Check the inclusion of Jira Issue Keys in PRs with GitHub Actions

fgiuliani profile image Facundo Giuliani Updated on ・3 min read

Do you use Jira as the issue tracker in your company? Do you link GitHub PRs with Jira issues, and you want to ensure that link exists in every created PR of your repository? This GitHub Action is for you!

My Workflow

Defining a Jira "prefix" issue, Jira Issue Key Checker will verify every PR created in your repository contains a linked Jira issue key in both the PR title and description. You can see how to configure and trigger the action here:

To see the complete code of the project, you can go here:

Submission Category:

Maintainer Must-Haves

Init project and install packages

As we'll use Node.js to create this GitHub Action, we will run npm init in our directory to generate package.json file. In this file we will set the details of our project. We will also install some dependencies that will help us to integrate our code with GitHub.

npm install @actions/core
npm install @actions/github

The @actions/core package provides an interface to the workflow commands, input and output variables, exit statuses, and debug messages.

The @actions/github package grants access to GitHub Actions contexts.

Create an action metadata file

Create a file called action.yml. It defines action's inputs and details. It also tells the action runner how to start running this JavaScript action. Write the following example code in the file:

name: "Jira Issue Key Checker"
description: "Checks If a PR contains its linked Jira issue key in both the title and the description."
on: [pull_request]
    required: true
    required: true
    description: "Jira issue key prefix. Ex. ABC-1111, prefix would be ABC"
  using: "node12"
  main: "index.js"

Write the action code

Let's create index.js file, which will containg the action code.

const core = require("@actions/core");
const github = require("@actions/github");

const jiraPrefix = core.getInput("jira-prefix");

async function run() {
  try {
    const prTitle = github.context.payload.pull_request.title;
    const prBody = github.context.payload.pull_request.body;

    let regex = new RegExp(`${jiraPrefix}-[0-9]+`);
    if (!regex.test(prTitle) || !regex.test(prBody)) {
      core.setFailed("Jira Issue Key missing in PR title or description.");
  } catch (error) {


Some aspects to consider about the code:

  • GitHub Actions provide context information about the webhook event, workflow, action, etc. To access the context information, you can use the github package.
  • core.getInput("jira-prefix") will get the prefix we defined for the issues we want to check.
  • github.context.payload.pull_request exposes information related to the PR we're evaluating with the action.
  • core.setFailed marks the PR as failed If it doesn't pass the evaluation of the Regular Expression that validates both PR title and description contain the linked Jira issue key.

Commit, tag, and push the action to GitHub

Commit all the files inside the directory of your project. You will also need to commit node_modules folder.

git add .
git commit -m "My GitHub Action"

It's a good practice to also add a version tag for releases of your action. Let's create a version and push the changes to the repository.

git tag -a -m "My GitHub Action" v1
git push --follow-tags

Test and use the action

Take any GitHub repository and create the file .github/workflows/jira-issue-key-checker.yml. In the file, paste this example code:

name: "Jira Issue Key Checker"
      - opened
      - edited
      - synchronize

    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
      - uses: [your-user]/[your-action-repository]@v1
          GITHUB_TOKEN: ${{ secrets.GITHUB_TOKEN }}
          jira-prefix: "ABC"

Add this file to your GitHub repository. After this, whenever a new PR is created in that repository, the GitHub Action will run and evaluate it. You will be able to see the workflow execution and details about that clicking on the Actions tab.

Yaml File or Link to Code

Jira Issue Key Checker - GitHub Action

Checks If a PR contains its linked Jira issue key in both the title and the description.





Required The Jira issue key prefix. Ex. ABC-1111, prefix would be ABC.

Example usage

Create a workflow (eg: .github/workflows/jira-issue-key-checker.yml see Creating a Workflow file) to utilize the jira-issue-key-checker action with content:

name: "Jira Issue Key Checker"
      - opened
      - edited
      - synchronize

    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
      - uses: fgiuliani/jira-issue-key-checker@v1.0.0
          GITHUB_TOKEN: ${{ secrets.GITHUB_TOKEN }}
          jira-prefix: 'ABC'

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