Integrating Jira with Airtable allows for a greater level of collaboration among team members. Using Airtable with Jira simplifies the process of importing Jira protects into Airtable. The following steps can help you integrate Jira Cloud with Airtable.
Step 1: Prepare to Perform the Integration
Before performing the Airtable-Jira integration, the organization needs to make sure it is using a Jira Cloud implementation, rather than a Jira Server implementation. (It is possible to try to make an Airtable-Jira Server integration, which we’ll discuss later, but it is a challenging process.)
To ensure a Jira Cloud implementation, look at the access URL for the Jira Cloud account. If it ends with jira.com or atlassian.net, it involves a Jira Cloud account. If the access URL has a domain name personalized to the organization, such as jira.nira.com, it is a Jira Server implementation.
Step 2: Create an API Key/Token
The user will need to generate an API key, or token, from within Jira Cloud. The integration requires this key to allow for the sharing of data between the two packages. It authenticates the process Airtable is attempting to perform from within Jira Cloud.
To access data through the HTTPS connection between Airtable and Jira Cloud, the user will need to enter a user name, usually the user’s email address, and a password, which will be the API token.
Users will need to log in to the organization’s Atlassian account to generate the key. Navigate to the user settings area in Atlassian to find the section through which the user can generate the API token.
To create the token, the Jira Cloud software will ask the user to create a label for the token before clicking on the Create button. Be sure to give it a unique label, or name, so it is easy to identify later.
After creating the API key/token, it will appear in a new popup box. Click View to see the actual text used for the API token, rather than the asterisks that hide the actual text. Take note of this API token text.
Otherwise, click the Copy to Clipboard button to make a copy of the text that will allow for pasting the text into another area. (For those who are ready to make the connection between Jira Cloud and Airtable right now, using this copy button will greatly simplify the process, as we’ll discuss in Step 4.)
Atlassian treats the API key just as it would treat a password, so it is not possible to view the token later. The user must track the API token on his or her own. Using a password vault is a good method for protecting the API token.
Should the user lose the API key or forget it, the user will need to generate a new one. Jira Cloud has no option for retrieving the old API key.
Step 3: Perform the Final Authentication Steps in Jira Cloud
Each user who will be taking advantage of the Jira Cloud and Airtable integration will need to enable email visibility through the Jira Cloud software.
Individuals within the organization can change their personal settings in Jira Cloud to accomplish this. Under the Atlassian account settings area, click Profile and Visibility. In the subsequent window, scroll down until finding the Contact area. Change this setting by clicking on Anyone.
Otherwise, a system administrator for Jira Cloud has the ability to change all email visibility. As a user with administrator privileges, click on Jira System settings. Look for the email visibility section and click Public to change this setting universally.
Step 4: Make the Connection Between Jira Cloud and Airtable
Now add the Jira Cloud app to the Airtable software’s dashboard. When installing the app, it should prompt the user to make a connection with the user’s existing Jira Cloud account.
Within the setup window, users will need to enter the same email address they used to create the API token/key. Entering a different email address will cause the entire process to fail.
Then enter the workspace name for the Jira Cloud installation. This will be the same name as the Jira implementation name. It will be the portion of the access URL in front of the atlassian.net or jira.com section of the implementation name. So if the access URL is nira.atlassian.net, the user would enter nira in the workspace box.
In the box to the right, the user should select either atlassian.net or jira.com, depending on the configuration of the access URL.
In the lower section of the window, enter the API key/token into the box. If you copied the API token to the clipboard, as we described earlier, just paste it into this box. Otherwise, type the exact text string into this box. Remember, Jira Cloud treats this API key just like a password, so users must use the proper upper and lower case letters.
After entering all of the information, click the Save button.
If this is the first time users are integrating the two packages, they may see a window inside Jira Cloud indicating Airtable is requesting to access the user’s Atlassian account. When this window appears, users will need to give Airtable permission to access the account.
To stay organized, users should create a separate Jira Cloud app installation for each project the team wants to import. Rename each app installation to make it easier to keep each of them separate and to organize them successfully.
Step 5: Import the Desired Issues Into Airtable
When putting together a project in Jira Cloud, users will be dealing with what Jira calls issues. These are any aspects that make up the project, such as a task, a subtask, or a bug report. A Jira Cloud project could consist of hundreds or thousands of issues.
When integrating Jira Cloud with Airtable, users will have to decide which issues they want to import into Airtable as part of the integration.
Working within Jira Cloud, click on the Select Issues tab. Inside the Select Project box, select a project to sync with Airtable. This could be a single project or all of the projects stored within Jira Cloud.
In the Issue Type box, select the types of issues to integrate with Airtable. By selecting types or categories of issues, the user can select dozens or hundreds of individual issues with a single click. Users also have the option of selecting all issue types from this box. (Airtable has a 10,000 limit on the number of issues.)
Select the table to integrate with Airtable from Jira Cloud. By default, this is the current table in use, but users can select any table from the Jira Cloud installation.
