Whats the difference between an issue and feature

How would JIRA define the difference between an issue and a feature - what are the practical differences in functionality in JIRA

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None, unless you configure something.

Jira is an "issue tracker", and it comes with a sample range of "issue types" off-the-shelf. Functionally, there is no difference between them. BUT, most of the configuration for a project is hung off the issue type, so you can have different screens, fields and workflows for different issue types.

So, really, the difference is not much more than "the issue types have different names". In English terms, a feature is usually "something new we'd like" and an issue is "a really wide ranging word that means something needs doing, but it's not covered by the other issue types". But you can configure whatever you need!

(Note, there's an exception here if you whack in the Agile plugin - that makes some baseline assumptions about stories and epics, but you can still change that if you want)

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