Introduction

Some teams prefer Jira. Others prefer Azure DevOps. Each popular platform has its strengths: Atlassian’s Jira shines as a bug and issue tracking tool for agile project management, while the primary purpose of Microsoft’s Azure DevOps is to help developers bring software applications from concept to delivery.

Because each platform has different strengths, individual teams within the same organization tend to prefer one tool to the other.

When some teams use Jira for project and service management, developers working with Azure DevOps often wind up having to use both tools.

Anytime you require people to log the same information in two different places, you invite mistakes. In addition to commonplace data entry errors, developers may miss critical requirement changes or escalated tickets if they aren’t constantly checking Jira.

On the other hand, Azure DevOps lacks some vital features for managing projects and logging service tickets, like a powerful search function, advanced reporting capabilities, and built-in roadmaps.

Without the right tools, these teams will never be as connected (and productive) as they could be.

Comparison pieces you find in blogs, documentation, and forums make it seem as though you have to choose between the two platforms.

But Jira and Azure DevOps deliver much more value when used together.

With an integration app for Jira and Azure DevOps – Appfire’s TFS4JIRA – you can optimize collaboration and ship faster by allowing teams to work within their preferred platform.


Azure DevOps vs. Jira: How they compare

Azure DevOps

Azure DevOps, a developer services tool from Microsoft, provides version control, code development collaboration, project and requirements management, automated builds, and test and release capabilities.

The platform enables DevOps methodologies, because it can be used by cross-functional teams throughout the entire software development lifecycle. It is made up of the following Agile tools:

Azure DevOps fans like that it’s customizable and fast, easy and intuitive. Teams can create and deploy products faster with Azure DevOps than they can using traditional software: one reason this lifecycle management tool is so popular.

One reviewer describes it as “a single source of truth for whatever operation is implemented within it.” Azure DevOps provides the tools you need to take your product from an idea to usable software.

Jira

Jira Software – Atlassian’s flagship product – is an issue and project tracking tool used by all types of teams. It supports agile methodologies and handles bug tracking, task management, requirement management, and other use cases.

But it’s more than an issue tracking tool; Atlassian offers multiple versions of Jira for teams inside and outside of software development.

Jira is highly popular among teams practicing DevOps because it integrates with many 3rd-party applications, giving business processes a new level of transparency.

Aficionados especially like that Jira workflows can be automated, and that teams stay aligned by tagging stakeholders within issues or tasks, eliminating the need for conversations across multiple messaging platforms.

Azure DevOps vs. Jira at a glance

FeaturesAtlassian’s JiraAzure DevOPs
Support for DevOpsYesYes
Support for AgileYesYes
Source control for codeNoYes
Full traceabilityNoYes
Powerful search functionYesNo
Build and release servicesNoYes
Continuous integration/continuous developmentNoYes
Built-in roadmapYesNo
Agile reportingYesNo
WorkflowYesYes
Customizable DashboardsYesYes

Azure DevOps Jira integration: Better together

Why use both

Software development is not limited to engineers, developers, and DevOps developers.
Development includes IT administrators, system support, project managers, product marketing managers, product managers, relationship managers, and the list goes on.
If you contribute in any way to continuously improving products, you are part of the software development process.

So why not:

  • Maximize team efficiency
  • Work within the tool best suited for your responsibilities
  • Ship faster

Given the complementary strengths of Azure DevOps and Jira – the best choice is to use both if you want to optimize collaboration among teams.

Just ask the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Their development team used Azure DevOps (previously TFS) for version control, work item tracking, unit testing, and build-and-release automation. But AAP staff and non-technical users preferred Jira for collaboration and tracking.
Using Appfire’s integration tool, TFS4JIRA, the teams were able to sync changes between TFS work items and Jira.

AAP staff’s Jira issues now automatically created TFS/Azure DevOps work items for developers to review, and Jira users could track where the request was in the development process.
Developers, for their part, could review ticket updates (like changes in priorities, notes, attachments), and all other default and custom fields. 

You can get the details here on how getting more aligned supercharged AAP’s productivity.

Here are just a few examples of how different teams use both platforms to be more productive and efficient.

Project Management Teams

Including Project Manager, Change Manager, Product Manager, Analysts, Product Marketing Manager

What they need: A way to quickly communicate requirements and priority changes to developers working in Azure DevOps; a more user friendly issue tracking tool; visibility into outsourced projects; ability to communicate and schedule GTM for releases

Tools used: Jira Software, Jira Work Management, Azure DevOps

  • Manage projects, deliverables, backlogs, and sprints
  • Instantly notify developers working in Azure DevOps of change requests and priorities
  • Track development progress in real time so that all stakeholders are aligned
  • Analyze what deliverables customers value
  • Synchronize requirements for go-to-market activities so users receive new feature announcements at time of release

