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My name is Grazyna Kaszkur, and I’m a product manager on Jira Server and Data Center here at Atlassian. Given that Jira Software version 7.6 and Jira Service Desk version 3.9 will both reach End of Life on November 15th, 2019, I wanted to stop in to share some resources we’ve put together to help you stay on our Enterprise release line – or if you’re late to the ER party – to help you get there.
The two designated Enterprise releases as of November 15th will be 7.13 and 8.5 for Jira Software and 3.16 and 4.5 for Jira Service Desk. Jira 8.5 and Jira Service Desk 4.5 are planned to release in late September.
We know that many of you are currently on a 7.6.x version of Jira software and/or a 3.9.x version of Jira Service Desk, and are facing the choice of which version to land on now that your current Enterprise release is reaching End of Life. We recommend that you plan to upgrade to one of the supported Enterprise releases to continue on our long-term support line. Which one?
That’s a question we hear a lot. And the honest answer is “It depends.” More than anything else, it depends on your upgrade strategy and the complexity of your instance. While there’s no catch-all answer, we can make a few general recommendations:
Jira 8.5/ JSD 4.5 are the first Enterprise-ready opportunity to adopt Jira 8 and JSD 4. That means platform improvements, performance, features, and capabilities for success at scale. These represent the best versions of our products to date, and much of what we’ve shipped in the past year is aimed at meeting the needs of enterprises like yours. If you plan to upgrade and remain on the same version for more than a year, you’ll want to enable your team with the fastest, most-fully featured and mobile-ready version of our tools. If you’re able to manage the larger upgrade (and prepare your end users for the UI/UX changes included Jira 8), we recommend moving to Jira 8.5 and Jira Service Desk 4.5 as a great long-term play.
Jira 7.13/ JSD 3.16 are the most stable releases for our largest customers on our most complex instances. Because you won’t be tackling the breaking changes of a platform upgrade (from 7.x.x to 8.x.x), you may have an easier upgrade process. Depending on your instance and If you’re running Jira Software Data Center, you may also be able to upgrade with zero or minimal downtime. If your upgrade strategy is to make smaller but more frequent jumps between stable releases, your best option may be to move to 7.13/3.16 now while planning for 8.5/4.5 in your next cycle. Note: the End of Life date for Jira 7.13 and Jira Service Desk 3.16 is November 28, 2020.
Earlier this year, we announced that we’re strengthening our Enterprise release offering based on your feedback. Rather than designating a later bug fix version of a targeted feature release, we have announced that Jira 8.5 and Jira Service Desk 4.5 will be Enterprise releases at launch. Many of our customers are already looking at these Enterprise releases as the stable, enterprise-ready option to adopt the many performance and platform improvements that shipped in Jira 8.0 and Jira Service Desk 4.0. As such, we are explicitly not adding new features between 8.4/4.4 and the Enterprise release versions, instead taking the entire feature release cycle to focus on additional hardening and testing, so that these releases will be certified from the start.
While more details related to the upcoming Jira Software 8.5 and Jira Service Desk 4.5 Server & Data Center Enterprise releases will be coming soon, there are many resources already available to help evaluate your options and begin to prepare for your upgrade:
Jira 7.13.x / Jira Service Desk 3.16.x
Jira 8.5.0 / Jira Serice Desk 4.5.0
We’re hard at work on additional resources specific to the Jira 8.5 and Jira Service Desk 4.5 releases – including release notes, an Enterprise release change log, performance testing, and upgrade guides. When Jira 8.4 launches soon, that will mark the last feature additions before the Enterprise release. You can read more about changes included in the 8.4 update here.
If you want to familiarize yourself with the major changes added in each version since 7.6/3.9, you can get a high-level view in the Jira and Jira Service Desk Upgrade Matrix.
But there’s only so much you can get from reading guides and change logs; sometimes it’s better to talk it out with others going through the same process. Ask questions from the community and share your own best practices in the comments below.