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General

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titleHow flexible is Exalate?

Exalate uses a groovy-based scripting engine to implement filtering, transformation and mapping.  Even though scripting like that is more complex than a drag and drop interface, it is the only way that makes even the most complex mapping possible to implement. See how the most complex use cases can be implemented using the synchronization processors. 


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titleAre you planning to accommodate other issue trackers?

Yes. Right now, Exalate is compatible with JIRA Server, JIRA Cloud and HP QC ALM.  We are working on the integration with other issue trackers.


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titleWhat is the licensing and pricing of Exalate?

 Exalate is available for JIRA Server, JIRA Cloud and HP/QC ALM.

Synchronizing is unlimited between any of these platforms as long as Exalate is installed on each instance. We provide 2 licensing models:

Check more details on pricing and licensing.


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titleHow is my instance licensed when connecting to an existing Exalate network?

When connecting to the Exalate network, you are able to synchronize as long as your remote partner is fully paying for the synchronization using the Exalate network license.

You can install the app unlicensed and keep the License Key field empty in this case.


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titleIs it robust and performant enough to scale and support enterprise level synchronizations?

 Exalate is already in use since 2014 at different enterprises.  One of our customers processes on average 12000 issues / month without significant impact on the overall instance


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titleWhat type of information can be exchanged?

There are no limits to sending information using the customKeys property of a replica.  It allows to send any arbitrary object which will get serialized at one end and deserialized at the other.


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titleCould one issue be synchronized to multiple parties?

Yes, it is possible to synchronize an issue from A to B and then from B to C, thus creating a chain of synchronized issues.


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titleAre updates and deletions of comments, attachments, worklogs supported?

 Yes. A hubissue is representing standard fields but also a whole set of objects of comments, attachments ...

For instance. it is possible to list all the added and removed comments using the correct properties.  Check what is contained in a replica.


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titleIs it possible to pause a synchronization for maintenance purposes?

Yes, there are differnt ways to stop issue synchronization:


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titleHow does the engine ensure that attachments are sent over correctly?

When an instance requests another instance to send over the content of an attachment, the other instance will respond with an hash key calculated from the content of the attachment. The same hash key is calculated on the receiving end to ensure that the received content matches the original attachment.  The download will be retried once to avoid transmission errors.  Failing this second attempt an error is raised and the administrator is notified. 


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titleHow will the solution behave in the case of a disaster recovery (where one side needs to restore a backup which is 1-day-old)?

There are 2 different situations to be considered

  • Any new issue brought under sync will be synchronized normally

  • All issues under sync will require a 'calibration phase' which allows to bring the synchronization back into shape. 


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titleWhat is the storage overhead per issue?

Every replica of an issue is stored on 2 systems. A replica is the result of the transformation of an issue into a hub issue (through the datafilter)  This replica is stored:

  • on the source tracker to detect if relevant changes have been made since the last synchronization

  • in the destination tracker to provide the content of the previous version.


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titleWhat architecture is used to ensure independent upgrades of each tracker?

The distributed architecture of the synchronization engine allows to upgrade either end as appropriate.  The common hub issue model ensures that the synchronization information can be translated to the local context.


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titleIs the synchronization status made visible in a simple and straightforward way?

 Yes - the synchronization panel will detail out all information relevant to the synchronization.


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titleIs the remote issue easily accessible?

Optionally.  The application administrator can configure how links to the remote issue are represented.  Either as JIRA issue link, as a weblink in the synchronization panel or not at all.


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titleDoes the solution support staging the configuration in another environment without affecting production synchronization?

Not yet - we are working on it.  When staging exalate 1.3 or earlier, make sure that synchronization engine is not triggered by deactivating all instances.


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titleWhat happens when the remote issue is deleted?

When you delete an issue Exalate consider it as a synchronization event.  It triggers a number of events which ensure that future synchronization events are not processed anymore. The synchronization panel will indicate that the remote issue has been removed.


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titleDoes the third party require administrative access to be able to synchronize?

Not at all - every application administrator can define how 'hubissues' are translated to the local context.


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titleWhat is the impact when syncing with a less capable tracker - should you compromise on synchronization options?

No - the intermediate layer is taking care to transport whatever information the originating tracker wants to share.  It is up to the other side to take it into account. 


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titleHow do I access the subscriptions page?

