Pivotal Tracker Help


Recent Updates


October 24, 2014 - Google Drive Files, Beta Performance Improvements & Bug Fixes

Google Docs for (nearly) All!



As promised, we’ve added to what you can do when you sign in to Tracker with Google. Now, you don’t have to integrate Tracker with your Google Apps domain to be able to attach your Google Drive files to stories, after you next sign in via Google.

When you sign in via Google, we’ll have to ask you to grant access to Tracker one more time. We require the metadata permission in order to show you (and only you) a list of your recent Google Drive files, when you click the Google icon in expanded stories.



Note: Tracker cannot access content of files on your Google Drive. Also, even after they are added, no-one can open any of your Google files, unless you’ve shared those files with them in Drive.

If you choose not to accept the needed permissions, and not use your Google Drive files in Tracker, then just sign in with your Tracker password.

We’d love to hear your feedback on what else you might like to be able to do with Tracker and Google together. So please let us know your ideas via the in-app feedback button or email!

Beta Performance Improvements & Bug Fixes


We've continued work to make the Tracker beta faster and more reliable.

  • You can now show OR hide done epics (that weren't just completed in the current iteration) in the Epics panel
  • You can now can see older story/epic history entries, (via infinite scroll with the "show more history" indicator at bottom of the History panel), as you can with Project History
  • A collapsed sidebar won't expand on going to a workspace
  • The Google Drive files list doesn't become empty
  • You can switch between charts again
  • Task deletion and task actions (particularly when you have stories open in full page view) no longer give errors
  • In app notifications can now open very old stories
  • Esc closes menus, e.g. the Search pop-up
  • Auto corrected typo's now save in comments
  • and more!

October 2, 2014 - New Navigation & More Workspaces

As we move ever closer to coming out of beta with the new Tracker UI, we’ve changed how you navigate Tracker in the header, making it consistent for everyone.


All the items in the header are click-able, and most have drop downs with more options. For example, click the Tracker logo at the far left, to go to the Dashboard. Click a little further to the right on the project name, to see the Projects list. Also, when you click your username, you’ll see that’s where Reports have moved to.


If you use Timekeeping, go to your Profile and the Time item appears at the top of the page, to the right of Notifications Settings.

You can also access the Projects menu in the Dashboard by clicking PivotalTracker in the logo at the top left.

Speaking of the beta, if you haven’t tried it, please do! When you are in a project, you can switch back to the original Tracker via the option under your username at the top right. Or you can can change between beta and original in your Profile.

Workspaces Galore



The majority of customers are now using the Tracker beta and we’ve received a ton of positive feedback on how useful you’re finding the Multi-project Workspace.

We also heard that many of you wanted more! You asked to be able to have more than one Workspace, to help you focus on particular sets of projects. Now you have just that in our latest update.


You can create Workspaces in a couple of spots, such as the Projects drop down shown above. If you click Show All Projects or Show All Workspaces, you’ll go to the Projects page (below), which now includes Workspaces.


The Projects page is another handy place to create and manage Workspaces. Click Settings to the right of any Workspace, to rename or delete it. You can also click Workspace and Project names to go to them.

We hope multiple Workspaces make the beta a bit better or tempts you to try it! As always, please share your feedback via the in-app feedback button or email, and follow us on Twitter for more.

August 26, 2014 - Updated Dashboard, now with Volatility!

As you've probably noticed, we’ve released the first of a couple of updates to the Dashboard, aiming for a cleaner, clearer view of your projects.


Dashboard

In this update, as well as a fresh new look, subscribing to RSS feeds has moved and there’s the addition of each project’s volatility.

Feed me!

You can now subscribe to the activity in projects, using any blog reader that supports Atom, via the Projects page. If you don’t see any RSS subscribe icons, it’s because they only appear if the "Enable RSS/Atom" option is selected in a project's Settings.


What’s volatility?

Volatility is a measure of how consistent your project’s velocity is. While velocity shows you what will be done, based on the rate at which recent work has been completed, volatility shows how reliable that is. A low volatility tells you that estimates are accurate and that you can be confident about what will be done in each iteration.

You can see information about your most recently visited projects on the Dashboard, including their current volatility. This is a percentage, computed using the number of recent iterations set in each project’s settings for “Velocity Strategy” by a project owner. On mousing over the volatility, you’ll see which iterations were used to calculate volatility and velocity.


