Role-based and Group-based permissions - which is preferable?

I can't find difference between groups and roles of JIRA. Which and when is preferable to use while configuring permissions of projects/issues/fields?

2 answers

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Groups are simple and intuitive - you put users in a group, then you can refer to them via that group. They are global. They have to be maintained by Jira admins, and often become unweildy and outdated.

Roles are more complex - you define a role globally, but the membership of the role is only local to a project. The admins in a project can maintain their own users within that role. They can also use groups to effectively add all the users in a group into the role in that project.

Generally, roles are far better to use - they allow you to delegate the maintenance to project owners, who are best placed to decide who can or can not use their projects. Groups are a lot less flexible and powerful, and really should be used for global stuff ONLY. Such as "can log in", "be an admin"

Groups are less and more flexible simultaneously. There is "Group Custom Field Value" issue level avaiable, but there is no "Role Custom Field Value" unfortunately.

The main benefit I see is decentralization. Project Admins can manage roles and their related permissions. They cannot manage Group membership without JIRA administrator access, though. So, Roles decentralize permissions management by allowing project owners to manage them for their projects.

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