What are the differences in REST APIs between Jira Data Center and Jira Cloud?

Hi @ibuchanan In the course of migrating an integration from Data Center to Cloud, documentation that highlights the differences between the Data Center Jira platform API and the Jira Cloud API would be helpful. Is there such a comparison available?


I’m not aware of any comprehensive documentation on that topic. I can give you some high-level guidance about the big differences:

  • auth
  • user management
  • content formatting


While both Jira variations have some kind of API Token & OAuth 2 implementations, these can vary significantly. OAuth 2 is the bigger shift where the rules of URL construction are significantly different. For both types of auth the Cloud mechanisms are more centralized: think of auth as coming from a central Atlassian platform, rather than from Jira itself. If your client makes typical HTTP assumptions about auth and URL construction, you may have a lot of logic to rewrite.

User management

Both for the sake of centralized administration across Atlassian Cloud products and to create a better Cloud trust posture, Jira platform’s user management APIs have been “nerfed” (sorry for the gamer jargon but it fits well). The main mismatch is the difference between managing users as emails in DC vs Atlassian user ids in Cloud.

My recommendation would be to switch to the corresponding centralized cloud admin user management APIs (which opens yet another possible comparison between the Jira DC user management APIs & these new Cloud Admin APIs). It’s not that the Cloud Admin APIs are more compatible in a migration, but they are more future proof than Jira’s.

Content formatting

The Atlassian Document Format (ADF) is one of the big differences between the v2 REST API (more similar to DC) and v3. ADF is only used by “rich text fields” but those are some of the most salient fields in Jira. For example, you can’t meaningfully work with issues without wanting to read/write the description field. The v2 REST APIs still provide some standard formats (text, wiki, html), but some limitations in how those work are based on how ADF works.

Hope that helps.