How to easily report text based data from JIRA

We record some service call information in JIRA and need to run reports that tell the story of those calls. Issue, resolution etc. The reports need to be interactive to the extent that Date Range, Customer etc are inputs.

The output then needs to be able to be directed, ideally, to PDF or spreadsheet so it can be emailed as feedback to clients.

A number of plugins have been been trialled, but they are appear to be heavily chart oriented in the main.

Any suggestions would be most welcome

4 answers

If you're looking for a text based report with information about each issue, rather than summarizing graphs, etc. You should look at plugins like Xporter or JIRA PDF View. There are a couple of others, as well. Search for JIRA pdf in the add-ons. If you want more analytical reports as well as nice graph generation capability, look at Arsenale DataPlane

My personal experience with Xporter and Dataplane has been very good. Other plugins get high ratings also.

Thanks for your answer Doug. I need to be able to include in one report a number of issues, say based on date and customer, so that a report can be used internally for issue pattern analysis and for customer feedback. Output options need to be flexible too. We can do this type of thing easily from an Access database with a drag and drop built query/report that includes a selection that prompts for values (Date, customer etc). I would like it be easy from JIRA too so users have control. I have looked at Xporter, but it appears to rely on Word templates and field mapping, which seems cumbersome. Filters offer some options, but not interactivity in selections and we have had some very strange results when directing filtered content straight to export.

I understand your challenge. I really wish someone would write a simple plugin that let me build "filters with variables' where the user could select the variables at run time. Do you have Confluence? I've done something similar to what I think you need, using Confluence as my front end. I built a form using Bob Swift's Run macro, with the form invocation plugging the selected variables into the Jira issues macro. This can pretty easily get you a list of issues onto a Confluence page based on user input. Looking at the Xporter FAQ at http://confluence.xpand-it.com/display/XPORTER/FAQ you can supply JQL as an HTML argument. Another option could be to front end Xporter with a simple UI that lets the user fill in the variables to the JQL using a drop down list or whatever. If you find Xporter's Word/Excel template approach clumsy, you would still have that hurdle. I wonder if I could use this approach from Confluence.... The SQL for Jira Reports plugin that Pablo talks about below is an interesting option. It's too new a plugin for us to adopt it at this time, but I will keep a watch on it.

Thanks Doug for thinking on SQL for JIRA like a possible future choice. IMHO, you have highlighted the main question: "It's too new a plugin for us to adopt it at this time" which I fully understand. Even more when a lot of functionality is brought by a single man. However, let me please clarify that more than 99.99% of the job is done by 3rd party open source libraries and my job was a mainly pure integration job. For example, I think lot of people might think: a SQL parser? for sure it is very basic and plenty of bugs. But the facts are that 100% of the queries are parsed and executed by the H2 Java database engine and it is tremendously reliable. In fact, it is just the same database engine used by Atlassian to run JIRA 7 out of the box. Just the same happens with the BIRT-based plugin. It is a product with million users and a lot of years old, so really powerful and stable which has been integrated without modify any line of code and it will probably will run with less bugs that many from the other veteran plugins. But of course, it is a new plugin so it is legitimate doubt about its reliability. ;)

And a last thought... every time that your company is not using SQL for JIRA is trashing the talent of their employees because what it makes it different is that it is not a bunch of predefined reports nor a sort of configurable reporting tool, not. It is a reporting "framework". It puts all the power of SQL, JQL and BIRT on the company's employees hands and it depends on their abilities and creativity to liberate all such creativity and cleverness. So if there is a talented/genius at your company please make he happy by providing him the most creative and powerful tools ;)

SQL for JIRA allows you to extract the issue data via standard SQL with your favorite reporting tool via JDBC. 

Richard,

Sorry for being so insistent with SQL for JIRA but for sure you missed the free SQL for JIRA Reports and Gadgets extension. It deploys a BIRT instance on JIRA therefore any BIRT report runs on JIRA with the extra benefits of the integration.

According to the information provided by OpenText, BIRT (Business Intelligence and Reporting Tool) is used by more than 3.5 million developers and 200 million customers, it is very well supported by the vendor and the Eclipse community as well as well documented. So it is going to be hard to find a more flexible and powerful solution. Parameters are supported out of the box with a wide range of options: texts, lists, nested lists, dynamic, via url, etc. It also supports export to CVS and industry-standard document formats like MS Office, PDF, etc, etc. etc:

But a A picture is worth a thousand words:

birt-parameters.gif

As others suggest, PDF View Plugin is what you are looking for. Although you can generate charts with it, you can limit yourself to use text or text with images only, it does not enforce anything on you. See the screenshot below.

If you add the free PDF Automation Plugin, then you can make the process of generating and emailing the PDF document 100% automatic. Make sure you check out the PDF automation tutorial.

issue-pdf-export.png

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