Atlassian Jira is a Project Management suite designed originally for bug/issue tracking. Now it serves as one of the most popular suites for tracking your Agile Scrum and Kanban projects. Jira comes in three versions – Jira Align, Jira Core, and Jira Software.
The entire Atlassian suite of tools comprises a lot more than just Jira. Confluence serves as a document management system, Bitbucket for your version control, Bamboo for CI/CD, Service Desk for your client ticketing needs, etc.
What can you do with Jira?
Defect Management functionality is quite good in Jira. You can define custom fields to define your project-specific requirements. Jira Query Language (JQL) provides a SQL-like syntax to write search queries too.
Scrum boards and Kanban boards can be defined with customizable swim lanes. Backlogs can be defined using Epics, Stories, and Tasks.
Reports and Dashboards complete the Agile functionality. Burndown charts, Burnup charts, Sprint Velocity Charts, Sprint Reports, Release Reports are a few of the reports/charts that you can generate.
No project is complete without first defining its roadmap and releases. Each backlog item or bug can be tagged to a release.
If you’re using Bitbucket, you can link code check-ins to issues/tasks in Jira for complete traceability.
The power of Jira comes into the picture when you look at its huge developer community. The plethora of plugins (free and paid) available allows you to customize Jira the way you need it.
Hosted Vs Cloud
Jira can be installed on-prem or their cloud version can be used? What is the difference? Besides a variation in the pricing, there are a few other things that you need to consider:
- Plugins: Limited plugins are available in their cloud version.
- Uptime & Backups: You are responsible for the uptime and backups of the server when you use the on-prem/hosted version.
Pricing varies depending on the features and number of users that you plan to make Jira available to. Do visit their pricing page to calculate what it would cost you.
I have personally used Jira for several years; which included a few years as a Jira Administrator. The flexibility it provides is what I liked a lot. Reporting and Tracking was something suited everyone’s need including the Leadership Team.