As well as the Dashboard, the Velocity chart, in a project's Charts panel, shows the running volatility over the project's visible history. That history is the number of completed iterations shown in the Done panel. The default “Number of Done Iterations to Show” can be updated in Project Settings by a project owner.


In case you’re curious, volatility is the relative standard deviation of of the effective completed points divided by average effective completed points:

volatility = ( std dev (weekly effective points) / average (weekly effective points) ) * 100

We determine effective points as follows:

effective_points = completed points / (length of current iteration / project iteration length + team strength / 100%)

Also, paused iterations (team strength = 0%), are excluded from effective point calculations.

For examples and more on the importance of volatility and how it can help your team’s performance, please see: It's the Volatility That Will Kill You and Volatility for Product Managers.

Coming soon...

In-app notifications (in the Tracker beta), will be the way to see activity, right there within your project. They replace the activity feed on the dashboard, so we’ll remove that, leaving room for a whole new view of what’s going on with your multi-project workspaces. Did we say “spaces” plural? Why yes, we did. That’s another of the beta features we’re working on, to make a good thing even better.



August 5, 2014 - More, better, faster... CSV import/export now with epics!

Though your stories look gorgeous in Tracker, exporting to CSV is handy way to make a backup, share a different view of particular stories, do bulk updates, make a report or create a project template.

To make getting stories into and out of Tracker easier for you, we've improved several aspects of CSV import and export.

Epics


You can now export and import your epics. When the 'Type' column contains 'epic', that indicates that the row is an epic. Just like stories, if the id doesn't match an existing story in the project you're importing into, a new epic will be created. However, if there is a matching epic, it will be updated with any changes you've made in that row.

Faster upload with a much higher story limit

Previously, you could only import 100 stories at a time, due to performance constraints. Now, not only is import performance improved, you can import 500 stories into your projects at once.

Helpful error handling

CSV import can be tricky if your Point Scale or other Project Settings don't match in a source and destination project. Or perhaps you accidentally saved in a different format than CSV or there’s a typo in some editing. We admit it, our old error messages were pretty obtuse. But now we step you through the problem and remedy, so you can get past glitches far more easily. As well as more detail on the problem, the row-by-row breakdown helps you find the rows you need to correct.

CSV Options in the beta

Just as the same as in the original version of Tracker, you can click or shift+click the selection boxes to the right of the story title, to select stories, However in the beta, as soon as one or more story selection boxes are clicked, options for just selected stories appear at the top left.

To select all the stories in a panel, click the cog menu at the very bottom of that panel.

All the options, including those for CSV, that you'd find in the Project menu in original Tracker, can now be found under the cog menu at the top right of the sidebar in any project.

For more on importing and exporting your stories and epics, please see the Import & Export section of the FAQ.


July 10, 2014 - Story Cloning in the Beta

It’s finally here – you can now make copies of your stories with one click story cloning! Break larger stories down more easily, create stories similar to existing ones, or use icebox stories with elaborate tasks as templates for new projects.

This feature is only available in the new Tracker beta, so if you’re not yet using it, now might be a great time to switch. Click that Switch to Beta button at the top of the page when in any project, and while you won’t want to, you can switch back (using the option under your username at the top right) at any time.

Clone one or more selected stories with the bulk action buttons at the top left of the page. You can also expand a story and clone it with the “Clone this story” button to the right of its id number. Cloned stories go to the top of the icebox, and include the original story’s title, description, type, labels, and tasks.

Hint: The bulk actions also allow you to move selected stories to another project, which in conjunction with story cloning can be used to create new projects based on a template, for example. Clone a project’s stories, then move them to a new project to get things started quickly.

Enjoy, and as always, please share your feedback via the in-app feedback button in the beta, or by email.



June 17, 2014 -Manual Planning in Tracker’s UI & API

As promised here, we’ve replaced the old “Commit Mode” feature with a new way to manually plan your current iteration. It’s available now in both the original and beta versions of Tracker.

If you choose not to use Tracker's automatic planning feature, when you plan which stories are in the current iteration yourself, only in-progress stories or those that have been dragged into Current, will go into the current iteration. You can turn off automatic planning in Project Settings.

Unlike the old “Commit Mode”, stories that have been moved by you and your team’s actions, will stay in Current even when the iteration ends. Only accepted stories will move to the Done panel.

