We admit from the very beginning that we are biased. As Atlassian experts and evangelists we are far from being impartial in this comparison. However, we will give it a try as all organizations are different in their approaches, structure, processes and corporate structure, hence they might need to use different tools.
These tools are the same in their core nature – professional issue trackers. They have a lot in common: both are agile-oriented (boards, burndown charts, backlogs), both have custom workflows, custom fields, keyboard shortcuts, and issue tagging.
YouTrack was created with software development in mind. However, other teams that are currently actively encouraged to make use of JIRA (HRs, Marketers, Designers etc.) would probably feel left out with YouTrack.
While YouTrack has also a wide range of reports, JIRA offers deep support for issue tracking and work management. Thus, entire teams can use JIRA as a single tool for collaboration, tracking and releasing. It cannot get any better for agile teams.
YouTrack has an fast and easy issues search with different queries. As “for: me #Unresolved” gets you all unresolved issues assigned to you, you may also modify issues with “fixed”, “tag Important”, “assign me”, etc. are the commands that can be applied to an individual issue or a group.
YouTrack is a tool which is very easy to customize, which is a big plus for the teams that are capable of doing some additional enhancements themselves. JIRA is also highly customizable. With custom dashboards and reports powered by a simple query language and with over 500 Atlassian marketplace add-ons, JIRA allows teams to create an experience tailored to their needs and culture.
YouTrack has a nice visual design, quicker loading, simplicity, but lacks some for us very essential time tracking functionalities that are present in JIRA
– moving work log to another issue and
– an easier way to report work log.
– JIRA can be difficult to setup, sprints and versioning have more functionality. Great integration with bitbucket (pull requests/workflow etc.), It has more than 500 plugins to extend its functionality (including the boards).
– YouTrack: easy to setup. Sprints are easy but extremely simple. Versioning works across projects, so if you are purely software team it works fine
– JIRA: no custom query language. Searching for issues is not as easy as in YouTrack, however, if you know your way around JIRA, you can do it without extra efforts.
– YouTrack: the custom query language with intellisense is an advantage.
– JIRA: Performs great.
– YouTrack: Performs well if setup correctly.
– JIRA: 10$ for 3 users, further on – depends on the number of users. E.g. it can go up to $ 4 000 for 100 users.
– YouTrack: No separate system for users. All users can have access to everything. No user limit. Pricing is based on storage.
At least for now it is hard to compare YouTrack to JIRA in terms of the features. As JIRA is a full-blown issue reporting system with some project management facilities; lots of plug-ins, lots of customizations, etc. But for the teams that are looking for the software that could be used as a public bug tracking tool for some project, YouTrack can be a great and inexpensive alternative.
The best way to decide is to try both with extensive trial periods provided by both YouTrack and JIRA.