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How to Synchronize Jira User Groups with Jira Service Desk Organizations


Dzmitry Hryb - 12 October 2018 - 0 comments

How to Synchronise Jira User Groups and Jira Service Desk Organisations

Deviniti started 15 years ago as a custom software development company. Now, being an Atlassian Platinum Solution Partner, we never forget about our roots and are always happy to build and implement custom features in a client’s Jira instance upon their request. We release many of these features as parts of our Marketplace apps – a prominent example is MetLife Poland, which came up with ideas of Extension for Jira Service Desk, Dynamic Forms for Jira and Active Directory Attributes Sync. Our most recent custom feature released inside an app is Organizations and Groups Sync, which was requested by one of our clients as well. Here’s the story of how we came up with this functionality.

What’s the problem with Jira Service Desk?

Most Jira Service Desk customers are happy with the solution, as it allows to manage SLAs, provides reporting, and features a self-service Customer Portal. But in conjunction with the rest of the Atlassian Stack, a problem of grouping users and configuring request visibility can arise quickly. In January 2017, Jira Service Desk introduced Organizations for customers on Server, but they could not be updated in sync with Jira user groups. So even though Jira instances at enterprises were tied to Active Directory to keep the groups complete, it still was a lot of labor to keep the Organization memberships up-to-date.

Here’s an example rant on this functionality from one our customer:

Managing user groups is a crucial thing for me. I need a way to have users added to groups quickly, which is especially important if we need to inform teams of incidents and the ticket should be public. There was a question asked by many folks from the beginning: How do I let other people know about my issues? It is a big challenge for us to give access manually for every user, so I need the functionality to give it to the whole teams instead. The first versions of Jira Service Desk didn’t even have the Organizations feature, and when Atlassian finally added it, it was all manually manipulated, which is completely worthless the way it is out of the box! I mean, there already were user groups in Jira Software, so why just not expose them to Service Desk?

We’ve developed Organizations and Groups Sync within Extension for Jira Service Desk

A quick investigation of the Marketplace showed that there was no app providing such a functionality among over 800 available in the ITSM segment, so in March 2018 we saw a request in our own Service Desk to make it possible. The requirements were:

  • an internal customer with access to the ticket could have the ability to share it with an existing Jira user group (or multiple groups) right from the Customer Portal, and by doing so the groups’ members could access the request and receive notifications;
  • an admin could be in control of which groups are synchronised with an Organization and when the sync happens (including a manual run possibility).

The first solution that popped up in our heads was to modify Active Directory Attributes Sync so that the Department attribute would synchronise with a corresponding Organization in Jira Service Desk. But it wouldn’t help so much in case of a need to share an issue with multiple teams at a time, so eventually we gave up on that idea. Instead, we decided on synchronising Organizations with Jira user groups within Extension 6.0 for Jira Service Desk, and provided two configuration possibilities for this feature. By adding Jira user groups to Organizations, you create an Organization first and then choose the user groups you’d like to add to it. This option allows to add multiple groups to one Organization, which would look like this:

Adding Jira user groups to Jira Service Desk Organizations

Adding Jira user groups to Jira Service Desk Organizations

The second method of creating Organizations from Jira groups allows to simply transfer user groups to Organizations in the projects you select, with all the users assigned to them automatically. The Organization’s name then is the same as the user group’s name.

Creating Service Desk Organizations from Jira user groups

Creating Service Desk Organizations from Jira user groups

What’s more, in the latest release we’ve added the possibility to add Jira Service Desk customers to Jira user groups. Technically, this way you create Jira users for the customers of a given project, so be aware of your license count! All the configurations types are provided with a single CRON expression to run the sync at equal time intervals, and there’s a possibility to do it manually at any given moment.

What’s in the future for Extension for Jira Service Desk?

Our goal is to make Jira Service Desk even more customizable with the Extension app. We’ve already added the possibility to import and export Dynamic Forms to use them on multiple instances, and we want to enable showing sub-tasks of issues related to requests on the Customer Portal soon.

We’re also going to rework the Multilevel Structure feature completely and release the Cloud version of this app – subscribe to our newsletter at deviniti.com/support to get all the news first!

If you’d like to see Organizations and Groups Sync in action or learn about other features of Extension for Jira Service Desk, watch the video tutorial or take a free 30-day trial from the Atlassian Marketplace.

Have questions? Drop us a line via LiveChat at our Support webpage, or book a session at https://calendly.com/deviniti.

Also published on LinkedIn and the Atlassian Community.

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