Mouse over the MP icon for a reminder of the available modes. Also quick access to Project Settings to return to automatic planning and see where you are based on your velocity.

Note: * Manual planning only applies to the current iteration. * Manual planning is not supported in the iOS app yet. It will only load and display the Planned state (see below) on story previews, for now.

The v5 API has also been updated to change commit mode to manual planning mode.

  • The project resource's automatic_planning attribute determines whether your iterations are automatically planned or manually planned
  • The story resource's current_state attribute can now be set to planned if the project has automatic_planning: false. The planned state means the story is in the current iteration, but not yet started, and only applies in projects using manual planning. Note: Though planned does appear in exported CSV files, it is not selectable in the State dropdown in the UI.
  • The following attributes have been removed:
    • the story resource's planned_iteration_number attribute
    • the project resource's enable_planned_mode attribute
    • the iteration resource's planned attribute


Also in API V3, commit_mode is removed from the project endpoint

As ever, after trying the feature, please send any suggestions via beta in-app feedback or email us!



May 16, 2014 - Upcoming changes to Commit Mode, the API & and recent beta updates

Commit mode and API changes

When a team begins a new project, it can take some time for their velocity to stabilize. Tracker's "Commit Mode" enables scheduling more or fewer stories into the current iteration, sprint or cycle than Tracker would plan automatically. This manual control over the stories included in the current iteration was originally seen as a temporary planning need, so it has only been available on a per-iteration basis.

We continue to recommend that you let Tracker plan for you and focus on achieving a steady velocity. This helps you see what can be done, based on your team’s pace, i.e. the average number of story points completed from your previous iterations. However, we’ve been listening carefully to feedback from those who prefer to always plan the current iteration manually, and have given a great deal of thought to how to evolve this feature. We've also kept in mind the Scrum community's move away from committing to forecasting. So, coming soon in both the original and beta versions of Tracker, commit mode will be reimplemented as “Manual Planning Mode”.

Manually planned projects will be indicated by a “MP” icon at the top of the Current or Current/Backlog panel.


Currently, commit mode only exists in the original version of Tracker and not in the beta. When it returns as manual planning mode, in both the original and beta versions, you’ll be able to do everything you used to with it, with a few key changes:

  • The project will not switch back to automatic planning at the end of each iteration. No more clicking on the “diamond ring” to enable manual planning.
  • In manual mode (auto planning disabled), stories won’t automatically flow into the Current iteration. Only in-progress stories and stories accepted in the Current iteration will appear in the current panel (or first iteration in a combined Current/Backlog).
  • Any planned stories that are not accepted when the next iteration starts will remain in Current. Accepted stories will move to the Done panel for the newly completed iteration.
  • Manual planning will be enabled (by deselecting automatic planning) under Project Settings only. There will no longer be an additional step to turn on manual planning in the project itself.


This update also requires some changes to both API v3 and API v5:

  • The "enable_commit_mode" project attribute and "planned_iteration_number" story attribute will be removed from API v5
  • The "planned" attributes/parameters will be removed from API v5
  • The V5 story endpoints and resource will include a new attribute, manually_planned. This will only be returned in API responses for stories that are in manually planned projects
  • A new "automatic_planning" project attribute will be added to all project endpoints in API V5
  • In API V3, commit_mode will be removed from the project endpoint


We’ll be looking at more of your requests and suggestions for manual planning in future beta updates. But for now, we hope teams that require manual planning of the current iteration will find these changes go a long way toward meeting your needs.

Recent Beta Updates

If you haven't switched to the beta yet, here are some of the recent improvements in case they tempt you to give it a try:

Auto panel resizing option
You asked, we agreed, and you can now click "Fixed" at the bottom left of the side bar to toggle panel resizing to "Auto". This disables the manual options, but just click Auto again to get those back. Mouse over each control for a tool tip to tell you what it does.



This means the "Close all panels" button is now gone - but let us know if you need it and we'll bring it back, perhaps as a keyboard shortcut.

Brighter controls
We didn't want them to be distracting, but panel controls were achieving that a little too well. Thanks for your requests to dial up the contrast. Hopefully you'll now have an easier time discovering what tricks panels have up their sleeves.

Notifications drop down
Selecting a notification to reveal the story for it, now closes the notifications drop down for you. One less click.

