We’ve been hard at work making improvements to the Assembla platform! Here are some highlights of what we have been up to over the last few months.
Updates, Improvements, and New Features in Assembla
At Assembla, our development calendar runs April-March, in sync with our fiscal year. Last quarter, we focused on closing the loop on some interface and usability components across the platform as we started planning our roadmap for the next development cycle (fiscal year). These usability updates include:
- • Implementing some small but significant changes to Assembla’s Merge Request workflow for Git, SVN, and Perforce repositories;
- • Updating the performance of Assembla’s backend with updates to Rails 6;
- • Updating the UI of various areas of the Assembla platform to ensure a consistent look and feel across the Assembla platform;
- • And planning for FY2021! (More on that to come in a later post)
Read on to learn more about each in detail!
Merge Request Updates
Merge Requests are the universal peer code review workflow in the Assembla platform—universal because you can use the same interface regardless of whether your team uses Git (“pull requests”), Subversion (“merge request”), or Perforce Helix Core depots (“stream merge”). Code review is crucial to the health of your software development lifecycle, so we are always thinking about ways to make the code review process smoother and easy in the Assembla. (It was nice to hear our hard work has been paying off, too, when we learned recently that Assembla had been recognized by the peer-to-peer review site G2 as a High Performer in the category of Peer Review Clients!)
This past quarter, we made a few small but helpful changes to the Merge Request tool based on your feedback and requests.
First of all, we optimized some of the backend code driving Merge Requests to improve performance around page load time and merging itself. This will hopefully make it faster for you to perform code reviews and push the awesome new changes you have written once they are approved.
Second, we made some changes to the Merge Request interface itself. The goal was to improve the visibility of information you needed to more efficiently handle Merge Requests, as well improve the workflow around creating, reviewing, and revising them. With these changes, you can now:
- • Easily filter MR list by your Merge Requests and see the ID of the Merge Request you are viewing;
- • See older versions of Merge Requests (brought back by user request!);
- • View more code in context of inline code comments;
- • Search more easily for which repository you want to merge to/from when you are creating new Merge Request;
- • Mark code comments as “Resolved” to help keep track of the changes you have made in subsequent commits.
Portfolio Tickets List
For Assembla customers that have the Portfolio feature enabled for their Assembla account, the process to view and filter tickets from across all your project spaces just got a lot easier.
We replaced the old Portfolio Tickets list UI with similar controls to what we previously introduced for Space-level Tickets lists. This means that you can quickly group tickets by various parameters including project Space, filter tickets in real time from the Filter menu, and Sort tickets from across your projects regardless of which project Space they belong to.
Stream Interface Update
The Assembla Stream is a helpful tool to keep track of all of the activity happening across your project Space or entire team Portfolio. With the Stream, you can see a list of activities like new Team members joining the space, Code Commits and Comments, and Ticket updates (among others) going back 60 days.
In this update, we made the Stream interface more readable and easier to filter. For example, you can now filter the Stream list to see only the event type you are interested in viewing by clicking the “Show” link next to each event listed on the right-hand side of the screen under “Filter Activity.” Afterwards, you can show all events again by clicking “Reset filters.”
New API endpoints
In addition to the webhooks and server-side hooks available in Assembla, Assembla provides a REST API with many endpoints that you can use to configure automated interactions across many Assembla tools, including Assembla Tickets and Assembla Git, SVN, and Perforce repositories.
Last quarter, we made a few small additions to the API endpoints based on customers requests:
- • Git - Retrieve list of branches
- • Git - Make Git commit
As always, if there’s an update you would like to see on Assembla's API, please reach out to our Customer Success team and let us know!
Assembla now runs on Rails 6
We were eagerly anticipating the release of a stable version of Rails 6 last Fall, and had been very excited to get to work updating Assembla’s version of Rails when it finally came out! Given the sheer number of customers working with various versions of different tools across the Assembla ecosystem, it required a bit more time to test Rails 6 against every regression and edge case, but we are very excited to announce that as of the end of February 2020s, 100% of traffic to https://app.assembla.com is through Rails 220.127.116.11. This update has not only improved performance and usability, but will allow our technical teams to build features more quickly in the future with the most up-to-date tooling available.
Assembla’s FY 2021 Roadmap
While all of the new improvements and features we added this past year were very important to continue enhancing the experience of working on Assembla, our team’s biggest focus last quarter was actually looking ahead to the roadmap for our upcoming fiscal year 2021 (April 2020 - March 2021). Given the current global climate, we are having to readjust project scopes and timelines, so we cannot make any promises yet. But we can say with reasonable certainty that over the next year, you can look forward to:
- New platform navigation (a major pain point expressed by current users);
- Easier collaboration via improvements to User Management and Tickets tools;
- Improvements to the user interface and workflow around Assembla’s Wiki (including the introduction of a Portfolio-level Wiki 🙌);
- A performance overhaul for our Perforce Cloud backend.
Something absolutely crucial missing from that list? Send us an email at support [at] assembla [dot] com, or start a chat with us at https://assembla.com.
In the meantime, stay safe and healthy, keep writing awesome code, and ship products on time!