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Wouldn't it be nice to have this Jira-Confluence integration?

I love how Jira and Confluence are being integrated more and more over time. It is so cool to have a Pages section in all Jira projects to show the content of their linked spaces!

But how could that integration be even better than that? This article explores a way to do so.

Some thoughts

Confluence spaces linked to Jira projects require to add the same set of users twice, once for each product.

User groups can help here, but only Site Admins can manage them. Since it is good to have a reduced number of Site Admins and we wouldn't like to overload them with user access requests, a different approach would be desirable.

While teams are a very promising feature, they cannot be added to Jira project roles or Confluence space permissions for the moment. Even if that possibility became true in a not too far future, project/space access would be left in the hands of all team members. Don't get me wrong: I'd love it!

However, it would also be nice to have a way in which just Project Administrators kept control over who can access their Jira projects and linked Confluence spaces and still doing so just once.

Unified permissions for Confluence spaces linked to Jira projects

So, why not providing an option to unify Confluence spaces permissions with those of their linked Jira projects?

Confluence space permissions could be mapped to Jira company-managed project permissions as per the following table:

Confluence Space Permission Jira Project Permission
All > View Browse Projects
All > Delete own Delete Own Attachments
Pages > Add Edit Issues
Pages > Archive Move Issues
Pages > Delete Delete Issues
Blog > Add Edit Issues
Blog > Delete Delete Issues
Comments > Add Add Comments
Comments > Delete Delete All Comments
Attachments > Add Create Attachments
Attachments > Delete Delete All Attachments
Restrictions > Add/Delete Set Issue Security
Mail > Delete Delete Issues
Space > Export Administer Projects
Space > Admin Administer Projects

On changing user permissions in the Jira project, said user permissions would be updated in the linked Confluence space.

What do you think?

8 comments

Hi,

it seems you put a lot of thought in this. But as a project admin you would still need help of the site admins to manage membership of user groups belonging to your project - in most cases you don't want to add permissions to specific users directly.

You can't have a fixed mapping between jira and confluence permissions. Every site and often every project admin will have different thougts on what would be a good mapping. Therefore you would need to make the mapping to be configurable. This in turn would add complexity and maintanance effort to site and project admin.

So what I am thinking would be good to add to jira functionality:

  • Make Jira user group management delegatable to members of other groups and/or the same group - let's say the site amin delegates management of a project-member group to a project-admin group, so the admin of a certain or multiple projects can manage membership of the other groups of these projects and maybe even the project-admin groups of his projects. This would make the project admin widely independent of the site admins regarding who can access the project. It would reduce workload on site admins too.
  • You would still need to apply group permissions to both Confluence spaces and Jira projects. But you do it only for groups rather than for individual users and therefore much less often - in fact maybe twice or thrice per project lifetime. The rest of the time you would simply add users to a admin, member, customer or whatever group you need.
Like Ignacio Pulgar likes this

Hi @Lars Fessler ,

You got me, I have put a lot of thought in this article and have edited it quite too many times to make it look as simple as possible.

In one of said editions, I removed the phrase indicating this suggestion would be just a configurable option (thanks for pointing it out! I have added it again).

I also think simplicity is key. That's why for this option I would leave just the proposed permission mappings; they have been carefully chosen, but this time I didn't want to elaborate on the reasoning behind each mapping (depending on how comments evolve, I might end up doing so, though xD).

If you needed to apply different permissions, well, then you wouldn't activate this option, which effectively delegates permissions management to Jira.

I understand your concerns about having to manage user access permissions to your projects/spaces. Those problems are basicly the same ones Site Admins have but at a much lower scale. I will probably write another article on this subject anytime soon.

The idea of making a user a manager of a specific group makes sense. I think these are the reasons why that feature has not already been developed:

  • Groups are tied to product licenses and, therefore, to payments, so this is a sensitive area with potential impact on bills. It is not worth the effort to establish additional control measures, and the feature would cause more problems than it would solve.
  • Backwards compatibility. Many features, user scripts and marketplace apps have been developed minding different "rules of the game". The potential impact on them would cause a huge amount of analysis and code refactoring. Again, it wouldn't be worth it.

I hope the relatively new teams feature had come into the scene to solve these "group manager" needs. I am looking forward to being able to add teams to project roles and space permissions anytime soon. Crossed fingers!

Lennon Liao Atlassian Team Nov 30, 2021

Thank you @Ignacio Pulgar for sharing these great suggestions! We will definitely take these into consideration as we look to enhance our product offering.

You mentioned that you like the Pages section in your Jira projects to see content of your linked spaces. Would love to understand a bit more on how you use this section/when do you use it. What is your workflow like which requires you to go to the Pages section etc. Any pain points that you experience today? Anything you can share will be much appreciated! 

Like Ignacio Pulgar likes this
Ignacio Pulgar Community Leader Dec 03, 2021

Thanks @Lennon Liao for your nice words.

What makes Pages section great is that now people are aware of linked Confluence spaces on the go, with no need for looking for them among all existing spaces.

Furthermore, providing a dedicated Pages section unifies the way in which links to Confluence spaces are being added to the project, so now people know exactly where to look for finding the documentation of any given project.

Besides, we currently have a Jira Software project for managing user requests regarding Jira and Confluence and it is great to be able to add a linked Confluence space showing some info on when to use each of the issue types on the project.

Of course, JSM would be a much better tool for that purpose, and the integration of knowledge base articles from Confluence being offered during ticket creation is invaluable.

I have recently started to deal with this inherited cloud instance and I'm thinking of many ways of improving it. Good things come to those who wait!

Lennon Liao Atlassian Team Dec 03, 2021

Thanks @Ignacio Pulgar for sharing your input!

By the way, we recently announced a new feature in the Pages section where you can now view/edit pages natively in Jira Software to make it even easier to access your project documentation. Please try it out! 🙂

 

Like Ignacio Pulgar likes this
Ignacio Pulgar Community Leader Dec 04, 2021

Thanks @Lennon Liao ! I love it! Not only we can now quickly view and edit pages from Jira, but also create them!

The experience of entering the page edit mode in Confluence does not visually produce a context switch, and it is perceived as if you are just using Jira. Good job!

Just one little thing: On creating a new page, I miss the option to delete the unpublished draft.

Anyways, this is really good stuff. I mean it!

Thank you very much and congratulations for having developed this feature!

Like # people like this
Ignacio Pulgar Community Leader Dec 04, 2021

@Lennon Liao I've also detected that, on deleting a page in Jira, an endless spin is displayed in the place of the deleted page. This is a minor thing that is solved by refreshing the web browser.

Again, I have to say that this feature is the best thing that has happened to Jira-Confluence integration since the Jira Macro. It is incredible we have been living without it all these years!

Like Mandy Ross likes this
Lennon Liao Atlassian Team Dec 05, 2021

Thanks for the feedback @Ignacio Pulgar! We will look into the endless spin that you encountered during page deletion. 

Like Mandy Ross likes this

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