In 3.2.1 release subscriptions page was hidden. But the page is still there. You can access it using this kind of link :

JIRA_URL/secure/admin/exalate/subscription!Default.jspa
 


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titleIs it possible to do sync manually ?

Yes, it is possible. Both on Jira Server and on Jira Cloud, you can use either an issue operation (menu item in the More drop-down)or even configure workflow for the issue to put it under synchronization when certain transition is performed( Exalate Post-function).


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titleConsidering JIRA has workflow and customizations for a ticket, how does Exalate handle them during the sync process?

Exalate has a built in scripting engine to implement almost any use case in a flexible way. Check our use case examples for more details.


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titleWhat is the frequency of sync of data / issue details between JIRA & JIRA / JIRA & ALM?

From JIRA to HP: Changes are processed almost immediately, depending on the number of outstanding synchronization requests.
From HP to JIRA: The exalate application is querying the HP application every 5 seconds for any new change, and processes these (using a single thread). If the number of changes requires more processing time than 5 seconds, the next cycle is run immediately.
From JIRA to JIRA: Changes are processed almost immediately, depending on the number of outstanding synchronization requests.


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titleWhat is a Link Type?

When the issues get synced, you can select whether users see a link to those remote issues or not. The admin has the option to decide if the users can have direct access to the issue they are connecting. 


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titleWhat do you mean by Sync rules?

This is a set of scripts, where we define the data we want to synchronize and the reaction when we receive the synchronization data. Every script has its purpose.
Data filter defines what your instance sends during synchronization(how a message is created). Create Processor tells how would an issue get created due to the first message from the remote Instance.
Change processor tells how would an issue change due to a subsequent message from the remote Instance.


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titleHow is the data secured on the Exalate server for Jira Cloud?

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How is the data secured on the Exalate server for Jira Cloud?
How is the data secured on the Exalate server for Jira Cloud?
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titleData Center compatibility

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Data Center compatibility
Data Center compatibility


Configuration

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titleCan the configuration evolve independently?

 Thanks to the distributed model, it is possible to adapt the common hub issue to the local context.  For instance, if your local workflow evolves, you will be able to change the create and change processors to take into account the new configuration.  


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titleCan you upgrade your own environment without affecting any remote configurations?

Exalate is based on a distributed model where each application administrator configures what information can be send and how incoming messages must be handled.  All messages exchanged between the nodes are based on a common defined 'hubissue' which carries all information one application administrator wants to communicate to the other side. The processors will use this information to apply the changes to the local issues.


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titleIs the synchronization status visible for the user - even when the synchronization failed?

Absolutely.  The synchronization panel shows all relevant details - even if the remote issue has been removed.


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titleIs it possible to transition an issue whenever a certain comment is given?

Yes.  Thanks to the groovy goodness, one can parse the newly added comments and trigger a resolve transition

 

#
# Resolve the issue when a comment contains the word 'Resolve'
#
def resolveComments = replica.addedComments.findAll { comment -> comment.body.contains("Resolve")}
if(resolveComments.size() > 0) {
   workflowHelper.transition(issue,"Resolve")
}



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titleHow complex is it to construct a complex scenario?

A scenario we encounter regularly is the service desk use case where tickets raised by a customer need to be raised internally in different projects - depending on the set of properties. One use case was particularly interesting.  The target project depended on 3 different properties resulting in 200+ potential permutations.  This mapping is stored in a single database table.

The way we solved it involved finding the right projectkey in the database table and use it to raise the issue in the right project.  Check following example showing how such configuration can be set up using Exalate.


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titleIs it possible to synchronize contextual data of an issue (such as project, version, user information)?

Yes.  A hub issue contains all contextual data allowing to implement complex business logic.  Check out the detailed information a hub issue message transports such as:


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titleHow long does it take to process all synchronization events when 10000 issues in 100 different projects have been updated?

The synchronization engine is processing sync events sequentially (for the moment - November 26. 2016).  Processing 10000 issues in 100 different projects might take a couple of hours.  We have been synchronizing 10k+ issues as part of our performance tests and we are looking at increasing the processing speed to meet the challenge that one of our prospects is facing.

 


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titleCan the configuration of the local tracker change without impacting the configuration of the other trackers?

Yes.  Each integration point can evolve as long as the hub issue model and exalate api is respected.


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titleHow long does it take to synchronize an issue, when 10 other issues under sync have been updated at the same time?

