• Products
  • Documentation
  • Resources

Understand GitHub for Jira’s backfill and syncing process

GitHub for Jira automatically backfills and continuously syncs historical data such as pull requests, deployments, branches, builds, and commits. This ensures that your Jira issues stay up-to-date with your GitHub repositories, making your project management more efficient and accurate.

Initiating the backfill process

GitHub for Jira automatically initiates the backfill process once you have successfully installed and configured the app. The initial backfill will include 6 months worth of GitHub history. However, if you want to manually continue the backfill, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the GitHub for Jira page by clicking Apps > Manage Apps > GitHub for Jira

  2. Click the settings menu of your preferred GitHub organization and select Continue Backfill.

  3. To backfill data for more than the default 6 months, select Continue backfill and edit the date.

  4. Once backfilling is complete, you can view the date and status of the backfill of each organization.

Note that this process can take some time depending on the amount of data to be backfilled. However, instead of waiting around, you can go back to working in Jira as latest GitHub data will be synced to Jira whilst backfill is in progress. (Learn how to link development information from GitHub here.)

Criteria for Backfilling Data

Jira will include historical data that meets the following criteria:

For branches (at least one of the following must be true):

  • The branch name contains the issue key.

  • The title of the latest pull request associated with the branch contains the issue key.

  • The last commit message of the branch contains the issue key.

For commits:

  • All commits from the default branch will be backfilled. The commit message must contain the Jira issue key.

  • Only the latest 50 commits from non-default branches will be backfilled.

  • Unreachable commits (e.g., from deleted branches) will not be backfilled.

For pull requests:

  • All pull requests, regardless of their statuses, will be backfilled. The Jira issue key should be included either in the title of the pull request, in the description of the pull request, or in the name of the source branch of the pull request.

For builds and deployments:

  • All builds and deployments data will be backfilled that contain the issue keys. Learn how to include issue keys in the builds and deployments here.

Handling errors

If an error occurs during the backfilling process, the app will prompt you to retry the backfilling for the failed repositories without restarting the entire process. Note that this does not account for permission errors - you'll need to resolve any permissions errors before retrying.

Ongoing sync

During an ongoing sync, when a workflow (e.g., GitHub Action) or a development event (e.g., pull request, commit, branch) runs, the app receives a webhook from GitHub. It then extracts the issue key from the respective branch/commit/PR and sends this information to Jira.

Additional Help