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What is the difference between labels and components, and how they are used?

Our team in setting up a jira project for the first time and when creating user story there are 2 default fields, "label" and "component".  We are wonder what is intent of these fields and what should be keep in mind when deciding how to use them.  Also some of the user stories will describe work activities across different technology products.  How can we best identify those user stories for system integration test?

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A component is a sub-division of a project.  They are there to help you categorise parts of that project.  It's common do do things like User-design, web front end, database, process code etc for software, but you would equally define steering, doors, engine, seating, brakes etc it the project was a car.  Components are defined by project admins.

Labels are more open and people-focussed, across projects.  Anyone can add a label to an issue they can edit, and that label does not have to be from a pre-defined list.  I could go stick a label of "system test" (or "wombat") on any issues in either the software or car project I talked about above!

The intent is generalised - components break up projects, labels are global and ad-hoc.  The best way to use them is to choose the right one to fit what you're doing in your Jira system.

Thank you that helps

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John Funk Community Leader Jul 02, 2019

Hi John - Welcome to the Atlassian Community!

Labels are essentially just an open text field. Meaning that there is really no control on the values that people type in them. So if you go to search on the field the values of Label, label, Labell, etc. would all be different values and some issues would not show up depending on the typos or case used. 

Components are created at the project level and appear in a drop down for users to select from. Much better for filters, queries, etc. 

Both should be used for more on-going type of work, e.g. iOS, Android, Browser might be options for development work. And not used for work that typically has a start and end date. 

The real key is for your team to decide, socialize that, and stick with it.  :-)

I hope that helps!

Thank you 

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What could be Labels in the Car project example above?

Anything your people feel might be useful for searching and reporting on.  (Colour for example)

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