How to Integrate Jira with GitHub in 6 Easy Steps

Businesses utilize a variety of problem trackers and job management systems to keep track of their responsibilities. Integrating them might have several advantages if you need to sync with another team or manage your projects on many platforms. Jira is one of the most used project management which is integrated with GitHub.

If you use Jira for your work and need to integrate with another organization that uses GitHub, a Jira GitHub integration is what you require.

Table of Content

Things You Should Know About Jira Integration

  • Both GitHub and Jira are top-notch project management software, but they each have a unique feature set as well as their own advantages and disadvantages. By connecting them, teams will be able to collaborate effectively and improve their workflows without compromising each other’s security or autonomy.
  • You may share resources and have several teams use a common set of data to tackle the challenges they specialize in by integrating these platforms.
  • You must be aware of the advantages of establishing one in order to make your integration as successful as feasible. You must also be aware of any potential problems. After that, you should implement your integration by picking the best integration solution.

In this article, I’ll walk you through the process of determining what you need from your integration before providing a step-by-step tutorial on how to connect the platforms.

What are the advantages of integrating Jira with GitHub?

By connecting your platforms, you may share information and prevent duplication of effort among your staff. Each team can receive the shared data in the format that will be most helpful to them thanks to an integration that filters and sorts it. They can eliminate fields from their copy but still share the data they require. They can therefore work more efficiently and independently.

Teams using GitHub and Jira are likely to employ the features that best suit their requirements. By combining them, your teams will be able to benefit from all of their advantages while minimizing any disadvantages that either platform could have.

Both of these are frequently utilized in software development, so those of you who work in that industry are probably already familiar with them.

What is Jira

Jira is an issue-tracking program with a number of additional capabilities. It is especially well suited for agile development, and developers regularly use it to manage their projects. There are various variations of it. There is a cloud-hosted version available, but if you’d rather, you can self-host.

Jira has a wide selection of add-ons and can be significantly tweaked to add more functionality. This will come in handy when you configure your integration later.

What is GitHub

Most people use GitHub to store their code. It enables programmers to track changes and distribute a codebase across team members while enabling individuals to construct their own branches for private project work. It is helpful for project management because it also keeps track of issues and comments.

Numerous project management and development solutions are built to integrate with GitHub. It is incredibly well-liked by developers all over the world.

Choosing the Best Technology for a GitHub Integration with Jira

You must take into account any potential challenges with your integration if you want to get the most out of it. It’s usually simpler to deal with issues if you anticipate them. In light of this, deciding on a platform that can effectively manage these difficulties will make life easier for your staff and free them up to concentrate on what they do best.

  • Decentralized Integration

The items you share on GitHub and Jira contain a lot of information. There are numerous fields with various kinds of data. You will notice that some of the incoming supplies from the other team are helpful, while others aren’t. You require a system that will allow you to choose precisely which fields are saved and offer you fine control over what is communicated.

Every time a system update needs to be made, a meeting isn’t always necessary. Things will go more quickly and easily if you can make changes on your own without involving the other team and you have control over what information is given and what is not. A clear objective is a decentralized integration for each end of the system.

  • Flexibility

Additionally, you could wish to allocate particular types of objects to particular users and personalize fields by giving them particular values. You’ll be helped in this by being able to recognize and filter incoming data.

As their needs change and their comprehension of how to use the synchronization deepens, each team could desire to change how they use information. You might want to change the information that was given to the opposing side.

You must manage the circumstances that lead to information exchange in addition to the information that is exchanged. You may have the flexibility you require to ensure that your integration is successful if you are able to build and combine rules to do this.

  • Reliability

In a perfect world, once set up, your integration would function flawlessly without any additional help from you. In practice, systems frequently experience downtime. Connections are lost, servers require repair, and software updates are required.

You need to have faith that the entire system won’t malfunction when this occurs on one end of your integration. It must be able to manage interruptions on either side and recover elegantly when everything is back up and running.

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Your system should be able to handle anything the outside world throws at it, get back up, dust itself off, and carry on as usual.

