Here at DIT we’ve used Bugzilla as our issue tracking system for nearly a decade. We’ve got a solid workflow but it has largely been absent of integration with our version control system which has gone from CVS to SVN to Git. Now that we have most of our active projects in GitHub, we’ve noticed there is some overlap in workflow. GitHub has some really great features that makes it more fun to use as a developer, with pull requests topping the list. The problem we ran into is that we still want to use Bugzilla as our issue tracking system so that we can leverage our historical bugs, bug reporting code and workflow (including tracking hours). So we ended up with a confusing back and forth between Bugzilla and GitHub, losing a lot of time to double-entry.

Enter bugzilla-github-extension, a Chrome extension that provides integration between Bugzilla and GitHub by modifying the UI. With this extension, we’ve been able to cut down on the amount of time we spend jumping back and forth between the two systems. We’ve open-sourced the code in hopes it can help out others in the same boat as us, so if that sounds like you then head on over to the source or go right ahead and install via the Chrome Web Store!


Chrome Web Store:

How it works

Once installed, you have to configure the extension so that it knows what your Bugzilla and GitHub pages are. To do this, simply right-click the plugin icon (DIT Logo) and choose Options. You’ll see this:

bugzilla-github-extension options page

All you need to enter is the Bugzilla URL and the GitHub URL, and you’ll be able to start using the extension!

Using Bugzilla custom fields to support workflow

The Bugzilla Custom Fields section lists some custom fields we’ve found useful at DIT that have made the integration even tighter:

  • GitHub Pull Request URL – This is the pull request URL and it allows us to put a link back to the pull request in the bug’s title in Bugzilla:
    bugzilla-github-extension link to pull request in bug title
  • GitHub Labels – This field is updated when you add/remove a label to a pull request that is linked to a bug (see below for details on how to link a pull request to a bug).
  • Release – When making a release in GitHub, if you include bugs in the comment then you can optionally update this field with the name of the release. You can also update the bugs to closed status if it’s not a pre-release and is against master. Here is an example showing what the comment should look like:
    bugzilla-github-extension release options
  • Code Status – We use this field to keep track of where code is in our process, for example, still in development, pushed to a release environment for internal testing, pushed to a staging environment for verification before pushing to production, or finally in production. The extension allows you to specify what values to use when merging to master, merging to a parent branch, and when referencing bugs in a release or pre-release:
    bugzilla-github-extension options page 2

Linking pull requests to bugs

A number of things happen when a pull request is linked to a bug, which is done by prefixing a pull request’s title with the bug number (ex: 83513, [83513], Bug 83513, Bug83513). First, the bug number becomes a link to the bug in Bugzilla:

bugzilla-github-extension pull request title

You can also choose to sync the bug’s summary field when editing the pull request title:

bugzilla-github-extension pull request title edit

Second, the extension will place a section in the sidebar for a pull request linked to a bug that displays bug fields you can specify in the options page. It also will list any (non-obsolete) attachments as links.

bugzilla-github-extension bug info sidebar

Third, comments will have options to post the comment in Bugzilla or to change the status of the bug. There’s even a new input to record your time! Line comments don’t let you record time, but they do report the file and line number if you send the comment to Bugzilla.

bugzilla-github-extension pull request comment options

Finally, you’ll also be able to update the bug’s status and code status when merging:

bugzilla-github-extension pull request merge options

As an added convenience, if your branch is named with the bug number (ex: bug-12345, bug12345, bug_12345), then when you are creating the pull request the title will be set to the bug number plus the summary of the bug automatically. You’ll also have the option to associate the pull request with the bug via the GitHub Pull Request URL custom field:

bugzilla-github-extension pull request creation options

Linking repositories to products

You can also associate a GitHub repository to a product in Bugzilla. When you do this, you’ll get some convenient buttons that will open up bug lists in Bugzilla configured with fields specified in the options page. At the top of the page, you get Unresolved and Resolved buttons, and when looking at milestones you get a button for each milestone:

bugzilla-github-extension product selector

screenshot milestones

For the View in Bugzilla buttons to work for the milestones, the name of the milestone in GitHub needs to match the target milestone in Bugzilla. The extension provides a nice way for you to ensure the correct names when creating or editing a milestone:

bugzilla-github-extension milestone selector

Sharing configuration

To make sure everyone at DIT is correctly configured, we added an import/export feature for the configuration options. We set up everything in one install then exported the options as a JSON file that new employees can import when they install in their browser. Some settings, like what to see in the sidebar and what fields to show in Bugzilla lists, can still be personalized per install.

bugzilla-github-extension options page import export json

Will it work for you?

We’ve developed this to help us out and hope that it can help you out, too. If you end up installing it and find it useful, let us know in the comments! And of course feel free to report issues or submit suggestions, or even submit your own pull requests if you have made some cool changes!

Leave a Comment