule with a trigger. I was skeptical at first, but when I started playing around with triggers, I realized that they truly have everything covered. You're able to initiate your automation rule with a handful of simple triggers, like when the issue is created, or when the issue status is changed. Or you can get a little fancier with options, like custom field value changed, or even ramp it all the way up to handle an incoming web hook when an HTTP POST request is received. Once you start poking around through the options, you realize that there aren't that many use cases they haven't thought of.
Next, we can focus on the fun stuff by adding more automation components. Jira Cloud has three main choices: New Condition, New Action, and Branch Rule / Related Issues. Between the three, you have an overwhelming amount of automation possibilities to play with. You can handle anything, like auto-assigning the issues to certain users or groups, or adding subtasks to an issue after a certain trigger is hit. You can even use the New Condition option to run an if/else block to handle different automation use cases. But my favorite—and the most popular by far—is Issue Fields Condition. Using this component, you can look at the field values of an issue and create automation accordingly. Beyond that, you can also edit the issue, transition the issue, and send emails with information from the issue. The options are endless.
Project Automation is a tool that you have to start playing with in order to really understand its power. I'm excited to see that the developers at Atlassian are opening up programming to those who may not understand how to write code and create automation that way. One of the coolest things is that Atlassian is still working on adding more functionality to this feature. Under every menu option at the bottom there is a question: Don't see what you're looking for? Here, you can send suggestions for additions that should be included in future versions of Jira Cloud. Most recently, Atlassian added Lookup Issues under the New Action components, which gives automation to lookup issues using JQL statements.
Again, the Computer Science major in me is always hesitant when I see a visual-based programming tool. But I really think Atlassian has knocked it out of the park here, and I'm excited to see what features are added in the future.