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How to Connect a Gitlab Merge Request to Jira Issues?

Streamline software development with GitLab and Jira integration. Connect merge requests to issues for improved workflow coordination and transparency.
Connect a Gitlab Merge Request to Jira Issues

GitLab and Jira are two powerful tools commonly used for software development. While GitLab is a version control system, Jira has an application in issue tracking. The integration of GitLab with Jira can help to streamline the development process and ensure that all relevant information is kept in one place. For example- once a connection has been made, users will be able to easily reference any Jira issue using its ID in the names of GitLab branches, commit messages, and merge request titles. Most devs also utilize GitLab commit messages to move Jira issues through the defined transitions in your Jira project. For example, a Jira issue can move from Backlog to Selected for Development, In Progress, and finally Done, with additional information from GitLab's commit.

Now that we are clear on the using the two tools together, let's see the next steps.

What are Merge Requests in GitLab?

To begin with, let's look at what exactly are pull requests in the context of Git. In git systems, such as GitLab, GitHub, and BitBucket, pull requests are used to inform the rest of your team that a branch or fork is ready for review. The repository's maintainer can then decide if they want to merge or not. Before creating our integration guide, let's see why you should be doing so.

Benefits of Connecting Jira and GitLab

Integrating Jira and GitLab can provide numerous advantages to software development teams. Here are some of the key benefits:

Improved Workflow Coordination

Teams can streamline their development workflow by tracking code changes and issues in a centralized location by connecting Jira and GitLab. This can assist in avoiding confusion or duplication of effort and ensuring that everyone is working on the same tasks.

Improved Issue Tracking

Jira is built for issue tracking, and by integrating it with GitLab, teams can easily see the status of their issues as they progress from development to deployment. This can assist in keeping projects on track and meeting deadlines.

Increased Transparency

Integrating Jira and GitLab can increase transparency within a development team by providing a clear record of all code changes, issues, and decisions. This can help to improve collaboration and ensure that everyone is working towards the same goals.

More Efficient Code Reviews

By connecting GitLab merge requests with Jira issues, code reviews can become more efficient. Reviewers can see the context of a code change, such as the associated Jira issue, and can easily provide feedback directly in GitLab.

In the next section, we will see how to connect Merge requests from GitLab to Jira. This can be done by installing the ‚ÄėGitHub for Jira‚Äô app and configuring it to link the two tools.

Integrating Jira with GitLab

  • Install the GitLab Marketplace App by visiting the Atlassian Marketplace. When you are done, install the GitLab for Jira Cloud app.
GitLab for Jira Cloud
  • Manage App Settings in Jira: Once installed, access the "Manage Apps" page in Jira by either following the link or navigating to the "Settings" icon and selecting "Apps" > "Manage Apps."
  • Add Namespace in Jira: Expand the GitLab for Jira app details and select "Get Started." Then, select "Add Namespace" and enter the namespace of your GitLab project. For example, if the URL for your project is https://gitlab.com/mynamespace/new-project, then the namespace is "mynamespace."
  • Set up Jira Integration in GitLab: Log in to your GitLab.com account, go to your project, and select "Settings" > "Integrations." Find the Jira integration under "Add an Integration," and enter your Jira site details, including the URL, username or email, and password or API token. Verify the connection by selecting "Test settings" and then save the changes.
Integrating Jira with GitLab

With these steps, you will be able to connect your GitLab account with Jira Software and enjoy the benefits of integrating the two tools for a seamless software development experience.

Connecting Merge Requests from GitLab to Jira Issues

After integrating GitLab and Jira, you can use the Jira issue ID in GitLab branch names, commit messages, and merge request titles.

  • Once the Jira integration is set up, the next step is to add the Jira issue key to the merge request. This will ensure that the merge request is linked to the relevant Jira issue. To do this, you can follow these steps:
  • Create a new merge request or select an existing one.
  • In the merge request description, add the Jira issue key in the following format- Jira issue key: #JIRA-1234
  • Save the merge request.
  • Jira issues' linked branches, commits, and merge requests (merge requests are referred to as "pull requests" in Jira issues). For the integration to work, Jira issue IDs must be in uppercase.


In conclusion, connecting a GitLab merge request to a Jira issue can help to streamline the development process and ensure that all relevant information is kept in one place. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can easily set up the Jira integration in GitLab, add the Jira issue key to the merge request, configure the Jira integration, and close the Jira issue through the merge request. 

To get maximum efficiency out of Jira and GitLab, an engineering analytics tool is the need of the hour. Hatica offers metrics across 13 dashboards, powered by CI/CD tools, Jira, Asana, GitLab, and GitHub. By collating tool activities at one place, Hatica helps teams streamline their workflow, cut through the clutter of unwanted alerts, and improve productivity. Request a demo with Hatica today!

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Table of Contents
  • What are Merge Requests in GitLab?
  • Benefits of Connecting Jira and GitLab
  • Improved Workflow Coordination
  • Improved Issue Tracking
  • Increased Transparency
  • More Efficient Code Reviews
  • Integrating Jira with GitLab
  • Connecting Merge Requests from GitLab to Jira Issues
  • Conclusion

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