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Process for updating (user-installed) plugins in Jira



I have struggled to find anything online about this so I thought I would try here. I'm trying to come up with a process for updating our Jira plugins (either monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly). I have documented all of our current user-installed plugins, with the current version in our system, next up version and other details. I'm thinking we'll need to do these things as the very least each time we update them:

  1. Read release notes on what has changed, what is being added (for each plugin)
  2. Create test scripts for each plugin
  3. Update in test
  4. Test
  5. Update in prod
  6. Test

Does anyone have anything like this in place at their workplace? I'm trying to figure out what the normal procedure is. These are my outstanding questions:

  • How often should you update them all?
  • Do you need test scripts for each plugin (I like to have documentation so I'd say yes, but want to get others' thoughts also)? 
  • Anything else I'm missing? 




Kat Marketplace Partner Jun 29, 2020

We have tasks created automatically for each environment that needs to be upgraded. We check (and upgrade where needed) each environment every 4 weeks or sooner if there is a critical fix needed.

We check the installed apps on each environment as part of the 4-weekly task.


Your method is more detailed.

  • Remember that the test scripts only need to be created once, then reviewed occasionally when the team's use cases change. 
  • You may want to manually create the Prod upgrade tickets once your Test upgrade is completed.

Thanks Kat - this is super helpful! We do have a plugin called The Scheduler so I think using that I can create recurring (automatic) tickets monthly to review and make the updates. And then once those test ones are done, manually create the ones for prod like you said. 

Would you suggest having a separate test script for each plugin (even if it's just one or two little steps) or do you think that's overdoing it? I just feel like it's helpful to have documentation and also some people use certain plugin functions more than others so have other people testing their use cases also. 

Also, can i ask - how long does it typically take you (or your team) to do the updates every 4 weeks? Is it something you plan that takes a couple of days or does it usually last a week to get through it all? I know it would be hard to estimate due to issues that could come up, but just trying to get an idea so we can plan these updates in between projects and other work. 

Thanks again!


Kat Marketplace Partner Jun 30, 2020

I love The Scheduler app. I think it has been mentioned in 2 or 3 of my community articles by now.

I work in a small company (less than 20 people), almost all are developers or in IT support so we are able to do things quickly and fix issues that may arise "on the fly". Upgrades are done out of hours on a "it's easier to ask for forgiveness than permission" approach.

In an organisation that has CABs, end-users that might be spooked by unexpected visual changes, complex requirements a planned approach is necessary. Try to find a balance between preparation, test cases, and change management (all of which take time) versus the risk and reaction if things went wrong. 

Hopefully someone with larger organisation experience will pop in with some advice soon.

Like # people like this

Hi @Justine Ahmadvand

In my experience with large enterprise organizations, we do add on updates quarterly. This includes testing in Dev and Prod. We have a wiki dedicated to each add one showing the testing steps we took to ensure it works as expected before installing it in Prod. The entire process (research, install, testing) in both environments can take up to a month. My recommendation is to over plan because issues always arise. If there are major changes, we announce this to end users and have them test in dev for about a week before installing it in Prod. For add ons heavily used by a specific team/department, we include them in the testing so that they are aware of the changes and also can help us better identify issues. It's definitely a team effort and it will take time. My recommendation is to not rush. I hope this helps.

Like Matt Doar__ LinkedIn likes this

Thanks Mary - this is helpful! I am planning to review all responses on this thread in our Jira Change Review meeting today to get thoughts from our internal team, but I think this is more the route we'll end up going.

I appreciate you taking the time to respond!


"both environments can take up to a month" - I'm not surprised. But I am interested in understanding the business driver to update the plugins quarterly. I know you get better support from the plugin vendors when using their latest releases, but as you say, it's a lot of work

We plan to update most of our plugins only during our annual upgrade to the next Long Term Support (was Enterprise) release. Updating plugins for us still requires declaring a planned outage of about 10 minutes (Data Center, 4 nodes, 7.13.8 right now). We do updates for critical security fixes and some bugs.

You're doing it right with test scripts and a test instance, but what's the business driver to update the plugins every month or quarter?

Hi Matt,

I think we are mostly wanting to just keep them updated so we are constantly on the latest version. Also, I could be wrong, but I thought somewhere along the line we were told outdated plugins can slow down the instance? 

Thank you for input - I will include this when I discuss with our internal team today also. 



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