Release Notes With Jira and Google Docs FTW!

ColinM_1-thumb
ColinM_1-thumb

We are always releasing code and always trying to make improvements to our release process, and any work related to it. We use Git for SCM so figuring out code differences between prod and the next release is a piece of cake, but getting a nice, clean, and concise list of Jira issues (and some details) that have related code/fixes/improvements/features/stories/etc can be a time consuming pain in the butt. There must be a nice way to do this that doesn't waste half an hour (sometimes longer) when one of our release jockeys is trying to keep everyone in the loop. So I decided to have a stab at it, but didn't want to spend more than an hour or two on this. I like spreadsheets. They can be incredibly powerful and incredibly simple at the same time if used properly. I also like Google Docs (which we use here at RTR). We also use Jira (which I also happen to like, most of the time). Google Doc Spreadsheets have a pretty powerful scripting engine behind them. Jira has a nice, clean REST API. So I decided to spend some time trying to get them to play nice in a very basic, rudimentary way. Less than an hour later I actually had something to show for it, and used it when summing up our latest release.

You start out with a really simple Google Spreadsheet:

jira - after
jira - after

Then you add some Google Script awesome-sauce. We connect to the Jira REST API using basic auth, although OAuth is supported by both Jira and Google Scripts. We also created a read-only Jira user for hitting the API.

[gist id=4455097 bump=1]

In the Google Spreadsheet go to Tools -> Script Editor. Paste in the script, and fill in the [blanks]. Save. Reload the spreadsheet and the Jira Menu should appear after help (this may take a few seconds). Start adding in some Jira Issue Ids, then go to Jira -> Refresh Ticket Data. You should see tickets data populate like this:

jira - after
jira - after

This was just a fun experiment that proved it may be worth investing another hour or two. Jira has a pretty robust API, and Google Scripts give you the full power of JavaScript alongside some nice Google Apps API calls. This is just the beginning!

Some useful links:URLFetch (like making AJAX/CURL calls from a Google Script) HTTPReponse (The response object you get from a URL Fetch) Spreadsheet Services (All you need to master your spreadsheet from a script) Events and Triggers (You don't want your user to have to do too much) Jira REST API