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How much complexity/risk does Scriptrunner add to Jira?

Rob Horan Community Leader May 09, 2017

I had the chance to attend a Scriptrunner session as part of the Atlassian User Group meetings, and I learned quite a lot; I got a sens of what Scriptrunner can add to Jira, and how it can add complexity that affects maintenance and upgrades.  From what I gathered, depending on how far your scripts go, you can be digging deep into the undocumented guts of Jira, and Jira upgrades can render your scripts inoperable when those guts evolve.  

So my question is this - it's clear that there is a level of complexity and risk that Scriptrunner adds, but how much so?  

Bonus question: for admins who are not 100% dedicated to administration as part of their daily duties, does this level of complexity/risk increase exponentially?

3 comments

I think it's partially a function of the complexity of the scripts that you implement. With JIRA api changes, there is risk of scripts breaking (it's almost a certainty with a major JIRA release) and needing to be updated. I'm not a developer but I have been able to get by with Google-Fu.

You also have to make sure to test the plugin when you're planning a JIRA upgrade, as we just got bit by Scripted FIelds not working in ScriptRunner on JIRA 7.3.6 (they released a fix this morning).

ScriptRunner is much better than a lot of the plugins out there in terms of how much it keeps me up at night, but I'll bite my tongue and not name names... :)

MattS Rising Star May 09, 2017

There's a lot of large JIRA admin changes that are *much* faster when using ScriptRunner

Rob Horan Community Leader May 09, 2017

I don't doubt that.  My concern is about maintaining the system and upgrading it.

MattS Rising Star Jun 22, 2017

Most of the features will upgrade with no work. If you have written scripts that use the JIRA Java API then that does change during major version upgrades. But that is true for Java add-ons as well. I haven't found that using ScriptRunner adds a large maintainence load.

It depends on what you're trying to do and how you use it.

If you limit your interaction with the shallow API and things that have been around for eons you'll be safer but if you start heading into the more experimental and newer code - the more fun you'll have. If at some point you end having built an addon using ScriptRunner(I've seen it done) - you'll probably want to build it as a real addon.

If you have a good testing/config mgmt approach it will help.

Scriptrunner is a really awesome and powerful tool but as they say with great power comes great responsibility.

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