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What exactly is a "component" in JIRA?

Hi everyone!

A simple question on which I could not find a satisfying answer so far: what exactly is a "component" in JIRA and how can it be useful to me? Seems like many Product Owners and Scrum Masters don't use it, so what's the added value?

Maybe someone can give me a practical example.

Thanks a lot


3 answers

20 votes

Component is a generic term which can be used effectively to represent an module of an project.

For example - When creating user stories in an large project the Product owner can choose the component like - UI, Database, Backend, API etc

Thus, based on components it becomes easy to filter issues meant for specific modules/teams. Also components can be used in various jql filters. Like, for finding issues pertinaing to API components which are unresolved so 

component = "API" and resolution is empty

Another important use of component is that it can be used as an sub-project as JIRA doesn't have the concept of sub-projects thus lot of teams use components to represent sub-projects. 

Another use of components that JQL based on components can be used in swimlanes or quick filters on the Scrum/Kanban boards.

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When would you use Component in comparison to Label? (what is the difference in functionality) 

Components are project specific while Labels are global.

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Components can be used to group issues into smaller sub sections, like UI, API, Hardware etc. You could also use it to organize your issues based on customers, areas, functionality etc. I use it to organize tasks base on the tool, its a quick way of for example see all my tasks that I have related to Bitbucket or JIRA.


This usually has been done with labels.

@Artem Kopchinskiy labels can be created by anybody and are case specific which means a simple spelling mistake can make two lables.

Components are more restricted. Unfortunately can't cross projects though.


Those are some key differences between the two.

Ok thanks. Understood...I think.

While it really seems to make sense to use components to represent sub-projects I cannot yet really figure out how to use them to meaningful represent teams.

I can assign my user stories / epics etc. to a component. Check! But can I for example somehow assign users / dev team members to a component = "team"? Or how exactly should I display teams in a component?

Tarun Sapra Community Leader Aug 10, 2017

Using components to display teams would like abusing the components. Generally how I do it  at various clients is to have a custom field called "Teams" or "Squad" or whatever you want to call it. This custom field is of type "select drop-down" and it shows the list of names of various teams.

Now, while creating the issue you can use components to mention the project's module/sub-porject/tech-stack and use the team custom field to select the team and combination of these two fields really helps in creating effective boards based on JQL which is using both of these fields and also creating quick filters/swimlanes based on these 2 fields.

If it works for you then you can accept/upvote my original answer. thanks.

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I work @ BMW, so JIRA is pretty much pre-configured. There's no option for creating a custom field I think. ;)

I'm not even sure if we can use JQL here.

Thomas Schlegel Community Leader Aug 10, 2017

Hi Sebastian,

JQL is a Jira Standard, that can't be disabled, not even at BMW ;-)

But, joking aside, JQL is another way of searching in Jira, apart from the standard search. Just click on "Erweitert" in your search window (I assume, your Jira is German) and there you find the input field for JQL-Queries.

Tarun is right, using the components fields is a little bit strange, but if you can't make your Jira administrator adding a custom field for you, I would use it. Of course, a team is no component, right, but component is a standard field you can use for whatever you want. Just put a good description to your fields so it is clear. You can even add more than one component to your issues, a "team component" and a "real component".

Another option would be to use labels instead of components. But using labels, your users are able to add whatever they want and you can't be sure, that all labels are correct spelled.

Viele Grüße aus Hamburg :-)  

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If you are building an instrument and the instrument e.g. has a housing, electronics, SW etc. would you group this as components? In most cases these components are handled by dedicated teams like electronics is handled by the HW team, so the component definition becomes redundand to the team definition.

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