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Jenkins-Jira Integration: Four Must-Have Features

If you’re using Jenkins to build, test, and deploy software and Jira to track your progress, you know the pain of constantly switching between two platforms. That’s why many teams use an integration app to connect both platforms, so that whatever you do on one platform will be reflected on the other. Here are some tips to keep in mind when searching for an app. 

Two things before you start

Before you download any app, check your current system’s requirements to make sure it’s capable of supporting a new app. 

  • Check your network limitations. While Atlassian has moved towards the cloud, Jenkins remains an open-source server which can interfere with firewalls. 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. 

  • Include identifiers in Jenkins jobs data. Apps use identifiers or references within the data to connect Jenkins jobs with the relevant Jira task. Before you commit, incorporate unique identifiers, such as Jira issue keys, in your commit messages. 

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

1. Bi-directional integration 

The connection between Jenkins and Jira can either be one-way or bi-directional. A one-way connection allows updates in Jenkins to be reflected in Jira. It’s a simpler integration but offers limited visibility and constraints automation. 

A bi-directional connection means that information flows both ways, allowing events or updates in Jenkins to trigger actions in Jira and vice versa. This is a more complex integration but allows you to do advanced tasks like automatically transitioning a Jira issue when a Jenkins build completes. 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. If you have a small team that won’t be expanding in the near future, a user-license integration will suit you best. However, it’s not ideal for growing teams as you’ll need to keep track of the number of users.

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. 

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

An integration app is designed to help you make sense of your data. However, some integrations don’t limit the amount of data that gets synced over, making it difficult to identify relevant information. 

Make sure the app you choose 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. 

Choose the best app for your needs

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 will make integration so much easier and efficient for you and your team. 

Have you tried an integration app before? What are your must-have features? Let me know in the comments. 



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