How to integrate GitHub and Jira

Jack Wallen shows you how you can integrate GitHub and Jira so your developers can focus less on updates and more on what they do best: coding.

Image: rh2010/Adobe Stock

Jira is one of the most widely-used issue-tracking platforms on the planet. GitHub is one of the most popular version control systems in use. Imagine, if you will, that you can combine those two tools such that updates on pull requests, deployments, branches, builds and commits are automatically funneled into Jira.

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By joining these two forces together, your entire team gains visibility into the status of projects, as well as deployment frequency, cycle time, and performance insights. Sound like something your teams could use? If so, let me show you how this integration works.

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What you’ll need to integrate GitHub and Jira

The only things you’ll need for this are both Jira and GitHub accounts. With those two accounts at the ready, let’s make this magic a reality.

How to install the GitHub Jira integration

First, make sure you’re logged into both your GitHub and Jira accounts. Next, log into your Jira account and go to Apps | Explore More apps. Within the app marketplace, search for Jira Software + GitHub and select that app. You should now see the installation page for that app, where you’ll click Get App (Figure A).

Figure A

Installing the GitHub integration app in Jira.
Installing the GitHub integration app in Jira.

In the resulting popup window (Figure B), click Get It Now.

Figure B

Click Get It Now to install the integration.
Click Get It Now to install the integration.

Once the integration is installed, click Get Started (Figure C).

Figure C

The integration is installed and ready to configure.
The integration is installed and ready to configure.

How to connect Jira to GitHub

In the resulting window (Figure D), click Connect GitHub Organization.

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Figure D

The next step is to connect to a GitHub organization.
The next step is to connect to a GitHub organization.

In the next window (Figure E), Click Authorize Jira to give it access to your GitHub organization.

Figure E

Granting GitHub access to Jira.
Granting GitHub access to Jira.

In the resulting window (Figure F), you’ll see a warning that no GitHub organizations with Jira are installed.

Figure F

Our first issue we must correct.
Our first issue we must correct.

Click Install GitHub For Jira On A New Organization and, in the next window (Figure G), either give Jira access to all repositories or select repositories.

Figure G

You have a choice of integrating all your repositories or only specific ones.
You have a choice of integrating all your repositories or only specific ones.

If you opt to go with select repositories, you’ll then see a drop-down that allows you to select the specific repository you want to connect (Figure H).

Figure H

You can select which repository will be integrated into Jira.
You can select which repository will be integrated into Jira.

Select your repository and click Install. You will then be prompted for your GitHub password. Once you successfully authenticate to your GitHub account, click the Connect button (Figure I) to confirm the integration.

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Figure I

Confirm your integration by clicking Connect.
Confirm your integration by clicking Connect.

Once the connection is made, you’ll see the repository listed in the GitHub configuration window in Jira (Figure J).

Figure J

We've successfully integrated a GitHub repository into Jira.
We’ve successfully integrated a GitHub repository into Jira.

You will now start seeing the GitHub integrations appear in various cards and entries in Jira. For instance, you’ll see both Create Branch and Create Commit in issue cards (Figure K).

Figure K

GitHub has been successfully integrated with Jira.
GitHub has been successfully integrated with Jira.

Congratulations, you have integrated GitHub with Jira for an even more efficient workflow. Hopefully, this connection will help keep your teams better up to speed with what’s going on in your GitHub repositories.

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