JIRA as a Support System

Dec 11 08:41 2015 Rossy Guide Print This Article

This article shows how to set JIRA up as a support system or helpdesk.


JIRA is a great project tracker. It's great at tracking tasks and managing issues. Lots of customers are using JIRA for a helpdesk because of its versatility and extensibility. Below we'll tackle the ways JIRA can address the key features required in a helpdesk.


Project Security:

At a very simple level,Guest Posting if you are supporting a very limited number of clients, you can set up a different project for each of your clients, with a different permission scheme for each project. If you pick project level security, you'll also get the benefit of project level workflows, issue types, and screen schemes.

Issue Level Security:

This is similar to having different projects, but allows the support team to manage the issues in just one project.

Project Security vs. Issue Security:

Typically as an end user you can only see issues that your company has raised. You can secure your issues either via project security or issue security.

Ticket Management:


  • Make transition names action names.
  • Make status names the names of states.
  • Use conditions to hide certain buttons from certain groups, both for simplicity and security.

Shared Filters and Dashboards:

Create your work queue with Shared Dashboards and Shared Filters. The JIRA toolkit will show you whether the last commented was from a JIRA Administrator, or whether it was from a customer. This allows issues to be prioritized by the order in which they need a response.

JIRA Agile:

It offers the following features.

  • Story Points: Good way to consider triaging tickets.
  • Use the Rapid Board: Figure out where your backlog and churn are.

Escalation and SLA:

Here are a few tips on how to do that:

Jelly Scripts:

The most powerful approach is to write a Jelly script which invokes a saved search (filter), and loops over the issues, adding a comment, transitioning them to a new state. This Jelly script would then be run periodically by a Jelly runner service.

Filter Subscriptions:

To notify managers about when an issue is in breach of or about to breach a service commitment, consider filter subscriptions. See Receiving Search Results via Email for a description. Create a search filter that finds all issues that meet a certain criteria. Save this filter and subscribe to it, either by email (through JIRA) or by subscribing to the filter's RSS feed in an RSS reader. This way JIRA will notify subscribers what issues are 'outstanding'.

Extending JIRA with a Service:

If a Jelly script cannot do what you want, or JIRA's searching capabilities are not sufficient to match issues you want, you could write a custom service that locates issues that meet a certain criteria and then does something with matching issues.

SLA Plugin:

Check out Vertygo's SLA plugin in the Atlassian Marketplace and SLAdiator - service level agreement real-time monitor for JIRA.

Reporting and Analytics:

Reporting is a key component to a great helpdesk.

Time Tracking:

This Report is a great way of understanding where your time is spent.

Built-in JIRA Reports:

JIRA has a good number of built-in reporting.

Knowledge Management:

Here are some of JIRA's Knowledge Management features:

  • Remote Issue Linking
  • Suggestimate

Customer Portal and Integrations:

Rest API:

The SOAP and REST APIs for JIRA are quite powerful ways to integrate third party applications with JIRA. You can create a full portal application for creating and managing issues in a simple email portal, using the REST API.

Plugin Development:

JIRA is customizable in substantial ways, if you're ready to dive into plugin development.

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