Release burndown chart default
The Release Burndown chart now defaults to the first unfinished release, or if there are none, the the last finished release.

Browser support
IE 10 and IE 11 are now supported in the beta, now we've completed a full pass of testing. There are still a few issues, but in general you can use these browsers for your projects. Please note: IE 9 will not be supported in the new UI.

Scrolling, adding stories and more
- Automatic horizontal scrolling of stories and panels when dragging should make viewing them easier.
- When adding a new story it now appears the first unstarted story, rather than at the bottom of the backlog.
- The 'Search Improvements' section in the Beta Overview now includes how to remove a saved search.
- Last but not least, when you are kind enough to give feedback, hitting ESC with text in the feedback widget no longer loses what you've typed.


Please see below for how to access the beta, switch back from it, find the Beta Updates panel and give beta feedback!

April 4, 2014 - All Tracker users have access to Beta, Notification email updates

Exciting news! All users now have access to the redesigned Pivotal Tracker, which includes an improved UI, multi-project workspace, cross-project search, in-app notifications and so much more. Read more about the Tracker Beta below.

Activate the Beta by clicking the “Switch to Beta” button toward the top-right of the Tracker page:

Once you’ve switched, please check out the Beta Overview panel to learn about all of the new features. Please send us Beta feedback through the Provide Feedback button in the Tracker Help & Updates menu and side bar.

Note: You can switch back with the option under your username at the top right of the Tracker page.

Email notifications updates

We’ve been listening to your feedback about our recent email notifications updates. Many of you appreciate the new email threading capabilities, but some of you asked to have the old workflow actions-in-title back. You can now enable emails to include workflow actions by turning them on in your Profile > Notifications Settings:

Along with this, we’ve also tweaked email notification content to make comments, commit messages and story links more readable. We’ve also re-introduced the story ID to URLs in the footer of the notification:

Feedback

Please continue to send us beta-specific feedback through the Provide Feedback button in the beta or general feedback through tracker@pivotallabs.com. This feedback greatly contributes to future product improvements.

As always, follow us on Twitter for the latest Tracker updates.

March 24, 2014 - Threaded emails, improved notifications options

We've streamlined the way email Notifications are sent from Tracker, reducing inbox noise and improving email readability. We’ve also given you more control over which Notifications you see in email.

Email improvements

You can now view email Notifications as threads of updates. In the past, Tracker emails would send you an email with distinct title for each state changes. This had the result of potentially flooding a person’s inbox with story updates if that person followed a number of stories.

Messages from Tracker are now threaded by story/epic title (in most modern email clients). This results in a far more manageable inbox. We’ve also improved the readability of emails by highlighting mentions directed at you, comments, state changes and code commits.

Project notification muting

In our last update, we gave you the ability to turn on/off certain notifications to give you more control over the messages you receive. In this release, we’ve improved the usability of these Notification settings. On top of this, you can now mute notifications from certain projects, which is particularly handy if you subscribe to a number of projects. You will still receive @mentions for these projects unless you turn these off globally. You can find these settings under your Profile in Notifications Settings:


P.S. The above also applies to in-app notifications in the beta. If you don’t yet have access to the new Tracker beta, please be patient just a little longer. We’re still rolling it out to everyone gradually.

March 17, 2014 - Take Control of Your Notifications

Email notifications allow you to stay connected with your project when away from Tracker, and respond quickly when needed, for example to answer questions in story comments or accept delivered stories.

On busy projects, though, the volume of notifications can be a little overwhelming. And with in-app notifications, introduced in the new Tracker beta, you may be interested in different types of notifications in the app vs those you get in email. If you're a product manager, who spends much of your day in your email inbox, you may want to see most or all notifications in email, but only direct @mentions when in Tracker.

Today's update introduces the ability to turn on or off certain in-app and email notifications. These new notification settings provide you with more granular control of the types of notifications you receive, and where you receive them.

To access your new notification settings, go to your Profile, then Notification Settings.

If you’ve never changed your notification settings, by default you’ll get notifications in email for:

  • new comments on stories and epics that you follow
  • when a story you’ve requested is delivered, or when a story you own is accepted or rejected
  • stories getting assigned to you


For in-app notifications, in the beta, by default you’ll only see notifications for comments you’re explicitly @mentioned in, or when someone makes you an owner of a story (assigns it to you).

