JIRA project management and time tracking plug-ins - Ceptah

Get help with linking your JIRA to Microsoft Project

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'JIRA' is missing from the ribbon (or from the menu for Project 2007 or earlier)

In 99.99% of cases this is because the bitness of your MS Project is different from the bitness of the installed Ceptah Bridge package. If you are using MS Project 2000, 2003, 2007 or the 32-bit version of 2010, 2013 or 2016, the 32-bit package needs to be installed even if the Windows is 64 bit. For MS Project 2010-2016 64 bit, use the 64-bit installer. No matter how confident you are that you are running the correct version, please go to FILE > Account > About Project and double-check. It will be right at the top.

If the bitness does not match, uninstall the product and install it using the right installer. Make sure that you uninstalled the other package before installing the correct one because failing to do so may create issues as well.

Also, the following may cause the problem.

  • Antivirus software may prevent the product from being installed correctly. Check the C:\Program Files\Ceptah\Msp JIRA Bridge folder (C:\Program Files (x86)\Ceptah\Msp JIRA Bridge on Windows 64 bit). There should be more than 30 files in the directory. If there are no files or only a few, disable the antivirus, uninstall the product, install it again and then turn the antivirus on.
  • The add-in can be disabled. To check its status by clicking FILE > Options > Add-Ins and then Com Add-ins > GO... in MS Project.
  • Some rogue 3-rd party add-ins can make the ADD-INS tab disappear completely. Try disabling 3-rd party add-ins if you can see that Ceptah Bridge is there and enabled.

Error 401 (Unauthorized)

This is because your login or password is incorrect. Please check the user name, re-enter the password and try again. Be mindful of the fact that there are global and project-level settings. The latter override the former, if provided. Make sure that you are testing the settings in effect.

Also, if you are using JIRA Cloud, please update to Ceptah Bridge 3.6.5 or newer or tick the 'Always use basic authentication' option in the connection settings.

Error 403 (Forbidden)

The most common cause of this error is a locked JIRA account. It gets locked after a few attempts to log in with invalid credentials. To resolve the issue, do the following:

  1. Open the effective connection settings, check the login and re-enter the password. You need to fix the password before unlocking the account. If you try to open the project settings while the password is invalid, the account will be locked again because Ceptah Bridge will try to access JIRA with the wrong credentials.

  2. Log in to JIRA through the web UI in the browser. If you are logged in, log out and log in again. If JIRA has added the CAPTCHA test to the regular log-in screen, that means that the account is locked. After you have logged in, the account will be unlocked.

  3. Test the connection in Ceptah Bridge and save the settings.

"There is more than one issue type with the name "????" in JIRA" error

If you have multiple issue types with the same name, you need to use the following format for the Default Issue Type in the settings and the field mapped to Issue Type:

Task (<id>)

, where <id> is the ID of the issue type.

To see the available types and their IDs in the above format, just open the Default Project drop-down. The type with a small ID will be the standard Task, and the one with an ID in thousands will be the additional non-standard issue type.

The duplication should not happen unless you are using the new JIRA Agility Templates. If the duplication happened for a different reason, we recommend renaming one of the types.

How to create sub-tasks in JIRA

To create subtasks, you will need to map JIRA Issue Type to an MS Project text field (e.g. Text12) and then populate the field with a subtask issue type (e.g. 'Sub-Task') for the MS Project tasks that should produce sub-tasks in JIRA. Please also make sure that the parent tasks of these tasks are or will be associated with JIRA issues (e.g. will not be skipped during synchronisation) because the new sub-tasks will need a parent.

How to map JIRA users to MS Project resources without using their logins as resource names

Please review this tutorial.

How to make the Bridge skip some tasks during synchronisation

To skip a particular task, enter 'skip' in the field containing issue key (Text10 by default).

No differences found during synchronisation

If you start synchronisation, but no changes are coming up in the list, most likely this is because you have not specified resources for the tasks in your project. By default, such tasks are skipped during synchronisation. The number of skipped tasks is displayed in the left bottom corner of the synchronisation window.

