Connecting to JIRA 4.2 or Earlier for User Management

Atlassian JIRA is an issue and project tracking tool. Like Confluence, JIRA offers the ability to store its users and groups in its database. You can configure Confluence to look for its users and groups in the JIRA database. This page describes the legacy JIRA database connector, which provides a direct connection to the JIRA database.

When to use this option: Choose the legacy JIRA database connector if your JIRA server is JIRA 4.2 or earlier, for backwards compatibility with the already-existing option for Confluence to use JIRA for user management.

If you are using JIRA 4.3 or later, you cannot use the legacy JIRA database connector. Instead, choose the 'Atlassian JIRA' directory type.

On this page:

Connecting Confluence to JIRA

To connect Confluence to JIRA 4.2 or earlier:

  1. Edit the Confluence server.xml file, to construct the datasource location, as described below.
  2. Restart Confluence.
  3. Choose the cog icon , then choose General Configuration under Confluence Administration
  4. Click User Directories in the left-hand panel.
  5. Add a directory and select type Legacy Atlassian JIRA (4.2 and earlier). Enter the settings as described below.
  6. Save the directory settings.
  7. Define the directory order by clicking the blue up- and down-arrows next to each directory on the 'User Directories' screen. Here is a summary of how the directory order affects the processing:
    • The order of the directories is the order in which they will be searched for users and groups.
    • Changes to users and groups will be made only in the first directory where the application has permission to make changes.
    For details see Managing Multiple Directories.
  8. In order to use Confluence, users must be a member of the confluence-users group or have Confluence 'can use' permission. Follow these steps to configure your Confluence groups in your JIRA application:
    1. Add the confluence-users and confluence-administrators groups in your JIRA application.
    2. Add your own username as a member of both of the above groups.
    3. Choose one of the following methods to give your existing JIRA users access to Confluence:
      • Option 1: In your JIRA application, find the groups that the relevant users belong to. Add the groups as members of one or both of the above Confluence groups.
      • Option 2: Log in to Confluence using your JIRA account and go to the Confluence Administration Console. Click 'Global Permissions' and assign the 'can use' permission to the relevant JIRA groups.

JIRA Settings in Confluence




A meaningful name that will help you to identify this JIRA server amongst your list of directory servers. Examples:

  • JIRA
  • Example Company JIRA

Datasource Location

The JNDI name of the JIRA datasource configured in your application server. Example:

In JIRA standalone distributions (using the default application server, Tomcat 6) you can construct the datasource location as follows:

  1. Open your <jira_install>/conf/server.xml file in a text editor.
  2. Look for the database setup section in that file. It looks something like this:

  3. Copy the above lines (the 'Resource' section) and paste it to your Confluence's server.xml file (located at <confluence_install>/conf/server.xml), under the Context path. This will then expose the value of the name attribute as the JNDI resource locator.
  4. Copy the JNDI name from the name parameter. In this example, the datasource location is:

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4 Archived comments

  1. User avatar

    Chris Davies

    Do I need to copy the datasource definition from my JIRA server.xml to my Confluence one? Or do the two separate tomcat servers - running on the same machine - have some "magic" that allows them to know about each other?

    I'd have thought I would have needed to copy the section, but in the step-by-step instructions in Datasource Location there's no reference to copying it. Just using it.

    03 Jun 2011
    1. User avatar

      Edwin Dawson [Atlassian Technical Writer]

      Hi there Chris,

      Unfortunately I can't help you with this particular question.

      For more information, you can post a question on Atlassian Answers.

      Alternatively, you could always open a support request at, where our support engineers will be able to get back to you quickly.

      I hope this helps.

      Best Regards,

      Edwin Dawson
      Technical Writing Team Leader

      07 Jun 2011
      1. User avatar

        Chris Davies

        Based on the result of a Support query I have submitted, it appears that point 3 in the Datasources Location instructions is wrong by omission. As I understand the answer I have been given, the instruction should say that the Resource section should be copied in to the server.xml file, as this then exposes the value of the name attribute as the JNDI resource locator.

        I'll comment back here further if I discover this isn't quite right.

        07 Jun 2011
        1. User avatar

          Edwin Dawson [Atlassian Technical Writer]

          Hi Chris, I have confirmed that and updated this page with the additional detail that arose from your case.

          Thanks for following up with us. If you want to reach us directly in future, you can email me at edawson at

          Edwin Dawson
          Technical Writing Team Leader

          14 Jul 2011
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