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Jira Zendesk Integration: Setting up a Two-Way Sync between Jira and Zendesk by@exalate
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Jira Zendesk Integration: Setting up a Two-Way Sync between Jira and Zendesk

by ExalateNovember 14th, 2022
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Teams that work separately can benefit hugely from sharing their data. Getting that data from one place to another is easier said than done, but there are tools dedicated to making it possible. In this article, you’ll see how the right software can help you synchronize two different platforms through a Jira Zendesk integration. The right software integration can ensure these systems share the data they need, and are both updated when something changes in the other. An integration needs flexibility to choose how data is shared.

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Teams like support and development that work on different platforms say Jira and Zendesk, can benefit hugely from sharing their data. Connecting these teams seamlessly even becomes a necessity when businesses want to grow fast and at scale. That’s where a Jira Zendesk integration comes into play.


In this article, we’re going to see how the right solution can help you synchronize two different platforms and how to set up a Jira Zendesk integration in a few steps.


So let’s get right to it!

Do you need a Jira Zendesk integration?

There are many situations where integration can help you.


For example, developers and customer service teams both have information useful to the other. The customer service team handles info on customer complaints and knows what features customers want. The developers know what is in the pipeline.


Both teams will have info on specific features in their systems, and sharing it is useful to both of them.


In another example, a sales team using Zendesk to store data on potential clients wants to use that to automatically set up accounts in Jira, which is used to store data for customers signed up for their product.


The right integration solution can ensure these systems share the data they need and are both updated when something changes in the other.

Choose the right integration tool

There are a few things to look for when choosing an integration tool.

Flexibility

The relationship between your teams will often change. The integration needs to reflect this, letting teams choose how incoming data is mapped to their systems. An integration needs the flexibility to choose how data is shared.

Reliability

Your Jira Zendesk integration needs to be reliable. Not only does it need to achieve maximum uptime, it also needs to handle any downtime gracefully. That means that if a connection fails at some point, the integration should be able to resume its work when the connection is restored, without needing the involvement of developers.

Full control over the shared data

Teams on each side of the connection want control over their shared data. They need to be able to allow or withdraw access at any time and choose what is shared on a field-by-field basis.


To cover these needs, we’ve chosen to use Exalate. Exalate was designed to deliver the flexibility, reliability, and security teams need, while letting them keep control over their data through a distributed architecture.

How to integrate Jira and Zendesk in 6 steps

Now let’s go through the process of setting Exalate up. Briefly, that means installing Exalate on both platforms, connecting the platforms together, and then configuring everything to your liking.


These instructions assume you’re using Jira Cloud. Please visit the documentation if you’re using Jira on-premise as the process is slightly different.

Step 1 - Install Exalate on Jira

First, you need to install Exalate on Jira. To do that, look for the Exalate app in the Atlassian marketplace.


Click the “Try it free” button, then select “Cloud” from the options that appear. You need to enter the Jira site’s address, and then you’ll be transferred to your Jira dashboard.


Here you can confirm your free trial. You’re then ready for step 2.

Step 2 - Install Exalate on Zendesk


Next, let’s install Exalate on Zendesk. Search for “Exalate” in Zendesk’s Marketplace.


Click the install button, then pick an account to use on the next screen and click install again. You’ll see a configuration screen, allowing you to rename Exalate within Zendesk, and with a couple of optional settings.


Click “Install”, then select “Exalate” on the left. Click “Allow”, then add your credentials. Click “Agree & Submit”.


You’ll get a verification email. Click the confirmation button there, and back in Zendesk to complete your installation.

Step 3 - Connect your instances

Next, you need to connect your instances together. You can start this from either platform. This guide uses Zendesk, but Exalate uses a common interface and the process is the same.**
**

Click “Connections” in Exalate’s menu, and then “Initiate Connection”. Next, you have to input your site’s address and choose from three configuration types.

