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What is JAC and how to use it?

Hellow everyone! In this article I would want to cover the basics of using JAC.

1. Few words about JAC

JAC is currently nothing else like a public issue tracker. It exist many years already and contains thousand of issues mostly bugs and suggestions where everyone can interact by voting and commenting. Based on that we can directly provide feedback about specific features.

2. Accessing JAC

Accessing JAC is very easy. We simply open our favorite browser type jira.atlassian.com (which is actually why we call it JAC - it is created from 3 first letters of this URL). In order to view issues we do not actually need to log in, but without this we would not be able to fully interact on the site, so it actually recommended that we do so..

We simply use our Atlassian ID credentials and we are ready to go!

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3. Searching for issues

Even JAC gives ability to create new bugs and suggestions it is always recommended to first spend some time and try to find existing issues since there might be already a similar problem reported and there is no reason to create duplicates.

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There are few ways of searching for specific issues.

  • Browse by project
  • Use predefined links on a System Dashboard (boards, searches)
  • Search from scratch

Since JAC is based on JIRA everyone with basic knowledge should be able to quickly and easily find what are looking for. We mostly use JQL search.

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Once we get some results it is possible to easily sort by specific columns. By default we can sort by Created or Updated dates, Status, Priority and if we add more columns by any other value that exist on the ticket. The most interesting values are Votes, which are showing the popular issues in specific search, so it good to keep this column visible.

Other useful fields are:

  • Support Reference Count
  • UIS (User Impact Score)

The first one is actually showing how many support tickets are related to specific Bug, the second is calculated based on some algorithm (only known to Atlassian) to easily filter important issues. Sorting by those values might actually give us very interesting results.

Sometimes is also good to check the available labels that are actually used to categorize specific tickets. For example we can quickly view all tickets that are blocking 7.13 release..

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Seems that most are closed and two are waiting for release which is good!

Few more examples of useful labels:

  • affects-server
  • affects-cloud
  • lts-blocker
  • performance
  • ...

The best thing about JAC is that actually it have huge history. If we play with search we can find very old tickets (from 2002 when JIRA was born!) where actually Atlassian Co-Founders were reporting and fixing bugs

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This is pretty awesome! That is why until 2009 JAC was actually used by Atlassian to track all their work. 

What else we can find?

Not only Bug and Suggestions is what we can actually get from JAC. What is very useful is that by using this JQL: "type = "Public Security Vulnerability" ORDER BY created DESC" can search for all most recent Public Security Vulnerabilities.

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So as we see search is pretty powerful and we are able to find a lot of useful information. If you want you can save results and get back to them later, or use subscription to get a list on your email.

4. Voting and Watching

Once you would find specific issue that it is not yet resolved and you would like to have it implemented a good thing is to vote for it and also optionally watch it to get notifications when someone replies or provide an update to the ticket.

Voting and Watching is done like on every Jira instance. On the top right corner of every issue there is a People section and there are links that we can click

votes.png

Please note that for Bug you do not see Votes (it is hard to vote for bugs.. ) instead you should see Affected Customers which actually works like votes but have a little bit more different meaning.

5. Commenting

Not only voting and watching is possible, but another key element of JAC is interacting over comments. Everyone that is logged in can leave a comment.

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When commenting just make sure that you are giving some useful information. It is not place to show frustration in situation when Atlassian would decide that some feature would not be implemented yet or that something was created many years ago and not yet addressed.

Not all features might be implemented even that are having many vote and comments. There are different priorities and sometimes we need to postpone something in order to fix some other important things.

6. Creating Issues

If you are sure that there is no existing issue already, feel free to create a new issue. Based on type you can create bugs or suggestions. Be sure that you properly explain your vision (or provide detailed steps to reproduce). On the beginning your ticket might not have many votes (only yours) but who knows maybe some day Atlassian would see it, put on the backlog and implement this into the core product. 

Hope that you can find this article useful. Feel free to leave a like or a comment below if you want.

Cheers!

4 comments

Hi @Mirek

Other basic Jira features can also be used.

Like you can also create your own dashboard there and create your own filters, so you can easy track and see issues you have created, watching and voted on.

If find this really helpful on following all items the are relevant for me personal and I'm not forced to search for the issues all the time.

Cheers,

Marc

Like Mykenna Cepek likes this
Mirek Community Leader Jul 30, 2021

Yes, that is good point - @Marc Koppelaar . It depends on preferences and how often do you need specific search. I personally only care about those tickets that I am voting/watching and receive an update about them on email, but if you want to for example monitor all bugs introduced in specific version that you are using it is good to save the search as a filter or even create own dashboard.

Mykenna Cepek Community Leader Jul 30, 2021

To help bootstrap people with their own dashboard, I'll offer the JQL for the filter on my JAC dashboard:

reporter = currentUser() OR comment ~ currentUser() OR issue in watchedIssues() OR issue in votedIssues() ORDER BY updatedDate DESC
Like Mirek likes this
Mykenna Cepek Community Leader Jul 30, 2021

Thanks for the article, @Mirek!

As I answer questions in the Atlassian Community, it will be helpful to point newbies to this article. A great way to help people learn to help themselves!

Like Mirek likes this

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