Integrating Source Control With Bug Tracking And Task Management

Benefits of Integration

Integrating source control systems like Git, SVN, and Mercurial with issue tracking systems like Jira, Bugzilla, and Redmine provides multiple advantages for software teams. Key benefits include:

  • Improved traceability and awareness of code changes related to bugs and tasks
  • Automatic linking of commits to tickets for easier auditing and reporting
  • Reduced manual work needed to track commits and update tickets
  • Enhanced visibility into development activity and code quality

By integrating these complementary tools, developers can stay focused on coding while managers gain insights into what code changes implemented which features and bug fixes. Overall software quality improves.

Popular Tools for Integration

Several source control and issue tracking combinations are popular across software teams:

Git and Jira

Git’s distributed version control system model and Jira’s flexible issue tracking capabilities make them a common choice. Steps to integrate include:

  • Using commit hooks to add Jira ticket IDs in commit messages
  • Referencing commits in related Jira tickets using Git hash IDs
  • Implementing Jira and Git shared user authentication via OAuth

These approaches enable linking code changes to related tickets.

SVN and Bugzilla

For centralized version control, Subversion (SVN) combines well with the Bugzilla open source bug tracker. Integration strategies involve:

  • Configuring pre-commit hooks in SVN to create Bugzilla ticket records
  • Using post-commit hooks to add comments in Bugzilla about commits
  • Enforcing ticket ID references in SVN commit messages
  • Unifying user management in both tools

Together SVN and Bugzilla can provide end-to-end tracking of code changes related to bug reports.

Mercurial and Redmine

Mercurial users often choose Redmine for its project management capabilities beyond just issue tracking. Key integration points include:

  • Redmine git hooks to link commits with tickets
  • Mercurial extensions for querying Redmine data
  • Redmine plugin for viewing Mercurial commit info

This helps associate code activity with specific Redmine tasks and bugs.

Methods of Integration

Some popular techniques for integrating source control with issue tracking and tasks include:

Commit Hooks to Automatically Link Commits

Source control commit hooks execute scripts when events like commits occur. These can add commits as comments in tickets or create ticket records automatically.

Issue ID References in Commit Messages

Requiring ticket IDs in commit messages, which can be parsed and used to link commits to tickets.

Shared User Database

Having the same user management and authentication for both source control and issue tracking avoids manual duplication.

Example Scripts

Here are some real-world examples of scripts for integrating popular tools:

Python Script to Create Jira Ticket on Git Commit

#!/usr/bin/env python

# Imports for git commands, Jira API
import git, jira

# Configuration constants

# Get details of the last commit
repo = git.Repo(“.”)
last_commit = repo.head.commit

# Create ticket data
summary = f”Commit {last_commit.hexsha[:7]}: {last_commit.summary}”
description = f”{last_commit.message}”

# Create Jira ticket via API
new_issue = jira.create_issue(project=PROJECT_KEY, summary=summary, description=description)

print(f”Created ticket {new_issue.key} for commit {last_commit.hexsha}”)

This Python script can be used as a Git post-commit hook to create Jira tickets for commits.

Shell Script to Comment on Jira Ticket on SVN Commit

# Hook receives SVN commit info as parameters

# Extract ticket ID from commit message
TICKET=$(svnlook log -r $REV $REPOS | grep -oi ‘[A-Z][A-Z0-9]\{3,\-[0-9]\{3,\}’ | head -1)

# Post comment via Jira API
curl -u user:pass -X POST –data “{ \”body\”: \”SVN r$REV: $URL\” }” -H “Content-Type: application/json”$TICKET/comment

This bash script can act as an SVN post-commit hook to add comments about commits to related Jira tickets.

Best Practices

To effectively integrate source control with issue tracking platforms:

Agree on Standardized ID Formats

Teams should define standards for ticket IDs, commit messages, branch naming conventions etc. to simplify parsing and tracking.

Automate Bidirectional Links

Integrate in both directions – e.g. have commits automatically link to tickets, and ticket changes linked to related commits.

Integrate User Management

Use the same user accounts and authentication across tools to streamline usage and avoid permission mismatches.


Integrating source control and issue tracking provides deeper insights into the code development process. Popular open source tools have great support for integration via hooks, APIs, and extensions. Following best practices for establishing connections between commits and tickets improves traceability and awareness. Teams that leverage these integrations can accelerate development while enhancing quality.

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