To solve the problem, either assign resources to the tasks or change the synchronisation settings.

Does the Bridge support Microsoft Project Server and Project Online?

Ceptah Bridge works with projects stored in any version of Microsoft Project Server and in Project Online. It also works with resources from the Global Resource Pool and can synchronise Enterprise fields. You will need Project Professional to use Ceptah Bridge with the server products.

How to map MS Project Server Enterprise fields

The Enterprise Fields are supported, but they are not available in the drop-down lists. Please enter the field names manually where required.

Notes on the Time Tracking mappings

  • The most (if not the only) sensible way of mapping Remaining Estimate to the MS Project *Work fields is either

    • Remaining Estimate + Time Spent => Work or

    • Remaining Estimate <= Work - Time Spent,

    depending on the desired direction of synchronisation. This is the default configuration in Ceptah Bridge.

  • Always consider how fields are related in MS Project. For example, mapping both Work and Finish with the direction from JIRA to MS Project will not work properly because changing Work will change Finish and updating Finish resets Work. It is extremely unlikely that both mappings will produce compatible results, thus one of the fields will always be out of sync. The solution here is to configure one of the mappings to copy data from MS project to JIRA. This is a sensible thing to do because it will allow you utilising MS Project for what it is good at - planning and scheduling. It will take effort from JIRA, schedule the activity and send back the Finish date. Alternatively, you can import Due Date, calculate the effort required to arrive on it and publish the Remaining Estimate in JIRA.

  • It may appear logical to map Remaining Estimate to Remaining Work, but, in practice, that will not work because MS Project will automatically reflect any Remaining Work changes in the total Work field, and the task will grow or shrink even if the total effort in JIRA has not changed. Probably we should not have added the Remaining Work field to the dropdown box at all so that it would not confuse the users.

  • Mapping Original Estimate to Duration is not a good idea either. Firstly, because Original Estimate is original and is different from the actual effort. But most importantly, because they have a different measure - the JIRA estimates are man-hours, whereas MS Project Duration is just the number of working hours between Start and Finish. It is much better to update Work based on the values from JIRA and let MS Project calculate Duration and Finish for you. As an option, then you may want to set Due Date in JIRA to Finish from MS Project to close the loop.

  • A good fit for Original Estimate is Baseline Work.

How to leave Security Level, Components, Fix Versions or Affects Versions blank when a default value is specified

When an issue is created or synchronized and the mapped field in MS Project is blank, the JIRA field is set to the default value specified in the mappings.

To make the JIRA field empty regardless of the default settings, enter '(none)' in the respective column in MS Project.

How to map JIRA Issue Priority to MS Project Task Priority

It is not possible to map Issue Priority to Task Priority directly. However, Issue Priority can be mapped to a text field (e.g. Text3) and a macro that updates the task priority based on the text field can be written and run using the Ceptah Bridge events after synchronisation.

The macro should look as follows:

Sub OnSyncTaskAfterUpdate(Project As Project, Task As Task) Select Case task.Text3 Case "Blocker" task.Priority = 700 Case "Critical" task.Priority = 700 Case "Major" task.Priority = 500 Case "Minor" task.Priority = 300 Case "Trivial" task.Priority = 100 End Select End Sub

How to synchronise JIRA work log with MS Project task usage data on user by user basis

Please go to JIRA -> Project Settings, select the "Time tracking" tab, tick "Time Spent", select "Daily actual work" and then tick "For each assignment". This will populate the time scale entries for your tasks with the data from JIRA work log on user by user and day by day basis.

Please note that the option is disabled if the Assignee is mapped to MS Project Resource on the first tab page. You need to map assignee to a text field or avoid mapping it at all to enable the "For each assignment" option. The reason for the limitation is that MS Project allows assigning multiple resources to the same task while JIRA does not. "For each assignment" option implies associating multiple resources with the same task. At the same time, there is no way for the user to tell Ceptah Bridge which particular resource to use as assignee. For instance, it would not make sense to use the first resource from the Resource Names list as the order is simply alphabetical.