Because Exalate is built with these three features in mind, I’ve chosen it to set up the Jira GitHub integration. It is easy to set up and configure and promises to deliver autonomy, flexibility, and reliability.

6 Steps for Setting Up a Jira GitHub Integration

You must first install Exalate on both platforms, then establish a connection between them, in order to configure your Jira GitHub integration. Following that, you can modify the connection to suit your integration requirements by deciding what is exchanged and establishing the circumstances under which the exchange occurs.

Step 1: Install Exalate on Jira

Exalate must first be installed on GitHub and Jira. These first two steps can be completed in either order, but Jira will be my starting point.

  • Depending on the version of Jira you are using, the exact procedure will vary. This user manual is for Jira Cloud. To learn more about that, click here. Look at this manual if you are using Jira Server or Data Center. Read this guide if you want to connect multiple Jira instances.
  • To access the settings menu after signing in to your Jira Cloud instance, click the cog in the top right corner. Clicking “Apps” should take you directly to the Atlassian Marketplace’s “Find new apps” section.
  • Enter “Exalate” in the search box by clicking it. Several Exalate app versions should appear once you hit enter. “Jira Issue Sync & more” should be placed first since it’s the one we want. Toggle it. You may learn more about Exalate on its marketplace website after clicking this link.
  • Click “Start a free trial” on the pop-up window after clicking the “Try it free” button in the top right corner of the page.

Exalate will be installed after a small delay, and a pop-up notification will display when it is prepared. To explore the area, select “Get started.” On Jira’s “Apps” panel, it ought should be listed in the left-hand menu as well.

Step 2: Install Exalate on GitHub

  • Click “Marketplace” on GitHub, then in the box that pops up, put “Exalate.”
  • Click the “Exalate Issue Sync” button to proceed. Select “Set up a plan” from the menu. Selecting this option will make Exalate accessible through your GitHub account.
  • Selecting which of your repositories to give Exalate access to is necessary. You can give it access to any or just a few of them if you’d like. Exalate gains access to the information it requires to communicate over your connection when it is installed. Exalate requires access to metadata, problems, and pull requests but not to the code.
  • Click “Install” after granting it access to these. To access GitHub, you must either create an OAuth token or give Exalate permission to use your username and password.
  • Finally, you need to purchase a GitHub evaluation license. Although Exalate is a premium app, you can try it out without paying anything right now. In the left-side menu of Exalate, select “License Details.” then select the “30-Day Trial” area at the top.
  • In the box that displays, type in your email. Copy the evaluation key to your clipboard when the license email shows up in your inbox.
  • Click the green “License Key” button in the bottom left corner of the “License Details” box to return to GitHub. Copy your license key from the email and paste it into the resulting form. then select “Update” from the menu. After installing your license, Exalate is now ready to use on GitHub.

Step 3: Connect your Jira and GitHub instances

Both Jira and GitHub now have Exalate installed, however, your instances are not yet linked. You must “Initiate connection” on one end and “Accept invitation” on the other in order to establish a connection.

  • Start from either side, if you like. Once you’ve set it up, Exalate’s interface is the same across all platforms, making it simple to repeat the procedure. From the Jira side, I’ll begin.
  • Search the left-hand menu on Jira for “Exalate” by clicking “Apps” first. Then select “Connections.” Your connections will be added here. The “Initiate Connection” button should be clicked.
  • Several screens will be displayed to you as you configure your connection.
  • You must inform Exalate of the location of your other instance on the first screen that appears after selecting “Initiate Connection.” Enter your GitHub instance URL in the space provided since we are in Jira. Instead of entering your Jira address, you would enter your GitHub address.
  • Exalate prompts you to select the configuration type after discovering your GitHub instance. The Basic Mode and the Script Mode are the two modes it supports. More information regarding the Free Plan supporting the Basic connection is available here.
  • It should be noted that Visual Mode uses a low-code interface to link problem trackers. But the Jira-Github integration is not supported.
  • Exalate’s connections use a set of sync rules to decide what needs to be synced. A set of built-in sync rules in basic mode enable synchronizing of issue information like summary, description, and comments. But in this manner, they cannot be modified.
  • Instead, use the Script mode to utilize Exalate’s complete feature set and configuration flexibility. With the aid of sync rules, it offers you the freedom to decide what you wish to sync between the two sides, assuring total autonomy.
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Using the Basic Mode

