GitLab Jira Integration: 3 Easy Steps

on ALM, Automation, Data Integration, Git, GitLab, Jira, Project Management Tool, Project Mapping, REST API, SaaS, Tutorials, Version Control System • November 8th, 2021 • Write for Hevo

GitLab Jira FI

In an ALM (Application Lifecycle Management) ecosystem, coordination across cross-functional teams and the choice of systems play a crucial role. The team’s productivity is influenced by the systems they use and the cross-functional collaboration brings in collective wisdom to help them make better decisions. GitLab and Jira add a lot of functionality to this ecosystem and help the development team work more efficiently. This is where GitLab Jira Integration comes into play. 

GitLab is a web-based Git repository manager that features a Source Code repository, Project Planning tools, and CI/CD (Continuous Integration/ Deployment) capabilities. Here, Git is a Version Control System that allows you to keep track of the changes you make to a project’s codebase. On the other hand, Jira is one of the robust issue and Project Management applications that is best recognized for its bug tracking capabilities. It comes with numerous versions including Jira Core, Jira Software, and Jira Service Desk.

This article will guide you through the process of setting up GitLab Jira Integration using 3 simple steps. It will provide you with a brief overview of GitLab and Jira with their key features. You will also explore the key benefits of setting up GitLab Jira Integration in further sections. Let’s get started.

Table of Contents

Prerequisites

  • An active GitLab account.
  • An active Jira account.
  • Working knowledge of APIs (Application Programming Interface).
  • Working knowledge of Git. 

Introduction to GitLab

GitLab Logo
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GitLab is a web-based Git repository that offers free open and private repositories, issue tracking, and wiki functionalities. GitLab is one of the popular DevOps platforms that allow Developers to handle all aspects of a project, from project planning to source code management to monitoring and security. It also enables teams to collaborate at every phase of the project and create better software. It is becoming popular among Developers as a result of its extensive capabilities and readily available code blocks.

GitLab enables teams to shorten product lifecycles and boost productivity, thus creating more value for customers. Moreover, users do not need to manage authorizations for each tool in the application. If permissions are specified once, everyone in the company gets access to all the components. Users can also opt for GitLab’s subscription plan, which costs roughly $ 4 per month, to have access to some advanced features.

Key Features of GitLab

GitLab is one of the widely used Git repository managers. Some of the key features of GitLab include:

  • Continuous Integration/Deployment tool (CI/CD): CI/CD is a method of delivering applications to clients more frequently by incorporating automation into the app development process. GitLab offers a powerful CI/CD tool.
  • Source Code Management: GitLab provides a collaborative workspace for any code files that your team needs to work on. By branching and merging with the main files, you can edit, moderate access, and iterate code with ease.
  • Automatic DevOps: GitLab offers a pipeline that eliminates testing, security scanning, and deployment overheads. The automatic DevOps functionality kicks in as soon as code is published to a repository, thus eliminating several steps and also the work of team members.
  • GitLab DevSecOps: Static tests (SAST) are done on every code block before it is committed to the main files to enhance security. This feature also creates an impact on Vulnerability Management, Android App Testing, and Container Security.

To know more about GitLab, visit this link.

Introduction to Jira

Jira Logo
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Jira is one of the popular Project Management tools for tracking bugs, issues, and the progress of various tasks involved with software and application development in an organization. Jira provides a robust and feature-rich dashboard that makes it simple to keep track of various bug and issue-related tasks. It is available in numerous versions including Jira Core, Jira Software, and Jira Service Desk. All of these versions aim at simplifying tasks related to Generic and Agile Project Management.

Jira software is available as a cloud-hosted SaaS (Jira Cloud) and a self-managed solution (Jira Server). Jira Cloud is designed for speed and simplicity of use, whereas Jira Server provides more flexibility and autonomy. Jira’s price is reasonable for small teams, however, it rises rapidly as the number of users increases.

Key Features of Jira

Jira is a popular Project Management and Collaboration tool that assists teams in achieving a unified goal. Some of the key features of Jira include:

  • Workflow Customizations: Jira can be customized to meet any need, including Project Management, Issue Tracking, and Task Management. Workflows, Reports, Scrum Boards, and other components can also be easily customized.
  • Robust Integration Support: Developers have access to a wide range of REST (Representational State Transfer) and Java APIs, as well as the Atlassian Marketplace, making it easy to extend Jira’s capability and tailor it to your company’s needs. Jira is ready to use as soon as your account is created and can smoothly integrate into any Software environment.
  • Rich Toolkit: The Jira Query Language (JQL) allows Developers to quickly design filters and manipulate the items. Jira may be integrated with BitBucket and GitHub to offer backlog-to-deployment traceability. Moreover, new processes can also be created to manage the multiple ways users build, test, and release their apps.
  • Agile Project Management: Jira supports all of the functionality of Scrum Boards and Kanban Boards. Jira also provides numerous reporting tools, including Burn-down/up Charts, Sprint Reports, and Velocity Charts, that allow teams to track their progress in real-time.

