How to Set up a Jira Zendesk Integration in 4 Steps

Published: September 16, 2022
Last Updated: September 16, 2022
This article was written by Teja Bhutada from Exalate
A Jira Zendesk integration can help bridge the gap between the development and customer support teams. This can lead to a smoother collaboration through automatic information exchange.

This blog outlines why such an integration is beneficial. It then discusses how to set up a Jira Zendesk integration in 4 simple steps.
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Why do You Need a Jira Zendesk Integration in the First Place?

Customer support teams often use Zendesk as a service desk and the development teams use Jira to manage their issues.

But if they work in these tools individually, it can lead to information silos. So there is a need to pass this information across to have better insights. And if that’s done manually via emails or phone calls, it often leads to incorrect or misplaced information.

The best way to move forward is to find a way to automatically exchange it. A Jira Zendesk integration can allow this.

But before we understand how it can be implemented, let’s have a look at a few use cases.

Common use cases

Tickets in Zendesk are analyzed by the customer support agent and if required, passed over to the development team using Jira.

A Jira Zendesk integration can enable such tickets to create an issue in Jira. The customer support agent then can get automatic status updates about that issue.

All this can help enrich the customer experience and increase the visibility of critical business information.

This and a lot more can already be done with an effective integration solution in place.

The solution we will use for the purpose of this article is called Exalate.

Exalate is an integration solution that supports different applications like Jira, Zendesk, ServiceNow, Salesforce, GitHub, Azure DevOps, etc. So you can easily set up a Jira Zendesk integration or even a Salesforce to Salesforce integration out of the box using Exalate.

With this solution, you can set up advanced integration cases. We will learn more about it in the next section.

How to Integrate Jira and Zendesk in 4 Steps

Step 1: Install Exalate on both Jira and Zendesk

First, install Exalate on both Jira and Zendesk. It is available for both Jira Cloud and Jira on-premise.

Step 2: Create and configure a connection between Jira and Zendesk

Once done, create a connection between the 2 instances. A connection in Exalate is initiated from one end and accepted at the other. It doesn't matter which side initiates it, the interface is the same on any system.

We start from the Zendesk end. Go to the “Connections” tab on the Exalate console and click “Initiate connection”.
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Enter the destination instance URL (i.e the Jira URL).
Integrate Jira and Oracle Analytics
You would be required to choose between 3 modes.

The Basic mode is for simple integration scenarios. You cannot configure your sync with this mode. So it is ideal if you want to try Exalate firsthand.

The Visual mode is a drag-and-drop interface that allows you to set up mappings and configure the sync through visual elements.

The Script mode in Exalate supports decentralized integration. It comes with an intuitive scripting engine that allows you to control your sync at either end independently. You decide what you want to share and how.

You can choose which mode you want to proceed with.

Continue with the Basic Mode

Once you select the Basic mode, the steps are pretty straightforward. You are asked if you have admin access to the other instance.
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When that’s done, you can start your sync by entering the issue or the ticket number.
You can immediately see the result of your sync.
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Continue with the Visual Mode

Upon selecting the Visual mode you give a name to the connection. And then verify admin access to the other end.
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Choose the direction and filter entities for your sync on the Scope screen. For instance, you can choose to sync all the tickets in Zendesk uni-directionally that have a label “todev” in the status “open” over to Jira.
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Next, decide on the field mappings. You can add, edit or delete the mappings and control them the way you want.
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There is also an additional option of adding scripts for advanced use cases. Read this guide for a more detailed explanation.

Continue with the Script Mode

The initial steps are the same as the visual mode.
An invitation code is generated in the Script mode that needs to be copied and pasted at the other end.
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Then you need to configure the sync. Click on the edit connection or the “Configure Sync” button for that.
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Under the “Rules” tab, is the “Outgoing Sync” that decides what information needs to be sent out and an “Incoming Sync” that decides how to receive information.

These syncs are present on both sides and need to configure independently.

You can stop syncing a particular field by simply commenting or deleting that line, for instance, //replica.comments=issue.comments will stop syncing comments.

You can add new fields to sync under the respective outgoing or incoming sync section depending on your requirement.

Step 3: Set up automatic sync triggers

Once you decide on the information to send or receive, you can start syncing automatically with the help of triggers.
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They must be mentioned in the “Triggers” tab.

On the Jira side, you can use Jira Query Language (JQL), and on the Zendesk side, advanced search syntax for filtering out tickets or issues to be put under sync.
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“Publish” the changes when you’re done.

Step 4: Start synchronizing

That’s all you need to do! If you set up the automatic sync, just sit back and relax.

Conclusion

A Jira Zendesk integration can bring a lot of visibility to information passed between teams. It will help teams focus on what is most important for the business by automating the sync.

With Exalate’s intuitive scripting engine, you can do and expect a lot more out of your integration. So give it a shot if you still haven’t or contact the vendor’s team for any other queries you might have.

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