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Jira Automation UX for more complex rules

There are a lot of limitations for more complex automation rules that I hit quite early exploring Jira Automation.

  1. Rule Size ... a rule can only have about 60 steps. Given there also is no looping, this size can be reached very quickly - even for not so complex rules
  2. Rule design UX ... as soon as you have mor steps in your rule than fit on a screen, the UX is a mess. You have to constantly scroll up and down in order to know where you are. This is very error prone

I have some experiences with node red, which much better supports more complex configurations without becoming a developer only tool. I suggest not to use node red as a platform but as an example to improve the current UX.

With the upcoming Confluence Automation feature I expect more automation rules and more complex rules in the near future.

4 comments

@Arnd Layer  is absolutely right, the UI becomes unusable as soon as your rule gets longer than one screen.

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Mykenna Cepek Community Leader Sep 07, 2021

I too would like to see improvements in these areas for Jira Automation. My specific suggestions:

  • Automation rule steps (components) could be made more compact. You have to click into a component to see the bulk of the configuration anyway.
  • Also, please steal the "expand/contract" UX feature from IDEs. For example, IF and BRANCH components (and their nested components) could be allowed to roll-up to just one line. That would bring lower portions of the rule into the current view.
  • I also question the existing limitation of the number of components for one rule. I've exceeded that limit for multiple rules, and working around that limit can make a real mess out of things. We already have execution limitations to prevent excessive resource consumption by rules. A well structured rule can be long and still execute efficiently.

I think Atlassian has seen the success of Jira Automation. It's time now to invest in some iterative improvements.

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I fully support the concept of providing a no- or low-code environment. This should be maintained.

However, when I look at the action to edit an issue, there is the option to do do more complex things using JSON, which I haven't figured out yet, being an IT specialist but not a developer. I should be the ideal target audience for Jira Automation in so far that I shouldn't have problems using it.

Hi @Arnd Layer 

I agree on the need for UX improvements for automation rule management, lists, and design-time interface.  For example, pinning like for fields: https://jira.atlassian.com/browse/JSWCLOUD-21614

On your looping comment, have you tried advanced branching yet?  With that you may build up a list (e.g. in a created variable) and then use that to drive repeated operations.  Please look here for some information and noted limitations (in the comments):

https://community.atlassian.com/t5/Automation-articles/Branching-over-smart-values-in-Jira-Automation/ba-p/1741935

Kind regards,
Bill

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