Visually Networked Data Isn’t Just for Social Tools

Jama 8.14 Out Now

Robin Calhoun | March 23, 2017

If you look at wildly successful technology companies, there’s a common theme: they manage complex and increasingly connected data. LinkedIn connects you to a dynamic professional network, Facebook to existing and new friends, Amazon to your next purchase, Google Searches to disparate parts of the internet. If structured connected information powers networking, socializing, and purchasing your favorite shampoo brand on subscription, isn’t it time an equally powerful experience is available for the daily challenges of product development?

Jama Software, too, is fundamentally a system designed to hold deeply connected data. That’s by capturing and managing the many-to-many relationships between strategic data, market and technical requirements, customer details, test result impacts — anything needed to manage a complex product through development to delivery.

Unfortunately, not every Jama user could take advantage of this product data network the way anyone can a web search or social networking tool. Why not? The data was there, but the interfaces to actually *see* it were, well, not very visible. With the latest release 8.14, that’s changing. We have a renewed focus on using that data to help every user who interacts with Jama. Across our toolset we’re finding ways to support, enhance, and visualize the connectivity.

Here’s a tour of what’s new in Jama Software 8.14! The network of product becomes more visible, actionable, and the foundation for better conversations for all users. 

For those building products, there are scenarios where you simply need to see what’s going on across the system, make decisions, and trigger actions outside of a tool in the real work. Connected data, or traced data as we call it inside Jama Software, likewise comes in a few flavors so it’s useful for various purposes.

1. Trace View: No matter where you are in the Trace View, the data displayed needs abundant context and clear ties to the rest of the work in your Jama system. Whether you’re exploring how your market requirements have been decomposed, or are anticipating a change to a requirement based on test results, the Trace View is designed to help users make meaning out of the noise. When an item is selected, the Trace View highlights that item and all of its lineage.

The item CL3-MR-2 is selected, describing a demographic requirement. To the right in light blue (downstream) see how this high level demographic requirement decomposes into system requirements
The item CL3-MR-2 is selected, describing a demographic requirement. To the right in light blue (downstream) see how this high level demographic requirement decomposes into system requirements
Keep exploring in the Trace View to see how the system requirements choices ripple throughout the system to development, validation, and testing tasks.
Keep exploring in the Trace View to see how the system requirements choices ripple throughout the system to development, validation, and testing tasks.
Want to know what something is? Get a preview of any item while exploring the thread of a question through the system. See data results before leaving your page, similar to many search engines.
Want to know what something is? Get a preview of any item while exploring the thread of a question through the system. See data results before leaving your page, similar to many search engines.

2. Move and Undo: Once you find the data set you care about, work doesn’t stop. You’re looking for change history, asking for clarification via item comments, adding your own content. Working quickly it can be easy to accidentally move content and lose it. With enhanced, visible, user notifications when moves occur it’s now more obvious what changes are being made. Undo is also now one click away, a powerful tool for both power users making bulk actions and data explorers alike who should have no fear that they’ll “mess it up” by traversing the decision history of their own product.

Move and Undo

3. Text Editor: Once conversations leaves small, tight-knit teams sharing language shortcuts, external legibility depend on having the ability to accurately represent your information. Among dozens of updates added to improve data entry, we were especially keen to get more support for symbols needed by engineers so requirements translate across teams.

Improved Text Editor

4. REST API: Sometimes data connectivity extends beyond the bounds of any one application. Jama is making it easier to keep those connections alive, complete, and efficient. With partial item updates, and editing read-only fields (for users) with REST it is easier to cleanly and rapid integrate with outside applications. Similarly, test data is more visible and meaningful via REST with the addition of Test Run version info, sort order, and additional ways to search for test information.

What’s next? Try Jama 8.14 and from now forward you can get more value out of all that data being created every day while you build your products of the future. Use connected product data as a daily tool to enhance your decision making and conversation with others, just as you do for shopping and connecting socially. Involve more people while providing context they actually understand, anchored to their perspective and traced through to yours.