Tracker Blog

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Author: Dan Podsedly

Dan Podsedly
News

Tracker's Journey Through the Cloud

Thousands of teams around the world rely on Pivotal Tracker every day to stay focused on their projects and know exactly what to work on next. As such, we strive to keep maintenance downtimes to a minimum, but eagle-eyed weekend warriors may have recently noticed status messages about “major” infrastructure updates on two otherwise quiet Saturday mornings over the last year. Read more...

Dan Podsedly
Updates

Tracker Developer API V3/V4 Versions Deprecated

The current version of the Tracker Developer API (V5) was introduced almost four years ago, and has since continuously evolved to support new Tracker features, such as the recently launched story blockers. It supports JSON payloads, flexible response customization, CORS, access to analytics data, and much more. Read more...

Dan Podsedly
Updates

Introducing Story Blockers

As the old proverb goes, “Even careful planning and good intentions can’t always prevent surprise impediments showing up in your backlog.” Old-timey proverb writers knew better than anyone the challenge of, say, starting a story only to realize it’s missing design assets, waiting on a response to a product question, or knowing your UI story can’t move forward without progress in an API story in another project. If only Tracker had a way to account for these interconnections and roadblocks and make them more obvious in your workfl— Read more...

Dan Podsedly
News

Introducing Tracker Enterprise

Pivotal Tracker powers modern software teams that are highly collaborative, cross-functional, and which ship continuously. It’s given countless companies the predictability and transparency they’ve needed to transform their development process and stay competitive in a world full of disruption. Read more...

Dan Podsedly
News

Wrapping Up 2016 and Looking Ahead

Thank you for a great year! As we head into the sunset of 2016, we’d like to look back at what’s been happening with Tracker, and share a peek at the not-so-mysterious future. Read more...

Dan Podsedly
Updates

Reply to Comments with @ Mentions

Last month, we made it so that clicking on a story comment notification (either in the app or in email) took you directly to the comment in which you’d been mentioned. “That’s great and all,” we hear you saying, “but replying to that comment can be a bit painful when you’re trying to keep everyone already @ mentioned in the conversation.” Fair point! Hold onto your horses, because now you can quickly reply to everyone who’s part of a comment thread with one click. Read more...

Dan Podsedly
Updates

Pivotal Tracker Analytics: Now Out of Beta!

It’s official! Pivotal Tracker’s new project Analytics features are now out of beta! As thousands of you have already discovered, Analytics bring a new level of visibility to your project and allows you to easily uncover bottlenecks and continuously improve your team’s performance. It’s a collection of simple but powerful reports that give insight into your project’s cadence, including fluctuations over time. You get a high-level view of progress, and the power to easily drill down into details. Read more...

Dan Podsedly
Updates

Tracker Analytics—Now in Public Beta!

Tracker has always focused on facilitating collaboration and transparency at the story level, but it hasn’t always been easy to see the big picture or interesting/worrying trends in your projects. In other words, there are plentiful trees, but no forest. With our new Analytics beta, we’re ready to introduce the forest to the trees. This effort has largely been driven by your feedback, and our continuous desire to improve the Tracker experience for our customers, and it’s now ready for a test drive. Read more...

Dan Podsedly
Updates

Performance Improvements, New Features, and a Peek at the Road Ahead

If you’re among the folks who have been wondering whether we’ve been trapped under a rock or lost the source code to Tracker, fear not! We are alive and well, and our coding fingers are in fine shape. Many of our efforts over the last few months have been focused on making Tracker rock-solid stable and secure, as well as iterating on brand-new features to improve the overall experience. But it’s one thing for us to say “We’ve been busy!” and hope you take our word for it; we thought it would be more useful to outline what we’ve been working on. Read more...

Dan Podsedly
News

New Year, New Tracker, New Pricing

2015 is here, hopefully it’s off to a great start for you and your projects! It’s hard to believe, but Pivotal Tracker will be turning 10 this year. What started as an experimental internal tool at Pivotal Labs, a small consultancy in San Francisco at the time, grew into one of the world’s most popular agile project collaboration apps, bringing focus and transparency to thousands of teams around the world. Read more...

Dan Podsedly
Updates

New Pivotal Tracker UI and API V5 Now Out of Beta!

There’s a fresh, newly redesigned Pivotal Tracker, with a ton of new features, optimized for growing teams. But you probably already know that, because most of you have been using it for months now! Thanks for all the great feedback, Tracker wouldn’t be what it is today without such a passionate and involved user community. Read more...

