Project Configurator and Configuration Manager for Jira Features Comparison

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Project Configurator for Jira (PCJ) and Configuration Manager for Jira (CMJ) are apps owned by Appfire that help Jira administrators export and import project configurations and issue data between Jira instances.

Main Differences between Project Configurator for Jira and Configuration Manager for Jira

The two apps have very similar features, which makes it possible for the Project Configurator’s users to switch quickly to Configuration Manager for Jira. However, they have differences in their design that affect their performance and efficiency.

 

PCJ

 

Architecture & design

Project Configurator for Jira (PCJ) was designed as a simple XML export-import tool built on Jira’s native export-import functionality.

Performance

PCJ has inherited Jira’s built-in limitations. These limitations affect PCJ’s performance speed and feature development plans.


Supported hosting types

PCJ is only available for Jira Server and DC.

Safeguard mechanisms

PCJ offers fewer safeguard mechanisms for the integrity of the target Jira system. The app provides tools to identify potential conflicts in a planned project import. However, unresolved errors during import will be skipped and, as a result, cause partial imports.

CMJ

 

Architecture & design

Configuration Manager for Jira (CMJ) is an enterprise-standard solution designed to provide data portability with forward compatibility and ensure the stability and integrity of your Jira.

Performance

Because CMJ’s architecture was intentionally created not to inherit Jira’s native limitations, customers observe better performance - over 10x faster data imports.

Supported hosting types

CMJ is available for Jira Server, DC, and Cloud.

Safeguard mechanisms

CMJ puts a great focus on keeping the integrity of the target Jira system. The app’s safeguard mechanisms prevent corrupted configuration from being deployed on a production server and also eliminate the risk of breaking the existing Jira configuration with the introduced changes.

PCJ and CMJ Features Parity

While these apps address similar use cases, specific features in each app impact safety and instance integrity, data capacity and speed, and overall user experience.

The reference table below compares the features of PCJ and CMJ by providing a description for each of them. At the end of each feature description, you may find an expandable section containing an image of the feature.

CMJ comes with the Power Admin and Integrity Check for Jira apps

The purchase of CMJ includes licenses for two additional apps: Power Admin for Jira and Integrity Check for Jira. These two apps are designed to be used with CMJ to make deployments cleaner and safer. Some of Power Admin’s and Integrity Check’s features are alternatives for features in PCJ, so you will occasionally find we have linked to documentation for Power Admin or Integrity Check.

Feature

PCJ

CMJ

Feature

PCJ

CMJ

General functionality

Export & import

Based on Jira’s native export-import functionality.

To learn more about Jira’s native functionality, read the following Atlassian’s articles:

Export and import don’t rely on Jira’s native functionality.

Еxport of data is achieved through the creation of snapshots of your Jira system or individual projects. A snapshot captures the state of Jira configuration objects at a given point in time.

Data import is done by deploying the created snapshot to a target Jira instance.

Rollbаck Mechanism

Not available.

By checking the Stop deployment in case of possible data loss option in the General Settings, you will allow CMJ to stop any in-progress deployment if there is a possibility of data loss. This will roll back all previously applied changes and the Jira configuration initial state will be restored.

Learn more about Data Loss Prevention mechanisms in CMJ.

 

 

Identifying broken configurations on your system

You can run an import simulation in PCJ v. 3.0.0+ before every import task. The simulation provides a preview of the configuration changes that will be applied to your target system. It also displays warnings and errors generated from the import file.

Unresolved errors will not prevent you from performing an actual import with PCJ. However, the import will be partial as the objects containing an error will not be imported. This may cause problems with the integrity of your target Jira instance.

 

The built-in Integrity Check for Jira app automatically detects and shows Jira configuration warnings and errors. You can run it on your snapshots to check if they contain corrupted configurations. You can also run it on your source Jira instance before creating a snapshot (i.e. data export). Finally, you can use it separately on your Jira instances to get insight about the health of your Jira system.

You will not be allowed to perform a deployment, if your snapshot or Jira instance contain unresolved errors. Also, you will not be allowed to create snapshots of Jira instances that have integrity errors.

 

History/Audit Log

The History log provides a list of all imports and exports. For detailed configuration changes, you need to download a Summary file.

