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Migrating to Jira Cloud: How to Get Started

As support for Atlassian Server products nears the end, here's a few tips to get you started on your migration journey to cloud.
min. read
Jan 22, 2024

Migrating to Jira Cloud

The end is near. Support for Atlassian Server products, including Jira Server, ends on February 15th. That’s just a few weeks away. If you’ve been thinking about migrating to cloud, but haven’t done it yet, we wanted to share a few tips and resources to help you get started.

Migrating to Jira Cloud: Go It Alone or Get Help

Once you’ve decided to migrate to cloud, you’ll need a strategy for executing the migration. One of the first things you’ll need to decide is whether or not to do it yourself or hire a help. Depending on the size of your instance, your experience with migrations, and your risk tolerance it may make sense to hire a Solution Partner to guide you through the migration process.

There are several advantages to using a Solution Partner. While migration is likely to be a once in a blue moon occurrence for most organizations, Solution Partners literally perform migrations all of the time. They’ve learned what questions to ask, what preparations to make, and what things can go wrong. And along with the benefit of their experience, Solution Partners also have access Atlassian support agents who specialize in migrations.

When searching for a Solution Partner, be prepared to provide basic information about what your migration will require:

  • Atlassian on-prem products and versions you currently use
  • Third-party Jira apps you use, and want to continue using once you’ve migrated
  • The number of users in your instance
  • Your target migration date

Check out our Partner Page for assistance locating a Solution Partner to walk you through your migration.

Resources for Migrating to Jira Cloud

If you’re going to perform the migration on your own, the good news is that there are a lot of resources to help you in your move from Server/Data Center to Jira Cloud. Here are few key ones to know about:

  • The Jira Cloud Migration Assistant – An Atlassian-created app to help with migrations from Server or Data Center to Cloud. Along with data migration, the Jira Cloud Migration Assistant includes checks and assessments so you can validate that data will successfully migrate.
  • Atlassian’s Server to Cloud Migration Guide – Just what it sounds like, this guide is Atlassian’s documentation on how to plan, prepare for, and execute a migration to Jira cloud.
  • The Ultimate Guide to Jira Migrations – Published by Appfire, and written by author, educator and Jira super-user, Rachel Wright, this 200+ page guide is both thorough and practical. Along with instructions, the book includes worksheets, assessments and checklists to help make sure you don’t miss any key steps along the way.

Migrating to Jira Cloud with Checklists

Speaking of checklists, we know you’ll want to take yours with you when you come to cloud, so we’ve provide instructions tailored to the on-prem add-on you’re coming from.

Migrating from Checklist for Jira on-prem to Checklist for Jira Enterprise

Migrating from Smart Checklist for Jira (Server or Data Center)

Migrating to Jira Cloud If You Use Checklist for Jira

Checklist for Jira | Enterprise offers similar functionality to Checklist for Jira on-prem, but it’s important to understand that the Cloud and Server/Data Center apps work in different ways.

Checklist for Jira on-prem creates a new custom field type, allowing you to create a custom field for each checklist you use. This allows you to use checklists anywhere you can use a Jira field, including on create and transition screens. The checklist fields are indexed and include many indexing functions for advanced JQL searches. The checklist data is stored directly in Jira and will be exported along with other Jira fields. Each checklist can have multiple contexts that can be assigned to specific projects and issue types. This allows you to create one custom field (for example, DoD) with different checklist items for different projects/issue types.

In cloud, checklists are stored in an external database which is then rendered in the checklist UI on the Jira issue. There is no checklist custom field type, and the checklists have different configuration options than those available on-prem.  This approach means that less support is required from the Jira Administrator (by default, checklist permissions follow issue permissions: anyone who can edit the issue can create/edit checklists on the issue) and you can create limitless checklists without adding to your custom field count.

Checklist for Jira | Enterprise includes a dedicated importer for transferring your checklists to cloud. See this article for a detailed migration instructions when you’re ready to get started.

Migrating to Jira Cloud If You Use Smart Checklist for Jira

Issue Checklist for Jira includes a built in importer to help you migrate. You must first migrate from Smart Checklist for Jira Server to Smart Checklist for Jira cloud. Then follow the instructions in Issue Checklist for Jira documentation to bring your checklist items over to Issue Checklist for Jira.

Not using checklist in Jira? Learn more about what checklists in Jira cloud can do for you.

As a final step for any migration process, remember that change is hard. Be sure you’re providing training, support and reassurance as they adjust to the cloud environment.


Jennifer Choban

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