To know more about Jira, visit this link.

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Steps to Set Up GitLab Jira Integration

Now that you have a basic grasp of both technologies let’s try to understand the procedure to set up GitLab Jira Integration. Below are the steps you can follow to set up GitLab Jira Integration:

Step 1: Configure your Jira Cloud and Create an API Token

The first step in setting up GitLab Jira Integration is to configure your Jira Cloud. You’ll need to create an API token in Jira Cloud to support authentications. Set up a user in Jira Cloud, then go to creating API tokens. 

You can follow the below-mentioned procedures to create an API token.

  • Using your Jira registered email address, log in to id.atlassian.com. It is to be noted that the user associated with this email address must have write access to Jira projects.
  • Create an API token by clicking Create API token as shown below.
Create API Tokens
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  • Copy the generated API token by clicking Copy to clipboard as shown below. This API token will be required while configuring the GitLab.
Copy the API token
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Step 2: Configure your GitLab

After you have successfully configured your Jira Cloud and created the API token, you need to configure your GitLab. You may set up the GitLab Jira Integration either by employing a service template that pre-fills default Jira values for all GitLab projects or by setting up an individual project level. Let’s look at both ways:

Step 2A: Configuring GitLab by Setting Up a Service Template

You can follow the below-mentioned steps to set up a service template in GitLab:

  • Choose the Jira Service Template from the Admin Area > Service Templates as shown below.
Selecting the Jira Service Template
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  • Next, you will need to configure the issue tracking URLs (Uniform Resource Locator) for each project by replacing: issues_tracker_id with the ID of your external issue tracker.

With this, you have successfully configured your GitLab by setting up a Service Template.

Step 2B: Configuring GitLab by Setting Up Individual Project Template

You can also configure your GitLab by setting up an individual project template. You can follow the below-mentioned procedures to set up an individual project template:

  • Navigate to the Integrations page and select the Jira service to enable the GitLab Jira integration in a project as shown below.
Selecting the Jira Service
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  • Choose a Trigger action as shown below. This determines whether a Jira issue is mentioned in GitLab commits, merge requests, or both.
Enter the required fields for GitLab Jira Integration
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  • Enter the remaining fields on the page as shown in the table below:
FieldDescription
Web URLThe base URL for the Jira instance web interface. For example, https://jira.example.com
Jira API URLThe base URL for the Jira instance API. If you don’t specify a value for the web URL, the default value will be used. For example, https://jira-api.example.com 
Username or EmailEnter the Username or Email that is registered for Jira.
Transition IDIt is required for committing or merging Jira issues. This is the ID for a transition that changes the state of an issue.

Your GitLab project may now interact with all of your Jira projects, and it also includes a Jira link that launches the Jira project.

Step 3: Complete the Set Up of GitLab Jira Integration

After you’ve finished configuring all settings, click on Test settings and save changes as shown below.

Completing the Set-Up of GitLab Jira Integration
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Note: Within a GitLab project, you can only display issues from a single Jira project.

With this, you have successfully set up your GitLab Jira Integration. It’s as simple as that.

Key Benefits of Setting Up GitLab Jira Integration

Some of the key benefits of setting up GitLab Jira Integration include:

  • With GitLab Jira Integration, you can easily integrate a single GitLab project with all Jira projects within a single Jira instance. As a result, you will not need to explicitly link a GitLab project to any Jira project. Moreover, you can also navigate quickly from GitLab to Jira issues, once the integration is configured.
  • GitLab Jira Integration helps you to detect and link issues in Jira from GitLab commits and merge requests. It also helps you to close Jira issues (transition) automatically with GitLab commits and merge requests.
  • GitLab Jira Integration helps you to reduce the delivery lifecycle, streamline manual processes, and boost team productivity.
  • GitLab Jira Integration allows you to log GitLab events in the Jira issue with which they are associated.

Conclusion

In this article, you learned how to set up GitLab Jira Integration. It also gave an overview of GitLab and Jira with their key features. You also learned about the key benefits of setting up this integration. You can now create your GitLab Jira Integration to ensure complete commit traceability for all of your workitems that are required for any ALM (Application Lifecycle Management) setup.

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Share your experience of setting up GitLab Jira Integration in the comments section below!

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