What's the difference between JIRA Software and JIRA?

I belong to a software company that uses JIRA for projects. Just received an email today announcing JIRA Software. I see 3 flavors of JIRA on the Atlassian website - Software, Service Desk, and Core. What's the difference between what we have now vs. 'JIRA Software'?

8 answers

This widget could not be displayed.

We done an infographic to highlight the differences for JIRA Core, JIRA Software and JIRA Service Desk.

Sharing the link here - http://www.akeles.com/what-are-the-differences-between-jira-software-jira-service-desk-and-jira-core/.

This is the best explanation I've seen so far.

Thank you. It was helpful! 

Amazing infographic Akeles, many thanks for this! I will be sharing it a lot :)

it explained very well but i have a small question, Can we combine Jira Core and Software to use at once?or any 2 or any 3 with each other!

You can't not combine them.

Jira Core is Jira.  Software and Service Desk are Applications that run on top of Jira Core, adding functions to it.  You can't run Jira Software on its own, as it needs Core to provide the issues, workflows, projects, users, and so-on.

(The installers are not explained well - the installer download for Jira Software is not an installer for Jira Software, it's an installer for Jira Core with Software pre-installed and configured with it)

Thanks for clarification @Nic Brough [Adaptavist]

This widget could not be displayed.

This is more on licensing. Rather than any product changes/functionality changes


JIRA Software : JIRA + JIRA Agile

JIRA CORE : JIRA only without JIRA Agile

JIRA Service Desk: JIRA Service Desk (no changes)


Licensing: Previously, if you have 500-user JIRA license, you will need 500 JIRA Agile license as well. Now, no.

Example, in your company, you have 100 user using JIRA and only 30 of them using JIRA+JIRA Agile. You can opt to have 70 user license JIRA Core with 30-user license JIRA Software. Thats why JIRA Core license still exist.

You can still install JIRA Software, and apply only JIRA core license in the license page. And enjoy JIRA functionality without JIRA Agile. And if suddenly you decides that you need Agile capability. Just add the JIRA Software license so you can enjoy Agile functionality. No problem! smile




This widget could not be displayed.

Yep, this just has been recently announced. Read the info here https://confluence.atlassian.com/migration/jira-7/cloud_jira+agile_product-changes. So JIRA Software is your typical JIRA+JIRA Agile and JIRA Core is like a new/old stuff.

One thing to note the most is:

You have access to all the features of JIRA Core through your JIRA Software or JIRA Service Desk license, but your other teams can buy a license for JIRA CORE only, too.


Very interesting note. As far as I understood JIRA licensing so far, up to ver.7, it was not possible to have two JIRA instances licensed by one customer. It was only possible to deploy a single instance of JIRA in a production environment on 1 server. Now, how I understand it, one company can buy 50 JIRA Software licenses for one group of employees, and 250 for JIRA Core for another group and deploy them together one server? The sentence that you quoted is very confusing.

Bogdan - on the contrary, my company (a large one) has many distinct JIRA implementations around the company. We are only now merging some of them into a single instance. One of the groups actually talked to Atlassian about it and at the time (a year or two ago), they said it was both common and recommended to have multiple jira implementations for multiple teams at the same company if they had no interaction with each other. Granted, that was all on separate servers. But the more I've read about the update, you can actually have JIRA Software, JIRA Service Desk and JIRA Core all on teh same server, and you license people based on the applications they have access to.

This widget could not be displayed.

If you want a little more detail than the product changes, I just found this link and this gets into a little better detail about what you can and cannot do.  Suffice it to say that if you had JIRA and the Agile plugin before, then going to JIRA Software will looks pretty much the same (as long as you run the upgrade by right clicking and selecting  "Run as administrator" otherwise you may be spending the day restoring your system). 

This widget could not be displayed.

Look at your renewal cost. It might have gone up or if you want to upgrade, it will be higher.

I'm not sure why this answer was downvoted. If you're a Jira customer with the agile plugin installed today, the renewal cost is definitely higher than in the past. As far as I can tell, Jira Core is just today's Jira without the Agile plugin, but with a few template projects and workflows thrown in for business projects. Even after attending summit this year, it's unclear to me whether any of today's Jira functionality (outside of the agile plugin) will be limited to Jira Software license holders. One thing I did discover is that you can have both Jira core and Jira software licenses in the same Jira instance. An individual user will have one license type or another, which is interesting since it's the PROJECT that's either a software project or business project and not the USER per se.

Agree - my renewal cost for JIRA + JIRA Agile went up after the announcement. I had a quote for 14K that went up to 17K.

This widget could not be displayed.


Same question, we have JIRA Server onboard since 2003, with  a running maintenance till 2016, with Tempo & a large number of CVS project.

Some clarification for the  maintenance track till the end of the ongoing support period would help.

We have a 6.2.2 installation, if we want to upgrade, which soft should we download. Till now it was available through myatlassian, which seems not to be the case....

This widget could not be displayed.

ne of the groups actually talked to Atlassian about it and at the time spanish dictionary, they said it was both common and recommended to have multiple jira implementations for multiple teams at the same company if they had no interaction with each other.

This widget could not be displayed.

The agile face of JIRA i.e. JIRA Software does certainly confuse a lot of new users.

I for myself started using jira when jira just had jira core and nothing - when they split JIRA software and jira core - it was  a bit confusing.

I think the reason behind this is the word " SOFTWARE".

Software is a generic term - JIRA is a software that has a software called JIRA SOFTWARE ( Agile)  and this is what confuses new comers.

Suggest an answer

Log in or Sign up to answer
Atlassian Summit 2018

Meet the community IRL

Atlassian Summit is an excellent opportunity for in-person support, training, and networking.

Learn more
Community showcase
Posted Wednesday in New to Jira

Are you planning to trial, or are currently trialling Jira Software? - We want to talk to you!

Hello! I'm Rayen, a product manager at Atlassian. My team and I are working hard to improve the trial experience for Jira Software Cloud. We are interested in   talking to 20 people planning t...

112 views 2 0
Join discussion

Atlassian User Groups

Connect with like-minded Atlassian users at free events near you!

Find a group

Connect with like-minded Atlassian users at free events near you!

Find my local user group

Unfortunately there are no AUG chapters near you at the moment.

Start an AUG

You're one step closer to meeting fellow Atlassian users at your local meet up. Learn more about AUGs

Groups near you