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Microsoft Teams and Jira

TeamsLovesJira.jpg

It's True!   Microsoft Teams has been working steadily towards integrating with Jira Cloud and Jira Server.

Over the past year, in Jira Server, we've had access to deposit information into teams only via webhooks.  Jira Cloud has had more advanced integration.

In the last month, Microsoft has released long awaited feature parity with Jira Cloud and Server editions.  For those that are in Office365 and have Teams deployed for various reasons, this is the moment we've been waiting for.

The Integration:

There are two components to be aware of:

  • The Jira Marketplace addon - Teams for Jira
  • The Teams Jira app (in Teams via Manage Teams, Apps, More Apps)

The Teams Jira App has been upgraded recently, so if you've had it installed, be sure to update it.  To update it, Please go to 'Manage team' -> 'Apps' tab to update the app. You'll have to restart the Teams client to get the update.

Linkage:

There are a couple of ways to link Jira and Teams

  • Webhook push to a teams Channel only
  • Teams Bot
  • Teams Jira App Tab
  • Teams Chat Integration

All options are controlled by the Teams Jira App, via Manage Team, Apps Tab, and Selecting the Jira App.

Linkage Permissions:

Teams needs access to Jira and to do this, it needs an account with permissions to read the Jira Project(s) you want it to communicate with.  To do this:

  • Non Saml:
    • Simply create an account on your Jira Instance, give it the rights and note its login information for teams
  • SAML Integrated:
    • While not supported by Microsoft, its hackable.
      • Create an account on your Jira Instance, give it the rights and note its login information for teams
      • Turn off/Disable temporarily your SAML Redirection, using local auth only.
      • Use the login with the Jira Teams app to get the OAuth Authentication setup
      • Re-enable SAML Redirection

The Cool Stuff:

Well, its pretty neat.   Here's a couple of screenshots of what the integration can do.

Calling up an issue with the '@Jira Server xx-Issue Command'.  Note you can comment, assign, watch or edit issues.

JiraTeamsBot.jpg

 

Requesting help with the '@Jira Server help' Command.  Look at all those options!JiraTeamsHelp.jpg

 

The Jira Server Tab.   So many options to manipulate here.JiraTeamsTab.jpg

Need to create a story, no problem.JiraTeamsTab1.jpg

 

Feature Request:

Really, there are two main issues that Microsoft needs to resolve.

  • SAML Integration natively support vs hacked.
  • Teams integration uses the local account to make comments and manipulate Jira, not your Teams username.  This causes some concern when asking who did it (created a story, made a comment, etc.)
  • JiraTeamsGripe.jpg

Certainly a lot of promise here and huge potential that we hadn't seen much of in the past.  I'm excited about the future of Microsoft and Atlassian as they continue to work together.

Related Microsoft reference blog:  here.

14 comments

Mirek Community Leader Aug 13, 2019

Teams integration uses the local account to make comments and manipulate Jira, not your Teams username.

Yeah.. That is a very big disadvantage.. If the whole team would then use Teams to interact with Jira after some time it would be a total mess of comments done by "Jira Teams Integration" (and people that do not use Teams would get really confused .. ) .. Of course we can add manually a name in every comment, but is this the way how an integration should be done? It would be better to focus on good push notifications to teams where the conversation should continue..

Another is that (from what I see from the screenshots.. ) you cannot change the status, so if you have an issue in To Do you still have it in this status even you assigned it to yourself and need to manually log in to Jira to change it to In Progress..

Hello, I'm Alex, and I'm developing this integration. Regarding your questions:

> SAML Integration natively support vs hacked.

We are planning this in the next release. In the first release of Microsoft Teams for Jira Server we've tried to cover and match the functionality that is currently available in Jira Cloud mostly.

Teams integration uses the local account to make comments and manipulate Jira, not your Teams username. 

That is by design. This integration acts on behalf of Jira user, and without user you won't be able to connect to Jira Server in general. All the information about user in the integration is read from Jira.