Service Management Teams

Including Service Desk, Relationship Managers, System Support

What they need: To notify developers of escalated tickets and customer feedback

Tools used: Jira Service Management

  • Streamline communication by tagging team members in issues and work items (which can then can be managed in their primary tool)
  • Instantly notify developers of escalated tickets, which they can acknowledge and address without leaving Azure DevOps
  • Meet and decrease Service Level Agreements since developers can attack a problem the moment it is discovered
  • Receive real-time support ticket status updates so they can set expectations and update customers

Development Teams

Including Software Engineer/Developer, DevOps Developer

What they need: A way to interact with teams working in Jira without having to leave Azure DevOps (developers’ preferred tool)

Tools used: Azure DevOps, Jira Software

  • React quickly to incoming service tickets and escalations
  • Give up-to-date ticket statuses to stakeholders
  • Save time and avoid logging tickets in multiple places
  • Sync hierarchies and reduce errors in workflow transitions
  • Stay aligned on common business goals such as delivery dates and feature launches

Project Stakeholders

Including Business Managers, Dev/IT Managers

What they need: Visibility into overall status of projects being managed in both Jira and Azure DevOps

Tools used: Jira Work Management, Jira Software, Azure DevOps

  • View project status and cost analysis knowing that all relevant information is factored in
  • Manage time spent on projects and deliverables so your team can be even more efficient

Azure DevOps Jira integration using TFS4JIRA

You can integrate Azure DevOps and Jira using TS4JIRA by Appfire. It’s an integration, synchronization, and migration tool that connects your Jira and Azure DevOps instances, enabling you to seamlessly synchronize or migrate work items and issues in a few intuitive steps.

Get started with this no-code app, so non-programmers and programmers alike can easily configure and customize their processes. Move data in a one-time migration or enable full synchronization, so that any change in issues and work items are automatically reflected in both Azure DevOps and Jira projects.

TFS4JIRA lets users synchronize comments, attachments, and workflow transitions. They can map field values to properly reflect the priority or severity of issues and decide how to map other fields with multiple values. The app is fully customizable, giving users the ability to determine workflows as well.

TFS4JIRA is available on all hosting platforms: Cloud, Data Center, and Server.

If you are running Jira Cloud and Azure DevOps Services, our Cloud-Native synchronizer will reduce system disruption, because features are automatically available for use as they are released.

The self-hosted synchronizer allows you to connect any Jira hosting platform with Azure DevOps Services or Server, as well as Team Foundation Server (TFS). It can be updated on your schedule and will support your organization’s compliance, security, and data residency requirements. If using, you will need to install the synchronizer to ensure data is transferred properly. To determine which version is best for your organization, please see this feature comparison.

You can view your project or issue-associated TFS/Azure DevOps check-in/git commit logs with self-hosted versions of TFS4JIRA. Actions are categorized by distinct event tags for quick and simple reference.

How TFS4JIRA helps Jira and Azure DevOps Admins

Appfire’s TFS4JIRA delivers great value for Jira admins, Azure DevOps admins, and system admins:

  • Easily configure with a no-code app
  • Follow existing business processes by synchronizing and customizing workflows
  • View project status and cost analysis with confidence, knowing that all relevant data is factored in
  • Quickly access comments, attachments, and work item/issue links within one tool

Key features of TFS4JIRA for Azure DevOps and Jira integration

Customize your setup with synchronization profiles.

  • Define users, workflows, and more by profile
  • Create and configure as many profiles, with as many rules as you’d like
  • Define which Jira or Azure DevOps fields should be synchronized, per sync profile
  • Choose from built-in and custom Jira and Azure DevOps fields

Map issue and work item types, statuses and states, and discover the power of one-to-many status mapping. You can have multiple Jira values to one Azure DevOps value and vice versa, ensuring the correct information is transferred.

Synchronize all issue/work item links, including related, blocked, cloned, duplicated, and custom links. Users can access these links within their preferred platform.

With hierarchy and sub-task synchronization, users can choose how Epics are mapped using multi-level hierarchy synchronization options to support more complex hierarchies. Hierarchy and multi-level hierarchy synchronization keeps projects whole, delivering accurate and reliable data.

And with filter synchronization, you can supercharge filtering and synchronizing with Azure’s WIQL (Work Item Query Language) using the power of JQL (Jira Query Language). This means you can customize your configuration to support unique use cases.

To learn more about TFS4JIRA, read this guide.

How to get started with TFS4JIRA

Test the TFS4JIRA plugin free for 30 days. You can get a free trial from within Jira, under Apps > Manage your apps, or by visiting the TFS4JIRA Atlassian marketplace listing.

If using one of the self-hosted options, you will need to install the synchronizer to ensure data is properly transferred between the systems.

The free 30-day trial gives you access to all features, so you can experience the full functionality of TFS4JIRA. Watch your team become more agile and productive, and watch your delivery times get faster.

Using Azure DevOps and Jira integration will help you scale your business by allowing teams to work on their preferred platform and eliminate duplication of work across products. The best way to use them is with TFS4JIRA, Appfire’s integration, synchronization, and migration tool. Start your free trial today or request a product demo.

Last updated: 2022-08-04

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