Where do I start with reporting?


Is there a transition guide for people moving from ALM QC to JIRA based reporting?

I am used to being able to write SQL code for my reporting, the specific report I need to extract from JIRA is mandated by the local Test Strategy and is "Non Functional Requirement Test Coverage"

This is relatively trivial in ALM QC because all the entities and linkage are clear, at least they are when you have worked with it for 20 years.

I know nothing about JIRA and I can make neither head nor tail of what I am looking at so I am looking for a beginners guide.

Anything out there?

3 answers

It's difficult or impossible to answer your question without information about how your company is managing tests within Jira. JIRA is very flexible and can be configured in many ways. However, that flexibility can make it challenging for someone new to the product to understand what is going on and how to find data. Here are some questions which might get us started with helping you:

  • Are you using one of the commercial test management plugins? If so, which one?
  • If you're not using a commercial plugin, 
    • Is each test an issue. Is each test execution an issue
    • What issue types are you using for tests?
    • How does your installation identify what project or feature a test or test execution is associated with? Some options include labels, links, fixversion, containing JIRA project, custom fields of various sorts, or combinations of those fields

It is possible to run SQL against a JIRA Database. Most sites who do this run it against a replica of their production JIRA database. However, to use SQL, you still need to understand the answers to the above questions. Also, the JIRA DB schema is quite complex.

The project is using the Zephyr test managment plug in, other project may choose not to do so. There is no mandated test practice, its pretty much do as you please with any number of tools.

I can see that some tests appear to have lables but frankly I cannot tell what I am looking at, the pages have no titles, there are no indicators showing where I am in the system and what I am looking at, and it seems that every possible item is on every page.

I now think I know how JIRA practitioners feel when the look at ALM and say its like being thrown back in time to the early 90's, this looks like some dystopian future to me.

Database complexity I am not worried about, I have worked in data warehousing for years, happy with that.

Where do I start?

If there are no standards for how to track tests, you have a challenging situation. 

Also, unfortunately, I'm not a Zephyr user and can't help you with that. You may want to add the jira-zephyr or zephyr-report or zephyr-test-management labels to this question so other Zephyr users will see your question. 

I know what you mean about the world-view differences of moving from QC-ALM to Jira. QC pretty much organizes everything in folders. JIRA doesn't have folders at all. Generally, you can use links in JIRA as the semantic equivalent of folders... except that there is no concept of hierarchy, and there's no folder "view" unless you install an add-on.  It may help to think of finding things and reporting in JIRA like a google search. You can search on labels, links, or most any other field. It's up to your company to create the order in the chaos. While I found the JIRA way much more intuitive, many long-time QC users in our company did not. 

A very challenging situation yes. Years of throwing lots of money at tools and zero at training. I see it everywhere I go smile


So, I have created a dashboard, and I am looking at a project, and I want to now see the exact same metrics for a different project.

When I select the project, then my dashboard, it reverts back to the project the dashboard was associated with.

This is fine, but it is not the behaviour I desire. any pointers on how I create a report I can apply to the project I am currently looking at?

Hi Edward,

For general basic start with reporting, have a look at Atlassian's documentation about Searching for issues.

In particular you might learn about advanced searching using JQL

It depends completely on how you have your JIRA instance set up to model requirements, test cases, executions, etc, but it's possible you could use an issue search to get the kind of reports you mention.

To give a simplified example, I've worked in that past with a JIRA instance where the status of non-functional requirements was tracked with an issue type called "NFR", with statuses such as "Pending", "Met", etc. A set of these were linked to each Epic covering the functional requirements in question.

In this sort of situation, something like following JQL search can be used to report the status of non-functional requirements for a particular Epic:

issue in linkedIssues(EPIC-1) and issuetype = NFR

You can create and save filters like this and report the results on a dashboard using the Filter Results Gadget.



Ah. Didn't see the further info you gave regarding using Zephyr before posting this. My response might still have some general useful info though. Apologies if too basic.

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