Second July is a day that all Redmine community waited for a long time. New version—3.4 is released. It brings together 200 fixes, updates, and improvements. Our team takes a tour over the most interesting features. .

The newest version of Open Source platform introduces extended ticket (and issues) view, filtering and UI improvements among others. They make this project and issue management system more comfortable for use and more efficient. Without further ado, let's dive into the shortlist.

If you want to see all of changes, follow this link to see complete list of new Redmine 3.4.0 features and changes

UI Improvements

Fresh version brings high resolutions thumbnails and Gravatars (Feature #24927), as well as high-resolution images displayed in content placed in formatted text fields (Feature #24922). It follows support for Retina displays in MacBooks. This feature has already been available in our Redmine Themes, already before the released update.

redmine-3-4-hq-gravatars-thumbnails.png

Users can now drag images and files into the wiki areas (Feature #26071) instead of manually attaching files and then adding them one-by-one. If the file contains spaces in the name, they are being auto-fixed by default. Take a look at comparison of two methods - old one and new one:

wikifiles-new4.gif

As we are talking about adding files, I want to point out an important feature that many users waited for—deleting multiple files in one action (Feature #13072). In previous Redmine, you had to remove every file manually and wait for the view to refresh. Now if you Edit an Issue and scroll to Attach File section, you can see Edit Attached files link, which clicked opens the list of files attached to the issue and let you tick a box next to files you want to be removed. Then, you and just need to Submit the change. Et viola!

redmine-3-4--removing-files.png

After the update, if you click on the files, it does not download by default but opens a preview (Feature #25988). From here you can download the file if needed.

redmine-3-4-file-download-preview.png

Also, download links are now more visible with an additional icon next to them (Feature #26035) - both under the issue details and in the changelog next to the entry that the file has been added.

redmine-3-4-file-download.png

Also, now you can tag users in the wiki areas by simple command user:username or user:number (for example user:admin, user:399 (Feature #4179) ). This is a useful feature for documentation purposes or to mark teammates. It cannot be used for linking or notifyifng users yet, as they do not receive notifications.

Redmine now supports monotype text and provides a choice between monotype and proportional-width fonts in the text areas (Feature #23653). This feature makes it easier for developers to go through the code and find the necessary parts. Plus for some users, it will just look way better :)

In 3.4.0 users can stay logged in onto one account from multiple devices (Feature #10840). It will make it more comfortable to use for example computer and mobile phone.

The “Add New Item“ button (like add New Version, add New Member (Feature #24720)) in the Project Settings has been moved to the top left corner, so it is more intuitive to find it now.

redmine-3-4-new-elements.png

“My Page” goes into better direction

Your personal page can be now turned into customized dashboard with just a few clicks. Firstly, it is now possible to edit its layout from the page itself (Feature #25297), without the need to enter the settings. You can now reorder items by dragging them in desired order or layout. Thirdly, you can now add a bunch of other items easily.

Among them, you have a column selection with issue lists on My page (Feature #23459). Next, you can add all previously saved Custom Queries (Feature #1565). For each item with issues, you can select columns that are visible (Feature #8761). And finally, issues lists at My Page are now sortable (Feature #7769).

In the Spent Time section, you can now change the default period being shown (in older Redmine it showed only seven days (Feature #8761) ). 

Finally—Ajax Project Search

New Redmine 3.4 includes improved Ajax project search field that replaced the old drop-down list (Feature #23310). Now it is much easier and faster to find certain project among a dozen of others, especially because the search goes through subproject as well (Feature #9909). As soon as the user starts typing, system shows narrowed results matching the entered texts, similarly to web search engines.

redmine-3-4-project-search.png

Improved Time Tracking

Mayor improvements in the time tracking start with “Spent Time” section that can be now displayed in a separate tab and accessed from the top project menu (Feature #23311).

redmine-3-4-spent-time.png

Another prominent feature is enabling grouping time entries by date or user. The view can be further collapsed and expanded for only selected dates or users (Feature #16843).

redmine-3-4-spent-time-date-grouping.png Time-log groupped by date.

redmine-3-4-spent-time-user-grouping.png Time-log groupped by users.

What is more, users can now save such view as custom queries (Feature #14790). The only missing point is a report view, that does not get saved, and after opening the query from the menu, have to be set up again.

One more thing. You can now more time entries between the projects (Feature #588). Just select the ones that should be reassigned and choose new projects from the list below.

