Setting up and using Zendesk for JIRA (Legacy) Follow

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Note: A newer version of this integration is available. See Setting up Zendesk for JIRA integration for more information.

If your organization uses Zendesk for customer support and JIRA for internal work processes, you can use the Zendesk for JIRA integration to escalate support tickets to JIRA issues, share comments between support agents and JIRA users, and solve Zendesk tickets by solving JIRA issues.

The integration described in this article supports the following tasks:

  • Creating a new JIRA issue from a Zendesk ticket
  • Linking a ticket to an existing JIRA issues
  • Resolving Zendesk tickets automatically by resolving JIRA issues
  • Linking multiple Zendesk help desks to a single JIRA account

Zendesk for JIRA uses the Networked Help Desk open standard to synchronize information between Zendesk and JIRA.

Make sure you check out the release notes for the latest updates and known issues.

Setting up Zendesk for JIRA

This integration for JIRA supports JIRA Server 6.3 to 6.4.x (any 6.4 version), including JIRA Data Center.

Per Atlassian's end-of-life policy, we no longer actively support JIRA versions older than JIRA 6.3.

If you route all incoming HTTP traffic through an external reverse HTTP proxy before it reaches its internal destination, and your proxy layer uses SNI-based cert handshakes, you won't be able to establish a connection with Zendesk. The Apps framework v1 doesn't support sites that use SNI-based SSL certificates (as opposed to IP-based SSL certificates). A possible solution is to switch to IP-based SSL.

Installing the Zendesk plugin in JIRA

In addition to installing the Zendesk plugin as described below, make sure all of the following apply to your JIRA On-Premise server:

  • The Zendesk public IP addresses listed here are whitelisted. You could run into firewall issues at any time if you don't whitelist these IP addresses.
  • If you're using SSL, have a full SSL certificate stack from a certificate authority. Self-signed certs are not supported. The intermediate certificate is commonly not installed on the JIRA server.
  • Make sure that ports 80/8080/443 are open (depending on your SSL settings) on your network for inbound/outbound traffic between Zendesk and JIRA. If you'd like to open only one specific port, you can hard-code the port number in the ticket sharing agreement URL. Example: 123.456.78:5555.

Connectors for JIRA 6

  • ServiceRocket Core Connector – Plugin
  • ServiceRocket JIRA Connector – Plugin
  • zendesk-connector-plugin

Creating an application link to your Zendesk in JIRA

An application link specifies your Zendesk URL and authorizes JIRA to access your Zendesk account. The link is required to create a connection between JIRA and Zendesk.

To create an application link

  1. In JIRA, select Add-ons from the Administration () menu in the upper-right corner of the page.
  2. In the sidebar, click Connections in the sidebar.
  3. Under Add New Cloud/System Connection, select Zendesk from the External System Type menu, and click Add.

  4. Next to the Application Link dropdown menu, click Manage Application Links.

    A form to add a new application link appears on the page.

  5. Enter a name for your application link. We suggest Zendesk Application Link.
  6. In both the RPC URL and Display URL fields, enter your Zendesk account's URL. Example: http://mysubdomain.zendesk.com.

    If you have an SSL-enabled Zendesk account, use https:// instead of http:// in your URL.

    You can check these settings in Zendesk by clicking the Admin icon in the sidebar, then selecting Settings > Account > Branding > Host Mapping. Your SSL settings are in Settings > Security > SSL.

  7. Click Add. A new application link is created.
  8. Click the Configure Authentication link under Actions.
  9. Enter a Zendesk username and API token, and then click Update.

    Your username is your email address followed by a forward slash and the word “token”. Example: email@zendesk.com/token. Your password is the encrypted token itself.

    Your token is listed in Zendesk under Admin > Channels > API.

Creating a connection in JIRA

A JIRA connection specifies an application link that gives JIRA access your Zendesk account. A connection also specifies the JIRA accounts you want to associate with your Zendesk account.

