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Xray and Jira Software for test management: What you need to know for a migration


Posted by
Claire AUBAZAC

October 2, 2018

Either you’ve already made the decision – or are seriously considering – switching to Jira Software, a test management tool that will improve your agility and DevOps collaboration by using just one platform. This choice to migrate is a significant, as changing your tools can be a daunting task. Don’t panic, as you’ve made the right choice and with Valiantys by your side you can rest assured you are in good hands.

We’ll go over some of the questions you may have concerning your impending migration, as we have extensive experience on the subject; Our certified Atlassian consultants at Valiantys migrated over 10 million tickets to Jira from other test management tools, and completed 152 migration projects as an Atlassian Platinum Solution partner since 2006. From these projects, we’ve developed a solid methodology for migrating data as seamlessly as possible, incorporating best practices which are standardized across the company.

Here are some key points to know:

Is it possible to import all your data into Jira Software?

A CVS import is the universal and easy solution for migrating your data. We can recuperate any field, attachment, links between test scenarios, test cases and requirements. However, CVS doesn’t recuperate in bulk all of your tickets in one go, and the data that is exported will be “flat” in terms of structure.

To get all of your data into Jira, like the history and the metadata of different tickets, a JSON import should be used. We’ve developed a conversion tool that will change the format from CVS to JSON. This tool is generic and reusable, so there is no limit to the data that can be imported into Jira. Fun fact: we initially developed this tool as part of a client project to import Clearquest ticket meta-data into Jira (as Clearquest only exports in a CSV format, request by request).

Another solution for exporting and importing your data is to use the REST API from Jira Software and Xray. While this requires technical skills and time, Valiantys is happy to help guide you through the process.

How is it ensured the data doesn’t become corrupt during the migration?

As a first step, our consultants verify the the compatibility between the product version and Jira. Once this is validated, exporting the data from the source tool is carried out either by the customer with our support (for example, when the company prohibits data from being diffused externally), or by one of our Atlassian certified consultants. We also anticipate possible problems from encoding the data before the import is run.

After the import into Jira Software, our consultant checks for data consistency which includes comparing the statistics between the initial tool and Jira Software (number of items, number of characters, etc.). Before being put into production, our consultant provides a temporary test environment for another consistency check, focusing more on the links’ coherence and technical tests. Finally, the customer can do their own check as they are familiar with their own data.

What will be the impact on my team?

Your company will have some prep work to do before the migration, yet we can accompany you with main actions points:

  • Back up the instance before you reboot.
  • Verify and check your data (we recommend the client does this as they have a high level of understanding regarding the data).
  • Inform your colleagues when the migration will take place.
  • Tell your colleagues if there is a possible interruption of service during the transition between the two tools.
  • Put a plan in place to help staff adopt Jira and Xray as a test management solution.

How can I make this change easier?

Sometimes it is recommended to hold off on migrating all your data at once. A best practice is to move only the data from active projects, and leave behind the data from closed projects in the previous tool, as it is likely this data is no longer needed.  It is probably a good idea to keep a limited number of licenses from your previous tool for a few months, just in case you need to access old projects. Between six months to a year is usually enough time to see if you really need this data or not. Of course, it is possible to migrate all of your data if it is really necessary.

Regarding team adoption, the change will be easy for developers who already use Jira for requirements management and bug tracking as Xray is integrated with the Jira interface directly.

We’ll also help to introduce the tool and train your admins and users. Jira and Xray trainings for your staff will be conducted by a Valiantys consultant – potentially the same one who deployed your instance in the first place. This training is enriched with best practices and real customer stories, so the added-value is significant for your team. You can even personalize the training to the specific needs of your team.

Our consultant will also present the solution to your users when it is “go live” day. Afterwards, you’ll be provided with video tutorials to reinforce key functionalities and a personalized quick start cheat-sheet to help your team retain the information. One of our recommendations, which has been successful with our other customers, is to set up a training environment so users can practices and become familiar with the interface on their own.

You can make the switch to Xray and Jira Software!

Our experienced consultants can help you see the global picture during your migration and can anticipate and avoid any problems that may occur. By entrusting our team of experts with this important task, you’ll gain time and hit the ground running with an instances that is already set up with best practices.

You’ll be able to quickly deploy your solution and ship products with less bugs and at a higher quality. So are you ready to make the change?