Launched almost 20 years ago (in 2002), Jira has become one of the most trusted and popular It project management and bug-detecting utilities.  Whether you have thousands, or hundreds of thousands of customer interactions per month, Jira is a great addition to your suite of integrations.

Jira allows your teams to manage their workflow efficiently and with the maximum of ease, with a simple step-by-step approach to tasks and intuitive dashboards.  It’ll help you spot when things are going wrong, before a bug becomes a crisis.

Interesting Fact: Jira is a contraction of Gojira, the Japanese name for Godzilla.  Project management software specialists Altassian’s developers nicknamed an early version Bugzilla, which inspired the eventual rebrand.

Salesforce is of course the world’s number one CRM platform, giving you sales and marketing data in clear and informative dashboards and allowing a “God’s eye” view of your sales funnel in action.  

If you’re using Salesforce, Jira should integrate smoothly and add powerful error-detection and efficiency measures.  However, to connect it properly, there are some simple procedures you should follow.  Below, we break these down, but first let’s look at two different approaches – one that utilizes third party software, and one that doesn’t

The API Approach

If you have the knowhow, it’s not hugely complex to plug Jira into Salesforce if you just want the basics.  You can create a basic API connection by following this procedure (this example works on the assumption you’re using Jira Cloud):

  1. In Salesforce, hit > Setup.
  2. If using Salesforce Classic, go to the upper right-hand sheet and click Setup.
  3. Search for “Package” then head to Installed Packages.
  4. Find “Jira Cloud for Salesforce” and click Configure.
  5. You’ll be asked to create an API Access Token.  In Jira Cloud, click the Jira symbol on the upper left of your screen then > Salesforce > Connections.
  6. Choose your Connection, then click > API Access Token.
  7. A pop-up window will display your API Access Token.
  8. Copy-past the API Access Token and into the Salesforce screen from Step 3 then Save.
  9. Salesforce should now be associated with Jira Cloud.

Resources for Developers

Altassian, Jira’s creators even have a handy guide for API integration, so if you are a programmer, you can try-out a more bespoke approach.

Salesforce provides their own guidance on how to use the Apex programming language to manage an integration.  Apex is like Java for Salesforce, but it’s currently in Beta mode for developers and won’t be fully incorporated until the next Salesforce release.

ServiceRocket have an online guide on how to create a one-to-one link between a service case on Salesforce and a Jira issue.

You’ll have basic communication between the two pieces of software by following the above methods.  

The Managed Approach

However, if you want a smoother integration and would like to unlock the full potential of Jira’s project management and bug-zapping abilities, you’ll want to use a third-party connector.

There are numerous on the market, and all of them should lock Jira into Salesforce, allowing both to communicate efficiently with one another.

Popular Connectors include:

Some of these options may be a little over-engineered and offer way more integrations than you need to link Jira to Salesforce, but they might be a good option if you’re planning to add more components to your software stack in future.

How to Prepare for Integration

Here’s are some tips for how to ensure a smooth and effective integration between the two platforms:

  • Make sure your team agree to use Salesforce for one set of tasks and Jira for another but not in an ad hoc manner – get together and co-ordinate which platform will be used by which individuals for which tasks.  
  • To do this, all key users should be at least partially familiar with BOTH platforms prior to integration.  Think of a craftsman choosing the right tool for a task – if you don’t know the difference between a chisel and a screwdriver, you might not be using the most functional tool at any given moment.
  • Make sure your data is up to date, accurate and complete.  This will ensure that if information translates only partially across the platforms, it can be traced back to the appropriate source.
  • Have an explicit and specific nomenclature for cases that transfers across both platforms, so that you can easily cross-reference between the two.
  • Keep the support documentation and helpdesk numbers for both Jira and Salesforce close to hand – especially if taking the DIY API approach.  Whatever problems occur in your integration, you can bet either one platform or the other’s support team have seen it before.
  • As we saw above, there are many third-party connectors available, some of them offering whole suites of integration.  Do shop around before you commit, since disentangling Salesforce and Jira to reintegrate via an alternative connector may prove tricky and time consuming.

Once you’ve chosen a strategy, spring cleaned your data, consulted and trained your teams, plus you have support on speed-dial, you are ready to integrate and enjoy the combined power of Salesforce with Jira.

Need more information? Find more information on a best in market connector from Anova Apps here.

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