To create a connection

  1. On the Add-ons page in JIRA, click Connections in the sidebar.
  2. In the Add New Cloud/System Connection section, enter a name for the new connection, select Zendesk from the External System Type menu, and click Add.

    We suggest Zendesk (yoursubdomain.zendesk.com) as the connection name.

  3. On the Add New Connection page that follows, select your new application link from the menu and click Add to create the connection.

  4. On the next page that appears, click Launch Wizard.
  5. Select the JIRA projects you want to associate with your Zendesk account.

    Note: Associating too many projects with your Zendesk account may cause the integration to time out in Zendesk when fetching the projects.
  6. Select Yes, you would like to automatically associate a Zendesk ticket ID field to your JIRA account.
  7. Click Create Configurations.
    The wizard associates the JIRA projects with your Zendesk account. It also maps the following fields between JIRA issues and Zendesk tickets:
    • JIRA Description - Zendesk Description
    • JIRA Summary - Zendesk Subject
    Note: The default field mapping is generated independently of the Yes/No option in the settings.

Setting up ticket sharing

Zendesk creates new issues and synchronizes comments with JIRA using the same method that allows ticket sharing between Zendesk accounts.

You must be an administrator in Zendesk to set up ticket sharing.

  1. In Zendesk, click Manage () at the bottom of the sidebar and then select Tickets.
  2. Click the Ticket Sharing tab, then click the Add Sharing Invite link.
  3. Select Atlassian JIRA.
  4. Configure the sharing agreement as follows:
    • JIRA server URL - Enter the address of your JIRA server. Example: https://mydomain.jira.com
    • Comment and status permissions - Decide if you want to let JIRA users make public or private comments, and sync status between the JIRA issue and the Zendesk ticket.
    • Tag synchronization - Do not select anything from the dropdown. Tag syncing can corrupt the ticket sharing agreement and cause the integration to break.

  5. Click Send Invite.
  6. Sign in to JIRA as an administrator, select Add-ons from the Administration () menu in the upper-right corner of the page, and click Connections.
  7. Click the Ticket Sharing link of your Zendesk connection.
  8. Click Accept.
  9. Set any of the following sharing options in the ticket sharing agreement and click Update.
    • Project and Issue Type - The default JIRA project and issue type created if a ticket is automatically shared with JIRA (Zendesk Enterprise customers only)
    • Default Reporter - You must enter a valid JIRA username for a JIRA admin user or the integration will not work. This is the JIRA username used for the reporter field when a JIRA issue is created. The JIRA admin user must have full access permissions -- Developer, Admin, owner, and user -- for the projects that JIRA shares with Zendesk.
    • Allow public comments - Leave unchecked to force all JIRA comments to be private comments when sent back to Zendesk

Testing the connection

After you set up ticket sharing, you can test the connection between JIRA and Zendesk.

  1. If you're not already on the Connections page in JIRA, login to JIRA as an administrator, select Add-ons from the Administration () menu in the upper-right corner of the page, and click Connections.
  2. Locate your connection in the list and click the Test link under Actions.

    You should get a "Connection successful” message.

Installing the JIRA app in Zendesk

The final setup step is to install the JIRA app in your Zendesk.

Note: If you're using Zendesk Classic, you can skip this section. The app is installed automatically in your Zendesk when you install the Zendesk plug-in in JIRA.
  1. In Zendesk, click Manage () at the bottom of the sidebar and then click the Browse link under Apps.
  2. Click the JIRA icon and then click Install App on the upper-right side of the page.
  3. Enter a title for the app and click Install.
  4. Refresh the browser so that your Zendesk recognizes the new app.

Sharing tickets

Zendesk agents can share tickets as new JIRA issues.

Note: The integration does not support creating JIRA issues from tickets received through the Twitter channel.
  1. In Zendesk, go to the ticket you'd like to share as a JIRA issue, and then select the JIRA agreement from the Share menu in the ticket properties panel.

