Processing JIRA Software issues with Smart Commit messages

When you manage your project's repositories in Bitbucket or GitHub, or use FishEye to browse and search your repositories, you can process your JIRA Software issues using special commands, called Smart Commits, in your commit messages.

You can:

  • comment on issues
  • record time tracking information against issues
  • transition issues to any status defined in the JIRA Software project's workflow.

There are other actions available if you use Crucible for software reviews. See Using Smart Commits in the Crucible documentation.

A Smart Commit command must not span more than one line (i.e. you cannot use carriage returns in the command), but you can add multiple commands to the same line. See this example below.

On this page:

Smart Commit commands

The basic syntax for a Smart Commit message is:

<ignored text> <ISSUE_KEY> <ignored text> #<COMMAND> <optional COMMAND_ARGUMENTS>

Any text between the issue key and the command is ignored.

There are three commands you can use in your Smart Commit messages:

Comment

Description Adds a comment to a JIRA Software issue.
Syntax <ignored text> <ISSUE_KEY> <ignored text> #comment <comment_string>
Example
JRA-34 #comment corrected indent issue
Notes
  • The committer's email address must match the email address of a single JIRA Software user with permission to comment on issues in that particular project.

Time

Description Records time tracking information against an issue.
Syntax <ignored text> <ISSUE_KEY> <ignored text> #time <value>w <value>d <value>h <value>m <comment_string>
Example
JRA-34 #time 1w 2d 4h 30m Total work logged
Notes

This example records 1 week, 2 days, 4 hours and 30 minutes against the issue, and adds the comment 'Total work logged' in the Work Log tab of the issue.

  • The values for w, d, h and m can be decimal numbers.
  • The comment is added automatically without needing to use the #comment command.
  • The committer's email address must match the email address of a single JIRA Software user with permission to log work on an issue.
  • Your system administrator must have enabled time tracking on your JIRA Software instance.

Workflow transitions

Description Transitions a JIRA Software issue to a particular workflow state.
Syntax <ignored text> <ISSUE_KEY> <ignored text> #<transition_name> <comment_string>
Example
JRA-090 #close Fixed this today
Notes

This example executes the close issue workflow transition for the issue and adds the comment 'Fixed this today' to the issue. Note that the comment is added automatically without needing to use the #comment command.

You can see the custom commands available for use with Smart Commits by visiting the JIRA Software issue and looking at its available workflow transitions:

  1. Open an issue in the project.
  2. Click View Workflow (near the issue's Status).

The Smart Commit only considers the part of a transition name before the first space. So, for a transition name such as finish work, then specifying #finish is sufficient. You must use hyphens to replace spaces when ambiguity can arise over transition names, for example: #finish-work.

If a workflow has two valid transitions, such as:

  • Start Progress
  • Start Review

A Smart Commit with the action #start is ambiguous because it could mean either of the two transitions. To specify one of these two transitions, fully qualify the transition you want by using either #start-review or #start-progress.

  • When you resolve an issue with the #resolve command, you cannot set the Resolution field with Smart Commits.
  • If you want to add a comment during the transition, the transition must have a screen associated with it.
  • The committer's email address must match the email address of a single JIRA Software user with the appropriate project permissions to transition issues.

Advanced examples

Multiple commands on a single issue

Syntax

<ISSUE_KEY> #<COMMAND_1> <optional COMMAND_1_ARGUMENTS> #<COMMAND_2> <optional COMMAND_2_ARGUMENTS> ... #<COMMAND_n> <optional COMMAND_n_ARGUMENTS>

Commit message

JRA-123 #time 2d 5h #comment Task completed ahead of schedule #resolve

Result

Logs 2 days and 5 hours of work against issue JRA-123, adds the comment 'Task completed ahead of schedule',
and resolves the issue.

