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Pivotal Tracker and Zendesk Integration

posted this on May 17, 2012 10:28

Pivotal Tracker Setup

Overview: The goal of this tip is to give you step-by-step instructions on the different options available for integrating Zendesk and Pivotal Tracker. 

Note: There are two ways to integrate with Pivotal Tracker. You can push tickets to Pivotal Tracker, using a target in Zendesk OR you can set up an integration to Zendesk from Pivotal Tracker. If you use a Zendesk Target you can automate what tickets end up in Pivotal Tracker. If you use the Pivotal Tracker integration, you can have comments on your Zendesk tickets when you make changes in Pivotal Tracker (these comments are private). We will start by showing the Zendesk Target first and then we will show you the Pivotal Tracker integration method second. 

Creating Your Zendesk Target

  1. Start by logging into Zendesk and going to Settings > Extensions (in the new Zendesk, select the Manage icon and then Extensions).
  2. Click on Targets.
  3. Fill in the title of your target. 
  4. For the token, click the link that says "your Pivotal Profile" and scroll to the bottom. Generate a new token. Copy that value and put it here (in the token textbox).
  5. Get your project ID. This is at the end of the URL when you are looking at your project.
  6. The story is just that, the title of the new story created in Pivotal Tracker
  7. Pick a story type, this can be a Feature, Chore, Bug, Release
  8. Pick a set of story labels, think of these as similar to Zendesk tags. 
  9. Requestor and owner are optional.

Once you test and save your target, you can create triggers that then push tickets to your Pivotal Tracker project. Note that targets are a one way type of pathway out of Zendesk. A story pushed to Pivotal Tracker via a target can not update the originating ticket. The story will, however, have a link back to the originating ticket so you can close it or update it manually. 

Creating a Zendesk integration in Pivotal Tracker

  1. Create a project in Pivotal Tracker, or, if you already have one, open that project. 
  2. Go to Project > Edit Project Settings.
  3. Once you do you'll see a navigation bar along the top. Click on the button for "Integrations". 
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the new page and look for the section titled External Tool Integrations. You'll see a drop-down menu that says Create New Integration. Click it and scroll down to Zendesk.
  5. Name your integration. The default name should be fine. 
  6. Provide the address for your Zendesk installation. Make sure you type in the URL including a trailing "/" at the end. For example, if my Zendesk was located at I would enter: in this field.
  7. Now you will need to pick an account that Pivotal Tracker will use to connect to Zendesk. You can use a dedicated account or just pick somebody else's account. Enter their username (email address) and password. 
  8. When Pivotal Tracker talks to Zendesk it will pull a list a tickets from a view within your Zendesk. You can either create a new view, that only shows tickets with the tag "Pivotal" on it (for example) or just use a default view (like "All Unsolved Tickets"). 
  9. In a new browser window, open the view. At the very end of the URL you will see a number. This is the view ID. Copy it over to Pivotal Tracker. 
  10. Click the Create button.
  11. Head back to the main page of your Pivotal Tracker project. 
  12. Hover over the More menu and go to the link that says "Zendesk". 
  13. A new pane should now load, labeled Zendesk, and will contain all the tickets in the view that you had in your view.


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Eric Alderman

Hi Adam,

Thanks for the article, it was very helpful in getting the integration setup.

My use case is that I want an agent to be able to create a Pivotal Tracker story for a specific Ticket, if it is determined to be a bug or feature request.  It looks to me like the only way to do that is to create a Trigger which looks for a specific tag (e.g. "pt"), notifies the PT target, and then removes that tag (so it doesn't get into a loop).  Further, it appears that I need to construct the Message that is sent to contain the description, customer name, etc., all of which will end up in the PT "Description" field.

Is that correct?  I guess I would have assumed there would be a function to allow an agent to simply "send this ticket to PT" as the most common use case.  I also was hoping to provide an ability for the agent to specify fields other than Description, such as the Story Type (other than the single default value when creating the target).

Please let me know if I've missed something, and if there's a simpler way to do this.



July 30, 2012 11:07
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Hi Eric,


You are correct. Unfortunately our integration with Pivotal Tracker is not as tight as it is with Jira (a competing product). Essentially Zendesk sends data to Pivotal Tracker and the information is just a description. 


Love Your Zendesk - The Fastest Way to Great Customer Support!

Adam Panzer | Customer Advocate |

July 31, 2012 10:24
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Gloria Fong

Hi Adam,

Is there any way to have replies sent to a zendesk thread automatically populate as a comment in pivotal? 