  2. When the JIRA App panel opens on the right, select your project and issue type, or paste a JIRA story ID to share the ticket with a specific story.
    Note: If you have a large number of JIRA projects associated with your Zendesk account, the integration may time out in Zendesk after ten seconds when it tries to fetch all the JIRA projects. A workaround is to reduce the number of associated JIRA projects.
  3. Update your ticket as needed, then click Submit.

Submitting the ticket shares the ticket information with JIRA. The Zendesk ticket header indicates that the ticket has been shared with JIRA. The sidebar app also indicates the shared JIRA issue ID, resolution, and current assignee.

Tip: Right-click the issue ID in the app sidebar to open it in JIRA in a new tab.

In JIRA, an issue is created with all the comments from the Zendesk ticket as well as the subject and original description.

Note: If you encounter connection issues, make sure that you entered a valid JIRA username into the Default Reporter field on the sharing agreement in JIRA. See Set up ticket sharing.

Syncing comments and status

By default, any comment you enter in a JIRA issue is synced automatically to the shared Zendesk ticket.

For example, here's a new comment for an issue in JIRA:

The comment appears Zendesk and retains the JIRA username:

In addition, selecting any resolution in JIRA solves the Zendesk ticket. In the following example, somebody resolves an issue in JIRA:

As a result, the status of the shared ticket in Zendesk is set to Solved:

Advanced tips

 

Custom field mappings

By default, the integration maps the following fields between JIRA issues and Zendesk tickets:
  • JIRA Description - Zendesk Description
  • JIRA Summary - Zendesk Subject

These default mappings are the only mappings officially supported by Zendesk.

Note: While custom mappings may be configured, they are not guaranteed to work. Custom mappings are not supported by Zendesk Support because they can corrupt the ticket sharing agreement and cause the integration to break.

Moving Zendesk-linked JIRA issues between JIRA projects

When you move a Zendesk-linked JIRA issue between JIRA projects, the status display of the JIRA issue in Zendesk automatically shows the updated issue key of the JIRA issue.
Important: The JIRA issue automatically takes on the new mappings of its new project.

If you move the JIRA issue to a project that's not associated with your Zendesk connection through a mapping scheme, you need to add the project to that mapping scheme.

  1. In JIRA, select Projects > [Your Project], and then click Administer Project on the upper-right side of your project page.
  2. In the project sidebar, click Project Mappings.
  3. Select the mapping scheme for your mapping.

Connecting to multiple Zendesk accounts

If you use multiple Zendesk accounts, you can create a separate connection to each Zendesk account using separate project mappings. For each Zendesk account you want to connect, follow the setup steps in this guide.

Note: Each project can be mapped to only one connection at a time. Mapping a project to a new connection removes its association with any previous connection.
Have more questions? Submit a request

Comments

  • 0

    @Steve, it sounds like this is something you could accomplish with a trigger in Zendesk. As long as you add a comment in JIRA with a word or string you can key the trigger off of. When you mark an issue as fixed you can add a word or phrase to the comment which the trigger can look for and use to reopen the ticket.

  • 0

    Is there not a way to create a new Jira ticket from a forum post? It is only possible to do from Zendesk tickets?

  • 0

    @Amie B. It is only possible to share tickets with Jira. This is due to the fact that an app is used to integrate the two system. The app lives on the ticket screen in the app sidebar within the agent user interface.
    It is not possible to share forum posts with Jira.

  • 0

    @umair,

    Our Developers are actively working on getting support for 6.4 JIRA Server and will release an updated package as soon as the work has been completed. I do not have a specific ETA on when this will be released but our Product Team is working on getting it done.

  • 0

    Was about to migrate from pivotal to jira until I got to page 11 and saw that jira 6.4 isn't supported. I know that it say 4.4 - 6.3 but docs are out of date all the time. It would be nice if it was clearer that Jira 6.4.x is not supported and no ETA is available. I couldn't imagine the bummer it would be if someone upgraded and forgot to check compatibility of their plugins.

