Getting Zapped – or how to get Trello and BitBucket to talk

I have been using BitBucket for over 4 years as my main Source Control host for a variety of software and related projects. I use Mercurial as the actual Source Control system. The BitBucket/Mercurial combination has served (and continues to serve) my needs very well – especially as it is free for the number of users I have accessing it.

I also use Trello as a project management tool (again, it’s free at its “basic” level). This has proven to be an excellent tool for working with projects – using an on-screen equivalent of the project board and cards (or stickit notes) it is remarkably easy to set-up, maintain and update as a project progresses.

I found that I had all my Project details and cards/issues in Trello and nothing logged in BitBucket – nothing wrong with that, of course, but it would be good to have something that allowed issues to be tracked in BitBucket as I added them to Trello. A quick search of the web showed a couple of projects that “may come to something – eventually” and API information for BitBucket and Trello (but I don’t have time to work on these). It also turned up Zapier – the only connection service I could find that linked BitBucket and Trello. Plus points to Zapier for this.

As Zapier offer a 14 day trial I decided to try the service. This just involved the usual just sign up (email and password) and NO need for credit card details (another plus point!).

Creating Zaps (or connections – I’m surprised they didn’t call them Zapps!) is straightforward and you are guided through the process in a series of prompts and drop-downs. There are, however, a couple of considerations in the BitBucket / Trello connection that I’ll mention here:

Prepare a new BitBucket user: This is not essential but does allow you to track where BitBucket Issues are coming from. It is recommended when you get to the relevant point in creating your Zap.

I created a new user email under my web domain account (just zapier@<>). I then invited this new user to join BitBucket (earns me an extra user!) and created a new account under BitBucket for this user (I needed to open a different browser – Internet Explorer rather than FireFox because Firefox provided details of my existing main account and the new user account wasn’t created. I guess you could use a separate computer to achive the same result). Once I had created the new BitBucket account (new user name and password – keep to use in Zapier) I added the “Zapier” user to my project in BitBucket. All well to this point and I was ready to create my first Zap – which would copy any new issue in BitBucket to a Backlog list in Trello. I’ve described the process below:

  • In Zapier Select: Make a Zap
  • Then select BitBucket as the Trigger Service and Trello as the Action Service.
  • Select New Issue under Choose a Trigger and Create Card under Choose an Action then press Continue.
  • You are then asked to provide your BitBucket Account details (name and password) – use the “Zapier” one and then Test. All being well it will connect and pass the test.
  • The Trello connection was easier – just had the Allow this connection confirmation from Trello and it was done.
  • From this point on you make the connections between items and the data you want to be copied. All guided by drop-down boxes with available options – these let you select your Trello Board and your List for the Issue – there are more filters which allow more powerful selection of what is provided.
  • Once everything it set up you can test using some data that Zapier extracts from your BitBucket Issues. This does create new cards in your Trello list but shows that everything is working as expected.

First impressions are that this is an efficient and useful service – there are, of course, areas that could be extended. I will blog more about these as I work with the system.