Integrating Jira into Google Sheets

Posted on January 25, 2018

So I got a (recurring) task to compile some stats from Jira. You now, some filtering and agregation. Possibly a pivot table and a chart. Sounds like a perfect task for spreadsheets. But Jira doesn’t have spreadsheets - at least without addons, but that is not an options for me.

So I decided to use Google Sheets. And figure out a way to automatically fetch data from Jira because there’s no way in hell I’m doing that manually every time. Turns out there are some scripts you are supposed to paste into sheets and give them all the permissions. But I don’t trust that, not without properly reviewing the thousands of lines of code.

Obviously I decided to roll my own. I figured a way that’s actually really easy. Just create a filter in Jira and click Export -> Printable. This will give you an URL with all your tickets formatted nicely in a <table>.:

Why is this useful? Because Google Sheets knows how to scrape HTML tables. If you append your credentials to the url. The whole formula will look something like this:

=IMPORTHTML("https://my_instance.atlassian.net/sr/jira.issueviews:searchrequest-printable/14900/SearchRequest-14900.html?tempMax=1000&os_username=my_username&os_password=my_password", "table", 1)

This magically pulls your Jira table into a spreadsheet. Now you can use all your spreadsheet tools to make reports out of this. Or even SQL! Google Sheets has a QUERY function which takes a data range and an SQL-like expression to run over it.

Now we just need a way to simply refresh the data (remember, this is a recurring task). Sheet re-load the data when the URL changes and Jira ignores unknown parameters. We can use this to add a dummy counter which we increment!

=IMPORTHTML(CONCATENATE("https://...my_passoword&dummy=", B1), "table", 1)

But this means we now need to edit a number. No fun. Let’s write a script to do it.

In Tools -> Script Editor

function increment() {
  SpreadsheetApp.getActiveSheet().getRange('B1').setValue(SpreadsheetApp.getActiveSheet().getRange('B1').getValue() + 1);
}

Now we just need a way to run it.

  1. insert a drawing
  2. right click
  3. assign a script

Voila we have a button!

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