The various other notifications that you can choose to receive, in email or in-app, include:

  • new stories or epics created in your projects
  • comments on all stories and epics in your projects
  • all state changes on stories you follow, or all stories in your projects
  • source commits on stories you follow, or all stories


You can also disable email or in-app notifications completely, with the checkbox at the top of the relevant section (after you click the Edit button).

More improvements to notifications are on the way. We’re changing the format of email notifications, so all notifications related to a particular story thread together (they’ll all have the same subject and appropriate threading headers), and you’ll soon be able to opt out of notifications for specific projects.

P.S. If you don’t yet have access to the new Tracker beta, you should soon. We’re rolling it out to everyone gradually.



March 5, 2014 - Public Beta starting for redesigned new Pivotal Tracker

The rumors are true, there is a major redesign of Pivotal Tracker in the works, with a long list of new features. For those of you already using it as part of the private beta - thanks for all the feedback so far! Today, we’re excited to start a gradual rollout of the beta to everyone.

With this redesign, we want to make using Tracker more of a delight, day in and day out. But most importantly, we’re aiming for Tracker to be a better collaboration platform for software development teams, and make it easier to stay organized and focused as your projects and companies grow.

The beta is work in progress, but you’ll find a long list of new features available now, ready to make working with your projects easier.

Multi-project workspaces allow you to see and work with multiple projects side-by-side, with cross-project search and My Work across your projects. Multiple story owners, editable comments, and in-app notifications make collaboration on larger projects much easier.

Markdown in comments and descriptions should make for clearer, richer stories. You can now add rich text elements like code blocks, bullet points, numbered lists and emphasis.

Finding the right stories is easier, with the much improved search syntax, and more usable saved searches. You also have more control over the interface, with the ability to reorder panels via drag and drop, and adjust panel width manually (hint - double click panel headers to auto-resize).

We’re rolling out the new Tracker UI gradually, starting today, and expect to have it available for everyone over the next few weeks. For now, the beta is opt-in, so look for the Switch to Beta button in the header when in your project. You can switch back to the original user interface at any time, via the dropdown menu under your username in the top right corner.

When you first jump in, you’ll see a Beta Overview panel, with a tour of all that’s new in the beta. Follow along as we roll out new features with the Recent Updates panel, both of these panels are accessible at any time via Help and Updates menu.

Note: We're redesigning a solution to improve on Tracker's commit mode feature. Currently, commit mode is not supported in the beta, and projects with commit mode will be read only. If you're using commit mode to manually plan your sprints, we'd love to hear from you so we can better understand your workflow. Also, for now, browser support is limited to recent versions of Chrome, Firefox, and Safari.

We’re relying on your continued feedback to make Tracker really amazing. You can share your thoughts right from within the beta, via the feedback button in the navigation sidebar.

And, if you’re not already, please follow us on Twitter for all the latest Tracker news!



Dec. 18, 2013 - Boolean Search: AND, OR & more

To finish our recent round of Search updates, you can now refine searches, using AND, OR, a minus sign to exclude items, and use combinations of all search options in Tracker.

Full details of all the ways you can search are in the FAQ, but here are a few examples:

Want to find everything with one label or another that haven’t yet been started?

(label:design OR label:”needs discussion”) AND (state:unstarted OR state:unscheduled)

Perhaps you’d like to find all stories without attachments and with particular words in their titles:

-has:attachment (name:browsing OR name:search)

As well as using the search field in Tracker’s UI, all of the recently added advanced search syntax, including boolean expressions, is available using the API, via the Search endpoint.

Hope you enjoy all the new ways you can find your stories in Tracker!



Dec. 12, 2013 - Manage account members via API V5

New /accounts and /accounts/{account_id}/memberships endpoints, to allow you fetch all of the accounts you are a member of, and manage account members. These endpoints are mostly limited to account owners and administrators.

Also, the /projects/{project_id}/memberships endpoint now allows inviting new users to projects, via name/initials/email, just like in API V3.



Nov 14, 2013 - Find stories using date ranges, relative dates, wildcards

We’ve been continuing work to bring you a few more of the search options you’ve been asking for. As well as a few fixes, we’ve extended the ability to search on created:, updated:, accepted:

  • using before/on/after criteria, e.g. created_before: 11/19/2012
  • specifying a date range, e.g. created: 10/19/2013..11/15/2013
  • using relative dates, weeks, days, and hours, e.g. accepted:-1w updated:yesterday created:-1d


We’ve also added the ability to search with regular expressions (including simple wildcards), e.g. label:needs_*

The full details of all search options are in the FAQ.

