Try new merge strategies in Bitbucket Server 4.9 and more

Bitbucket Server 4.9 and Bitbucket Data Center 4.9 bring strategy to the forefront of how teams work with their source code. Learn about three new features and how your team and business can set up new strategies to help teams work the way they want to work.

Make disaster recovery part of your business plan

For mission-critical tools like Bitbucket Data Center, disaster recovery (DR) is more than just a feature, it’s a strategy. Why? Because if the main instance goes down (aka a disaster) teams need a tool that allows them to continue working with their data. This is where DR comes into play. It provides Bitbucket Data Center customers the ability to replicate the state of their primary instances to a “cold standby” instance at an offsite location. So if your primary instance goes down, Bitbucket Data Center can cut over to the standby.

A “cold standby” is one example of a disaster recovery plan (DRP) in which the standby Bitbucket instances are cold and the file server, database and Elasticsearch instances are warm, in order for the replication to occur.

Since your standby site contains cloned Bitbucket indexes and a copy of your production database – think critical plugins – your team can quickly get back up and running. At Atlassian we use this model because we have instances in different geographies, so if a primary instance goes down in Sydney we can cut over to the disaster recovery standby instance in San Francisco with minimal downtime.

The addition of DR to Bitbucket Data Center gives teams and businesses the toolset to set up a proactive strategy for when things go wrong, so the prospect of developers sitting around with nothing to do becomes a non-issue. Instead admins and IT can focus on the reason for the downtime – no small feat – while source code work moves forward.

For more details on DR and a reference DR deployment, see our updated documentation.

Choose how your pull requests get merged using merge strategies

While DR and zero downtime backup help teams and business with downtime strategies, Bitbucket Server 4.9 introduces a new feature specific to workflow and code review strategies called merge strategies. Its complement merge checks have been in Bitbucket Server for a while, but merge strategies give users and teams control over how pull requests get merged rather than controlling if a pull request can be merged.

Different teams desire different things when it comes to how they track the history of their repositories. Bitbucket has traditionally been opinionated about applying a merge commit when closing a pull request, but there are good reasons not to always do this. For example, some teams have a different view on what constitutes a clean history and want to use fast forward only or squash merge strategies.



Now a repo admin can define the default merge strategy and specify what alternative strategies are allowed for selection at merge time. That means the person merging each pull request can have full control over strategy used. An example where this can be handy is when you’re using a Gitflow branching model. You might set the default to squash on merge, but allow “no-ff” to be used so that proper merge commit occur between release branches. This detail in a team’s workflow, much like the default reviewers feature, gives teams unique features to work the way they want.

Import repositories from other hosting services

Lastly, starting a new project that requires a migration of repositories in bulk from one product to another or of repos from one server to another server should be frictionless. So instead of writing scripts or importing repos one at a time, the new import repository feature for both Bitbucket Server and Bitbucket Data Center allows for bulk imports to give teams the ability to try out real or demo data.

This is especially important when you’re just getting started with Git and Bitbucket Server, or wanting to pull in code from an existing project from Bitbucket Cloud,, GitHub Enterprise, or individually from any HTTP-based Git host. It is quick, easy, and gives teams the flexibility to work with data where they want to.

import repositories into bitbucket

All of the new features released in Bitbucket Server 4.9 and Bitbucket Data Center 4.9 help teams collaborate with strategies in place. The addition of DR to Bitbucket Data Center is important to any team’s daily activities. Your tools are business and/or mission-critical, so work can’t be stopped during a disaster or downtime. And in the world of pull requests, different teams and different repositories may want to use different merge strategies.

The addition of merge strategies to your pull request workflow gives teams the flexibility needed to set up a merge strategy. It is with these types of features that Bitbucket Server and Bitbucket Data Center can help your team and business think about strategy at the team level and up to help teams work better together.

Try Bitbucket Server 4.9

Check out the release notes for more information on these new features and the other improvements we've made in 4.9.

In case you missed it

Since Bitbucket 4.5 we’ve continued to improve our pull request experience, add new features, and more. Check out to see what has been added:

  • Code search shipped in Bitbucket Server 4.6. You can now search for code directly in the search bar, which includes searching code across all of your projects and repositories. Or you can get more granular to search for code in a specific project or repository. And you have the option to use search operators to get more precise search results and can search for code on the language it’s written in.
  • Commit-level review shipped in Bitbucket Server 4.8 to provide per-commit diff views and commenting within pull requests to help reviewers do just that – review individual commits added to a pull request. Highlighting changes at this granular level makes the reviewing experience better for every member on the team and will result in faster pull request turnarounds.
  • Default reviewers shipped in Bitbucket Server 4.8 to give teams the option to configure a default set of reviewers that will be pre-populated on the pull request creation form on any given repo. Default reviewers can even be defined by source and target branch, and once it's set up you can add or remove people from the list as needed.
  • Bitbucket Data Center now offers source code collaboration for teams at the 25 user tier. Learn about what features you get when you switch to Bitbucket Data Center including smart mirroring, Git LFS, and more.
  • For an entire roll-up of features check out our updated documentation.