Jira is not only Atlassian’s flagship product, it’s also the centre piece of a much larger integration story: the Atlassian development suite. Over the years, we’ve built many integration features between Jira and Atlassian Confluence, Fisheye, Crucible and Bamboo to make your workflow smoother. These range from simple retrieval features that inline relevant information for you to powerful integration features that add serious business value by combining data and functionality available in different applications into one unified operation. The former can save you clicking around different applications and losing your context, whilst the latter can decimate the number of steps in your workflow, or give you access to data and reports that would otherwise be impractical or impossible to generate.
For example, did you know that you can:
- display a list of Jira issues inline on a Confluence page, or create an issue from Confluence based on some of your wiki content
- view all of the source code from Fisheye associated with a particular Jira issue, without leaving the comfort of the view issue page
- block or allow Jira workflow actions based on whether code has been committed against a particular issue or whether an issue has been reviewed
- create a review in Crucible for all of the code related to a particular issue, with a single click from Jira
- retrieve issue details for a build result in Bamboo
- view a complete list of Bamboo builds related to a particular issue
- link issues to Crucible reviews, and easily submit time-tracking data or create and transition subtasks from Crucible
- manage your Fisheye and Crucible users in Jira
and much more!
The new AppLinks
Last year we spent considerable effort building a new integration platform: the new Application Links plugin (AppLinks). AppLinks makes administration of integration features easier across our entire suite of products and can easily be extended to integrate Jira or other Atlassian products with third-party applications. It does this by providing an easy-to-use wizard interface for creating authenticated links between your applications, and automatically reciprocating those links between peers, so you can maintain your integration configuration from a single place. As an aside: if you’re considering writing your own integration between Atlassian products, or between an Atlassian product and a third-party application, you should definitely be using AppLinks. Take a look a the AppLinks API & SPI Javadoc for documentation and code examples.
Jira for User Management
Whilst AppLinks was being integrated in to the products, there was a parallel development effort enhancing the user management features in Jira. Starting with Jira 4.3, other applications are able to ‘slave’ their user management off Jira. In other words, another Atlassian application can delegate to a Jira server to manage its users and groups. Yes, you can have the same usernames and passwords across your Atlassian applications, and manage them in one place. This saves the tedious (and error prone) process of maintaining separate user bases for separate applications, without having to fork out for an external user management system such as LDAP or Atlassian Crowd (although we still recommend Crowd for managing very large Jira instances).
Quick integration in Fisheye and Crucible 2.6
Leveraging the power of both AppLinks and Jira’s new external user management capabilities, we’ve introduced a new step in the Fisheye and Crucible setup wizards. When prompted, you can simply enter the URL of a Jira server and your Jira administration username and password, to automatically set up integration features between the two applications and configure slaved user management in one easy step.
Crucible Setup – Step 3: Connect to Jira
By default all of the users in the group jira-users will be imported into the application you have just set up (for example, Fisheye / Crucible) with an hourly job scheduled to synchronise new users and user details. Any users marked as belonging to the jira-administrators group will similarly be granted permission to administer the application you have just set up. Both of these options are customisable under Advanced Options…, or post-setup via the administration console.
Integration will be automatically set up to use Atlassian Trusted Applications, which means any integration features you use in Fisheye or Crucible will impersonate the person using the feature in Fisheye when communicating with Jira, so all of your Jira permission schemes will be properly respected and any data submitted to Jira (for example time tracking or subtasks) will be lodged as the correct user.
This feature is available in Fisheye and Crucible 2.6, and is a definite win for users looking to expand their Atlassian suite by evaluating our other products. Fisheye and Crucible are just the first step. A new project is under way to introduce a “Connect to Jira” step into the Bamboo and Confluence setup wizards. Soon evaluating and integrating all of our applications will be easy as filling in a couple of fields on a form.
If you’re already using our products and are curious about integrating them, but you’ve long since completed the setup wizard – don’t panic! You can integrate our applications at any point in time. To delegate user management or configure other Jira integration features, follow our Jira Integration in Crucible or Jira Integration in Fisheye guides. There is also an in depth tutorial available for integrating all of Atlassian’s products: the Atlassian Dragons integration guide.