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We recently partnered with GitHub to build a new and improved Jira Software Cloud and GitHub integration so that it is much easier to install, has improved performance and reliability, is built on a new tech stack, and is open-sourced so anyone can contribute to future improvements.
The purpose of this post is to provide clarity and explain the difference between integrating Jira Software and GitHub with the existing DVCS Connector vs. the new GitHub for Jira.
It should give you all the information you need about how to migrate over, how long you have to do this, and how to get help if you need it.
Does the GitHub for Jira app replace the DVCS Connector?
Yes. The DVCS Connector is an older piece of technology that Jira built and was maintaining. The DVCS Connector for Jira Cloud provides the integration for Bitbucket Cloud, GitHub, and GitHub Enterprise. The GitHub for Jira app replaces only the GitHub integration (not Bitbucket Cloud and not GitHub for Enterprise - yet).
The new integration can do everything the old DVCS Connector could do. So commits, branches, and pull requests are all being synced as they were and smart commits / workflow triggers work the same way they did previously.
Why did we do this?
Below are a couple of key points:
Jira Software Cloud has created a new API, called Development Information, which allows any 3rd party provider to send commits, branches, and pull request data and associate that with an issue. Jira will then take that data and use it to power all the features in-product behind this: Dev Panel on the issue detail view, dev icons on cards within a board, search for issues by open pull requests through JQL and more.
The DVCS Connector integration was syncing a lot of data as we had to fetch everything from GitHub and then process that to see what actually related to Jira issues. Now, GitHub can tell us that when it happens and only send over what matters. This increases performance, efficiency, and security.
The old way to install GitHub through the DVCS Connector required a lot of manual steps: creating an oAuth app in GitHub, grabbing the keys, input them into Jira, etc. Many people told us this was very confusing and some never made it through this set up process. Installing the new app via the Atlassian Marketplace or GitHub marketplace cuts this down to less than 1 minute to install and connect your repo, given you have the right permissions.
Moving forward, the new integration gives us greater flexibility and autonomy to improve the integration over time. GitHub can focus on when/how to send over information to Jira Software and Jira Software can focus on how to use this information in the product to make a better experience. Furthermore, because it is open-source, the community can get involved to keep improving it!
What is happening to GitHub Enterprise connections, which also use the DVCS Connector?
The integration between GitHub Enterprise (on-premise version) to Jira Cloud will not be affected, as we still have work to do in the future to make this possible in the new integration. This is because of common issues that affect server to cloud type integrations and require a bit more work & thought to build a great experience for you.
Please continue to use the DVCS Connector integration method if you are a GitHub Enterprise customer.
Is the DVCS Connector being deprecated, and if so, when?
Yes, we will be completely removing the DVCS Connector integration for GitHub in favour of the new GitHub for Jira app. However, we plan to slowly phase this out and allow existing customers plenty of time to move over.
We are aware of the many Jira Software Cloud customers who are already using and enjoying the GitHub integration via the DVCS Connector. We have tried our best to make the migration as easy as possible and will address any issues/bugs that may come up as fast as we can.
The DVCS Connector for GitHub.com (the GitHub enterprise connection has no date to move over yet) will no longer be supported as of June 30th, 2019.
Are there any differences in functionality between the DVCS Connector and GitHub for Jira app?
None. It should work in exactly the same way.
How do I actually migrate and start using the new integration?
If you already have a GitHub.com integration using the DVCS Connector in Jira Software, then all you have to do for the migration is:
Make sure you are a site-administrator for your Jira site and an owner/admin of the account or organization in GitHub that you would like to connect. You could look at the DVCS Connectors page to see what accounts you had synced previously.
Go to the GitHub for Jira app in the Atlassian Marketplace.
Go through the set up steps in GitHub app, like connecting your organization or account and the repos you would like to sync.
An initial sync will be triggered. This may take some time depending on the size of the data in your repo. This will go and fetch all the relevant commits, branches, and pull requests that have issue keys on them and populate them in Jira. This is how we are ‘migrating the data’ over so to speak.
Then, start using Jira issue keys in your commit messages, branches, and pull requests as you would normally.
What happens if things go wrong when I start using the new integration?
Generally, if you are having trouble with the integration and/or syncing data, you should start with https://github.com/integrations/jira, which has a support form link near the bottom that you can fill out to let GitHub know the issues you are having. GitHub now owns the integration and the open-source repository of the integration.
If you are having any trouble on using the Atlassian Marketplace, installing or managing apps, or questions about the DVCS Connector, please contact Jira Software support at support.atlassian.com.
Lastly, it’s important to note that your GitHub data from the DVCS Integration has not been lost, we just stopped showing it in the UI when you installed the new GitHub for Jira app. This is so there is not duplicate information being displayed. Please contact support.atlassian.com if things have gone horribly wrong and you would like the DVCS Connector integration back and direct help moving over to the new integration. We are happy to help you through this process!
What if I have suggestions for improving the new GitHub integration?
The integration is now open-source! You can contribute by posting your ideas here.