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Understand GitHub for Jira's backfill process

When you connect a GitHub organization through GitHub for Jira, the history from that organization is imported to Jira (called backfilling).

We automatically backfill 6 months of history for pull requests, deployments, builds, and commits, and import all history for branches.

Once the organization’s connected, its history continues to sync so it’s always up to date.

You can choose to import more than the default 6 months of data, or overwrite the current history if you’re having issues with the imported data.

Run a manual backfill

To start the backfill process:

  1. In the top menu, go to Apps > Manage your apps > GitHub for Jira.

  2. Select settings () for your GitHub organization, then Continue backfill.

  3. Select the date you want to start importing history from, then Backfill data.

If you select a date earlier than what’s already been backfilled, only the new data will be imported.

To overwrite the existing data, select the Restart the backfill from today to this date checkbox.

The backfill process can take some time. You can keep working in Jira and it will run in the background.

How backfilling works

If you select a date that’s further back than your current history, we’ll backfill only the extra data.

For example, if you have 6 months of history backfilled already, and select 12 months of history, we’ll only import the missing 6 months.

However, if you check the Restart the backfill… checkbox, we’ll overwrite the existing history and import the entire 12 months of data. You’ll only notice changes to the data that was already backfilled if it doesn’t match what’s in GitHub.

Restarting the backfill process will reimport all historical data.

Requirements for backfill data

To get backfilled into Jira, the historical data needs to meet certain 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 status, 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:


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