Ceptah Bridge is a Microsoft Office Project add-in that integrates MS Project with Atlassian Jira.

Below is a list of the typical steps you take when using Ceptah Bridge to make tasks of your project available to JIRA users and to assign and track the tasks.

  • Work starts with either exporting MS Project tasks to Jira or importing issues from Jira. The former creates issues in Jira and assigns them to users according to the MS Project assignments and synchronisation settings specified for the project. The latter creates and allocates tasks in the MS Project schedule.

  • As you make changes to the tasks and issues, you synchronise them with each other.

  • Using the flexible customization mechanism, you can specify which fields should be copied from MS Project to Jira, and which fields should be copied from Jira to MS Project.

  • As the users resolve issues in JIRA, you can browse the resolved issues using the add-in and close or reopen them according to the workflow.

The illustration below shows the blocks Ceptah Bridge consists of and the features it provides.

Ceptah Bridge structure

Ceptah Bridge uses the following concepts.

Connection Settings are the instance URL, user credentials and other parameters required to establish a connection to Jira. Ceptah Bridge uses these settings by default if there are no connection settings provided on the project level. Connection Settings are unique for each Windows user (profile).

Project settings consist of synchronization mappings and project connection settings.

Synchronization mappings define how data is synchronized between Jira and MS Project. You can specify the fields of MS Project tasks and JIRA issues to copy data to or from during synchronization and the direction of the transformation (from MS Project to JIRA or from JIRA to MS Project). Also, you can set the default values to be used for JIRA fields when there is no relevant data in the project document.

Project Connection Settings can be specified to override the Global Connection Settings for a particular project.

Unlike the Global Connection Settings, the project-level Connection Settings are stored in the document itself and are specific for each project. Please be advised that your JIRA password, if provided, is stored in the Project document as part of connection settings. Although it’s protected and cannot be used to log into JIRA, any person who has access to the project file can use Ceptah Bridge with Jira on your behalf.

The Synchronize feature ensures the data integrity between tasks in MS Project documents and issues in JIRA according to the mappings provided.

Among other parameters, the mappings define which custom field in MS Project (Text1…Text30) stores the key of the issue linked to the task.

Synchronisation of a project starts with identifying differences between the data in MS Project and Jira to be resolved. Ceptah Bridge prepares a list of proposed changes to be made in Jira and/or MS Project. A change in the list can be either a creation of an issue or an update of the task and/or issue.

For the tasks that have to be synchronized but haven’t been linked with issues, “create” changes will be scheduled. After an issue is created, its key is stored in the above mentioned custom field of the respective task.

If a task is already linked to an issue, but the mapped fields do not match, an “update” change will added to the list. This change specifies which fields of the issue and which fields of the task should be set to what values.

Before applying the changes, the user has a chance to review them and un-select the ones they do not want to be processed. Also, it is possible to reverse the direction of synchronisation for some fields individually.

After reviewed the changes, the user can launch the synchronization. This will create new issues and updates existing issues and tasks as required.

Existing issues can be imported to MS Project from Jira using the Import function. The imported issues can be filtered out by project, issue key or using an existing filter or JQL.

Before deploying Ceptah Bridge, it is a good idea to clarify requirements and get a clear picture of what the workflow is going to be and what data needs to be synchronised.

Once the goals are defined, the implementation will include the following steps:

  • Customising Jira to add missing custom fields, issue types and issue links, granting permissions, etc.

  • Configuring mappings in Ceptah Brdige.

  • Testing the mappings with a temporary test project in Jira.