The Basic mode does things automatically. It’s easy, but you can’t edit the sync rules with it. In Visual mode, you use a simple, low-code interface to make changes. Finally, Script mode lets you take full control over everything, but is more complex.**
**

If you choose Basic mode, you just need to confirm you have admin access on each instance. Exalate will then create a ticket to automatically test the connection. After that, you can head straight to step 6.


If you choose the other modes, you’ll see screens similar to those in steps 4 and 5, so please refer to those.

Step 4 - Configure your connection to share the data you need

To access the screens in steps 4 and 5, click “edit connection” from the Exalate connections list. You will also see these screens if you select visual or script configuration in step three.



After clicking “edit connection”, click the “rules” tab. In Visual mode, you’ll see how fields on each side map to each other. By default, they’re one-to-one relationships, with everything mapping to an identical, or equivalent field.


If you don’t want any fields shared, you can delete them. You can also edit them if you want to map to different or custom fields.

Similarly, in Script mode, you’ll see pages of code representing the incoming and outgoing rules. You can delete or edit these to make the changes you want.

Step 5 - Create automated synchronization triggers

Click the “triggers” tab to view your triggers. These define the conditions that need to be met to start synchronization. You could synchronize all open tickets or all tickets assigned to a particular person.

To create a trigger, select the type of entity it refers to. You then have to write a line of code that matches the items you want to select.


After that, choose the connection this rule applies to. There’s also an activation switch, for quickly turning rules on and off. You can also leave notes to help you understand what each trigger is for.

Step 6 - Start syncing

Now the connection is ready and it’s following the rules you created. Items will be automatically synchronized between your platforms, without you having to do anything further. Exalate is also designed to recover from outages reliably.


Once you understand the basics, you can add further rules, or edit the ones you have. Exalate can do many things for you, so make sure you take full advantage of its capabilities.


Common use cases for a Jira Zendesk integration


Support & Developer Collaboration


Imagine your support team operating on Zendesk while your development crew is on Jira. Zendesk would often house tickets detailing customer issues. While the support team handles them, unique challenges could intrigue the developers. With Exalate, you can seamlessly shift particular issues from Zendesk to Jira based on preset conditions.


Consider using a label, such as 'for_devs'. This tag identifies tickets beyond the support team's scope. Once labeled, they're automatically sent to Jira for developer action. Once rectified, the developers can tag the ticket as 'resolved'. Exalate then fetches these 'resolved' solutions and redirects them to Zendesk, enabling the support team to offer customers the needed solutions.


Product Research & Design Collaboration


Your marketing division uncovers customer desires, while the design unit translates these into product attributes. The marketing crew needs updates on these features to gauge customer reactions, and designers crave that feedback.


Both units might scrutinize similar challenges but prefer to tackle them separately. While the research division gathers extensive data, they emphasize a specific portion during evaluation. Designers prioritize actionable insights. An automation tool facilitates effective data sharing between them, ensuring each team remains productive, yet informed.


Sales Coordination & Digital Service Initialization


Suppose you deploy Zendesk for sales activities and Jira to oversee user information. Your sales team liaises with clients, forging agreements and amassing data in Zendesk. Post-sale, you'd want some of this data relayed to Jira.


An integration solution can automate this process, sifting through the data and channeling necessary details into Jira tasks. Your onboarding crew then utilizes this data to efficiently initialize new clients with their online accounts.

Conclusion

Modern teams use a wide selection of software to manage their work. This involves huge amounts of data, which is often inaccessible to others. Moving data from one platform to another is a daunting prospect.


Though connecting platforms seems like a major challenge, integration solutions can make it a solvable one. Getting started with Exalate is much easier than you think, and once configured, data is exchanged without manual intervention. That lets your teams benefit from each other’s data, giving your organization a huge advantage over those that keep everything locked in one place.


Book a demo with an integration engineer to learn how Exalate can be tailored to your specific use case.