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Pushing the boundaries of integrating Jira & Confluence


Posted by
Chitanya Pathivada

September 25, 2019

Here you are with two powerful tools, Jira and Confluence. You were told that both tools are great and that they can be integrated, that you can see tickets from Jira on Confluence and link pages from Confluence into Jira tickets, but is that everything? What else can we do to make sure we are getting the most of this integration?

The good news is that you have an abundance of features enabled by the so-called “Application link” between Jira and Confluence. So let’s have a look at them! We have broken the features into 3 types: General, Display, and Creation, plus extra features you can add by using Marketplace plugins.

General features

Did you know that you can integrate Jira and Confluence with your AD/LDAP via native integration? You don’t need any plugins and you can do it via the UI.
Another cool trick to keep your User Management on one single location is to manage your users via an external source, for example, MS Active Directory. Then connect Jira to your AD, and set Jira as a User Directory so that Confluence will authenticate and pull user details from Jira. The diagram below demonstrates how this structure would work:

 

 

Once you have your instances integrated you can start using the interlinking content options. The most basic one is to link Jira projects to Confluence spaces. This will keep your teams always aware of where the right content is!

 

Also, you will be promptly notified of requests observed from the workbox (Confluence).

 

Display features

Now let’s have a look at some features that can be used to display data throughout an integration. Some of the macros we are using for this include:

One of the best benefits is the possibility of displaying Jira issues on a Confluence page. It can be displaying an individual issue, by just pasting the ticket URL on your confluence page or through the Jira Issue macro, that will allow you to search via JQL the ticket you want to display as a list!

 

Jira filter result

Additionally, when a Jira issue is created from Confluence (we will look at this later in the article), the ticket is automatically linked to that page and on the issue, you will have a link back to the confluence page. 

Here is how you see the link to the Jira issues linked on a specific page:

 

You can build awesome reports using the Jira issue macro on Confluence and also you will be happy to know that you can use Jira Gadgets in your pages! Yes, you can keep your beloved dashboards and recreate them on Confluence, where it is easier to share and collaborate with your teams and stakeholders.

 

 

Also, you can have useful documentation on Confluence that you would like to make Jira users aware of, but it is not always easy to direct them to Confluence to see it. So you can benefit from a Jira dashboard displaying your Confluence content – the possibilities here are amazing!

 

Creation features

Have you ever had a requirement gathering page or brainstorming session where your team has come up with lots of new tickets that need to be added to the Jira project? And what about taking that list and manually entering the tickets?

If the answer is yes, then do not worry anymore! You can start creating your tickets directly from your page, one by one or in bulk! 

After you finish your content, select a part of your text and see the options that Confluence will give you: add a note or create a ticket with that selected text being the summary.

Then you will see on the tickets created that your confluence page is now listed on the Issue links session.

For adding multiple issues at the same time from your text, just use a table to list your content, and then select the first option and choose to create a ticket, and Jira will give you the option to bulk add all rows as tickets! Magic!

 

 

Now, there is also one feature that has been catching a lot of attention as Atlassian is investing more and more into Jira Service Desk. As part of the ITSM methodology, it is a high priority to have a well-maintained Knowledge base, for internal and external (customers) content.

This then can be integrated with Jira Service Desk, so customers can make use of it. Also, the support team can rely on and contribute to the KB Articles that will help to improve customer satisfaction. (Customers will be able to solve problems themselves or have a better understanding of the process they need to follow). Furthermore, Service Desk agents (the support team) will have access to the required documentation to answer customers in a short time.

The integration between Jira and Confluence makes this relationship between Confluence content and your Service Desk project easy! Through your Jira project, you can easily specify a Confluence space to act as your knowledge base and define the content that will be related to each of the request types available (via labels on your confluence pages).

 

 

 

And last, but not least, we can show the reporting of your Jira projects on Confluence. Especially for software projects, Confluence has a lot of built-in blueprints (this is what Atlassian likes to call ‘advanced templates’).

These are the templates that come with Confluence:

  • Decision: Record important project decisions and communicate them with your team.
  • How-to article: Provide step-by-step guidance for completing a task.
  • File list: Upload, preview, and share files with your team.
  • Jira report: Communicate Jira information in easy to read reports
  • Meeting notes: Plan your meetings and share notes and actions with your team.
  • Retrospective: What went well? What could have gone better? Crowdsource improvements with your team.
  • Product requirements: Define, track, and scope requirements for your product and feature.
  • Share a link: Share and discuss content from the web like articles and videos with your team.
  • Task report: Keep track of tasks for your team or project.
  • Troubleshooting article: Provide solutions for commonly encountered problems. 

 

 

Marketplace apps

On top of all items we have highlighted above, you can still add tons of new features to enhance Jira and Confluence integration through the Atlassian Marketplace apps!

  • Team Calendar
  • Elements connect (Formerly nFeed)
  • Elements Copy & Sync (Formerly Exocet)
  • Jira Misc Workflow Extension
  • And many, many more!