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Jira vs Phabricator: What are the differences?


Jira and Phabricator are both popular project management tools used by software development teams to track and manage their projects. While they share some similar features, there are distinct differences between the two platforms. Below are the key differences between Jira and Phabricator:

  1. User Interface and Design: Jira has a more modern and intuitive user interface with a cleaner design. It offers a simpler navigation experience, making it easier for users to find and access the necessary features. On the other hand, Phabricator has a more cluttered user interface with a steeper learning curve. It provides more customization options but can sometimes be overwhelming for new users.

  2. Workflow Customization: Jira provides extensive customization options for creating and modifying workflows according to the team's specific requirements. It allows users to define custom fields, issue types, and workflows, making it highly adaptable. In contrast, Phabricator has a less flexible workflow system, limiting the extent of customization available. It follows a predefined workflow structure that might not suit all project management needs.

  3. Integration Capabilities: Jira offers seamless integration with a wide range of third-party tools and services commonly used in software development, such as Confluence, Slack, and Bitbucket. It provides a comprehensive ecosystem that enables teams to create a centralized hub for all their project management activities. Phabricator, while allowing some integrations, has a more limited set of options, making it less suitable for organizations heavily reliant on external tools.

  4. Pricing Model: While Jira offers both cloud-based and self-hosted options, it also has a licensing cost associated with it. The cloud-based version requires a subscription fee based on the number of users, while the self-hosted option requires a one-time payment. Phabricator, on the other hand, is an open-source platform that is free to use, making it more accessible for small teams or organizations on a tight budget.

  5. Code Review Functionality: Phabricator has a built-in robust code review system that allows developers to collaborate and provide feedback on code changes directly through the platform. While Jira does offer some code review functionality, it is more limited in comparison. Jira's code review capabilities are often complemented by integrating with external code review tools such as Bitbucket or Crucible.

  6. Issue Dependency Management: Jira provides more advanced options for managing issue dependencies. It allows users to create relationships between issues, such as blocks, relates to, or is blocked by, providing better visibility and traceability. Phabricator, while supporting issue dependencies, does not offer the same level of granularity and flexibility in managing them.

In Summary, Jira offers a more user-friendly interface with extensive workflow customization, robust integration capabilities, a flexible pricing model, and advanced issue dependency management. On the other hand, Phabricator is an open-source platform with a more cluttered interface, limited workflow customization options, fewer integration capabilities, and a focus on built-in code review functionality.

Decisions about Jira and Phabricator
Jakub Olan
Node.js Software Engineer · | 4 upvotes · 302.1K views

YouTrack feels much more lightweight than Jira and additionally have all of features that Jira have, of course lacks at some analytics features, but it's more powerful at permission management and agile workflow. Additionally YouTrack have awesome integration with other JetBrains products such as incoming JetBrains Space and all other IDEs such as GoLand.

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Pros of Jira
Pros of Phabricator
  • 310
  • 254
  • 149
    Easy separation of projects
  • 113
    Run in the cloud
  • 105
    Code integration
  • 57
    Easy to use
  • 52
    Run on your own
  • 39
    Great customization
  • 38
    Easy Workflow Configuration
  • 27
  • 12
    Great Agile Management tool
  • 7
    Integrates with virtually everything
  • 6
  • 5
  • 3
    Sentry Issues Integration
  • 33
    Open Source
  • 29
    Code Review
  • 25
    Supports Git/Hg/SVN
  • 18
    Bug Tracking
  • 17
    Audit Source Code
  • 11
    Unlimited Repo Support
  • 10
    Software Engineering Platform
  • 10
    Super fast task creation
  • 9
    Flexible Project Management
  • 8
    Project Management
  • 5
    Self hosted
  • 4
    Building Better Software
  • 2
    Best Integration with Gitlab
  • 2
    Complete set for collaborating on software development
  • 1
    Powerful, Complete, Fast, Reliable and Open Source
  • 1
    Straightforward code review process
  • 1
  • 1
    Very effective system, does all PM & code org needed

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Cons of Jira
Cons of Phabricator
  • 8
    Rather expensive
  • 5
    Large memory requirement
  • 2
  • 1
    Cloud or Datacenter only
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    What is Jira?

    Jira's secret sauce is the way it simplifies the complexities of software development into manageable units of work. Jira comes out-of-the-box with everything agile teams need to ship value to customers faster.

    What is Phabricator?

    Phabricator is a collection of open source web applications that help software companies build better software.

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    What companies use Jira?
    What companies use Phabricator?
    See which teams inside your own company are using Jira or Phabricator.
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    What tools integrate with Jira?
    What tools integrate with Phabricator?

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    What are some alternatives to Jira and Phabricator?
    Trello is a collaboration tool that organizes your projects into boards. In one glance, Trello tells you what's being worked on, who's working on what, and where something is in a process.
    Asana is the easiest way for teams to track their work. From tasks and projects to conversations and dashboards, Asana enables teams to move work from start to finish--and get results. Available at and on iOS & Android.
    Capture the knowledge that's too often lost in email inboxes and shared network drives in Confluence instead – where it's easy to find, use, and update.
    Redmine is a flexible project management web application. Written using the Ruby on Rails framework, it is cross-platform and cross-database.
    Bugzilla is a "Defect Tracking System" or "Bug-Tracking System". Defect Tracking Systems allow individual or groups of developers to keep track of outstanding bugs in their product effectively. Most commercial defect-tracking software vendors charge enormous licensing fees. Despite being "free", Bugzilla has many features its expensive counterparts lack.
    See all alternatives