Dan Podsedly
News

Recent Tracker Outages and Planned Stability Improvements

Pivotal Tracker is a critical tool for thousands of teams, and providing a stable, reliable service is vitally important for us. Uptime is typically in the proverbial “three nines” (99.95% for the first half of the year), but in the last few weeks we’ve experienced a number of unexpected outages. The worst of which was yesterday, lasting almost two hours. This was disruptive to many of you, and we’d like to apologize. Read more...

Dan Podsedly
Updates

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. Read more...

Dan Podsedly
News

Unplanned Tracker Downtime Earlier Today

Pivotal Tracker went down without notice for all users today at 10:50 US Pacific time, for approximately half hour. This happened during a planned release to upgrade our production version of Solr (our search server) , as well as move our Solr-based search service to new hosts, for improved performance as well as improved search functionality. This release, like most of the releases that we do, should not have been noticed or have caused disruption to you in any way. Read more...

Dan Podsedly
News

Monday's Tracker Outage, New Status Page

This week started on the wrong foot with a 1 hour and 45 minute outage early Monday morning, that affected many of you. I’d like to apologize for this, and shed some light on what happened. Read more...

Dan Podsedly
News

Tracker Now on CloudFront

For the third time this week, we experienced more CDN issues this morning, causing images and CSS to not load properly for users in places like Toronto, New York, and others. We did everything we could to get our CDN provider to resolve the issue, but at the same began investigating other options. Read more...

Dan Podsedly
News

More Trouble with the CDN

We’re getting more reports this morning from customers who are unable to load Pivotal Tracker images/css. We were optimistic that this was resolved by CDNetworks yesterday afternoon, but clearly that seems to not be the case. Read more...

Dan Podsedly
News

Update on Todays CDN Issues

At around 3pm Pacific today, we finally received word from our CDN provider that traffic had been rerouted around the “node” causing today’s problems for users in certain locations (manifesting as slow or failed loads of images and stylesheets). The change may have taken some time to propagate to everyone, but at this point the issue should be resolved. Read more...

Dan Podsedly
News

Problems with Our CDN

As some of you have (painfully) noticed, we’ve been having problems with our CDN (content distribution network), causing slow or failing loads of certain Tracker “assets” including images and style sheets. This is affecting users in certain locations only: over the weekend it was South America and certain US cities, while this morning it seems to be mostly the east coast and parts of Canada. Read more...

Dan Podsedly
Productivity

Velocity Matters

Last week, we made a slight tweak to how velocity is calculated in Pivotal Tracker, to handle team strength overrides in a simpler, more explainable way. As a result, if your project has an adjusted team strength in a recent iteration, you may be seeing a slightly different velocity. Read more...

Dan Podsedly
News

Pivotal Tracker Maintenance This Friday, July 27

We’re planning to make a number of server upgrades tomorrow that require a bit of downtime. To minimize disruption, this update will happen after hours tomorrow, Friday, July 27, at 8pm US Pacific (PDT) time, and we anticipate it taking approximately one hour. Read more...

Dan Podsedly
News

Pivotal Tracker Maintenance This Saturday, Mar 31

We’re moving Pivotal Tracker to a new, faster database server with solid state drives tomorrow, and performing some other maintenance that requires downtime. To minimize disruption during work hours in as many parts of the world as possible, we’re planning this maintenance for tomorrow, Saturday, March 31, at 9am Pacific, and we anticipate it to take approximately one hour. Read more...

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Updates

Updates to the Pivotal Tracker Story Redesign

Last week, we launched a complete redesign of stories, as part of our ongoing effort to make Tracker easier and more enjoyable to use. We’ve received a great amount of feedback about what’s working well in the new design, as well as what could be improved. As a product team, we’re extremely lucky to have users who time and again have shown such passion—thank you, we really couldn’t do this without you! Read more...

Dan Podsedly
Updates

New in Pivotal Tracker: Improved Stories!

Stories in Pivotal Tracker have been given a serious upgrade. For the most part it’s all pretty self explanatory—the functionality you’re used to is all there, just in a format that’s more intuitive, user friendly and hopefully you’ll agree, more appealing. Our advice, play with it and then come back and read the rest of this post, especially if anything is confusing. Read more...

Dan Podsedly
Integrations

New Third-Party Tool: pWidget

pWidget is a new third-party tool for Pivotal Tracker. It’s an embeddable widget, that can be shown in any iframe, and shows stories from multiple projects. Configure it via URL params to show stories matching a search result, from specific projects, in label-specific priority order, and more! Read more...

Dan Podsedly
News

The Last Lean Startup Bundle by Eric Ries (with Pivotal Tracker!)

