Jira Cloud: Let’s take this from the Top

Hello Jira guys and gals! I’m back! I took last week off as I was on vacation – and my wife made me promise not to write anything while we were on the trip.

But seriously, the break was just what I needed, and for the first time in I don’t know how long, I feel like I’m brimming with ideas again, ready to write! But first: Vacay pics!

So, in the last post, I wrote that while Jira Data Center isn’t going away, I still feel everyone should learn Jira Cloud, as that’s the future, like it or not.

That leaves me in a bit of a pickle. I haven’t managed a Jira Cloud instance in a few years. It’s not through any malice or anything. I know it seems that I’m at best unfriendly to and, at worst, openly hostile to the Cloud product. But I don’t think that’s the case at all.

I’m actually opposed to Atlassian seemingly ignoring its On-Prem customers like me. And I’ll admit, I still don’t feel the most seen even now, but it’s better than when we got nothing in Team 22. But that’s a tangent for another time.

No, I haven’t touched the Cloud product because it’s not my job. Day in and day out, I manage On-Prem Products and only deal with Cloud when we are looking to migrate and merge it into an existing Data Center instance. So, I need to learn Jira Cloud; the only way I know how: By jumping in and figuring it all out as I go along.

But I’ll admit, that’s only one of three reasons I’m doing this. The second is this shininess.  

It’s been two years since I got my last Atlassian Certification. And while I’m good on my Atlassian Certified Expert standing until the middle of 2023, I don’t think I should wait until the last minute to ensure that’s good long-term. By my math, I need to get two more certs to maintain my standing past the Server Sunset, and I intend to get both of them within the year.  

The third reason is that since my move earlier this year, running my at-home virtualization servers like I used to hasn’t been feasible. I’m working on a plan to replace them, but in the meantime, I think now is an excellent time to look at migrating my personal test instance to Cloud – and taking you along for the ride. So, starting today, I want to take a look at Jira Cloud, how to get started in it, and eventually, how to migrate your On-Prem instance into the Cloud. Let’s dig into this!

A Note about licensing

So, I can go with the free plan as I’ll be the only user on the instance, right? RIGHT!?

Not right – at least not for my plans. While the Free Cloud option is excellent for teams that want to dip their toe into the Jira Pool, it does have some drawbacks and limitations to functionality. This is fine – everything that is not included you don’t typically need as a small team – they are functionality that is intended to help with a larger team.

But I am almost certain some of this restricted functionality will come up in the ACP Exam, which means I need to pay for my subscription. The good news is the subscription is paid per user, of which I have…one, Me. So while it will cost me, it won’t cost me as much. However, if you’re listening Atlassian, can you help a blogger out?

Step One: The Sign-Up

This step is probably the easiest in the whole process. You go to the Atlassian Cloud sign-up site, sign in with your Atlassian ID, and pick a subdomain. No, really, the first form only has two fields: Your email and the subdomain you want. The subdomain will, of course, need to be unique, but that’s hardly a challenge. 

Step Two: Selecting your Role

Unfortunately, due to a snafu on my part, I wasn’t able to get the screenshots for this. But after you click Agree, Atlassian will take you to a page that asks you about your team. It has things like “Operations,” “Marketing,” and “IT Support.”

After you select one of these, it will ask you about your role on that team. Remember, the Cloud versions of Jira Software and JSM come with Jira Work Management bundled in, so you have a range of different projects available to select from. I believe these are meant to help inform the recommendations in Step Three where you select your project. But, due to snafus, I don’t know that for sure.

Step Three: Set Up a Project

Atlassian will now ask you a few questions to help recommend a project. Remember, Jira Work Management is bundled with Both the Jira Software and JSM Cloud products, so you have PLENTY to pick from. I enter that I’m experienced with Jira (I mean, I’d hope, right?), and that I’m on a flexible deadline, as I’m doing this for me.

Now it asks me for some details about my project. It wants me to give the Project a name, and confirm its recommendation of Kanban. If you can click “More Options,” it will show you the Project Type (“Team Managed, aka Next Gen” vs “Company Managed”) and the Project Key. Please pay special attention to the Project Key. I’ve had to clean up messes from previous, less professional, admins who thought it would be funny to give a user he didn’t like a project with a “less than business friendly” Project key. In this case, my project key is fine, but it’s still a detail you don’t want to leave up to machines.