  • 0

    Hi everyone, I'm happy to announce that JIRA 6.4.x support for JIRA Server users is now available on the Atlassian Marketplace: https://marketplace.atlassian.com/plugins/net.customware.plugins.connector.zendesk.zendesk-connector-plugin

    You'll want to download the 2.2.12 version of the plugin.

  • 0

    @stephen It failed to install on my server via UPM. It says to refer to the logs but I'm not finding anything in any of the logs. Do I need to make any changes to the logging levels?

  • 0

    Nevermind, UPM didn't like the file I downloaded so I tried the download link URl and it worked. Yay!

  • 0

    When I search within the marketplace of my JIRA the plugin doesn't work. Any ideas on how to get it to show up?

  • 0

    The plugin has been Archived and will not show up in the marketplace. You need to follow the link the document provides or the one in the comments. You can then paste the "Download" URL into the UPM upload dialog.

    Wish the docs were more explicit about this.

  • 0

    oh ok. And seriously +1 about this being explained better in the docs! I almost downloaded the wrong plugin!

  • 0

    Thanks for the feedback Jmallory and David. I've updated the instructions to state that the plugin listing is not searchable from the Marketplace.

  • 0

    Now that Atlassian will not be releasing there "New Framework" Connect for on premise, what is Zendesk response to this? I know we have been waiting for over a year now for Zendesk to release a updated version of the integration plugin. Disappointed we waited so long to be let down.

  • 0

    Tim, we've recently been in contact with Atlassian on this topic. We understand their business reasons for this decision and, while it's not the decision we were hoping for, having complete clarity on the situation is valuable to us and we can now move forward.

    I can't share any timelines or details yet, but I can say that our first goal is to bring the JIRA Server plugin inline with our JIRA Cloud plugin from a feature perspective and get to a point where we can improve the plugins based on a shared roadmap. Without Connect this will take more development effort, but we want to make sure we deliver an equally good experience on both platforms.

  • 0

    Steven, I know you just said that you can't share any timelines yet but what is some rough estimate for the development needed for "to bring the JIRA Server plugin inline with our JIRA Cloud plugin from a feature perspective " ?

    For example is it fair to say we shouldn't expect this within 2015?

    Not an urgent matter for us so we can wait but I'd like to know whether to just wait for the new plugin or whether we are a year off from that so it's worth bothering with the current one anyway.

  • 0

    Evangelos, we don't expect it within 2015.

  • 0

    I tested and upgraded to v.2.2.12 of this plugin. Days later we noticed some of the Zendesk tickets we share over to JIRA are not synchronizing. This is the error message:

    An error has occurred while fetching from the remote system: org.codehaus.jackson.JsonParseException: Numeric value (2162757378) out of range of int at [Source: java.io.StringReader@1dee755e; line: 1, column: 3094]

    I submitted a ticket to ServiceRocket earlier today and haven't heard back. Just want to share my pain and see if anyone else has experienced this.

    UPDATE:

    According to this Atlassian JIRA bug: https://jira.atlassian.com/browse/JRA-44530 and this Atlassian App Links bug: https://ecosystem.atlassian.net/browse/APL-1283 - there were known issues with the Zendesk Connector in Applinks Product Plugin 4.3.9 that were resolved in Applinks Plugin 4.3.10. We have this version as a result of upgrading to JIRA 6.4.11, but still have issues. I may submit a ticket to Atlassian because they seemed to address it fairly quickly.

    Edited by Rose Somma
  • 0

    @rosemarie

    We are encountering the same issue that you are having with Out of range of int. we had not made any changes to our Jira instance and the exact same thing happened to us. We are running Jira 6.4.0 we tried to upgrade to the latest zendesk connector plugin but had no success. We have also rebuilt the connector many times with no success. Have you had any luck in resolving this issue ?

    Any help would be appreciated as this issue is casing a significant disruption.

    Thanks.

  • 0

    @rosemarie
    @marc

    We have been experiencing this issue since Thursday last week.