To (hopefully) explain better:

1) we have an integration between our zendesk and pivotal accounts

2) we drag the ticket from zendesk to create a new ticket in pivotal

3) when our customer replies to the zendesk thread, it'd be great if that could automatically be added to the pivotal tracker ticket. at this point, we are cutting and pasting what our customer is saying from the zendesk ticket into the pivotal ticket. it's kind of annoying. 

Please let me know if there's a way to set that up. Thanks!



November 12, 2012 08:51
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Hi Gloria,


Unfortunately we don't offer that kind of integration. Right now the integrations are just push integrations (they just dump data, blindly, from one side to the other).

November 13, 2012 07:07
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Dan Crowley

Hi Adam,
Can you use placeholders in the labels field? (it works in Requester and owner fields, just not labels)

I'm looking to use {{}} so we can filter by company in Pivotal.


December 04, 2012 11:10
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Marcos Smith



I am afraid the integration with pivotal tracker is broken.

I mean, I want that all tickets created via ZenDesk show in Pivotal Tracker.

I did the necessary configuration steps, the test ticket works but whenever a user creates a real ticket, it just does not work.

Whenever I go to

I see

Pivotal Tracker
0 messages sent

Pivotal target


What am I doing wrong ?




December 05, 2012 04:14
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Hi Daniel,

You should be able to. I haven't experimented with it myself but I don't see why not. If it doesn't work, submit a ticket and we can see if it's a bug. 

December 05, 2012 08:02
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You don't have a trigger pointing to Pivotal Tracker.

December 05, 2012 08:03
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Dan Crowley

Cheers thanks Adam.

December 05, 2012 08:35
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Louis Raveton

We provide  an integration between Pivotal Tarcker and Zendesk, that lets you specify *what types of tickets* should be sent through to Pivotal Tracker  (tag, source, priority, assignee, group,...)

Does this work for you?

We have 10 other Zendesk integrations available (and counting)


February 27, 2013 02:24
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Justin Seymour

Thanks for sharing, Louis! 

February 27, 2013 04:37
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Scott Gilbert

I'm getting an error in Pivotal Tracker that says "Sorry, could not retrieve data".   So I have a couple questions as I try to get the Zendesk / Pivotal Integration (not the target thing) working.  

1.  First I log into Zendesk Via GooG integration.  So when i give my password in step 6 above I'm using my GooG password.  Is that a good assumption?

2. When I enter the View ID # also in step 6 my Zendesk URL has this  However in your example the word before the # says "rules".  Is this a problem or is this still the right number to use?


May 30, 2013 12:42
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Scott Gilbert

now I'm trying the Target approach...but I don't see the "manage" icon to get to the "Extensions".  Do I have to be an Admin to see / do this?  If not, where is it hiding in the UI?

May 30, 2013 13:15
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Scott Gilbert

BTW - Can have both integration types running at the same time?  i want both feature sets...push to Pivotal and then communicate back and forth via the comments.

May 30, 2013 13:45
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Aaron Pewtherer

@Scott. Please see your answers below:

1, You will need to create a Zendesk password. You cannot use your Google password.
2. Use the View number. In New Zendesk, it appears after "/filters/"
3. You need to be an Admin to access the Extensions page.
4. You can decide what comments get shared back from Pivotal (as a private comment), or pushed to Pivotal. 

June 01, 2013 16:52
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Dan Wong

Are there any plans to expand on PT integrations? Like a widget we can add to ticket views where agents can click to add specific tickets to PT?

July 02, 2013 04:00
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Eric Shen


There aren't any immediate plans to update this, but it sounds like you should be able to accomplish what you're looking for by creating a trigger based off a specific tag being applied to a ticket to send it over to Pivotal. You could accomplish the same by doing a bulk update of tickets to apply the tag. Is there a reason you'd need a specific widget/app to accomplish this instead?

July 08, 2013 16:39
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Samantha Lester

Hi all,

I am trying to set up integrations in one Pivotal project for two different Zendesk subdomains. So far I have subdomain #1 sending stories and linking back to the proper subdomain. However, subdomain #2 is sending the stories properly but when I click the Zendesk link it takes me to subdomain #1 and I get an error because that ticket doesn't exist in #1--only #2. 

Is it possible to set up a Pivotal integration with 2 subdomains? Or do you think am I doing something wrong?

March 19, 2014 08:41
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Edward Pritchard


I have been able to successfully set up multiple subdomain integrations with the same Pivotal instance using the target method, and have not had the same trouble with the linking back. So that we can help you get this working, I have started a new support ticket for you where we can do some more troubleshooting with you personally.

April 01, 2014 09:57