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Vetting Jira Apps

Maximize the power of Jira with apps? Or keep your Jira instance clean and lean by limiting apps? This checklist will help you decide.
min. read
Jun 16, 2022

One of the many things you can use Jira for is…managing Jira.  One of the ways you can get the most out of Jira is by taking advantage of a few of the thousands of Jira apps available in the Atlassian Marketplace. The other way you can get the most out of Jira is by keeping your instance clean and efficient, which means – among other things – not installing too many apps.

So how do you choose which Jira apps to install? And how do you manage the decision process?

Vetting Jira Apps

Given the abundance of apps in the Marketplace, and the fact that you can usually find multiple apps for any given function, you’ll need some criteria for choosing which apps you want to use. In the Jira Strategy Admin Workbook, Rachel Wright recommends asking the following questions when vetting an app:

  1. What does the app do? Who at our company will use it (how many users and how often)?
  2. Is the app compatible with Jira?
  3. Compatible with the current Jira version?
  4. With our hosting (Cloud/Server/Data Center)?
  5. Are there any compatibility issues with other Jira apps we have installed?
  6. Are there any external or internal dependencies?
  7. Is the app created by Atlassian or another trusted source?
  8. What information is available about the source?
  9. Is contact information available?
  10. Is installation and/or post-installation support available?
  11. Does the app appear to be well maintained?
  12. What is the current version number
  13. When was the last update
  14. How ofter are updates available?
  15. Do updates appear to be ongoing?
  16. Is the app widely used?
  17. Are there favorable reviews?
  18. Do the reviews appear to be legitimate (written by real users)?
  19. Do the reviews and support issues mention bugs, performance, or security problems?
  20. What is the price/renewal requirement for the license level?
  21. Is a free trial available?

Testing Jira Apps

If after considering the questions above, you decide to proceed, you’ll want to test the app in a test environment that mirrors your production instance. Make sure that you have enough sample data available to sufficiently test the app’s functionality. Enlist the person who made the original requestor in the testing (this not only tests the software, but ensure that the app does what the requestor thinks it does).

While the requestor and/or other users are engaged in acceptance testing, the tech team can conduct a security and performance reviews, making sure that no features of the app can be easily hacked or maliciously used; and that using the app doesn’t negatively impact Jira’s performance.

Keeping Track of It All

Between vetting and testing the app, you’ll have a lot of information to keep track of. An easy way to do that is to receive and manage requests for Jira apps in a JSM project. You can create a template checklist that tracks the vetting, testing and even the procurement processes.

Along with ensuring that you choose the right app, it will guarantee that everyone goes through the same process. (Why does the tech team always get the best tools?!)

Already using Issue Checklist for Jira? Copy this list to create a template in your project.

--- Vetting

  • [] Doesn't replicate functionality we already have?
  • [] Cloud compatible?
  • [] Compatible with our current Jira version?
  • [] Compatible with currently installed Jira apps?
  • [] Contact info available for the vendor?
  • [] Pre/post installation support available?
  • [] App is sufficiently mature (version number)?
  • [] App is maintained/has regular updates?
  • [] App has favorable reviews
    --- Testing
  • [] Trial started on testing instance
  • [] Meets user acceptance criteria
  • [] Meets security standards
  • [] No negative impact on Jira performance
  • [] No errors shown in the logs
    --- Procurring
  • [] Request submitted
  • [] Budget approved
  • [] Security approved
Jennifer Choban

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