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2013 Tracker Update – New Features, New API, New Design

January has gone by quickly! Hopefully the new year is already off to a great start for you and your entire team. I’d like to share what we’ve been up to recently, and give you a preview of what to expect in 2013.

The Big Picture

To put our plans in context, it’s important to understand our ultimate goal. We want Pivotal Tracker to be a fun, yet indispensable and transformative tool for software development teams everywhere; from the startup next door to the global enterprise, for small single backlog teams as well as larger, multi-team projects.

We believe we’re on the right path. In the last 8 years Tracker has grown organically to over 500K users around the globe, and is now an integral part of a thriving and growing software development ecosystem. But this goal is no small task for an app that began as an internal tool and an exercise in learning a promising new web development framework at the time – Ruby on Rails. So instead of simply charging ahead and piling on feature after feature we took a hard look at ourselves and acknowledged that we had accumulated a certain amount of “drag” and decided to make some long term, foundational investments.

Slimmer, Faster

Our first mission – modernize things under the hood. Last year we undertook a complete, but very focused rewrite of the Tracker web application, using modern, slimmer Javascript patterns and frameworks (including Backbone.js), exclusively against a brand new public API. Not only will this “refresh” lead to easier and faster feature development, we now also have a new, richer, REST-ier API, laying the groundwork for other great Tracker clients (on other platforms, for example).

This took some time, but the good news is, we’re almost done and have already started rolling it out to some of our projects here at Pivotal Labs. While you may notice some minor UI improvements and polish when it’s rolled out fully, it will be the same Tracker you already know, but on a better foundation, ready for the future. And shortly after, we’ll be opening up that brand new API, with more endpoints, support for epics, fine-grained access to all project activity, JSON, cross-origin resource sharing support, improved webhooks, much better documentation, even an interactive console!

New Design, New Features

While all this has been going on, we’ve been busy planning the main attraction, a redesigned “next generation” of Pivotal Tracker, to be rolled out gradually over the course of 2013, starting with some long-awaited features including story following, historical project analytics, and improved icebox management. In addition, we’re looking to improve how you collaborate and plan in Tracker with features like better search and filtering, in-app notificationscross-project visibility, new integrations, and more.

While we’re not quite ready to share details yet, the next generation of Tracker will be a major step forward in terms of overall usability, and help your teams with the various challenges that arise as projects grow beyond a single backlog.


We’ve got a number of other things in the works for 2013, for example a shiny and more organized directory of 3rd party tools and extensions for Tracker, as well as special programs for consultancies and universities. Stay tuned for more news, including information about the new API and how to request early access to the Tracker next-generation beta. If you’re not already, please follow us on Twitter, and like us on Facebook!






  1. David Liedle says:

    We’re excited to see the new features! Let me know if you’d like our team to try out a beta release.

  2. Ross says:

    hopefully you make the stories nicer for chatting and also allow customisable column headings.

  3. Megan says:

    Any sight of native android app release?

  4. Gregory Igelmund says:

    Hey Dan,
    thanks for sharing the update with us.. I wonder, did you just replace parts of the Rails with Backbone.js or are planning to replace/drop it entirely?.. and if so do you plan a technical writeup on that decision?

  5. Dan Podsedly says:

    Megan – Android will get attention later this year, although we’re starting with web and iOS for the redesign and major new features. And Gregory – we’re still using Rails, just with Backbone, and we’ll definitely be sharing our experience with blog posts, talks, etc.

  6. Tony Barker says:

    Improving on an already pretty flawless application. That’s a tough ask! As a start up with limited resources it’s incredible that we can harness such powerful software for our projects.

  7. Shish says:

    Is my web browser broken, or are some (but not all) of the underlined phrases not actually links?

  8. We’d love to pilot the new version if you find that you’re in need of outside testing. We use Tracker for every part of our business.

  9. Jess says:

    But will I be able to filter by unestimated stories?

  10. Justin says:

    We’d also be very interested in participating in a beta when it is available. Greatly looking forward to watch lists among others.

  11. Pete Smith says:

    If you guys do what is in that graphic, I will go from being a Pivotal hater to lover overnight. That is what has been missing.

  12. Add TCI to the pre-release! Pretty please! We love you!

  13. Willem Ave says:

    Would love to use the Next Gen beta, how does one get on the pre-release list?

  14. Trey Bean says:

    We’d also love to be added to the beta list. So excited to see the new features you described!

  15. Paul Jenkins says:

    As a startup using PT, we’d love to try the Beta also. Thanks!

  16. Richard Amos says:

    Hi there – we’d love to try the Beta as long-term Pivotal users.


  17. Kyle says:

    Would love to test out the beta as well.


  18. Akshay Rawat says:

    Would love to try out the beta please.


  19. Hi there! If possible I’d like to participate to the beta. I can’t wait for the new version of Pivotal. Hope that the migration will not be as terrible as it went with Producteev ;)

  20. Jesse says:

    Hey There,

    Do you guys have an ETA as too when this is coming? I really really really want to switch away from JIRA and the next release of pivotal looks to be the ticket.

  21. Tanja Orozović says:

    This looks great and I look forward to the new features.

    We have just started using PT and we like it so far. My teams have found some quirks, but nothing too serious.

    I would also like it if I could have access to the beta so we could have a vision of what to look forward to precisely :)

  22. Dmitri Moore says:

    Can you please add me to the next gen beta list as well. Please!

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