Changes That Comes with JIRA 7


Lets quickly review how things were before JIRA 7. There was only one single JIRA product and if you wanted to manage software teams, you simply needed to install JIRA Agile add-on on top of JIRA. If you were managing service teams, you simply installed the JIRA Service Desk add-on. Now with JIRA 7, JIRA is split into three different products:

  • JIRA Core
  • JIRA Software
  • JIRA Service Desk

Each of these products are separately installable and licensable. JIRA Core is nearly the same JIRA software but by default its workflows, built-in fields are tailored for business projects. For example there may be no fix versions, release versions fields by default. JIRA Software is old JIRA plus JIRA Agile and tailored for software projects by default. It contains boards, sprints, agile reports for managing software project. JIRA Agile is no longer a separate add-on it is a part of JIRA Software. Like JIRA Agile, JIRA Service Desk is also no longer a separate add-on, it is a part of JIRA Service Desk application. JIRA Service Desk contains queues, SLAs, customer portal and knowledge base integration. Both JIRA Software and JIRA Service desk contains all features of JIRA Core. In short you have now 3 options while buying a JIRA. Of course you can buy license for three of them and use all inside one single application.


Licensing models and prices are also adjusted. Atlassian tried its best for not affecting customer’s current pricing while determining the new prices. Cost JIRA Software is cost of old JIRA plus JIRA Agile. So if a customer were using JIRA Agile and JIRA together they won’t have any price change and according to Atlassian this is 70% of their total customers. Service Desk customers will pay slightly lower prices if their number of agents is higher than 15.

You can add additional licenses for different JIRA products into a single application. For example you have a 100 user JIRA Software license, you can add 250 user JIRA Core license and 50 agent JIRA Service Desk license into your installation. As you can see they may have different number of users for each application. So how is another add-on licensed if you can have different user tiers inside a single installation? Simple, an add-on is installed globally to all applications so an add-on’s user tier should match to the product with highest user count.

Application Access

Assuming that you have installed JIRA Service Desk and JIRA Software licenses into your installation, how do you manage which license group is used by which user? There is a new setting group, called “Applications” and under that group you will see a new “Application Access” link. From there you can specify which user groups are allowed for which application. Since JIRA Software and JIRA Service Desk contains JIRA Core features you don’t need to give these users a separate JIRA Core license. Save JIRA Core licenses for your HR Department, Legal Department or similar departments that do not need software and service desk specific features like boards, SLAs.

JIRA Application Access

Also you can add an application any time you want. For example if you have 250 user JIRA Software license and you are close to your user limit, and you want to grant access to HR and Marketing teams you may buy only JIRA Core license for them and save your JIRA Software license for your engineering team. The number of users doesn’t need to match with JIRA Software. You can buy 50 user JIRA Core license in addition to your 10.000 user JIRA Software license.

Assuming that you have all three licenses for JIRA; Core, Software and Service Desk, and you have split your users among them according to their role inside the company. Obviously users who has access to JIRA Core but not to JIRA Software will sometimes need to enter a comment, create an issue, make a workflow transition on an issue which belongs to a software project. This will not be a problem. Likewise a user from JIRA Core or JIRA Software can collaborate on an issue that belongs to a service desk project. So, what is limited? Answer is simple, only product specific features are limited. For example a user from JIRA Core can’t use boards, sprint reports from a JIRA Software project and they can’t work as an agent or access SLAs for SD project. JIRA Software and SD users can access all features of JIRA Core (Business) projects.

Some other changes:

  • JIRA Service Desk Data Center is now available, like JIRA Software. Data center edition is not available for JIRA Core though.
  • Create project dialog groups project templates in three categories (if you have license for both JIRA Software and JIRA Service Desk); Business Projects, Service Projects, Software Projects as shown in the following screenshot.

JIRA New Project Dialog

  • All JIRA 7 licenses are compatible with JIRA 6.x, JIRA Agile and JIRA Service Desk. So if you don’t want to upgrade to JIRA 7, you can still get JIRA 7 license and use it with old JIRA, JIRA Agile, JIRA SD.
  • JIRA Service Desk 3.0 licenses are backward compatible with JIRA SD 2.x.
  • All Jira SD 3.0 licenses are agent based. If a customer has 50 user based license they will be able to renew for 50 agent license for the same price only once. They can use this period to switch to new agent based licensing model.