Jira REST API: Pros and Cons

David Osteso
Jul 29, 2016 2:10:00 PM

The relevance of Jira REST API have an important relevance at Atlassian  since they started to give special attention to the Cloud instances, that's why we are going to discuss in this article which are the best and worst take aways from this Jira feature.

REST architecture has a growing significance and high impact on the communication between systems, and the Atlassian emphasis on the cloud instances has pointed out the relevance of the Jira's REST API in the connections development. As you can see on this webinar about the future of Jira: 

In this blog post, we will make a brief analysis about the main features and limitations of the Jira REST API.  Let's have a look into it!


Resources efficiency

REST makes efficient use of the bandwidth, plus it's lighter than the web API dispensing with additional elements that REST doesn't need.


Since REST uses standard HTTP, it's much simpler than the Web API in every way; it's easiest to use and to understand; two essential reasons that explain the success of the REST APIs among the developers.

Better scalability

REST results can be cached allowing better performance and scalability. These data support several formats although the primary use of JSON means better support for browser clients.

Complete cover of issues, projects and filters

Jira REST API complete cover of issues, projects and filters
Although it's not an advantage before the Web API, one of the strengths of the REST API is the complete support that allows to carry out basic operations such as the creation, recovery, deleting and transition of issues and projects as well as the projects bulk creation, votes, and avatars management and issue links.


Impossibility of creating new custom field's types

Jira REST API Impossibility of creating new custom field's types

It's a convenient method of the Java API that is missed working with the REST API.

An annoying and confusing pagination system

Jira REST API pagination system

Difficulty to get issues general information

While we can get global information about the issues with only one method through the Java API, we need several calls to retrieve the same data using the REST API.

Lack of complete samples to carry out certain operations

We find this problem setting a property's value:

Jira REST API Lack of complete samples to carry out certain operations
The API reference forgets to specify the needed JSON's structure which differs from the required to get the variable's value:

Jira REST API reference don't specify the needed JSON's structure

These are just some features of this service, but we are sure of that there are many others as relevant as them. Why don't you share them with us? We are waiting for your comments!

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