We hope this massively improves your ability to filter and find the stories you’re looking for.

And, of course, all this is supported in the API.



Nov 8, 2013 - Pivotal Tracker for iOS 1.8 now with following, mentions, and push notifications

Pivotal Tracker for iOS 1.8 is now available in the App Store with some great new features to keep you in the loop with your team.

Following and @mentions

Just like in the web version of Tracker, you can now follow stories and epics, so you'll always be a part of the conversation. If you need someone else's attention, bring them into the discussion by @mentioning them. You've been able to do this since we added it to the web version, but now Tracker for iOS will suggest team members as you type. Just tap a person's name to fill in their username and keep writing!

You saw it here first: in-app notifications

Tracker has been sending email notifications for some time, but if you got one from your iOS device, you couldn't do much with it. Now you can see all of your Tracker notifications from within the app!

Tap to see all of your notifications from all of your projects, no matter which project you're viewing. You can easily see the Tracker activity that matters to you. If you need to see some more context for what your teammate said, tap the notification to see the relevant story or epic. The icon will show a badge when you have unread notifications.

This is great for when you're actively using Tracker, but if you're not checking, you may miss an important notification. If someone @mentions you, they probably need your attention soon. In Tracker for iOS, you now have the option to receive push notifications when a teammate @mentions you. Even if you're not using Tracker at the time, you'll see a notification and be able to decide if you need to take action.

While beta testing this features, we on the Tracker team were surprised how much of a difference this feature made. Our project manager, Dan, works remotely from the rest of the Tracker team, but he always has his iPhone with him. Now we can @mention Dan with a question about a story, and get feedback in just minutes!

Head over to the App Store and download the app now!



October 30, 2013 - Search, Webhook, and other improvements

The team has its hands full, with much of our focus on a redesigned interface, with new features for teams working on larger projects. Beta access to that is just around the corner.

We’re also putting the finishing touches on the new API, and making various behind-the-scenes infrastructure upgrades. One of those is an overhaul of the Tracker search engine, rolled out last weekend, which has improved average server-side search performance by a factor of 20.

As part of that update, we’ve expanded the criteria available for advanced searches, and made it possible to do negative searches. You can also now hide accepted stories in the current iteration, as well as mention people when rejecting stories. And finally, it’s now possible to set up multiple activity webhooks per project, and manage them via the API. Keep reading for the details.

Search Improvements

Searching should be noticeably faster, and we’ve added support for the following advanced search criteria:

  • following: (stories you’re currently following)
  • owner: “” (stories without an owner)
  • owner:username (stories owned by user with given username)
  • name: ”shopping cart” (stories with the given term in the story name only)
  • estimate: 2 (stories with given estimate)
  • estimate: -1 (un-estimated stories)
  • -label: ”in testing” (stories that do NOT have the given label)
  • -owner: bob (stories NOT owned by the given person)


The complete list of supported search criteria can be found here, and this search syntax can be used in the UI as well as to filter API requests for stories.

We’ve also made the error messages that appear with invalid search syntax clearer, and certain special characters like colons (in quotes) should now work in search terms.

More search improvements are on the way, including support for date ranges and relative dates (e.g. “yesterday”), as well as support for boolean OR expressions. And, the redesigned, new interface will support cross-project search!


Hide Accepted Stories in Current Iteration

It’s always great to see lots of accepted stories in the current iteration. But, on large projects, it can be a pain to always have to scroll past that sea of green to see what’s going on now, in terms of in-progress stories or stories waiting for acceptance. We’ve made it easy to hide these accepted stories, and toggle to reveal them, with one click.


Mention people when rejecting stories

Having your story rejected can be harsh, but at least now your product owner can make it more personal, by @mentioning you directly.


Multiple Webhooks per Project, Managed via API

Activity webhooks are simply URLs that you specify in project settings, that Tracker sends JSON or XML requests to for every action in the project, for example story comments, state changes, new stories, etc. You can use that to build applications that “listen” for Tracker activity, and do amazing things with that.

