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Are existing internal groups retained when Access integrated with AD?


We're thinking of adding Atlassian Access to our Cloud Jira/Confluence setup and integrating it with our Azure AD.

What will happen to our existing groups which are used in many places - permissions, roles, workflows etc? Will they be retained and still accessible separately from the groups imported from Azure AD?

Any tips on best practice as regards deprecating the existing internal groups and switching to groups provisioned from AD?


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Dave Meyer Atlassian Team Sep 12, 2020

Hi @Julia Foden ,

Your existing "local" Atlassian groups that you've already created remain as-is, and permissions and other references to them are never affected. The directory syncing with Azure AD pushes groups from Azure AD as "new" groups by default. If you push groups from Azure AD that have the same name as existing local groups, you will be given the option to merge memberships of the group and manage the group membership via Azure AD (see

Any tips on best practice as regards deprecating the existing internal groups and switching to groups provisioned from AD?

This really depends on how many existing groups you have and how extensively they are used. I would say typically for customers that have pretty extensive roles and workflows that reference existing groups, the first thing to target is using externally managed groups for product access (i.e. which users actually have a seat in Jira and Confluence) because this helps ensure that when a user is deactivated in Azure AD, they no longer consume a Jira/Confluence license. Then customers typically replace local groups with external groups for permissions and stuff on an as-needed basis.



Thank you Dave

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