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Mylyn Atlassian JIRA Connector Moving

Published By Mik Kersten

The Mylyn JIRA Connector has been developed as part of the Eclipse Mylyn project since 2006 (Bug 109905), when Wesley Coelho and I met in a Vancouver coffee shop and decided to start collaborating on an idea for a startup that involved extending Mylyn’s open source integrations to commercial tools. A year later Wesley became one of the first employees at a new company called Tasktop Technologies, the connector took off, saw steady community contributions, and Mylyn’s reach was extended to JIRA users. Later in 2007 we kicked off a collaboration with Atlassian to improve the JIRA Connector, which in 2008/09 led to Tasktop working with Atlassian to create the initial Atlassian Bamboo and Crucible connectors, now part of the Atlassian Connector for Eclipse effort hosted on

The time has come to merge the two codebases of Atlassian’s Eclipse integrations, and Atlassian has asked that the JIRA connector move to According to Atlassian, the decision migrate the source code to their own infrastructure was driven by a desire for greater operational efficiency. Both the implementation of the Connector for Eclipse and the APIs in Atlassian’s server products are evolving, and hosting all these projects in a unified infrastructure enables faster development and more frequent releases of new and improved functionality.

The Atlassian Connector for Eclipse will continue to be open source and distributed under the EPL. Anyone can view full project activity and download the full source at Currently, all committers to the Atlassian Connector for Eclipse are either Atlassian or Tasktop employees, but Atlassian is working to allow others to commit new functionality to the code base.

Mylyn has grown from two integrations to over four dozen, and is playing a driving role in developers’ adoption of Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) and Agile collaboration tools. Having a connector hosted as part of the Mylyn project used to be vital due to the friction of finding and installing Eclipse extensions, and the JIRA connector got very broad exposure. But with our introduction of the Mylyn Connector Discovery feature in last year’s Eclipse Galileo release, it became trivial for users to install Mylyn connectors wherever they are hosted. Also thanks to the discovery mechanism, the move will be transparent to users of the integration. For users of Tasktop and Mylyn, the main concern is the availability of a high-quality connector.

One of the most important aspects of Mylyn’s architecture is that it provides a unified user experience across all integrations, since the majority of the user interaction is handled by the Mylyn framework. Atlassian has provided assurance that they will contribute to the Mylyn framework as part of increasing their own resources behind the integration, which will help ensure that the integration evolves along with upcoming changes in Mylyn. An expected benefit of the move is that some of the shortcomings of the integration that stem from JIRA’s SOAP APIs, such as the lack of support for custom fields and workflows, will be addressed more quickly with all of the code hosted and supported under one umbrella. Tasktop’s relationship with Atlassian continues, and the JIRA connector remains part of the Tasktop Certified program that ensures usability and ALM stack interoperability. Mylyn’s goal is to provide a framework for Eclipse ALM integrations and to support an ecosystem of extensions. To that end, we have aimed from the start to provide reference integrations to open source tools, starting with Bugzilla.

The JIRA integration was the exception as JIRA is closed source, but has been very popular with open source developers due its use in some open source communities such as Apache. The move of the JIRA connector restores the clear split between Mylyn’s reference integrations to open source repositories, hosted on and the very the broad ecosystem of integrations with closed source tools. This will help focus the resources of the project on the core framework and open source integrations, while mechanisms such as Connector Discovery and the Tasktop Certified program ensure easy installation and the quality of the connectors that developers need to get the most out of Mylyn.

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Written by Mik Kersten

Dr. Mik Kersten started his career as a Research Scientist at Xerox PARC where he created the first aspect-oriented development environment. He then pioneered the integration of development tools with Agile and DevOps as part of his Computer Science PhD at the University of British Columbia. Founding Tasktop out of that research, Mik has written over one million lines of open source code that are still in use today, and he has brought seven successful open-source and commercial products to market. Mik’s experiences working with some of the largest digital transformations in the world has led him to identify the critical disconnect between business leaders and technologists. Since then, Mik has been working on creating new tools and a new framework - the Flow Framework™ - for connecting software value stream networks and enabling the shift from project to product. Mik lives with his family in Vancouver, Canada, and travels globally, sharing his vision for transforming how software is built, and is the author of Project To Product, a book that helps IT organizations survive and thrive in the Age of Software.