This happens immediately. Exalate is based on a fully event-driven engine  Whenever a user changes some information (and that information needs to be sent), a sync event is generated containing a snapshot of the modified issue - ready to be sent to the remote instance.  When 10 issues are changed, or 1 issue 10 times at the same moment (it does happen) - 10 events are generated.

The replication layer in the exalate architecture will transmit each sync event to the remote instance, triggering a sync request, which is processed at its own pace.

Handling a full synchronization event takes a couple of seconds (give / take the size of the information to be transmitted)


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titleHow is the troubleshooting process supported?

Whenever an error occurs, a detailed overview (= stack trace) leading to the problem is raised.  In case this is not sufficient, one might create a support.zip and send it to support@exalate.com for further processing.


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titleIs Exalate compatible with any reverse-proxy solutions?

Since Exalate is an app for different deployments of Jira (Server, Cloud, Data Center) and other platforms, we do not attempt to ensure that our application is compatible with all third-party reverse-proxy solutions that might be set up on the Jira host.
However, we've tested it with nginx, and we can state that Exalate is compatible with nginx as a reverse-proxy server.


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titleHow are the system administrators notified in case an error is raised?

The group of exalate administrators will be notified in 2 different ways

  • by email with the details of the error notification

  • In JIRA - by using 'In-JIRA' notifications - popping up a warning about the blocking error

Also, errors are generated at 4 different levels.

  • issue

  • As an example -  when the proxy user is not allowed to modify the local issue due to issue security

  • Relation

  • Typical example - when there is an error in the processor scripts, or when there is a permission problem to apply changes to an issue

  • Instance

  • A connection problem

  • Node

  • Bugs in the synchronization layer.


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titleIs it possible to sync multiple projects to one using one Connection?

Yes, it's possible to sync multiple projects with one connection.

 Basically, it's all about the configuration of the Sync Rules. Once that you establish a connection between instances you can specify which data would you like to send to the other side and how to interpret incoming sync data.

The Data Filter of the sending side interacts with Create and Change Processor of the receiving side.

For more details, please check the synchronization processors.

Versions and pre-requisites

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titleDoes Exalate support any other issue trackers or versions (both now and in the future)?

Currently, Exalate supports JIRA Core, JIRA Service Desk, JIRA Data Center, JIRA Software, JIRA Cloud, HP ALM. We are working on some other issue trackers to be compiled with Exalate 


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titleWhat versions of JIRA are supported?

All editions of JIRA (Core, Software, Service Desk) and platforms (Server, Datacenter and Cloud). Server and datacenter supported from JIRA 6.3 and up. 


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titleWhat versions of HP ALM are supported?

We are validating against HP ALM 12.02, and 12.50. 


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titleIs it possible to synchronize a JIRA issue with an HP ALM requirement?

For now only HP ALM defects could be synchronized. 


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titleWhat are the installation and software prerequisites for Exalate plugin?

For JIRA Server: Exalate is an Atlassian add-on, which can be installed as any other add-on. Synchronization information is stored in the JIRA database. The memory footprint is limited and should not require any modification from the existing setting. In case of doubt, adding 128MB to your jvm settings should be sufficient.
You will be required to configure a single JIRA user, which will be used to access the issues to be synchronised
Exalate also requires a SMTP server to raise notifications in the case of errors. For this SMTP a hostname, userid and password are to be provided in case outgoing mail requires authentication

For JIRA Cloud: Exalate is an Atlassian add-on, which can be installed as any other add-on. Synchronization information is stored in the JIRA database.

For HP ALM: Exalate is delivered as an external application which interfaces with HP through the REST API. You will need following:

  • A host which can run the application

  • The application is delivered either as a RPM (centos) or as a docker image (many platforms)

  • In the case of an RPM, a postgresql 9.4 database needs to be deployed on the host

  • The exalate application needs to have access on the HP ALM application (for reading and writing)



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titleExalate app for Jira Server upgrade to 4.x

In 4.0 version we've introduced Connection and Invitation concept that includes changes to the User Interface.

The configuration is simplified now. What we used to call Instances and Relations is now merged into Connections.

The Connection includes information from the Instance and a Relation, based on that Instance.

 More details


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titleHow is the security improved in the Exalate 4.x version?

 

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How is the security improved in Exalate?
How is the security improved in Exalate?
 

 


How to

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Troubleshooting

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