Configuring the Jira plugins

Published on March 16th, 2021


In order to use the Jira plugin, Roadie needs an API token to communicate with Jira APIs.

These are set within backstage at the following url:


This page describes how to create and set up the API token.


Step 1: Create an API token

Start by visiting the user profile settings page for your Jira user: Note that it is a good practice to create an automation/bot account to Jira for API usage

Click on the “Create API token” button.

Personal API Tokens screen in Atlassian with no tokens defined

On the modal window you can give the token a label, so you can recognize it later, e.g. “Roadie Backstage” and finally Atlassian will show you the API token once. Make note of this token, you will only be able to see it once.

New created token modal window with a possibility to copy the token

Step 2: Base64 encode the credentials

This step is optional for Jira Server/DC which can use Bearer tokens. You’ll need to configure an environment variable to use Bearer tokens (see step 3).

Jira Cloud uses Basic auth so the token needs to be converted into a compatible format. First we need to prefix the token with the Jira user email and base64 encode it.

For example

[email protected]:hTBgqVcrcxRYpT5TCzTA9C0F

would translate to


Via the following command:

read -s tmp; echo -n "[email protected]:$tmp" | base64 ; unset tmp 

NOTE: the -n flag removes new line characters from the echo output.

Step 3: Store the credentials and Jira URL in Roadie

Visit https://<tenant-name> and:

  • Enter the base64 encoded and prefixed token value from above into JIRA_API_TOKEN.
  • Add the URL to your Jira instance into JIRA_API_URL. The URL should not contain a trailing slash, e.g.
  • If you’re using a Bearer token enter Bearer into JIRA_API_TOKEN_REALM
  • Optionally, provide a value for User Email Suffix this should be the email suffix of your Jira users, for example, This setting is used by the Jira dashboard in conjunction with your Backstage username to construct a filter to display only your issues. This may not be necessary if you’re using version 3 of the Jira API.

Step 4: Add the required annotations to some components

Edit the YAML metadata of a Backstage component to add the following annotations:

    jira/project-key: <example-jira-project-key>
    jira/component: <example-component> # optional, you might skip this value to fetch data for all components
    jira/token-type: Bearer # optional, used for Activity stream feed.

Step 5: Add Jira components to the UI

There are two components which you can add to the catalog layout to display Jira information.

  • EntityJiraOverviewCard - can be added to the overview or other grid layouts.
  • EntityJiraDashboardContent - a tab component provided by the Jira Dashboard plugin.

You can read more about how to update the UI here.


  • The Jira Dashboard plugin doesn’t fully support version 3 of the Jira API. Some information will be missing if you’re using version 3 with the EntityJiraDashboardContent tab such as the value in Assignee column. We hope to have this issue fixed in due course.
  • The “Assigned to me” table is based on a JQL query where the username is taken from your login user profile (see /administration/account > Profile). This means your username in Roadie must match your username in Atlassian. Often your company email will be used in both cases but if you’re using GitHub as the source of your users & groups this will likely not match.