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4 min read

GitLab and Jira – the perfect partnership

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Modern software development demands tools that enable efficient DevSecOps working practices alongside project management systems to ensure that everything stays on track.

With the right tools and effective cross-functional collaboration, businesses can benefit from increased productivity, developer experience, and a faster mean time to market. But juggling some solutions and making them work to meet your business's needs can be a challenge.

In this blog, we take a look at how best-in-class products GitLab and Jira can be used together to create an efficient toolchain that works for your team.

Using GitLab for DevSecOps and Jira for project management, you benefit from a synergistic system that can maximise your organisation's productivity, improve visibility, and speed up processes.

Integration, in the form of a native tool-wise option or integration-platform-as-a-service (iPaaS) solution, allows each tool to play to its strength while bridging the gap between developers and project managers. To make integration of Jira and partner tools like GitLab even easier, Atlassian offers Open DevOps, while we provide Scriptrunner Connect – the ultimate Atlassian integration tool. You get a comprehensive, scalable solution for your business, and your users are able to stick to their preferred ways of working.

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What is GitLab?

GitLab is a one-stop DevSecOps platform designed for today's rapidly changing IT landscape. It gives enterprises all the tools and visibility they need to take an idea from planning and creation through security, testing, and governance to release. And it brings dev, ops, and security teams together, making collaboration easier and supporting them to deliver for internal stakeholders and end customers.

What is Jira?

For those already using Jira, you'll know it's a leading project management platform that incorporates all the tools you need for teams to create, track, and prioritise their work. This Atlassian workhorse was originally designed as a bug and issue tracker, but now it's used for a wide variety of purposes, from implementing agile software development processes to test case management

What makes GitLab and Jira work well together?

First off, you may already be a convert to GitLab or Jira. These commonly used applications are already embedded into your project management and or software development processes – your teams use and love them – so why not get the most out of both through integration? Rather than trying to find a tool that can take care of everything, GitLab and Jira are both market leaders in their speciality areas – DevSecOps and project management. While both tools have innumerable benefits, they both prioritise different things, meaning they have a few drawbacks, too. But by bringing them together, you stand to optimise all the good stuff and minimise any bugbears.

By connecting these tools, you can speed up development workflows, making your developers' work more transparent and productive. You can also close the gap between different functions, helping teams work better together while retaining their autonomy.

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Webinar: Achieving peak productivity with GitLab and Jira (Demo)

Watch to learn how two best-of-breed products, GitLab and Jira, can work in synergy to maximise your organisation's productivity.

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The benefits for your business

Increase operational efficiencies

With GitLab and Jira working together and technology complexity kept to a minimum, you can streamline and automate manual processes, improving the performance of your software developers and freeing up more time for them to focus on higher-value work.

Deliver better products faster.

With all that efficiency on your side, you're going to be able to achieve higher-quality outputs with a shorter delivery life cycle, increasing your time-to-value. Resolving bugs and responding to customer feedback will be sped up, too, helping you keep on top of any problems.

Reduce security risks

With a GitLab/Jira integration you can keep your data where you want it – whether that's on-prem or in the cloud. With GitLab's robust security features and practices, you can protect your IP, only exposing what's necessary for Jira to aid collaboration.

Enhanced collaboration

With both tools synced, you get greater visibility into your software development pipelines for improved collaboration. Project managers can track commit volume and trends, and everyone can understand the flow of work in real-time.

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How Jira and GitLab empower your end users

Synced up projects

Between its native integration and app for Jira, GitLab can be configured to pull in Jira issues for viewing and filtering. You can also expose activity in GitLab in Jira issues triggered by commit messages and merge requests.

Easier communication

Developers can expose their Git commits, branches, and merge requests in Jira issues, even inlining custom comments. Jira users, meanwhile, can digest GitLab activity in context, with links to GitLab to give them the full picture if necessary.

Streamlined workflow

In addition to commenting on issues from within GitLab, developers can more easily perform other time-consuming actions, like time tracking and transitioning to a specific workflow status, which helps increase productivity.

Smaller cognitive load

Jira workflows are familiar to everyone, and you don't need to be a developer to use them. While many developers spend most of their time in GitLab and would prefer to stay there if given the choice. By integrating the two, your users can work in the way that suits them, reducing their cognitive load.

And if you use an integration-platform-as-a-service (iPaaS), like ScriptRunner Connect, Jira users can also engage in a low-code or no-code fashion with GitOps self-service automation in GitLab to configure and provision demo environments, run tests, and model data.

Extending GitLab's capabilities

Jira is extended by the Atlassian Marketplace – a treasure trove of useful plugins from Atlassian and third-party providers (like Adaptavist!). With integration, the GitLab experience is enhanced by what the marketplace provides.

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Let’s get together

If you need advice or support with your GitLab or Atlassian instances—or want to get more out of this perfect pairing—we can help.

We're an Atlassian Triple Platinum Solution Partner, GitLab Select Channel Partner, and Professional Services Certified Partner, making us the ideal experts to help you get the most out of Jira and GitLab and achieve your goals.

We offer a full suite of services, from maturity assessments and training to implementation, integration, and managed services. Get in touch to find out more about how we can support your transformation.

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Get in touch to learn more!

About the authors

Val Naipaul

Val Naipaul

Val Naipaul works in the Professional Services group at Adaptavist as a Principal DevOps Consultant based in Toronto, Canada.  Val enjoys working with colleagues across The Adaptavist Group, with our diverse stories and perspectives, applying DevOps thinking to real-world problems, developing our DevOps practice, and sharing ideas and experiences with Clients and Partners.