If you’re involved in a startup, you’ve probably already discovered the transformative Lean Startup movement. The Lean Startup book, by Eric Ries, is coming out in less than a few week, and Eric is running a final pre-release promotion for it: The Last Lean Startup Bundle. The bundle offers various prizes and extras for things that every startup needs, such as credits for Amazon Web Services, KISSmetrics, Sauce Labs, and of course Pivotal Tracker. Read more...

Dan Podsedly
Updates

New in Pivotal Tracker: Multi-Story Select, Drag/Drop, and iPad Usability Improvements

Happy Friday! We’ve just rolled out some changes to Pivotal Tracker, which we’re hoping will have a very noticeable impact on usability, especially for those of you who manage large projects. You can now select multiple stories with a few clicks, using shift-click, and drag them together to a new location. Also, iPad usability has been greatly improved; for example, story panels can now be scrolled with one finger, and you can move stories via drag and drop Read more...

Dan Podsedly
News

Tracker Going All HTTPS

About six months ago, a certain Firefox extension made headlines by making it incredibly easy for people to intercept insecure web cookies and access private information on major web sites such as Facebook, as well as Pivotal Tracker. Read more...

Dan Podsedly
News

Brief Downtime Tomorrow (Wednesday) at 8pm PDT

To address some of the problems we experienced recently, we’re moving the Pivotal Tracker cache servers to dedicated hardware tomorrow (Wednesday) night, at 8pm Pacific Daylight Time. This move may require up to 15 minutes of downtime, but we expect improved stability as a result of the change. Please accept our apologies in advance for the inconvenience. Read more...

Dan Podsedly
News

Recent Pivotal Tracker Outages

We’ve had a number of brief outages and/or periods of degraded performance in the last few weeks. I’d like to shed some light on what caused these incidents and what we’re doing to prevent them in the future. Read more...

Dan Podsedly
Updates

New in Pivotal Tracker: Reply to Emails, Delete Comments, and Browse Public Projects!

Team collaboration with Pivotal Tracker just got better. You can now post comments to stories right from your inbox by replying to any story notification email. That’s not all that’s new in this update—we’ve also added the ability to delete unwanted story comments, you can add extra notes like company address or tax ID to your billing receipts, and there’s a new public projects directory. Read more...

Dan Podsedly
News

Changes to Pivotal Tracker Pricing

Last week, we announced that we’re introducing pricing for Pivotal Tracker. Since then, we’ve received a great deal of thoughtful and constructive feedback, and we’re very grateful that the majority of you have shown support of Tracker’s move to be a paid product. We really appreciate all of your positive comments. Read more...

Dan Podsedly
News

Introducing Pivotal Tracker Pricing

First, we’d like to thank all Pivotal Tracker users. We couldn’t be more grateful for all of the support and feedback we’ve received from you. Today, we’re introducing pricing for Tracker. All of the details, including price plans and transition information, are below. Read more...

Dan Podsedly
Updates

New in Tracker: Updated Look and Google Accounts Sign-in

The Tracker team has been busy since the hosting move last month. We’ve shifted our focus from improving Tracker’s performance and stability, to core product enhancement. This update introduces an updated visual design, as well the first wave of usability improvements. We’ve also added some new features, including the ability to sign in to Tracker with your Google Account. Read more...

Dan Podsedly
News

Pivotal Tracker Moving to New Hosting Environment on Nov 6

The last two and a half years have been exciting for Pivotal Tracker. It’s grown from an internal tool we at Pivotal Labs occasionally shared with clients and friends to a mainstay of the Ruby, Rails and Agile worlds. Over this period, Engine Yard has provided us with their top-tier private cloud hosting, free of charge, as a service to the community. For this we are extremely grateful, and we hope our users share our gratitude for their generosity, in this and in so much else in the Ruby on Rails ecosystem. Read more...

Dan Podsedly
News

Tracker Service Restored

Tracker should be fully back to normal as of early afternoon today. Please let us know if you are still experiencing any unusual slowness or connectivity issues. Read more...

Dan Podsedly
News

Tracker Outage This Morning

Our apologies for the site outage this morning. We’re working with our hosting provider to bring Tracker back up ASAP, and are investigating the cause. Read more...

Dan Podsedly
Productivity

Defrosting Your Icebox

Pivotal Tracker makes it easy to add stories to you project. Hit Ctrl-A, type a quick sentence along the lines of “As a user, I can…so that…”. On most of our projects, we find ourselves discovering new stories all the time, based on the continuous feedback loop that Tracker encourages. Not all stories end up in the backlog, but it’s liberating to be able to capture new ideas and user feedback as they occur. Read more...

