Use JIRA applications and Confluence together

Confluence and JIRA are like bacon and eggs; coffee and cake; Simon and Garfunkel. Separately, they're great, but together, they're amazing!

If your Confluence and JIRA sites are connected using Application Links, you can display and create JIRA issues and more from within Confluence. 

What you can do with Confluence and JIRA depends on the JIRA application and version you have. Find out about the required applications and versions later in this page.

For every project or team

Display issues on a page

You can display JIRA issues on a Confluence page using the JIRA Issues macro. Display a single issue, a list of issues, or show the total number of issues.

The simplest way to add a JIRA issue to Confluence is to paste a JIRA URL on a Confluence page.

  Here's some examples...
  • <yourjirasite.com>/browse/CONF-1234 will insert the JIRA Issues macro and display a single issue.
  • <yourjirasite.com>/issues/?filter=56789  will insert the JIRA Issues macro and display a list of issues matching the saved filter. 
  • <yourjirasite.com>/issues/?jql=project%20%3D%20CONF  will insert the JIRA Issues macro and display a list of issues matching the JIRA search. 

On this page:

Alternatively, you can add the JIRA Issues Macro to the page and search for issues directly:

  1. In the editor choose Insert > JIRA Issue.
  2. Follow the prompts in the macro browser to choose a project and search for an issue – you can even use JIRA Query Language (JQL).

Once you've added the macro, you can customize how the issue or list of issues appears on the page, including how much information to display, how many issues, and more.

Create reports and charts

Reporting on information stored in JIRA is simple in Confluence. In addition to the JIRA Issues Macro, you can use the JIRA Report blueprint or JIRA Chart macro to show information from your JIRA application visually. It's the best way to give your stakeholders a snapshot of your team or project's progress. 

You can:

  • Use the JIRA Report blueprint to create a Change Log or Status report.
  • Use the JIRA Chart Macro to display data as a chart, including pie charts, created vs resolved, and two dimensional charts. 
  • Use JIRA Gadgets to display detailed JIRA reports and charts on pages. 

Create issues from inside Confluence

You can create issues while viewing a page or from the within the editor. This is really useful if you use Confluence for planning and gathering requirements. 

To create an issue when viewing a page:

  1. Highlight some text on your page and choose the  Create JIRA issue icon that appears above the highlighted text.
  2. Enter your server (if you have multiple JIRA sites connected to Confluence), project, issue type and description. Your highlighted text will populate the issue summary automatically. 
  3. Choose Create.

The issue will be created in JIRA and added to your page. If your text is in a table, you'll have the option to create multiple issues using text from the same column.

If you don't see a popup when you highlight text, check that Text Select is enabled in your profile settings.

To create an issue in the editor:

  1. In the editor choose Insert > JIRA Issue > Create new issue.
  2. Enter your server (if you have multiple JIRA sites connected to Confluence), projectissue type, summary, and description
  3. Choose Insert.

The issue will be created in JIRA and added to your page.

There are some limitations when creating JIRA issues from Confluence. The JIRA Issues macro or Create JIRA Issue dialog will notify you if it's unable to create an issue in the selected project. You can find out more in the JIRA Issues Macro page. 

Move between JIRA and Confluence

Whenever you add a link to JIRA issues in Confluence, or link to a Confluence page from your JIRA application, the JIRA Links button appears at the top of the Confluence page. This makes it really easy to jump from Confluence to JIRA and vice versa, speeding up your workflow.

The number on the JIRA Links button indicates the total number of issues, epics, and sprints connected to that page, regardless of whether you have permission to view them. The dropdown, however, will only show details of issues, epics, and sprints that you have JIRA permissions to view.

The button doesn't detect links from issues displayed in the JIRA Issues macro in table format.

For software teams

Here's some suggestions to help you get the most out of Confluence and JIRA Software and unleash the potential in your agile development team. 

Define your requirements

Confluence is the perfect place to start defining your requirements. You can use the Product Requirements Blueprint to capture your requirements, then create your JIRA epic and other issues right from the requirements page in Confluence.

Here's how it works:

  1. Create a Confluence page using the Product Requirements Blueprint.
  2. Choose the placeholder text 'Link to JIRA epic or feature' and choose Create new issue to create your epic in JIRA.
  3. Collaborate with your team to define your stories and save the page.
  4. Highlight text on your requirements page and choose the Create JIRA issue   link to create stories in JIRA, and automatically link them to your epic.
  5. Track the progress of the stories from the Confluence page or from within JIRA.

The tight integration between Confluence and JIRA Software means you can easily access issues from the Confluence page and see their status at a glance, and from within JIRA Software you can see links to related Confluence pages. All the information you need is right there. 

