Starting with the latest Payara Platform 201 release, we've made changes to how we build and report our future platform roadmap. We recently introduced the Payara Reef initiative to enhance our communication with the Payara community, and as part of the Reef initiative, we are also introducing the Open Roadmap for the Payara Platform.
What is the Open Roadmap?
The Open Roadmap is a GitHub project board where we will describe features we are currently looking to add to the Payara Platform across all our software products and tools. The roadmap will initially include brief descriptions of ideas we are evaluating and over time, we'll add more detailed information.
Why Are We Doing This?
We are opening up our roadmap to community involvement to build a better product. By putting our potential new features out on GitHub and describing our approach to implementation and integration into the Payara Platform, we can gather feedback in an easy and familiar fashion.
I want our engineering team to be challenged, first in describing a feature in a manner that relates to users of Payara, and secondly, challenged in the way they can engage in discussions on user needs. By opening the roadmap to community involvement, the Payara team of engineers can be certain that what they build meets the needs of the community and will be widely used.
What's on the Open Roadmap, Now?
Take a look. The roadmap lists an initial set of features that we are actively evaluating for adding into the Payara Platform over the next few releases. Currently the descriptions are brief and unstructured, giving only a flavour of what we think the problem is that we will solve with a new feature. Over time, the descriptions will fill out with more detail of the problem we are trying to solve, and how the capability of the feature will look to a user. As new ideas for features are created, they'll be added to the roadmap.
How Will The Feature Descriptions Get More Detail?
We are looking to add detail in collaboration with our community and our Payara Enterprise customers. The Payara Reef programme has introduced monthly community forums; these are online meetings where a specific topic will be discussed in detail, focusing on understanding the needs of the community towards a specific capability. We will also be initiating mini-surveys and Twitter polls to gain answers to specific questions our Engineers may need answering.
For customers, we also run monthly Customer Advisory Council calls and individual customer calls to discuss customer needs in relation to the roadmap items. Finally, by bringing the roadmap items onto GitHub as issues, anybody can comment and/or upvote an issue and provide their perspective.
When Will a Feature Be Released?
"When" is always an interesting question in the software development world. In general, when the engineering team have started implementation of a feature, it will be given a target milestone. When a feature enters development it will be moved to the Build column in the GitHub project. Both these mechanisms will indicate when a feature is likely to hit a release.
Is Every Payara Feature on the Roadmap?
Not every feature will be shown on the roadmap project. Only the fairly large scale features, or features where we need community feedback are added to the Open Roadmap. Small features and enhancements as well as bug fixes and component upgrades won't appear on the roadmap and will be handled as regular GitHub or internal JIRA issues.
Roadmap items on the board may also evolve, split and combine depending on how the discussion goes. For example, a very large feature may eventually split into a number of individual roadmap items, or smaller features may combine to become one large issue. We also have a large number of feature ideas and enhancements in our internal JIRA. These will be moved onto the GitHub board as we evaluate and decide which features need further evaluation and analysis.
How Do I Get Involved?
If you read the roadmap items and want to contribute please do it. A thumbs up is enough to indicate your interest in a particular feature, or if you want to add more information, we really welcome comments. If you have ideas on how something should work or if you don't like something described or feel it would work better another way please add a comment. If you have an idea for something not shown please raise an issue on the relevant GitHub repo. We are continually scanning the GitHub issues for enhancement requests and they can be linked into the roadmap.
I really hope that opening up our roadmaps helps us to build the Payara Platform in a way that ensures it meets the current and future needs of the community.