Previously, a project could only have one webhook, and it had to be set up via the settings UI in Tracker. Now, projects can have as many as you like, and you can create, update, and delete them via the API or UI.

Webhooks are managed on your project’s integration settings page (Project -> Configure Integrations), or via the Project Webhook API endpoints.

P.S. You can also access project or story activity directly, via the API and the Activity endpoints. Webhooks sends you that same activity in real time, as it occurs.



August 16, 2013 - New Developer API Now In Public Beta

The new Pivotal Tracker developer API (V5) is now open to everyone! It’s completely new, all-JSON, much more comprehensive, and full of goodies. Keep reading for highlights and an example to get started.

The recently rewritten Tracker application has been running against this new API since earlier in the year, and some of you may have already started developing against it as part of the private beta. The new API is quite stable, but officially it’s in beta status, meaning there may still be some changes based on your feedback.

Documentation for the new API can be found here, or via the Developer API link at the top of the Tracker Help page. To get started, you’ll need your API token, which can be found on your Profile page.

Here’s an example of a simple cURL request that fetches a single story:

export TOKEN='your API token'
export STORY_ID='your story ID'
curl -X GET -H "X-TrackerToken: $TOKEN" "https://www.pivotaltracker.com/services/v5/stories/$STORY_ID?fields=name,description,estimate,owned_by(name)"


Since the request specified the story name, description, estimate, and owner name fields only, the response contains only those fields, as well as the story and person IDs:

{
  "id": 12345,
  "name": "All exhaust ports should be shielded",
  "description": "ray shielded, that is.",
  "estimate": 3,
  "owned_by": {
    "id": 1,
    "name": "Clone TK421", 
  },
}


Updating a story (to change it's name, for example) would look like this:

export TOKEN='your API token'
export STORY_ID='your story ID'
export PROJECT_ID='your project ID'
curl -H "X-TrackerToken: $TOKEN" -X PUT -H "Content-type: application/json" -d "{\"name\": \"That's no moon...\" }" https://www.pivotaltracker.com/services/v5/projects/$PROJECT_ID/stories/$STORY_ID


API Highlights

Dive right into the developer documentation for all the gory details, but here are some noteworthy features:

  • All project data is available via the API, including epics
  • All JSON, all the time
  • Consistent pagination control and response format for endpoints that can return a large amount of data (via offset and limit parameters)
  • Fine grained control of which fields and nested resources the API returns
  • Support for cross-origin (CORS) requests, allowing JavaScript applications to make requests to the API directly, without a server proxy
  • Access to historical project activity, with full details about what changed as part of a given user activity
  • Optional “envelope” metadata structure as part of the JSON response, instead of the metadata returned in the response header
  • Much more informative and consistent error responses
  • Support for new features (for example story following) available immediately when feature launches or enters beta


There are a number of things still in the works for API V5, including the ability to have multiple activity web hooks per project (manageable via the API, of course), an interactive API console, a request “aggregator”, and more. To keep up with changes to the API, follow our blog, or keep an eye on the change log section in the API documentation.

We hope you find these features useful, and are looking forward to seeing what you end up building! We'll soon be launching a new “App Bazaar” to showcase all of the apps/tools/integrations developed by the community (for now you can find them on the third party tools page).

Please send any questions, or feedback you might have on the new API to tracker@pivotallabs.com. And if you’re not already, follow us on Twitter!




June 26, 2013 - New in Pivotal Tracker – Story following and user @mentions

It’s now even easier to collaborate with your teammates and keep the right people up to date. We’re very excited to announce story following and @mentioning.

Get people’s attention with @mentions

Ever wanted to include someone on epic comments or a story discussion, even if they’re not a requester or owner? @mentions allow you to do exactly that. Once you add them, they’ll be alerted by a NEW MENTION email with a link to the story or epic. They will also be included on any future updates.

To add someone as a follower, simply type @ in a story comment, then their initials or a few characters of a name or username will filter the list.

@mentioning someone in a comment every time you want their attention can also help your team filter their emails so they see those first.


Follow stories and epics

Story following allows you to receive updates on stories and epics relevant to you. Check the “follow this story” box under any story or epic to follow it, then any changes will be sent to you via email.

You can see how many people are following at a glance - just mouse-over to see who they are.

Following stories that you requested or own is automatic, and by default you follow any story or epic on which you've commented. Including someone in a story or epic using @mentions will automatically add them as a follower too.