Your latest screenshot with "Jira Teams Integration" user is a little bit misleading, because after reading this article one may think all messages from Teams would be posted under single generic Jira user. That's not true, you just created test user that way. 

@Mirek 

You can change status from tab.

@Oleksandr Valetskyy Hello and really appreciate your feedback.    I've heard SAML is going to be investigated and are extremely excited for that.   On the clarifying point, the account I used to link to Jira has the display name "Jira Teams Integration."  I think our thoughts is that if SAML works correctly, the Teams client uses the logged in users token to communicate to Jira and all actions are reflected as that user.   I certainly understand the current restrictions there and I call it out in this article as a point of reflection since some companies may have restrictions against that type of 'anonymous' feedback in Jira.  Those companies may desire then to only take read access from Jira instead of read/write access.

Overall, cheering on your work and appreciate it tremendously.  Please feel free to reach out.  I know some integration builders such as the team from Re:solution SAML might have some insight they'd share with your team.

Makes sense. Although from the Teams perspective Connector might fit better for readonly scenarios.

Still not clear for me when you need both Jira Marketplace addon - Teams for Jira and Microsoft Teams application called "Jira Server". Can you use full functionality with only Microsoft Teams application "Jira Server" ?

Hi @Johan Holmer Lindell ,

To use functionality like Bot, Tab and Messaging Extension in Jira Server application in Microsoft Teams you need Teams for Jira add-on to be installed in your Jira instance. The add-on installation is required, as it will generate specific Jira ID for your Jira instance. This ID is requested by the application in Teams first time when you authorize in Jira through Teams Bot, Tab or Messaging Extension. In other words - Jira add-on is kind of a bridge between Teams application and Jira Server instance.

If you need capability only for push notifications in Jira Server application for Microsoft Teams - you can use Connector capability. Connector doesn't require add-on installation for Jira.

@Gregory Van Den Ham Actually, some help from Atlassian developers would be nice. Is there any way we can contact them directly? Currently we are creating questions here on forums (like this one - https://community.developer.atlassian.com/t/addon-objects-lifecycle-unexpected-behavior/30208), but nobody answers.

@Oleksandr Valetskyy I'm reaching out to some of the people I know. 

@Gregory Van Den Ham Meanwhile we've released the new addon version that supports SAML - 2019.8.7. Please note "nosso" flag should be turned on in configuration to ensure successful login into Jira.

Hi @Oleksandr Valetskyy We are the vendor or the SAML SSO plugin by re:solution for Jira/Confluence/Bitbucket.  @Gregory Van Den Ham contacted us about the Microsoft Teams integration with Jira a couple of weeks ago.

If would be cool if we can work together to better integrate Microsoft's integration with our SAML SSO app. Is there a way we could contact you or to share contacts?

 

If you visit the Atlassian Open in Vienna, we could also talk during the event.

Gregory Van Den Ham Community Leader Monday

@Oleksandr Valetskyy In the teams app, 2019.6.8 is the only app available currently.  Have you pushed this to public release? 

@chrschommer thank you sir, I'll buy you a drink at Summit next year ;)

@Gregory Van Den Ham Newest add-on version is 2019.8.11,  released yesterday (2019-08-19).

Now login with sso would work, but with the same drawback UserSync has - local users don't have passwords after replication and thus they need to set it manually prior to logging in. Long story short, we are utilizing "local" login through ?nosso page currently.

@chrschommer I've sent you connect request on LinkedIn with my work mail, thanks.

Gregory Van Den Ham Community Leader Tuesday

@Oleksandr Valetskyy  I see the update available in Jira Server, under manage apps.  Any change on the Teams side required?

@Gregory Van Den Ham No, SSO-related changes are purely Jira Server-side based. Think of Jira Server add-on as fancy proxy that establishes connection with integration back-end on Azure. It could not authorize user to Jira because of redirect happening because of SAML SSO add-on, now the issue has been resolved.

All in all, Teams app and Jira Server app (add-on) would update independently and that's perfectly normal.

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