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Why does the"Jira rendered field" not render JIRA RTF format correctly

We have a probably and it's unclear what "'Jira rendered field" does since it does not seem to sync with the JIRA RTF format or the HTML format.

 

How do we ensure that JIRA align and JIRA both can support RTF format since it's clear that both apps have that ability but it seems to lose that ability thru the JIRA connector which is very strange..

What are the correct settings to use?

1 answer

Hi @Joseph Mao ,

There are two parts to your question:

1. What is "Jira Rendered" vs HTML? and

2. How do we get Jira Align and Jira to properly render rich text format?

 

The short answer to a version of the second question (to have true HTML/RTF supported) is to install a pure HTML plug-in to Jira and replace the Description and Acceptance Criteria fields in Jira with new custom fields in native HTML.

  • Then have the Jira Align Super Admin change the "Rich Text Format" in the Jira Align Connector to "HTML."  (Admin -> Jira Settings -> Jira Setup tab -> Rich Text Format field.)

 

Longer Answer:

The answer to the first question is actually the root of the problem.
Jira: Jira does not use native HTML in its wiki render. It uses a custom rich text formatting standard that is not HTML-compliant.

  • The Atlassian-built Jira API does not convert Jira's native RTF to HTML compliant RTF.
  • Jira plug-ins don't go though the API, so there are no issues with this limitation for Jira plug-ins, but Jira Align is not a plug-in.

Jira Align: Jira Align started out as AgileCraft, an independent company (which you may know). AgileCraft, now Jira Align, natively supports rich text formatting that is HTML compliant.

  • Jira Align natively supports true HTML and RTF in many fields. The connection to Jira is the issue due to the non-standard Jira wiki render format.
  • Supporting Jira wiki render between Jira and Jira Align: The AgileCraft team, when they recognized the need for a Jira connector, built a solution that converted the Jira native wiki render to something that could be visualized in AgileCraft.
    • When the "Rich Text Format" field in the connector is set to "Jira rendered field" and you are using native Jira wiki render, then the Description and Acceptance Criteria fields containing Jira RTF will appear in Jira Align with an eyeball above them.Wki render eye.jpg
      • Clicking on the eyeball will open a pop-up showing Align's attempt to render the Jira wiki markup. It is similar, but not identical to what appears in Jira.
      • Wki render eye open.jpg
    • This is a less-than perfect solution to the fundamental issue of Jira wiki render being non-standard.
      • If someone inadvertently deletes, moves, changes any of the wiki markup character sin Jira Align then when the object syncs back to Jira is will look like junk and it can't be undone (unless you know the exact character or characters to fix).
  • Supporting true HTML between Jira and Jira Align: An alternative approach with a better user experience that users want is to (as shared in the short answer) install a pure HTML plug-in to Jira and replace the Description and Acceptance Criteria fields in Jira with new custom fields in native HTML. 
    • My company, Praecipio, is working on one designed specifically for this use case.
    • There are several available in the Marketplace that provide pure HTML and also have multiple other functions that work well for Jira, but may not be desirable when connected with Jira Align.
    • Trade-offs (or you can't get something for nothing):
      • Going this route will provide the best user experience with respect to RTF syncing cleanly between Jira and Jira Align AND:
        • This requires a non-trivial amount of change in the Jira templates and projects depending on the amount of data that must be moved from the old (wiki render) to new (pure HTML) fields in JIra
        • There is also currently (as of last time I tested) a downstream impact to data visualized from Enterprise Insights in BI tools like Tableau that may not process HTML properly. I won't go down into the weeds, suffice it to say the RTF in Tableau may show up with all the markup language in plain text.

Regards,

Peter Jessen

VP, Enterprise Agility, Praecipio and

co-author of the newest Jira Align whitepaper co-written and co-branded with Atlassian "The Connected Enterprise: Close the Gap Between Business Strategy & Execution."

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