We have recently provided in-platform notifications that we are soon to remove the SharpCloud in-built properties of Start and Duration.

Why are we making these changes?

These changes will make SharpCloud simpler to use and more flexible.

Currently, Item StartDate and Item Duration fields are a native part of a SharpCloud and have been part of SharpCloud since its first version. The fields cause a lot of confusion for new users, and are limited in several ways, including:

  • All items must have a duration and start date value
    1. Values are assigned automatically as items are created
      • Start is set to today’s date.
      • Duration defaults to 31 (days, i.e. 1 month)
      • An implied end date is also created, 31 days from the start.
      • Most users do not need a duration field, but this is how the end date is calculated.
    2. Unlike attributes, these values cannot be unassigned (null) which means:
      • It is unclear if the date is valid or was auto created.
      • Items can never appear in the tray when plotting by Start Dat
  • When importing data:
    1. Start, End and Duration are reserved fields names, preventing those fields being created in SharpCloud.
    2. Start, End and Duration are linked fields, so changing one affects another which is not intuitive.
  • These properties cannot be inherited in an Enterprise Solution.

What are the changes?

We will soon be deprecating the Start and Duration fields. They will continue be part of the system and created internally in the same way, but we will actively discourage them from being used to store and visualise data. Key changes that will take place to ensure a successful transition include:

  • The ability for users to create attributes with the name of Start, Duration and End.
  • Capability to be able to easily copy attributes in the data grid, allowing users to easily to migrate the existing Start/Duration/End values over into new attributes.

The changes will be rolled out in phases to ensure minimal disruption to your existing stories. We have not performed the migration automatically because with existing Enterprise Solutions in place at the moment, it is a lot less disruptive for the user to determine at which level they wish to migrate the new attributes at.

With the changes, no capability is lost from SharpCloud, but more flexibility and control is provided to the users to design a more custom attribute set and import their own data in more readily.

Views, Forms, Calculations and Panels that are currently in existence with the deprecated fields will continue to work as it does currently.

There is a 3 phase plan in place to ensure a seamless transition:

Phase 1:

  • Change the Start, End and Duration names to “Deprecated Start”, “Deprecated End” and “Deprecated Duration”. These names will appear where the properties are in use.
  • Remove Start and Duration from the Edit Panel on the right, located in the item information tab.
  • The Start and Duration columns will be unselected in the data grid by default now. The columns can be temporarily returned by reselecting them in the data grid.

During this phase, a guide will be available on how to migrate the deprecated fields over into new attributes for both individual stories and Enterprise solutions.

All the affected fields will be available to be copied in the data grid, converting them from deprecated attributes to new attributes.

This phase will last a few months to provide a sufficient transition timeframe and to ensure no disruption.

With the changes, no capability is lost from SharpCloud, but more flexibility and control is provided to the users to design a more custom attribute set and import their own data in more readily.

Phase 2:

  • All new stories will not have the deprecated options
  • Existing stories will have the deprecated options removed.

This phase is planned for the middle of 2022.

Phase 3:

  • Permanent removal of deprecated properties. Any non-migrated data will be lost.

This phase is planned for 2023.