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Retrospective and Roadmap: Q1 2020

by Simon Herd on January 7, 2020

Introducing the new ProForma form builder with Atlassian Document Formatting!

It's a new year, a new decade and we are pleased to be releasing a new form builder and form format! To instantly see a preview of the form builder head to https://proformademo.thinktilt.net. The ADF Form Builder and Forms will be available in Early Access mode in January and will become the default form system later this quarter. Existing "Plain" forms (as we refer to them) will continue to be supported. 

 

ProForma for Jira

Retrospective

  • ADF Forms

    We are really excited to release the next generation of ProForma forms, which are based on the  Atlassian Document Format (hence the name ADF Forms).  Now you can use ProForma to make forms and documents with the formatting options you already enjoy in Confluence.  ADF lets you include tables, columns, rich text formatting and images on your forms, giving you a Confluence design experience in a Jira environment. Developing ADF forms is one of the biggest pieces of work we have done in ProForma and it will form the foundation of our form system for years to come.

    Note that we’ll be running the two systems in parallel for foreseeable future.  Existing (Plain) forms will continue to operate as they currently do, and any scripts you have written to interact with your existing forms will continue to function. When you create a new form template you’ll have the option of selecting the Plain or the ADF format. Please see ADF blog/release notes for more information. Going forward, new features and development will be focussed on ADF forms. Plain forms will continue to be supported with bug fixes where required. 


  • Form Publishing held up behind ADF Forms
    We started work on Form Publishing last quarter; however, we quickly realized that it would make more sense for this feature to be developed after the ADF format was in production. Due to the complexity of developing the ADF form system we had to hold development of form publishing until ADF was complete. We will now turn our attention to Form Publishing and ship it as soon as we can. 

  • Better Form Design in Jira Blog Series
    Having more options in the form builder means you can build better forms. To help demystify what makes a form good, we teamed up with friend and Jira super-user, Rachel Wright, to bring you a series of articles on how to create good forms/screens in Jira.  We’ll also be packaging these articles into an eBook for give-aways at Atlassian Summit.

  • Documentation for Solution Partners
    ProForma continues to evolve thanks to your suggestions and the great work being done by our Partners. We've added a new section to our documentation to make it easy for Partners to find all of the information and resources they need about. Are we missing anything? Let us know!

  • Growth of Multilingual Forms
    With the recent addition of Greek, ProForma forms are now available in 25 language. It has been really rewarding to see how quickly people have started to use this feature. Find more information on our internationalization here

Roadmap

We're thrilled to have released the updated form builder with all of the new formatting ability, but we admit it took a us a bit longer than anticipated. So for Q1 we'll be focused on delivering some of those features that got delayed while we were focused on ADF:

 

  • Form Publishing Options
    Now that you can create even more powerful forms and documents in Jira, we want you to be able to deploy them anywhere. ProForma's new publish capability will let you include forms on webpages and Confluence pages.  You'll also be able to link directly to any form. And, of course, use those forms to create Jira issues. 

  • Updated and Improved Form Templates
    We'll also be using ProForma's new editing abilities to update our library of form templates. We'll start with IT and HR and will continue from there. Let us know if there are any forms you’d like to see added to our library.

  • Improved Search and Reporting
    You can link a form field to a Jira field in order to be able to search for it with JQL, but we know that that's not enough. So in January we're sending some of our dev team to Atlassian's app week. Rather than enjoying Arizona's wonderful winter sunshine, they'll be sweating out the code for improved search capacity in ProForma.

  • PDF Download
    In conjunction with the new ADF form format we have also overhauled the PDF generator. We will continue to refine and improve the look of these PDFs to help make them as close to what you see on screen as possible.  

  • Spreadsheet Download
    One of the search/reporting mechanisms already in place is the downloadable spreadsheet of form responses. However, we need to improve this feature to ensure that it always functions as expected, including in cases with a large number of Jira issues.
  • Integration with Riada
    Many of you have told us that one you'd like to link to Riada Insight objects on a ProForma form. We had to push this item back in order to get the new form builder done, but its time has come and we're going to be sure to have this functionality ready when we head to Atlassian Summit in March.   

There are also a few existing features that we need to improve on:

  • User Picker Fields
    We added a user picker field (single or multiple users) to the ProForma form builder at the end of August. Only later did we learn that the Atlassian User Lookup API doesn't allow JSD customers to look up users.  We know you need this functionality so we'll be updating our User Picker field so it works for both Jira users and JSD customers. 


  • Date Formatting
    Many of you have expressed frustration about being stuck with the dd/mm/yyyy date format. We'll add a property to our date picker field that will let you indicate the format you want.  

  • Linked Fields for Next-gen Projects
    Atlassian has released new HR templates for JSD Next-gen projects. As big fans of Enterprise Service Management, we think that's great. However, ProForma's linked Jira fields were designed to draw from Jira fields in Classic projects. So we'll be updating this feature to work in your next-gen projects as well.

Events

  • Asia Tour
    Our COO, Kate Caldecott, will be visiting various locations in Asia to talk to Solution Partners, learn more about your use cases and answer any questions you have about ProForma. If you'd like to be included, please let us know.

  • Atlassian Summit 
    And, of course, we'll finish the quarter by heading to Las Vegas for Atlassian Summit, where we'll be showcasing ProForma's new functionality, sharing some goodies, and catching up with all friends from the Atlassian ecosystem. Hope to see you there.

Thanks for joining us on this journey as we work to make it easier for you to collect good data in Jira. Please feel free to reach out with your use cases and feature suggestions. We're listening.