Step Four: Connecting tools

Once you click Next and make your project, you can connect some tools. In this case I want to connect my existing Bitbucket Cloud account to Jira, so I’ll click “Link workspace” next ti Bitbucket Cloud.

Clicking this will take me to a DVCS Account page, and the prompt to link Bitbucket Cloud already up. Yep, click “Link Bitbucket Cloud” again.

This takes me to Bitbucket – which because I have 2FA Enabled, causes my browser to ask for my hardware key – which of course I left downstairs again...

Also, Atlassian, I’m not about making life harder, but is it possible to get U2F on our entire Atlassian Account, not just Bitbucket?

Plug in my hardware key and click it, and I’m in. I can grant access to this Jira instance from my Bitbucket account.

Back to Jira, where I can grant reciprocal access.

And then I get a confirmation that it’s complete!

To add a Github.com account to your Jira instance, you will be required to install an App on your instance. But the App, thankfully, is free. Click this link near the top of your DVCS Accounts page, and then click “Get App” on the marketplace.

This will bring up a pop-up, where you again click “Get it now.”

In the bottom left of the Marketplace, you should see this confirmation pop-up. Click “Manage App”

This will take you to your App Management terminal, where you can see what you have installed and manage licenses. On the sidebar, click “GitHub for Jira”

Now I can click “Connect GitHub Organization”

Be aware, that this will cause a pop-up in a new screen – which Firefox doesn’t always like.

I click “Options” and click “Allow from thejiraguy.atlassian.net”, and my Pop-Ups appear. I’m not on Github, where I can authorize Jira.

I then get a message saying “No GitHub organizations with Jira installed” and an option to install Github for Jira on a new organization. I click that to proceed.

I then select “All Repositories” and then click “Install”

And stop by once more for U2F authentication – good think I already grabbed it for Bitbucket.

It is not ready to connect my Jira instance to GitHub. Click connect next to your Jira instance. Be aware the same Atlassian account can be connected to – or even administrate – multiple Jira Cloud sites, so be sure you pay attention to what you are clicking.

And we are done Connecting GitHub. Jira will kick off a sync immediately, so just sit back and watch.

Step Five: Adding Users

Remember what I said earlier about it only being a single-user site? I lied. Jira is a collaboration tool, and collaboration implies more than one person. So I’ll be adding a second and third user as, well, so that I can compare and contrast what’s available to users, project admins, and site admins. To start this, I go to my Admin Gear and click “User Management”

This takes me over to https://admin.atlassian.com, where I can invite users to this instance. I can now enter some other email addresses. No, you don’t get to see those email addresses. I happen to know both of these accounts have Atlassian ID accounts too, but that is not a requirement – if they do not have an account associated with that email, they will be prompted to create one when the click to join.

One you click add team members, everyone who’s email you entered will get a message like this.

When they click “Join the Team”, they will be asked to log in, after which they’ll be added to your instance. Be aware this is the point where they become billable on a paid plan, so don’t go too crazy just yet.

Step Six: Use Jira

Go back to your subdomain, and go into the project you created. At this point (thankfully) navigation isn’t too different from Jira Data Center, so make issues, assign them out, and get started.

As you can see, I have a good few ideas already in motion as I explore Cloud while heading towards my ACP Exam.

Final Thoughts

Even though I have ideas, I still want to hear what you think. If you’ve made the switch to Jira Cloud, what parts did you find challenging? What are things that became easier as you made that journey? Let me know! I might compile them into another post or two as well!

The same goes for any other ideas you have! I’ve gotten a good few suggestions over the past month-and-a-half, and I’m working them into the lineup too.

If you want more Jira Goodness, be sure to check out my social media links on my Linktree. I’ve been especially active on Twitter but working to get back to posting on all my social platforms. Reach out and say “Hi!”

You can also subscribe to the blog to get posts emailed directly to you! This is the fastest way to be notified of new posts, so I’ll hope you will check it out!

But until next week (yes, Next week!), my name is Rodney, asking “Have you updated your Jira issues today?”


1 Comment

  1. This is great. I’m the admin of 2000 user instances of both Confluence and Jira. We face lots of choices over the coming months. Datacenter? Cloud? Will cloud domain names be a thing by then? The subdomain just won’t fly for branding reasons.

    So many choices that are tough to make.


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