  • Click “Next” after selecting “Basic” on the screen above. You will then be directed to choose a project on the Jira side as a result. You want to synchronize Jira issues with this project. From a drop-down list, select the suitable option.
  • You must confirm that you have admin access to the GitHub side after clicking “Next.” You will be sent to the GitHub side to paste an invitation code if you don’t have admin access.
  • Since we already have access to Github, we click “Yes, I have admin access” and then “Initiate” for the time being.
  • On the GitHub side, choose the repository you want to synchronize and press “Confirm.”
  • Following a successful connection, you proceed to synchronize your first problem. The best feature of the Basic mode is the option to sync individual issues right away or to always build triggers or sync issues in bulk.
  • Press “Exalate” after entering the issue key from the repository. Before the problem is successfully synced, wait a while.

Using the Script Mode

After selecting “Script” from the screen listing the configuration kinds, click “Next” to proceed with this mode. You can name both sides of your connection by filling out some additional fields that will appear. Perhaps you should just call them Jira and GitHub, but you could also give them names that reflect their functions or the teams who use them.

  • Here, for instance, we’ve established connections between the Jira and Github teams working on UI design.
  • The instance names that you specified for each side will be used by Exalate to create a connection name. You have the option to modify this as well.
  • Additionally, there is a description area that is optional but should be filled out in case you need someone else to check it or if you forget what the connection is for later. This will also help you understand what each connection does if you wind up with a large number of connections.
  • When you are satisfied with the description, click “Next.”
  • Click “Initiate” after selecting the project on the Jira side. You will now receive an invitation code from Exalate. In order to copy it to your clipboard, click the green button. It should be pasted in a secure location.
  • To activate the connection, we must now visit GitHub (you can do this by clicking “Go to remote”). Click “Connections” in the Exalate menu on the left. then select “Accept Invitation” from the menu. Then click “Next” after pasting the invitation code into the resulting area.
  • The procedure will be the same as when you created the invitation in Jira. Select the repository name from the drop-down list as previously.
  • Press the “Confirm” button in green.

Your connection will be prepared once it is finished, at which point you can begin customizing it.

Step 4: Configure Your Connection to Control What Gets Shared

You’ll take control over what information your connection exchanges in this stage and see how data is sent from your Jira issues to GitHub issues and vice versa. This stage can be completed in GitHub or Jira; the procedure is the same for both.

  • The configuration can be completed by selecting “Edit Connection” from the “Connections” tab or by clicking the “Configure Sync” button on the previous screen. The first method permits configuration to take place for the first time when the connection is made, whereas the latter permits editing the connection after it has been operational.
  • Move your mouse over the connection you just created on the Jira connections screen because I’ll be using Jira throughout this lesson.
  • A number of icons will show up. You can edit your connection using the square-shaped icon, go to the other side of your connection using the radio signal icon, and activate or delete your connection using the three dots.
  • Select “Edit connection” from the menu. A screen with four tabs will appear. The “Triggers” tab will be covered in the following step, and I’ll cover the “Rules” tab shortly, but it’s important to be aware of the other two as well.
  • You may find out how many issues are being shared and when things were last synced by going to the “Statistics” tab. The URL for the opposite end of the connection can be seen on the “Info” page along with some other information.
  • Choose the “Rules” tab for the time being. There are two sets of regulations displayed here. The data in Jira issues are sent out to GitHub according to the outgoing sync rules, which are found at the top. Below that, the incoming sync rules demonstrate how Jira interprets the data Exalate retrieves from GitHub.
  • The scripting language “Groovy” is used to create rules. Each line deals with a distinct field. Additionally, you can see comments that begin with “//” for single lines and “/*” and “*/” for multiple lines.
  • The purpose of comments is to explain how things operate, but you can also use them to temporarily turn off any syncing you don’t want. Put “//” at the beginning of the line to accomplish it. To make it active once more, delete it once more.
  • When a line in the outgoing sync rules is commented out, Exalate won’t send any information from Jira to GitHub that you don’t want to share.
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Additionally, you can alter the value that Exalate transfers into a specific field. Simply substitute the incoming value with the desired value, enclosed in quotes, to modify it to a specified value.