Our project managers find it also worth mentioning that now “issue” and “comment” fields can be marked as mandatory for time-log entries. This helps to track for which tasks time have been spent (Feature #24577). If deselected, users still can enter project-wide time entries with just tracker type.

Improved and Extended Filtering, Issue and Ticket View

If you have the main task with subtasks, in the main issue details, you now see a progress bar for sub-issues (Feature #3425). Moreover, there is a quite logical update in changing the parent issue status (Feature #10989). It can be closed, only when all of the sub-issues will be closed.

In the issue list view, you can add a new column with attached files (Feature #25515). And even further, sort it out by the ones that contain the files or the one that does not.

The new Redmine version allows adding custom fields with “file” type for issues (Feature #6719). It can be further limited to specific file extensions only. It is useful for example, to upload a contract, pre-dev analysis or other files to the projects.

custom-files-redmine2.gif

Apart from files, you can now display “Last Notes” and “Description” in the issue lists (Feature #1474). Especially notes will be useful to see at a glimpse of an eye for example which supports tickets already received a reply, or which tasks have been recently commented and what’s their stage. It saves you precious time on empty clicking on each issue. This feature has already been available in our Helpdesk plugin as a “Last Reply” visible in the ticket lists.

Shortly speaking issues can now be additionally filtered by following parameters:

  • Target Version Status (e.g. closed) and Due Date (Feature #23215)
  • Further for Target Version—issues with Any and None assigned (Feature #20279)
  • “Updated by” or “Last updated by”(Feature #17720) —this is a mayor improvement because it let you find issues updated by a particular user. For instance, if you have customer support agents servicing the same clients at the same time you may select only the ones that were replied to by a specific agent. “Last Updated by” is also a new column available in the issue list.     redmine-3-4-issue-updated-last.png
  • Filter issues by attachments (Feature #2783) —useful to find for example tickets with files or particular file type. For instance, tickets sent to customers over billing period with attached invoices, or CRM issues with attached contract. Also, enabling column with files in issues list will list all the files attached to an issue. By clicking on their name, you will be taken to preview.
  • Also, issues can be filtered by Version’s custom fields, if such is available (e.g., Release date (Feature #21249) ).

Furthermore, projects received a Version filtering, which is great to find particular sprint, release or phase (Feature #22608). Plus, you can now add a new version directly from the Versions page (Feature #24011).

In the Project setting, you can set up a default assignee (Feature #482). This means, that whenever someone adds a new issue, and the assignee was not selected the default users will be assigned. Useful for example for helpdesk department or development team.

For bulk-edit of issues, if there are custom fields that can get lost, the system will now display a warning to prevent data loss (Feature #22600).

Other changes:

From other features that change Redmine for better, the first one is adding regex texts on receiver email (Feature #5856). For non-technical users—you must have noticed all these “Please leave a reply above this line” or by contradicting “don’t reply below this line” in support messages. Now you can just specify set of characters after which email will be cut taken into the tickets.

For example to filter out the message content that appears after:

On 27 Jun 2017, at 11:36, Jan Kovalski wrote:

You can use following regular expression:

^On.*\d{4}.*@?[a-zA-Z0-9.-]*[.]?[a-zA-Z]{0,4}wrote:$

You can choose for Redmine to import only fresh text of the message and not data that was before.

There are also features not included in the main trunk (release). As they are patches and are not officially released, each company has a choice to add them if they want or feel they need to. Still, you can take a look at fixed translation patches and few other—for example (Patch #22356), (Patch #25215), (Patch #21705).

Summary

So, coming to an end, let's shortly sum up all the changes. New Redmine 3.4 is equipped with better, easier user experience that makes working wth the system more smooth and more intuitive. Improvements in the areas of time tracking and issue filtering give more elasticity and more advanced options to control tasks and manage projects more adequately. 'My Page' can be now turned to the fully customized portal that allows users to access all areas of systems from one place, which saves a lot of time and makes keeping track of the things easier.

With new roll-out, we prepared a special offer for the system update and maintenance. Untill the end of July, we can update your Redmine to the newest version and configure it to your needs for $249/server only. If you have more than 2 servers/instances, please contact us for dedicated conditions.

All companies that buy a yearly maintenance pack will receive 4 months for free. Contact us for details.

How do you like the new changes? What do you think of the new features? Share your opinion in the comment section below, and share this article with other Redmine users using the share buttons on the left.