Multiple commands over multiple lines on a single issue

Syntax

<ISSUE_KEY> #<COMMAND_1> <optional COMMAND_1_ARGUMENTS> #<COMMAND_2> <optional COMMAND_2_ARGUMENTS> ... #<COMMAND_n> <optional COMMAND_n_ARGUMENTS>

Commit message

JRA-123 #comment Imagine that this is a really, and I 
mean really, long comment #time 2d 5h

Result

Adds the comment 'Imagine that this is a really, and I', but drops the rest of the comment. The work time of 2 days and 5 hours is not logged against the issue because there is no issue key for the #time command in the second line. That is, each line in the commit message must conform to the Smart Commit syntax.

This example would work as expected if set out as:

JRA-123 #comment Imagine that this is a really, and I mean really, long comment 
JRA-123 #time 2d 5h

A single command on multiple issues

Syntax

<ISSUE_KEY1> <ISSUE_KEY2> <ISSUE_KEY3> #<COMMAND> <optional COMMAND_ARGUMENTS> etc         

Commit message

JRA-123 JRA-234 JRA-345 #resolve

Result

Resolves issues JRA-123, JRA-234 and JRA-345.

Multiple issue keys must be separated by whitespace or commas.

Multiple commands on multiple issues

Syntax

<ISSUE_KEY1> <ISSUE_KEY2> ... <ISSUE_KEYn> #<COMMAND_1> <optional COMMAND_1_ARGUMENTS> #<COMMAND_2> <optional COMMAND_2_ARGUMENTS> ... #<COMMAND_n> <optional COMMAND_n_ARGUMENTS>

Commit message

JRA-123 JRA-234 JRA-345 #resolve #time 2d 5h #comment Task completed ahead of schedule

Result

Logs 2 days and 5 hours of work against issues JRA-123, JRA-234 and JRA-345, adds the comment
'Task completed ahead of schedule' to all three issues, and resolves all three issues.

Multiple issue keys must be separated by whitespace or commas.

Get Smart Commits working

It's easy to get Smart Commits working for your instance of JIRA Software:

Tool Connection instructions
Bitbucket Cloud

First, link your JIRA Software and Bitbucket accounts. See Connect JIRA Cloud to Bitbucket Cloud.

Then, enable Smart Commits in JIRA Software. See Enable Smart Commits.

GitHub

First, link your JIRA Software and GitHub accounts. See Connect JIRA Cloud to GitHub.

Then, enable Smart Commits in JIRA Software. See Enable Smart Commits.

Bitbucket Server

Create an application link between JIRA Software and Bitbucket Server. See Linking Bitbucket Server to JIRA.

Then, enable Smart Commits in JIRA Software. See Enable Smart Commits.

FishEye

Create an application link between JIRA Software and FishEye. See Linking to another application.

Then, enable Smart Commits in JIRA Software. See Enable Smart Commits.

Crucible

Create an application link between JIRA Software and Crucible. See Linking to another application.

Then, enable Smart Commits in JIRA Software. See Enable Smart Commits.

Notes

  • Smart Commits only support the default JIRA Software issue key format. This format is two or more uppercase letters, followed by a hyphen and the issue number, for example JRA-123. 

  • A DVCS such as Git includes a user's email address in the commit data. Users configure this email address in their local system. Smart Commits requires that this email address match exactly  one email address in the JIRA Software user base. If the email address matches to multiple users in JIRA Software, or the user does not have permissions for the requested action, the Smart Commit action will fail. The commit itself will succeed however, and will show on the issue. Mismatched email addresses is a common reason why Smart Commits fail to work as expected. If a Smart Commit fails, JIRA Software sends an email notification to either the JIRA Software user, or to the DVCS user (if a JIRA Software user can't be identified). In rare cases, JIRA Software doesn't have either of these email addresses, and the Smart Commit fails silently.
  • Smart Commits relies on the JIRA DVCS Connector Plugin when your repositories are hosted in Bitbucket Cloud or GitHub. The plugin is bundled with JIRA Software, but if necessary, a JIRA administrator can install it directly from within the JIRA administration area. In JIRA, go to Add-ons > Find new Add-ons. See Installing add-ons.

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