Finally, users will need to determine whether they want to merge with existing records by clicking the checkbox. By choosing to merge records, the integration of data goes faster, as only new and changed records will move to Airtable. If the user decides not to merge records, Airtable will import all of the records every time.
For the majority of users, the best options will be selecting all types of issues and selecting to merge records. This makes the importing of data from the Jira Cloud projects into Airtable go as smoothly as possible without inadvertently skipping any important data.
Step 6: Perform an Update of the Integrated Data
After completing the integration, when the organization wants to pass the latest data records from Jira Cloud into Airtable, just run the Jira Cloud app from within the Airtable dashboard.
Airtable will open a window that allows users to perform a data update. The window will list the last date that users ran the data integration. Click the Pull From Jira button to begin the data integration.
Once the record update finishes, Airtable will provide a window that indicates a successful transition of the data.
After finishing the data update and syncing the data between the two software packages, users are ready to see and begin using the latest Jira Cloud data in Airtable.
Common Problems When Using Airtable With Jira Cloud
There are a few challenges when attempting to use Airtable with Jira. Overcoming these problems is not impossible, though, as long as the installers know how to prepare for them.
Using Jira Server Instead of Jira Cloud
It is possible to implement Jira Server with Airtable in an integration. However, this is a far more complex process and far less commonly performed than using Jira Cloud.
To start, the user will need to select an Airtable base from which to sync data. It will need to have unique identifiers for the table and fields to allow a successful sync process.
Synching Jira Server with Airtable requires a few steps to obtain the authentication credentials than with Jira Cloud, including:
- Generating an API key from within Airtable
- Receiving authentication for Jira Server through OAuth and an API token
Finally, the installer will need to make the actual connection between Jira Server and Airtable. This requires working with a command prompt and installing NPM modules.
Making a sync between Jira Server and Airtable can be a significant challenge for end-users. Most organizations will want to have a network administrator handle the process.
User Limitations on Jira Cloud
When one user sets up the Airtable and Jira Cloud integration, only that user’s access levels will migrate to Airtable. If the user who created the integration has limited access within Jira Cloud, those limitations will carry over into Airtable. This could greatly affect the way the organization can use Airtable and Jira Cloud together.
When setting up the Jira Cloud and Airtable integration, organizations should ensure that the person who sets up the integration has high levels of permission within Jira Cloud. This eliminates the possibility of limitations affecting the way the organization can use the Airtable-Jira Cloud integration.
Loss of Syncing
One especially challenging issue with the Airtable and Jira Cloud integration occurs when the organization suddenly loses the ability to sync with Jira Cloud.
This problem usually occurs when the person who set up the integration leaves the organization or has a deactivation of his or her Jira Cloud account. Once the original Jira Cloud account through which the integration started is no longer active, the integration goes dark.
Organizations can work around this potential problem by setting up an organization-wide Jira Cloud account. The team then would use this account to create the integration with Airtable. By using this account instead of an individual user’s account, there is no risk of having an account deactivation causing a loss of synching capabilities.
Otherwise, the team will need to update the settings in Airtable to reflect a new original Jira Cloud account. To update any of the sign-in settings for the Airtable and Jira Cloud integration, use the Jira Cloud app inside the Airtable dashboard.
After opening the Jira Cloud app, users can adjust their credentials by clicking the Settings button at the top right corner of the popup window. In the Settings window, the user can enter the new email address associated with Jira Cloud, the new Jira workspace name, and the new Jira API token/key. (All of these items may not need changing.) Click the Done button to save the new settings.
Once the user updates the credentials in the Jira Cloud app, he or she then can click the Pull From Jira button to perform a data update.
Slow Syncing Performance
When syncing data between Airtable and JiraCloud, users may sometimes notice slow or poor performance.
Understand that Airtable only allows up to 10,000 issues synced from Jira. Trying to sync a larger number of issues could result in missing or skipping some of the most important issues.
Having a number of issues close to the 10,000 limit synced from Jira may cause a slowdown in the performance of the integration as well. Airtable estimates that it is able to offer a sync performance of 100 issues synched per second. Syncing the maximum 10,000 issues could require almost 2 minutes per sync.
The slowdown in the syncing process occurs because of the limitations the Jira API places on data transfers. Jira Cloud and Airtable do not sync via an app. Instead, the data sync occurs through an HTTPS secure connection, so Airtable cannot adjust the speed of the syncing process to alleviate this problem.
The only option for the end-user to avoid slow syncing results is to limit the number of issues synching from Jira Cloud.
Blank Fields in Airtable
If some of the fields in Airtable appear blank after importing data from Jira Cloud, this typically indicates a problem with the configuration of the fields. In other words, the configuration of data in Jira Cloud does not match the type of configuration Airtable wants to use.
Having blank date fields is an especially common problem. Users need to make certain they either change the formatting for the date fields in Jira Cloud to match what Airtable uses, or they’ll need to change the settings for the date fields in Airtable to match what Jira Cloud uses.
Another problem with blank fields may occur if some of the individual users did not change their individual email settings to Public. Individuals can perform this task in the Atlassian account settings area and in the Profile and Visibility section.