Dan Podsedly
Updates

New Account Management Features in Pivotal Tracker

We’re introduced new features in Pivotal Tracker to help with account management. Accounts tend to stay out of the way for most people, but they can be essential for larger companies, especially consulting companies like ours. They allow users to separate their personal, open source, and company projects, for example, and to share administrative abilities and permissions for related groups of projects with other users. Read more...

Dan Podsedly
News

Tracker Outages This Week

There appears to have been a data center outage early morning, affecting a number of applications including Pivotal Tracker. This has caused connectivity problems for users in some locations, and it appears to still be persisting for some. Read more...

Dan Podsedly
News

Pivotal Tracker Scheduled Weekly Maintenance

For the next month or so, we will be rolling out a series of changes to various parts of the Tracker server architecture, including moving to a Memcached distributed cache for certain requests, cookie based sessions, switching from Mongrel to Passenger, splitting the very large history table, etc. Read more...

Dan Podsedly
Updates

OAuth For Tracker Twitter Notifications

Starting June 30, the Twitter API will no longer allow 3rd party applications (such as Tracker) to connect using your Twitter username and password. Instead, applications will be required to use OAuth, an authentication protocol that allows users to approve a 3rd party application to act on their behalf without sharing their username/password. Read more...

Dan Podsedly
News

Pivotal Tracker DNS Change This Saturday

We’ll be making some DNS changes that affect Pivotal Tracker this Saturday, May 29, at 10:00am PDT. We expect a fairly short outage, but for some users, Tracker may be unavailable for up to 6 hours. Read more...

Dan Podsedly
News

Looking for Ruby on Rails Developers

Pivotal Labs has been at the forefront of agile development since it’s early days. We’ve taken what we’ve learned by applying agile concepts on a countless number of real world projects, and honed these skills into a very effective way to build software. Along the way, we also built a great project management and collaboration tool: Pivotal Tracker. Read more...

Dan Podsedly
Updates

Pivotal Tracker API Update

The Pivotal Tracker API has now been available for just over a year, and we’re really pleased with the rich variety of tools and applications that our user community has built with it, to extend Tracker’s functionality. There are now integration tools, wrappers for various programming languages, mobile apps, an IRC console, and many more on the way (see the third-party tools page for a comprehensive list). Read more...

Dan Podsedly
Integrations

Track-r, Mobile Pivotal Tracker Application by Koombea

Koombea announced the release of the Track-r application for iPhone, a mobile client for Pivotal Tracker. Track-r is a free, open source application, and was developed using Rhomobile’s RhoHub and the Rhodes “write once and run on many” framework. Trackr uses RhoSync to sync data to your device allowing you to manage your work whether or not you have an internet connection. All of your data is synced with Pivotal Tracker the next time you get a connection. Read more...

Dan Podsedly
Productivity

Story Tasks in Pivotal Tracker

At Pivotal Labs, we like to keep our Tracker stories as small as possible, so that each story describes a single, concrete feature that delivers incremental value to our project’s customer. With small stories, there is rarely a need to break things down further, but sometimes it’s still useful to keep a to-do list while working on a story. This helps keep track of all the little things you have to do, and lets everyone else on the project know exactly what’s left. Read more...

Dan Podsedly
Updates

New in Pivotal Tracker: Labels Panel, Saved Searches, and More

Pivotal Tracker has just been updated with new features. There's a new panel on the project page that will help you organize and keep track of related stories in your project - Labels and Searches. Open it using the View menu, or with Shift-L. On this panel, you'll see all labels in your project, as links, with numbers indicating the number of stories that have yet to be accepted. Click on a label to see stories with that label. Read more...

Dan Podsedly
News

Mar. 30 Tracker Outage

Here’s [some information](http://blog.engineyard.com/2009/03/31/march-30th-outage from Engine Yard (our hosting service provider) about yesterday afternoon’s data center outage, which affected a number of applications including Pivotal Tracker. Read more...

Dan Podsedly
Updates

Public Projects in Pivotal Tracker

If you use Pivotal Tracker for open source projects, and would like to increase visibility into what your team is working on, you can now do so by making your Tracker project public. Read more...

Dan Podsedly
News

GitHub Post Receive Hook for Tracker

Chris Bailey wrote a GitHub post receive hook for Tracker, using the API. It’;s a web service that you run on your own server, and it automatically updates stories in your project(s) based on commit comments. Read more...

Dan Podsedly
News

Tracker API Released

We’ve released the first version of the Tracker API. It’s a RESTful HTTP XML interface, uses a simple, token-based authentication mechanism, and allows you to query as well as update stories in your projects. Read more...

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News

Tracker Public Beta

We’ve decided to share Tracker with the agile community. Details of the launch have yet to be worked out, including an exact date, but please register here if you’re interested in participating in the beta. Read more...