Step 5: Setup of Automated Synchronization Triggers

You specified what data Jira and GitHub exchange and how they map it to items in the previous stage. You will now specify the circumstances that result in information sharing. 

  • Click the “Triggers” tab on the edit connection screen (see the previous step).
  • A comparable function is provided via the “Triggers” menu item in the left-hand menu. Using that will provide a list of triggers with an entry indicating the connection they are for. You may select one from the list to update. The only difference if you create a new trigger from this screen is that you’ll have to select which connection it applies to.
  • Click the white “Create trigger” button to start creating your first trigger. It will display the “Add trigger” pop-up. You can select the category of item that the trigger applies to using the drop-down menu in the first field, which is located at the top. I chose “problem” for the screenshot, but you may choose anything.
  • There is a conditional field below that. The rules that apply to the kind of entity chosen from the drop-down option are set here.
  • JQL query language is used by Jira’s triggers. You may use it to make straightforward conditional statements that pick out particular items and combine them using logical operators like “AND” and “OR.”

Step 6: Start synchronizing tasks

You can now share tasks between Jira and GitHub since they are integrated. It may take a few minutes for Exalate to synchronize things, so don’t become alarmed if they aren’t shared right away.

You should be able to notice that objects have been exchanged if you check your connection statistics after a short while. If not, check your rules to see if there are any things to which they apply. It would be worthwhile to create a product that satisfies your requirements in order to check the connection.

Typical Use Cases

Teams use Jira and GitHub in a variety of contexts, and there are a variety of situations in which you might wish to take advantage of a Jira GitHub integration. Here are some scenarios to provide you with some examples of what you can achieve using integration.

Coding for a Software Project on a Public Git Repository

If your developers have publicly accessible code, they might want to import data into their own personal system using GitHub’s project management and issue reporting tools. Using a straightforward integration.

You can import items from GitHub into Jira so you can follow the general debate while keeping the comments made by your team members private. Issues with the public codebase can be allocated to a specific person, who will then decide if the team should take further action.

The fields you want to share can then be synchronized from Jira to GitHub. This provides you the best of both worlds—the ability to collaborate with the open-source community while maintaining the confidentiality of internal communication.

Engineering team and customer service team

Problems raised by your clients must be addressed by your customer support staff, who logs them as issues in Jira. Many of those they can handle on their own, but occasionally they will need to pass them on to engineers.

You can configure a Jira GitHub integration to automatically copy pertinent fields from flagged tickets into GitHub rather than having to do it by hand. When these are resolved, the Engineering team can handle them as they see fit, and the integration will pass particular information back into Jira. In this manner, customer support receives any engineering-provided solutions or recommendations so that the customers can benefit from them.

Development of Products and Quality Assurance

Your quality control staff must make sure that your product complies with the law in every market where it is sold. They require a system for keeping track of legal matters and determining how to deal with them. They should also keep an eye out for any problems with the goods.

These requirements must be understood by and addressed by your development team. Issues that need to be changed can be automatically sent from Jira to GitHub’s issue tracking system for developers. Then, as part of their regular process, the developers can work on these.

Quality control is automatically notified when problems are fixed because the integration copies that information to their system.


Your teams may get a critical advantage over the competition by integrating your systems. As you’ve seen, there is technology available to seamlessly connect platforms like Jira and GitHub and assist you in overcoming the difficulties involved.

Teams on both sides of the connection can continue working in the comfort of their own environments with the support of a flexible autonomous Jira GitHub integration without having to worry about the security or duplication of their data.

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