Essential JIRA Add-Ons

Earlier this year, Reel FX made the switch from its proprietary issue tracker to JIRA, a commercial issue and project tracking solution developed by Atlassian. Getting buy-in from all the stakeholders was an up hill battle (perhaps a topic for a future post), but now that JIRA is out in the wild and people have been using it, it's been a tremendous success throughout the company!

During our testing of JIRA, we tried a number of add-ons to augment its core functionality, but settled on a few key add-ons (plus some custom development using JIRA's APIs) to serve in our production instance. Below is a listing of the supported add-ons I consider essential:

Note: As always, your mileage may vary when using these add-ons. I highly recommend testing these (and any add-ons) in a non-production environment before adjusting your production instance(s).

ScriptRunner for JIRA

ScriptRunner is a collection of powerful but easy-to-use workflow functions, JQL functions, listeners and services.

ScriptRunner comes with a lot of handy features, but the ones I find most useful are its JQL functions, scripted fields, and automation capabilities, using the groovy scripting language. A lot of JIRA's power comes from being able to create complex queries/filters to get directly to the data you're looking for, which ScriptRunner supplements beautifully.

Customfield Editor Plugin

Rest API and WEB-GUI to edit options of your Custom Fields with context support

While JIRA allows you to create plenty of custom fields and update them as needed, a problem arises when you want to link those custom fields to dynamic data sets stored out of JIRA's purview. This is where the Customfield Editor Plugin comes in, allowing you to create and modify custom fields in JIRA through a REST API. At Reel FX, we use it to link shots, assets, etc. in our production tracker with user-submitted issues in JIRA.

Why Just 2 Add-Ons?

As I mentioned before, we make hefty use of JIRA's Core and Software REST APIs, which reduces the need for a lot vendor add-ons. Some of the things we use JIRA's APIs for:

  • Automating a lot of otherwise manual processes (especially surrounding issue creation and transitions)
  • Pulling data for analysis and forecasting
  • Bots for communicating information that exists outside the tracker (e.g. a shot/asset is no longer in production, a developer is out of office, etc.)

While JIRA's APIs aren't perfect, they do expose a lot of functionality, opening up a ton of possibilities! Do you agree with my list? What JIRA add-ons are you a fan of? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below!

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