Jira instance integration – learn about the Federation’s possibilities


24 July 2019 • 7 min read

    The integration of several Jira instances is the so-called Jira Federation. This process is carried out using AppLinks. Implementing such a combination improves communication in the team and security. Have a look at the advantages of the Jira Federation, when it is worth considering that configuration, and how to do it.

    If you need to merge several Jira instances used at your organization, the Jira Federation is a great solution – but it’s far from the only one. The alternative is consolidating these applications into one and running it – for example, in the Jira Data Center version – to ensure a satisfactory level of performance.

    However, we think that the Jira Federation is a much more valuable solution and it’s definitely worth considering. Its primary goal is creating an environment where the information flow between instances will be just as smooth as using one application.

    What are the advantages of integrating Jira applications?

    Federations – integration is often used as a complement to the process of separating one instance of Jira. After the division, the organization may still want to preserve the links between separate applications. That allows maintaining smooth communication and control over independent environments. We can do this with the help of Applinks. That way, we maintain all the advantages of separating our application and receive additional benefits from the newly created connection. One of them is the option of centralized authorization management for several Jira instances thanks to LDAP / Active Directory or Crowd. The administrator, connecting one or more instances, has access to the administration console, where they decide about the groups assigned to the user, and thus affects the permissions. This is a unique improvement for their work and the opportunity to save time. Also, the solution is convenient for users, since thanks to the configuration, everyone needs only one login and password to access connected instances.

    It is also worth noting that the Federation, despite the connection, maintains the configuration autonomy of all the Jira instances. That kind of configuration doesn’t affect the settings that have already been selected in the application( such as the workflow, fields, application types, and project names). That allows the freedom of the teams to work and greater flexibility.

    Check if integrating Jira is a good move for your organization

    Here are some of the most fitting circumstances for configuring the Federation:

    • The situation where each team uses its own Jira instance within one organization;
    • merger or takeover of another organization which results in the appearance of several new instances of Jira;
    • the moment when some departments decide to work in an autonomous environment;
    • deliberately creating separate instances for different applications/processes or increasing security.

    How do you integrate Jira?

    The basic step is creating a link between instances. To do that:

    1. Log into Jira with administrator rights.
    2. Enter the Settings and select in the Application Links menu.
    3. Enter the URL of the instance you want to connect and click “Create new link.”
    4. Use the wizard to finish creating the link.

    It is a simple solution that you can quickly implement at your organization. However, it is not complete and often insufficient. The Federation is recommended as a transitional configuration. That’s because this type of connection does not allow us to synchronize applications, attachments, or comments, which would certainly contribute to even higher work optimization. We can, however, achieve this with the addition of the IssueSYNC app, which automatically transfers new data from one instance to another.

    If you would like to learn more about integration, please contact me. I am happy to answer any questions regarding Jira integration and share my knowledge with you.

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