Manage your sprints 

There's often a lot of material in Confluence that provides useful context for your team during a sprint. These might be requirements documents, designs, tech specs, customer research and more. By linking these pages to epics, you make them easy for your team to find during the sprint. 

Here's how you can use Confluence to support your sprint from within JIRA Agile:

  • In JIRA Software, create a Confluence page to plan your sprint. The page is created using the Meeting Notes Blueprint – a handy template that helps capture the details you need – and is automatically linked to the sprint.
  • In an epic, link to useful Confluence pages, including requirements, designs, and more.
  • Report on your progress to stakeholders using the JIRA Report blueprint in Confluence.
  • Use the Retrospective Blueprint in Confluence at the end of your sprint to take stock of what went well and not so well.

For people who work mostly in JIRA Software, the integration means that useful Confluence pages are only a click away.

For service desk teams

Provide self help resources for your customers

If you use JIRA Service Desk, you can help your customers resolve their issues without creating a request by connecting your Service Desk project to a knowledge base in Confluence. 

In Service Desk, head to Administration > Confluence KB  (or Settings > Knowledge Base if you're using JIRA Service Desk 2.x or earlier) to connect or create a Confluence space. 

When Service Desk customers search in the Customer Portal, pages in the linked knowledge base space will be suggested, allowing customers to help themselves. 

Create knowledge base articles

The Knowledge Base space blueprint, along with templates for how-to and troubleshooting articles make creating new knowledge base articles super simple for your Service Desk agents. 

The templates used in the how-to and troubleshooting blueprints are completely customizable too. Set up the template with all your standard information and let your agents take it from there. 

Allow any active user to see knowledge base spaces

If your Confluence instance is not public, you can still make a knowledge base space available via the customer portal. 

When you link your JIRA Service Desk project to a Confluence space, you can choose to allow all active users and customers to see pages in the linked space, even if they don't have a Confluence license.  These people get very limited Confluence access. 

Unlicensed users can:

  • View pages via the JIRA Service Desk customer portal.
  • Follow a URL to a page and then navigate within the linked space.

Unlicensed users can't:

  • Like, comment on or edit pages (or be granted permission to do this).
  • See the dashboard, user profiles, the people directory or space directory.
  • Search the whole site.

This permission can only be enabled via JIRA Service Desk, but you can revoke access to the whole site or to particular spaces via Confluence's global permissions or space permissions. 

  A note about Confluence permissions...

Allowing all active users and customers to view a space will override all existing space permissions, so any logged in, licensed Confluence user will also be able to see the space (regardless of their group membership). This is due to the way Confluence inherits permissions. 

JIRA applications required

As you've seen, Confluence has many integration points, some of which are only available in particular JIRA applications or versions. 

This matrix outlines the specific JIRA applications you'll need for each feature. We've also included the minimum legacy JIRA Server version (plus any add-ons) that you'll need if you're not using the latest JIRA applications. 

Feature JIRA Core JIRA Software JIRA Service Desk Minimum legacy version
Display issues using JIRA issues macro (tick) (tick) (tick) JIRA 4.3
Display issue and project information using JIRA chart macro (tick) (tick) (tick) JIRA 5.0
Display issue and project information using the JIRA Report blueprint (tick) (tick) (tick) JIRA 5.0
Create an issue from JIRA issues macro (tick) (tick) (tick) JIRA 4.3
Create issues by highlighting text on a Confluence page (tick) (tick) (tick) JIRA 6.3.1
Create issue by highlighting text on a Confluence page and automatically link issues to an epic  (error) (tick) (error) JIRA 6.3.1 and
JIRA Agile 6.3.5
Link and create Confluence pages from epics and sprints  (error)  (tick) (error) JIRA 6.3.1 and
JIRA Agile 6.3.5
View linked issues with the JIRA links button in Confluence (tick) (tick) (tick) JIRA 6.3.1
Create a space using the Software Project space blueprint (error) (tick) (error) JIRA Software 7.0

Use a Confluence space as a knowledge base in the customer portal

(error) (error) (tick) JIRA 5.2 and
JIRA Service Desk 1.0
Allow Service Desk customers to view knowledge base articles without a Confluence license (error) (error) (tick) JIRA Service Desk 3.1

Search for an existing Confluence page within the JIRA link dialog

 (tick)  (tick)  (tick) JIRA 4.3
Delegate user management to JIRA (tick) (tick) (tick) JIRA 4.3
Add a JIRA gadget to a Confluence page (tick) (tick) (tick) JIRA 4.3

That's it?  Time to jump into Confluence and give some of these great features a try with your team or project.Want to find out more about how to connect your JIRA application to Confluence? Check out Integrating JIRA and Confluence.

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