This year we’ve had a great number of JIRA projects, and obviously we worked a lot with all sorts of JIRA plugins. So now we present to you our expert opinion on what addons and extensions can be rightfully called the best in 2018.
Xray Test Management is not the most downloaded tool for QA testing, yet it’s the most well-rated among 119 of them all at the Atlassian Marketplace and was even featured in Scott Farquhar’s speech at 2017 Atlassian Summit as a Success Story. We can name several reasons for such popularity off the top of our heads: exhaustive functionality, favourable pricing model (only $2 per month starting from 11th user), 3 hosting options – Cloud, Server and Data Center. Perhaps if Xpand IT could add more UI-supported languages to settings, the tool would beat them all for good.
The major purpose of Structure plugin is to make JIRA and everything going on in there demonstrative – for both customers and you. The extension allows to organize issues in custom hierarchies, visualize connections between various projects and issues as well as group, sort and filter to build useful JIRA element structures. This way you and your users get an extremely clear picture of what’s going on and how is everything in the project connected. Structure plugin, judging at least from its pricing, is aimed at all types of organizations – small, medium and large, and from our experience we can confirm that it runs smoothly in all of them.
You want to automate your JIRA, but are too intimidated by the amount of effort, tools, and fitting in with the new routine? This plugin eliminates all the difficulties ever associated with automation. The tool is very intuitive and easy to grasp from the first few minutes. Another thing that totally wins you over are more than 1000 use cases for Automation plugin, described in great detail. If you have an idea and doubt whether the plugin is applicable in this situation, simply look it up in the list. And finally, it’s wonderfully configurable; you can customize everything, from alerts to tracking.
InVision is a top-rated leading design tool, essential to such large companies as HBO, Amazon, Netflix and many others. The fact that the company developed a JIRA addon for the tool is the evidence of how versatile and powerful JIRA is so that even can be utilized by designers. InVision in JIRA functions the following way: a link to an InVision prototype is pasted into the corresponding JIRA ticket, where it and its measurements, colors and other parameters can be easily viewed. The tool, however, has mixed reviews – 2.5 stars at Atlassian Marketplace, so we wouldn’t recommend you to put high hopes on it before you test it thoroughly in your environment.
Zephyr is another QA testing tool that has a longer history and is more widely used than out number 1 plugin Xray Test Management. So why is it not on top? Unfortunately, it loses the competition with Xray test in the following: it doesn’t do automated testing from the JIRA add-on, users tend to have problems while grouping large amounts of tests in it and it’s actually much cheaper.
Still, it’s functional enough to do its job very well and it actually supports more languages than its competitor does, so if you’re not sure in your English, perhaps Zephyr will be a better alternative for you.
Tempo is a neat plugin designed for time-tracking, analysing and reporting of the workplace performance. A very interesting, rather unique feature of Tempo is cost center management, CAPEX – OPEX, billable and internal time calculations in particular. This tool is extremely flexible, allowing user to choose various aspects for both tracking and analysis. Another wonderful features are a free mobile app (Android and IOS) and custom JIRA dashboards. There’s only one cause for concern – the latest Tempo version dates back to the 2nd of July, and if you have already installed JIRA 8.0 version you might have problems with this tool.
Yet another time-tracking app, not that popular as the previous one (twice as less downloads), yet with the equal rating of 3 stars. Timesheet Reports and Gadgets is a tool more basic, with a clear, not intricate tables design. A user can group and filter projects by any kind of parameters as well as get a pie chart for worked time. All in all, a good staple tool for those who don’t need sophisticated functions of Tempo.
Big Picture plugin is literally everything you need for project management in JIRA. It offers functionalities for roadmap, resources, risk management and Gantt charts. The charts are super-configurable (SoftwarePlant even issued a stand-alone plugin for them) and the roadmaps are Scaled Agile Framework® compliant with 2 types of goals: “artificial” and task-based. Drag-and-drop interface and JQL filters make user experience enjoyable and easy. What deserves a special remark is an introductory training available at the Marketplace – short but very descriptive, helping new users not to get lost at the very beginning.
Gantt Charts have been long time ago acknowledged as an extremely useful way to represent working processes, so despite having Gantt charts feature in a previously mentioned solution BigPicture, SoftwarePlant decided to make a stand-alone BigGantt plugin. With an intuitive drag-and-drop interface a manager can create, organize and edit timelines. Customization features allow to emphasise the aspects you need, and custom filters – not to be lost in large projects. BigGantts also offers import to MS Excel and MS Project as well as integration with JIRA Agile capabilities. Some users, however, complain this tool is not “user-friendly”, so we advise you to study all manuals and instructions before opting for it.
This plugin might seem like a too insignificant tool to pay attention to, yet we don’t think so. Icons for JIRA is a wonderful way to add personality to the working space and even… some fun. Moreover, images are faster to process and get information from, so by assigning custom icons to custom fields, you’ll make large lists of issues more comprehensible. Every of 162 emojis are in high resolution and a good addition to your JIRA environment.