Email notification settings & unfollowing

You still have control over the email notifications you receive. Check the Email Preferences section under your Profile to be sure you are getting the emails you want.

You can see if someone you want to follow a story or epic has their email notifications turned off, by the “no-email” icon next to their name when you start typing it after the @ symbol.

Also, if you’re getting too much of a good thing, you can uncheck the “follow this story” box.


Your username

Finally, following requires you to have a username now, and we’ve auto-generated one if you didn’t have one previously (as covered in this blog post). Your Profile is also where you can change your username assuming someone else hasn’t already snagged the one you want. Usernames do currently have to be unique in all of Tracker, not just the people in all the projects under the same Tracker account.




June 20, 2013 - The Pivotal Tracker Rewrite, And a New Feature - Improved Story Linking

If you’re a long time Pivotal Tracker user, you’ve probably noticed that for the last year or so, things have been fairly quiet, in terms of new features. That’s because we spent that time on a complete, but focused rewrite of the core of the Tracker web application, as well building a soon to be public, brand new API.

A year is a long time to hit the pause button, but we think it was a necessary investment given that Tracker has been around for almost eight years, starting as mostly a training project during the early days of Pivotal Labs. And while deceptively simple on the surface, Tracker is actually quite an amazingly complex application under the hood, as we humbly re-discovered over the course of this rewrite.

The Tracker team worked hard to get this done, and we now have a clean, modern codebase, ready for new features, as well as a comprehensive new API that’s about to go into beta. Keep reading for some highlights about the rewrite, as well as the first new feature that we’ve just released!

A Ground Up Rewrite

We completely rewrote the important part of Tracker - the project page, where you spend most of your time.

The rewrite took us from a home grown, OO-based client MVC framework, that used older Prototype and YUI libraries, and many experimental patterns, to a clean and mostly functional, event based client codebase, built on top of Backbone.js and JQuery (that runs exclusively against the new API, of course). We now have almost 40% less JavaScript code (around 18K lines now), with over 2:1 (Jasmine) test to production code ratio. We also reduced the number of project load time requests by 90% by using sprites for all image assets.

This new client and API architecture has made it possible to improve a few things that were quite difficult before. For example, we can now deploy our API and client application independently, with strict versioning and automated integration testing, allowing us to deploy application updates without any disruption (via the new yellow popup messages asking you to reload at your convenience).

Another example is that you no longer lose story changes you might be in the middle of, when someone else moves that story to a different panel, directly or indirectly. Your story simply moves to it’s new place, but stays open and keeps your changes intact.

The new client is mostly identical to the old one (for now), but there is more polish. The charts in the app are now done via HighCharts (and more of them on the way).

Finally, everything that Tracker does is fully supported in the new API, for which beta access begins shortly. Anything that you can do via Tracker’s UI will be available in this new API, including epics and full access to historical project and story activity. It will be JSON based, with cross-domain request capability to allow you to build browser widgets that access Tracker data.

And because Tracker’s own UI runs against this new API, going forward, the API will no longer lag behind new features - support for them in the API will be available immediately.

First New Feature - Improved Story Linking

We’re busy working on a number of new features, including a fairly major redesign - which this new codebase and architecture has allowed us to make amazing progress on so far. The first of these improvements - improved story linking, is now available for all projects.

This feature makes it easier to embed story or epic links within story or epic description, tasks, and comments, which can be useful with cross-project story dependencies. For example when you want to indicate that a given story is blocked by another, because the API endpoint that the story depends on is not complete yet.

Copying and pasting a story or epic URL into the description, task, or comment of another story will show a short form link to that story or epic, with a colored background (blue for stories, purple for epics). Hovering over the link will allow you to see a preview of that linked story, so you can tell whether that story has been accepted yet, for example, without having to load that story's project.

This works with stories in the same project, as well as with stories from other projects. And clicking on the link will either reveal the story in the current project, or open it in a new tab if it’s from a different project.

Instead of copying and pasting the full story or epic URL, you can also just type # and the story ID (e.g. #123456789), or ## and ID for epics. To get the URL or ID of a story or epic, just click on the “link” or ID button to the left of the ID number, in the expanded story or epic view.

More to come soon! Please let us know what you think of this improved story linking feature, in the comments below or by email to tracker@pivotallabs.com.