    • Jira Version: 6.4.3
    • Zendesk-connector-plugin Version: 2.2.12

    Has anyone been able to find a workaround for this?

    Upgrading Jira, downgrading plugin versions etc?

    Presently, we are unable to create new tickets in Jira from Zendesk using the sharing option. Instead we have to first create the ticket manually in Jira and then link to the existing ticket.

    Edited by Russell Grocott
  • 0

    Rosemarie, Marc, and Russell, we are working with our developer for the JIRA Server connector to troubleshoot this issue. We're currently working on gathering logs from affected customers to diagnose the issue and we understand how serious this is for you.

  • 0

    @steven

    Is there any way to gauge what the ETA would be on a fix ?

  • 0

    @steven - Thanks for the quick response.

    Please let me know if you would like us to provide logs.

    We're seeing a lot of this:

    /plugins/servlet/zendesk/sharing/tickets/4bf6279270fefd62a3ca4485b82ffe47ed01798f [connector.zendesk.servlet.TicketServlet] Error occurred while trying to pull updates!

    Registering failure for stream provider Zendesk Application Link due to error other

    And this:

    org.codehaus.jackson.JsonParseException: Numeric value (2171126487) out of range of int at [Source: java.io.StringReader@3fbb868d; line: 1, column: 3409]

    Edited by Russell Grocott
  • 0

    Marc, I don't have an ETA yet, but our support team has been engaged with our development partner over the weekend to troubleshoot this.

    Russell, I'll let you know if we need more examples of logs.

  • 0

    Hi, I trying to setup the Jira/Zendesk integration. However when I change my Jira Status to "Done" it doesn't change the Zendesk status. I can see the new Jira status in the "Shared" box in the right side of Zendesk but the status of the ticket doesn't change. The ticket sharing agreement was created with the option of sharing the status.....

  • 0

    @StevenYan, I have submitted Request #1275150 regarding open case #6086 with ServiceRocket. We have the same errors as @RussellGrocott. JIRA v6.4.12, Connector v2.2.12. It's my understanding that its not possible to downgrade JIRA on premise, therefore we are stuck with this defective connector. I have provided the screenshots and debug logs requested by ServiceRocket, and would be happy to put them in touch with our hosting partner or get on a call to help resolve.

  • 0

    @Russell & @Marc, did some more troubleshooting this afternoon. After deactivating/reactivating ticket sharing several times, the connection between Zendesk and JIRA can no longer be established. Have another ticket open with Zendesk to help restore. ServiceRocket has requested a screen-share session with me for tomorrow (Wednesday 10/7) but have to get the connection working first. When things are bad, remember, they can always get worse!

  • 0

    Steven Yan | Is there an update on the fix as none of our Zendesk tickets are going into JIRA. This is becoming a real problem between support and development for us.

    This for the issue reported for org.codehaus.jackson.JsonParseException: Numeric value (2171126487) out of range of int at [Source: java.io.StringReader@3fbb868d; line: 1, column: 3409]

    Nothing is making into JIRA and nothing is making it to Zendesk (even for tickets that were originally created before this started happening).

    Edited by Thomas Ploof
  • 0

    Hi everyone, thanks for the information and we are making good progress -- our dev team is looking into what we think is the root cause. Thomas, related to the error you shared, we think the root cause is related to this. There's a value being passed from Zendesk into JIRA that is too large for JIRA to handle, which is causing the failure.

  • 0

    Hi everyone, thanks again for your patience. We have a fix that we're preparing to release to Atlassian Marketplace. I'll update again here when it's available.

  • 0

    Marc, Rosemarie, Russell, and Thomas: this morning we released v2.2.13 of the JIRA Server connector on the Atlassian Marketplace which resolves the issue you have all reported with tickets and comments not syncing. You can visit the Marketplace to download the latest version of the connector:
    https://marketplace.atlassian.com/plugins/net.customware.plugins.connector.zendesk.zendesk-connector-plugin/versions

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