The Audit log provides a summary of all exports and imports. You can view detailed configuration changes inside the UI without downloading a file.

Automation

You can implement common scripts necessary for automation.

For automation purposes both CMJ and Integrity Check have a REST API.

CMJ REST API

Integrity Check for Jira REST API

App Integrations

A small list of apps integrated with PCJ.

Many apps are already integrated with CMJ and many more are on their way.

See the List of Integrated Apps.

Learn more in the App Integrations' platform space.

App Settings Location

In the admin panel’s Manage Apps left-hand menu.

In a separate Configuration Manager tab in the admin panel.

Export

Export system configuration

Not available.

CMJ allows you to create a system snapshot to export only the configuration of your Jira system without including any issue data.

Export project configuration

The configuration only option in the Export projects menu allows you to export the configuration of selected or all projects on your system. This option ignores issue data.

You can also include filters, dashboards, Agile boards, custom fields, users, and groups in your export (see more below).

The Project Configuration snapshot allows you to create a snapshot to export the configuration of selected or all projects on your system. This mode ignores issue data.

 

Export projects with issue data

The complete project option in the Export projects menu allows you to export the configuration and the issue data of selected or all projects on your system.

You can also include attachments, filters, dashboards, Agile boards, custom fields, users, and groups in your export (see more below).

The Project with Issues mode allows you to create a snapshot to export the configuration and issue data of selected or all projects on your system. You can also choose to include all issues in the snapshot or include only a subset of the project issues by using a JQL filter.

 

Include filters, dashboards, Agile boards

You can export filters, dashboards, and Agile boards based on their share permissions, like Shared With All Users, Shared With Exported Projects, None, etc. You cannot select filters, dashboards or Agile boards by name.

In the Select phase of the snapshot creation you can include all filters, Agile boards, and dashboards of selected projects.

Additionally, you can manually include any number of filters, dashboards, or Agile boards on the system, even if they are not associated with the projects in the snapsot. You can select them by name or association with a project. Read more about including filters, dashboards, and Agile boards.

Include custom fields

The option to export custom fields allows you to select whether to export all custom fields or only those that are used by the exported projects. Values set for fields in issues of the exported projects are ignored and as a result not imported.

Custom fields are automatically included in the snapshot if they are referenced by another configuration object in the snapshot, e.g. a screen, workflow, etc. If a custom field is referenced only by the Field configuration menu in Jira, it will not be included in the snapshot.

If you select the include custom fields with value in at least one issue option, CMJ will add to the snapshot all custom fields that have values in at least one issue in the exported projects. Read more.

Include users

The User options allow you to export: all users, only users with valid user names, or to not export any users at all.

Users are automatically added to the snapshots if they are referenced by other configuration objects or issue data in the included projects.

Read more about how users are handled in CMJ.

Include groups

The Group options allow you to export: all groups, only valid groups, or to not export any groups at all.

Groups are automatically added to the snapshots if they are referenced by other configuration objects in the included projects. However, groups that are added to the snapshot are empty i.e. without users. After the snapshot is deployed on the target Jira, it is up to the admin to add the users to the empty groups.

Read more about how groups are handled in CMJ.

Include attachments

Only available when the complete project option is chosen. You can include all attachments automatically or individual ones manually. When manually added, you’ll need to copy the source attachments from the source to the target before launching a complete import.

Only available in Project with Issues mode. You can include issue attachments for all selected projects during snapshot creation or later in the deployment process. If added during deployment, you’ll need to provide the path where the attachment files reside on the target system.

Include app data

You can export the app data of an app, i.e. custom app configuration entities that are not part of Jira’s configuration. As a prerequisite, the app has to implement PCJ’s extension point “New custom entities”.
You cannot export apps' global configuration.

You can export apps' global configuration and data. As a prerequisite, the app has to implement CMJ’s “global configuration” and/or “app data” integration points.

When exporting only the configuration of your Jira system in System configuration mode you can export only global configuration of apps.

Read more about including apps' data and global configuration.

Access to export files

You must download the export file from the Export Complete screen, or make note of the folder where it’s stored. Once you leave this screen, you can’t get it back unless you create the export again.

Snapshots (or exports) can be accessed at any time from the Snapshots menu in CMJ. In this menu, you can view a list of all snapshots you have created, and also download, delete or recreate any of the snapshots.

