Worst Jira Admin Contest: Sloppy Test Environment

Mistake 5

Having a test environment is a good start, but it’s not enough. Have you ever thought you were in a test environment but were actually in production by mistake? Never happens, right? 😉 A sloppy or poorly configured test environment does little to prevent production mistakes. Further, it’s easy to accidentally spam your users with unneeded or fake data.

Here are my tips for configuring your test environment.

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It’s important to be able to visually distinguish the test environment from production. Here’s what I did in the example screenshot. First, I changed the name of the application to “Test”. The application name is displayed in many places, including the browser’s title. Next, I used the look and feel settings to change the top nav to a different color. I also changed my avatar icon to an image that’s not my usual photo, so I notice the difference. This is a handy strategy to use for test or service accounts as well. Some organizations also change the application logo in their test environment.

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Jira Service Management Customer Portal

In the Jira Service Management customer portal, I changed the help center name, the page title, and made the top banner green. The portal has built-in banner functionality, but I found it didn’t provide enough of a visual change. Changing the color and the name at the top is the most effective method for me.

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In Server and Data Center: Admin > System > Announcement Banner

If you have Server or Data Center, you can also use Jira’s built-in announcement banner. You can find the setting in the “System” admin area. As the example shows, the banner function allows HTML, but you need to be careful with it. One day while I was editing an announcement banner, my cat jumped onto my keyboard and submitted my half-written code! This caused all the Jira pages to not load any content! I had to stop the application, remove announcement banner records in the database, and restart Jira. The cat and I have since had a chat about his work performance. Always test your code outside of Jira first and be sure to close all markup tags.

Additional Config Tips

  • Disable email to avoid notifying end users with duplicate or fake data.

  • Match your test environment settings to production as much as possible.

  • Use this environment to test the impact of major configuration changes, to perform maintenance activities, and to vet new apps.

  • For Server and Data Center, get read-only access to the Jira database. Understanding how the data is structured will solve a lot of mysteries and make you a better admin. You can access additional data that's not available in the UI.


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1 comment

Matt Doar
Community Leader
Community Leader
Community Leaders are connectors, ambassadors, and mentors. On the online community, they serve as thought leaders, product experts, and moderators.
December 16, 2023

Absolutely, and making the test environment header color really vivid helps for me

One other thing I do in a test environment is change all the notification schemes to be empty or one that won't send email. Email from a test environment can really confuse people quickly

I think I also change the URLs used in an application link so that changes in the test environment don't show up in a production Confluence instance, for example

Like Rachel Wright likes this

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