The new version of iceScrum, named v7, brings a lot of improvements and new features. These changes can be disturbing for long-term users so here is a little guide to help you discover them in the best conditions. Do not be afraid iceScrum is still iceScrum... only better!
This guide deals with the major changes. We will improve it as we receive feedback, so please let us know if you need more information. The whole iceScrum documentation is currently being rewritten to iceScrum v7.
The first thing you will notice is of course the new modern UI / UX. The new responsive and mobile friendly user interface provides a huge step up in the user experience quality thanks to its simple and consistent interactions and its new clean theme.
As a result, the learning curve is way smoother for new users and experienced users should soon become very productive.
New Community features
User dashboard with custom widgets
Every user now has their own "home" dashboard that they can personalize with widgets of their choice: a news feed, charts from their projects, personal notes, and more.
Story business value
Your project exists for the purpose of providing value to your users through the delivery of your product. Product Owners can now assign a business value to every story to help prioritize them and maximize the overall value of your product.
Another feature for Product Owners to further materialize their vision in the tool: they can now prioritize stories in the Sandbox.
Tasks on stories
You can create your tasks directly on a story even if it’s not planned in a sprint.
This has several benefits: the story / task breakdown can help estimate stories while a story that has to be "unplanned" now keeps its tasks.
Another related feature we wanted to offer for a very long time: done tasks now display a "ghost" of their story if the story has been moved to another sprint or unplanned.
Unified planning view
Say goodbye to the juggling between "release plan" and "timeline" views. All the release / sprint planning is now done under a unified view named "Planning".
Unified backlogs view
All your story backlogs now lives under a unified "Backlogs" view. That's the new home for your Sandbox and product Backlog, but also the "All" and "Done" new Backlogs. You can display two backlogs side to side by "pinning" backlogs.
Sample project for new users
To discover a tool, starting from scratch can be intimidating. Every user can now create a sample project named "Peetic" (a dating website for your pets!) in order to get acquainted with iceScrum.
Estimate by comparison
Agile estimate techniques are empiric. It's now easier to rely on your previous experiences to estimate new stories by displaying a breakdown by effort of former stories. A similar comparison is also available when assigning a business value to your stories.
Custom colors on items
You are now free to choose your favorite color for features, stories and tasks from a full color palette.
Custom post-it size
You can choose the perfect post-it size for each iceScrum view in order to get the level of details you need.
That's not even all the new community features: you will find a lot of small gems, tweaks and adjustments that will improve your everyday experience using iceScrum!
New iceScrum Pro features
Former iceScrum Pro features are now rebranded as "Apps", with the aim of being more visible and straightforward to use. You will find them under your new projet "Apps & Integrations" menu. If you migrated from iceScrum R6, all the Apps will be disabled by default so you will need to enable them one by one on your projects.
Create custom story backlogs with personalized filters. Such backlogs are personal by default, but you can also share them with your team!
Create story templates to pre-fill new stories with predefined feature, tasks, acceptance test, thus avoiding the need to manually repeat information that is common for a category of stories found in your project.
Every iceScrum user can enter their mood on a daily basis. The moods are aggregated and anonymously displayed in charts to help track and ensure well-being of your team.
Vote for stories
Allow your users and stakeholders to vote for the stories they prefer. This helps you take into account their wishes when prioritizing your product backlog.
In addition to the new features, you should feel at home and find in this new version the key iceScrum Pro features you are used to: availabilities, Git/SVN integration, every bug tracker integration, server configuration, project and user administration...
Some R6 features are not yet available in this new version. The most successful ones will be available very soon. Other less used features will be replaced by something better. As usual, we are happy to hear your thoughts about what is missing for iceScrum v7 to be the perfect agile tool!
Under the hood
This new version is built on top of a modern architecture and well-proven technologies. It is now easier to install and it works with the latest production versions of Java and Tomcat (both in version 8), which provide improved security and performances.
Another benefit of this new architecture is that every action is done through a clean REST API. We will make it available to you soon to allow creating on top of the iceScrum business logic your own interfaces tailored to your needs.
Version numbers will now loosely follow Semantic Versionning and the very first iceScrum v7 is simply versioned 7.0.0.
Download and install
Good news, iceScrum v7 (7.0.6) is available now! Download it here:
Upgrade from R6 Standalone
For iceScrum Standalone, the migration from iceScrum R6 to iceScrum v7 cannot be done on your existing server. You will need to install v7 on a new server and migrate your projects by exporting them from R6 and then importing them into v7. Here is the detailed migration procedure.
Install on a new server
The install procedure is quite similar to what you are used to. As we said above, iceScrum now supports Java 8 but it will work fine with the latest version 7 too. We don't recommend installing iceScrum as a .war file deployed on a custom Tomcat installation anymore. Unless you have very specific needs, icescrum.jar is now the preferred way to install and use iceScrum
Here is how to install iceScrum v7
Install on an former iceScrum server
Because of the significant changes, you cannot install iceScrum v7 in place of your existing iceScrum R6 installation. Thus, if you want to install iceScrum v7 on a machine that previously hosted iceScrum R6 but doesn't anymore (e.g. your computer, a test or pre-production server) then you will have to delete everything related to your previous iceScrum installation: database, folders (both yourHome/.icescrum and yourHome/icescrum folders, Tomcat webapps and work content...) etc. before installing iceScrum v7.
Setup and iceScrum Pro
After installing it, iceScrum v7 will display a nice setup wizard to configure the server. It's also there that you can activate an iceScrum Pro license. If you cannot ask for a trial because you already have used one before, just let us know and we will create a trial license for you.