Save export configuration

The Save configuration option allows you to save your custom configuration to use in future export tasks. This option can be selected only before starting the export.

The Recreate action in the snapshot table allows you to create a snapshot with identical configuration. Note that CMJ does not require the user to know prior to exporting if they want the option to save the snapshot for future use.

Import

Import Types

  • Project Configuration

  • Complete project (configuration and issue data)

The import type depends on the export file selected in the Import projects menu.

  • Project Configuration

  • Project Configuration with Issues

  • Entire System Configuration

Import is also known as snapshot deployment. The type of deployment depends on the type of snapshot you provide - containing a single project, multiple projects or system configuration.

Read more about the Deployment process.

Provide import file

You can import a configuration-only XML file or a complete project ZIP file to your target instance by providing the location where the file was saved.

Each configuration deployment (import) starts with providing a snapshot file. Configuration Manager offers three options for providing snapshots for deployment:

  • From Current Instance

  • From Linked Jira Instance

  • From Snapshot File

Import simulation

Import simulation is a reporting tool that you can use before running an import task. It provides a preview of the configuration changes that will be applied to your target instance and also displays warnings and errors generated from the import file. You can make changes directly in the import results page or to your target instance before proceeding with the actual import.

Once a snapshot is selected for deployment, CMJ displays a detailed change and impact analysis, which is created based on a simulated deployment of the snapshot onto the target. It gives insight into what configuration changes the deployment introduces and how they impact existing projects.

After you see which objects will be modified, you have the option to alter or avoid those modifications to objects on the target Jira system. For example, you can choose whether specific duplicate configuration elements are added as new or merged with the existing configuration on the target. This feature is called Selective Merge.

Skip imports options

Import options provide a lot of flexibility in terms of what you can skip, like users or issue data. No safeguards are provided to prevent you from breaking your configurations if you choose to skip certain imports.

Import options provide less flexibility in terms of skipping imports but this is a safeguard designed to prevent users from accidentally breaking configurations when certain imports are skipped.

Some advanced options are available, like the option to skip the import of versions and components or not merge project roles, object descriptions, or changes to avatars.

Selective Merge also allows you to skip or alter changes to the target objects during the import process.

Import workflows and workflow schemes

When trying to import a configuration with a workflow scheme, if a scheme with the same name already exists in the destination and is active, PCJ will create a draft for it. If the import option Publish Workflow Drafts is enabled, PCJ will publish the scheme draft automatically. If left unchecked, a Jira admin can publish the workflow drafts manually.

CMJ doesn’t create workflow drafts. It automatically updates all workflows and workflow schemes on the system after the snapshot deployment.

If a workflow or a workflow scheme with the same name exists it will be added or merged with the existing one depending on the deployment mode you choose.

Learn more about Deployment modes here.

Save import configuration

If you click the Save configuration button before launching an import, you can save the import options for quick future use.

Not available.

Object Dependencies

Analysis of dependencies between different objects on your system

The Object Dependencies Report provides a list of all configuration elements on your system and their dependencies. The report gives you a general idea of how the different configurations are used, but is not interactive. You must run the analysis on the entire system, which can take a lot of time.

Achieved through the Power Admin for Jira app, included with CMJ.

Provides a detailed analysis where you can examine a specific configuration element for more details and see the context/screens where objects are used on the system. You can easily configure, edit, delete, or merge specific configuration elements when necessary directly from the app.
Includes the flexibility to search for a specific configuration element by name or type, rather than scanning the entire system. Also supports Jira Service Management projects and their corresponding objects and references.

 

Analysis of dependencies in filters, dashboards, or software boards

Not available.

Power Admin detects dependencies of configuration elements to filters, dashboards, and agile boards and shows them in its reports.

Identifying and deleting unused configurations

The Object Dependencies Report doesn’t show inactive objects (e.g. workflows).

Power Admin allows you to delete configuration elements to keep your system clean. It detects which objects in your search are inactive and shows “Used by 0 projects” next to them. The “delete” action is enabled for these objects so you can remove them with one click.

Merging similar objects

Not available.

Power Admin allows you to merge duplicate or similar configuration elements, like custom fields.