In part one of this short series of blog posts, I discussed the progress that we at Eagle have made in using various cloud services in the day-to-day running of our business.
All of the applications I mentioned in the first blog post were ones that we've been using for a year or more; there are a couple more that we've started using more recently.
The first, which we've rapidly come to rely on, is and other product from Atlassian, the makers of Confluence. It's called JIRA and is often described as an "issue tracking system". While that's technically accurate, it doesn't give a full picture of what JIRA is capable of. We use it for project planning, project management, and as a central component of our ISO27001 information security management system. We also use it for tracking issues!,
JIRA is extremely powerful and configurable - we've really only scratched the surface so far. One thing which we really like is the flexible permissions model, which means we can share appropriate sections of JIRA with clients, so that they can see, track and comment on issues that relate to work we're doing for them.
Like Confluence, JIRA can be installed and managed locally, however we use Atlassian's hosted OnDemand service so we don't need to do any of the management ourselves.
This is the most recent of the cloud services we've started to use, and is a bit more specialised. BitBucket provides centralised source control management. For those of you who aren't familiar with software development, source control systems provide a way to track and manage the text of software programs as it is worked on, possibly simultaneously, by a number of people. I'll not get in to a discussion of the merits of different source control systems, but historically we've used Subversion which is starting to show its age a little.
BitBucket is a hosted repository which supports Git and Mercurial, two of the most popular distributed version control systems. It provides tools for visualising and managing repositories, and, being an Atlassian product, integrates well with JIRA and Confluence, which suits us just fine.
I hope this series of articles has been useful; we certainly find these cloud-based services to be very valuable for running our business.