[JIRA OnDemand] Integration with Zendesk

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On some cases, you may wish to integrate your JIRA OnDemand instance with a 3rd party ticketing system. Zendesk comes to mind as one of the most used application for frontline ticketing system. A use-case with Zendesk may be as follow:

  • Zendesk as the customer-facing instance for logging bugs and new features for a product.
  • JIRA is used by the company to analyse these bugs and use it for their internal development purposes:
    • GreenHopper for agile management.
    • Bitbucket for source code management.
    • Bamboo for continuous integration and release management.

Which is why the creation of the Zendesk for JIRA plugin was created: for such a use case to exist.

In this post, I will discuss on the steps on how to integrate JIRA OnDemand with Zendesk; the steps below will differ than the instructions provided by Zendesk just because those instructions are directed for users who host JIRA locally.

Setting up JIRA OnDemand with Zendesk Integration

  1. Go to your Cloud Connectors settings:
    • if you are on JIRA-only Atlassian OnDemand, go to Administration > Plugins > Cloud Connectors > Connections:

      Image 1: How to access the Cloud Connectors settings in JIRA-only Atlassian OnDemand.

    • if you are on a multi-product Atlassian OnDemand, go to Administration > JIRA > Cloud Connectors > Connections:

      Image 2: How to access the Cloud Connectors settings in a multi-product Atlassian OnDemand.

  2. Enter the Name of your Zendesk connection. Choose Zendesk from the External System Type dropdown. Click Add.
  3. On the next screen, click Manage Application Links. We are going to add the connection to Zendesk by this method.
  4. On the newly opened tab, enter the URL of your Zendesk application on both the RPC URL and the Display URL. Click Add.
  5. If you are using custom domains (https://support.abc.com for example), make sure that you are using the custom domain for these fields.

  6. You will notice that the application have been created in the list of configured application links. Click Configure Authentication.
  7. Here is where you configure authentication for your JIRA to connect to the Zendesk application. There are two methods for this:
    • you can use your username and password for authentication

      Image 3: Authentication with username and password

    • you can use token authentication. This is the preferred approach for authentication, and you can grab the token from http://settings/api. Then, it’s just the matter of entering your_username/token as the Username and the token as the Password/Token

      Image 4: Authentication with token authentication

  8. Once you have set the authentication, click Update. You will notice the created application link’s authentication status has turned green and it shows Configured. Close this tab.

    Image 5: Confirmation of configured authentication.

  9. Go back to the page from step 3, and click Reload Options.
  10. Under Application Link dropdown, you will now notice the newly created application link. Select it, and click Add.
  11. In the next page, choose Launch Wizard.
  12. Here is where you configure which projects you would like the mapping schemes to be associated with. You can select one project, or select multiple project (hold down Ctrl (for Windows/Linux) or Command for Mac) from the list. Also, choose Yes for Would you like to automatically associate the field with all screens? option. Click Create Configurations.

    Image 6: Configuring mapping schemes for integration.

  13. We will now attempt to configure the ticket sharing agreement between JIRA and Zendesk. Go to your Zendesk, and access the Settings > Tickets page.
  14. Choose Ticket sharing tab.
  15. Click on add sharing invite.
  16. Choose Atlassian JIRA on the next screen.

    Image 7: Choosing Atlassian JIRA to set up ticket sharing agreement in Zendesk.

  17. In the subsequent screen, enter the following:
    • full URL of your instance in the JIRA server URL field (include https:)
    • for the Comment and status permissions section:
      • Make public & private comments, sync status – sync comments across between JIRA and Zendesk
      • Make private comments, do not sync status – comments in Zendesk would not appear in JIRA, and vice versa.

        further information can be read here: Sharing tickets with other Zendesk accounts.

    • for Tag synchronization:
      • No, do not share tags between me and the receiver. – any tags from Zendesk will not be parsed to JIRA.
      • Yes, share tags between me and the receiver. – tags in Zendesk will be parsed to JIRA (as labels).
  18. Once the setting has been done, send the invite.

    Image 8: Configuration options for ticket sharing agreement in Zendesk.

  19. Go back to the Connections page in JIRA, and choose Ticket Sharing.
  20. In the next screen, you will see the ticket agreements from Zendesk. Choose Activate.
  21. If you would like to customize further, you can set the default reporter as well as allow public comments.

    Image 9: Ticket sharing agreement from Zendesk in JIRA OnDemand.

  22. Go back to the Connections page, and choose Test. This option would test for your communication between JIRA and Zendesk.

    Image 10: Testing connection between JIRA OnDemand and Zendesk.

  23. If the connection was successful, you will get the Connection Successful message

    Image 11: Once the connection is successful, you’ll be shown the “Connection successful” message.


Testing the Integration

Once the integration is completed, you can then start sharing tickets between JIRA and Zendesk. Go to Zendesk, and attempt to share a ticket to JIRA. This can be done by choosing the JIRA instance in the Share section of a Zendesk ticket. You can either choose to create a new JIRA issue, or link the Zendesk ticket to an existing JIRA issue:

Image 12: Sharing a ticket from Zendesk to JIRA OnDemand.


Image 13: Sharing ticket field in Zendesk during ticket creation.


When the ticket gets shared from Zendesk, you will notice two things in Zendesk:

  • Ticket is shown to be shared:

    Image 14: Successful share indicator in a Zendesk ticket.

  • A link to the JIRA issue will be shown on the right sidebar of Zendesk:

    Image 15: A link to the JIRA issue on the right sidebar of a Zendesk ticket.

Clicking on the Issue ID on the right sidebar would redirect you to the linked JIRA issue. There is also a custom field that was created during the integration process; which will redirect you to the relevant Zendesk ticket.

Image 16: A JIRA issue that was shared from a Zendesk ticket. Notice the link to the Zendesk ticket in the highlighted region.


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