Four Things to Know When Choosing a Jenkins-Jira Integration App

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What is a Jenkins-Jira integration app?

If you’re using Jenkins to build, test, and deploy software and Jira to track your progress, you’ll need an app that can integrate both platforms seamlessly to ensure build success

Integration apps connect both platforms so that whatever you do on one platform will be reflected on the other. A Jenkins-Jira integration app creates a unified platform for collaboration, ensuring consistency across your workflow and optimizing the software development process so that everyone, whether they’re a developer or project manager, is kept in the loop.

Is there anything I should know before I start looking?

Before you start the process, check your current system’s requirements to make sure it’s capable of supporting a new app. You don’t want to download an app only to realize that your system can’t support it.

  • Check your network limitations. While Atlassian has moved towards the cloud,  Jenkins remains an open-source server so check if it’s possible to connect and transfer data to both platforms. An integration app will need to receive traffic from Atlassian and cloud app domains or from sources linked to the app but not easily identifiable via a domain lookup. You’ll need to make sure that these sources are not blocked by your firewall or reverse proxy.
  • Include identifiers in Jenkins jobs data. To connect Jenkins jobs to Jira tasks, you need to include identifiers or references within the data to bridge the gap and enable seamless tracking. One easy way to do so is to incorporate unique identifiers, such as Jira issue keys, in your commit messages before integration. This can be done after integration but it’s a tedious process to comb through your jobs so do it beforehand.

What are the top four features any Jenkins-Jira integration app should have?

There are a lot of great apps out there, ranging from simple integrations that just do one thing to more robust apps that can handle everything you need and more. However, there are several key features that we think are incredibly useful for any team working on software development. 

Here are the four must-have features a good integration app should have:

1. Bi-directional integration

The connection between Jenkins and Jira can either be one-way or bi-directional. An integration app with a one-way connection generally links Jenkins to Jira, allowing updates in Jenkins to be reflected in Jira. It’s a simpler integration but only allows limited visibility and constrains automation. 

On the other hand, a bi-directional connection means that information flows both ways, allowing events or updates in Jenkins to trigger actions in Jira and vice versa. Changes will be reflected immediately on both platforms. This creates a more comprehensive and interconnected workflow and provides new visibility into the status of builds and tasks. It also opens the door to more advanced automation, allowing you to set up rules to trigger actions in either system based on events in the other such as automatically transitioning a Jira issue when a Jenkins build completes

While a one-way connection is simpler to set up, bi-directional connections offer a more comprehensive and streamlined approach. It’s a better choice for teams who use both Jenkins and Jira regularly and want to take their development workflow to the next level.

2. License requirements

Integration between Jenkins and Jira requires a license for both platforms. There are generally two options: a user-level integration or a system-level integration. 

A user-level integration uses an additional user license you need to purchase. This is usually a separate single license to serve all users using the integration app. If you have a small team that won’t be expanding in the near future, a user license would suit you best. It’s also easier to get started. However, as your user base grows, it will become more expensive and inconvenient to manage. It may also discourage collaboration between external stakeholders, clients, and partners who may need occasional access to the app. 

A system-license integration doesn’t require that additional license. All you need is the license or subscription for the integration app itself. This is a lot easier to manage, especially if you have a growing team or have a lot of users. This way you pay a fixed price once and don’t need to keep track of individual users.

3. Automation capability

Automation is a strategic advantage for any team. It speeds up development, reduces the number of manual touchpoints, and smooths over any integration issue that may pop up. It also helps project managers create a standardized process that cuts down on errors and creates reliable outcomes. 

Depending on the size of your team, you may not need to automate every process but an app that automates tasks like keeping track of build versions or updating linked Jira tasks will have a huge impact on your workflow.

4. Information displayed is contextual and insightful

It’s easy to get confused with so much information pouring into your Jira board, especially when linking a platform like Jenkins. An integration app is designed to help you make sense of your data and keep track of progress. However, some integrations don’t limit the amount of data that gets synced over, making it difficult to identify relevant information. Others only show the most recent information and not the entire build history. 

Make sure the app you choose only displays the information you need. For project managers and DevOps interested in keeping track of build versions, this means being able to see the build history for each task under the relevant Jira issue. If you need to generate reports on your progress, look for apps that can show an overview of deployment information within Jira.

Jenkins Integration for Jira vs Top Marketplace Apps

Jenkins Integration for Jira has all these features and more. Here’s how our app stacks up against two of the most popular Jenkins-Jira integration apps on the Atlassian Marketplace.

Jenkins Integration for JiraJenkins for JiraJenkins Job Integration for Jira
IntegrationBi-directional integration. Syncs build information from Jenkins to related Jira tasks and allows users to trigger builds on Jenkins from Jira.One-way connection. Only transmits Jenkins build information to Jira so users are not able to trigger builds from Jira.Bi-directional integration. Allows users to manage Jenkins jobs from Jira.
LicenseSystem-license integrationSystem-license integrationUser-license integration
AutomationRobust automation capabilities. Users can set rules to automate tedious tasks and keep Jira updated.Limited automation rules and filtersNo automation. Users must trigger builds manually.
InformationShows information relevant to the Jira task. Users can see the full build history and rule execution logs to get a complete report of Jenkins activity.Only shows the latest build information. Users can’t see the entire build history on Jira.Shows the current status of Jenkins jobs and relevant information such as the last duration time and who triggered the job on Jira.
Cloud and Data Center compatible?Available for both Cloud and Data Center. The only app that is Cloud-fortified and has passed the vigorous data center approval process.

Allows effortless migration between Cloud and Data Center.
Only available for Cloud.Only available for Cloud.

Choose the right app for your needs

Finding the right integration app that suits your needs can be challenging. With so many choices on the Atlassian Marketplace, it’s easy to get caught up in the pages of documentation available. But finding the right app that fits your needs – whether it’s Jenkins Integration for Jira or another app – will accelerate your development workflow and get your team on its way to success.

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