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SIL Simplified - A beginner's guide to Simple Issue Language and how to use it

As a Jira admin, looking for ways to expand your Jira functionality, you may have stumbled across people using and referring to this thing called SIL. Contrary to what some may think, SIL is not the Grammy Award winning singer of "Kiss from a Rose" fame (though, like Batman it will definitely help save the world)! No, SIL stands for Simple Issue Language and is a very very simple scripting language for people without strong programming abilities who still want to customize Jira and automate the multitude of functionalities that Jira can offer with a few simple commands.


Using SIL, here are a just a few things you can customize on Jira:


  • Update fields such as assignee or due date
  • Send custom notifications
  • Add security or control through validators and conditions
  • Integrate with an external database
  • Parse incoming emails with custom email handlers
  • Create dynamic wizards
  • Create calculated custom fields
  • And much more

SIL is intended to simplify work for users who do not want to deep dive to implementation details of Jira or users who do not know Java. Better yet, unlike writing in Groovy/ Java, SIL removes the need to account for dependencies, classes and packages before scripting to alter Jira. One of our users summed it up perfectly, "Using SIL I can just follow the workflow logic, I don't need to switch my mind to another subject. It helps to keep focused on business requirements and tasks rather than recall programming language." 

SIL was designed to provide an easy, re-usable set of scripts which are flexible, easily configurable and do not need to be upgraded every time you upgrade Jira thus reducing your technical debt.



However, just because it's simple, doesn't mean you are losing functionality. SIL retains as much flexibility as possible exposing what we believe to be the basics of workflow customization, email handling, issue listeners, scheduled tasks, and so on.

 Even better, SIL is not limited for use on Jira, the SIL language is actually independent from Jira. Below are a few of our apps which are powered by SIL:


Save time with SIL:

Consider the following example: You want to resolve all open sub tasks for an issue that you've created in Jira.

Here is how you would code it using the Java/ Groovy script language (note: the top part is all the dependencies you need to know about and bring in before you even start writing the code!):


Here is the equivalent postfunction in SIL:


Short and to the point. SIL removes the need to write lines upon lines of code (who wants to be Bart Simpson on detention?) with a language that's easy to master, leaving you more time to tackle bigger problems.

Why SIL ?

If you need to customize Jira really deep, choose SIL from one of our apps Power Scripts for Jira v4.0 and / or Power Actions for Jira. The top reasons to use it are that SIL:

  1. Really delivers fast.
  2. Shields you from the Jira internals.
  3. Is consistent from version to version. It doesn't break on Jira upgrades or maintenance periods.
  4. Is extensible (routines and custom fields).
  5. Covers many other commercial apps functionalities.

Choosing SIL is a smart thing to do:

  • If you really care about standard programming practices, you can move workflows from test to production environments very quickly.
  • Because scripts can be easily adapted and modified on the fly.
  • You pay only once, then you can cover countless customizations, that otherwise would require a dozen of apps.
  • It is supported and you have the power.

SIL lets you customize your Jira to really suit your individual needs, and lets you make these adjustments in a fraction of the time then you would spend using Groovy/ Java. If you're ready to dive in to more SIL use cases and instructions on how to get started with SIL, check out our SIL space on confluence or watch this short video which features more tips, tricks and templates on how to use SIL. 



Josh Simnitt September 8, 2022

the link to the SIL confluence space looks like it might be outdated, it requests for a user login

Amelie Winkler _Appfire_
Marketplace Partner
Marketplace Partners provide apps and integrations available on the Atlassian Marketplace that extend the power of Atlassian products.
November 29, 2022

Hi @Josh Simnitt – Amelie from Power Scripts here. Well spotted! Here's the current SIL documentation. Let me know if you have any questions, Amelie

Carmen Bullock December 5, 2022


I am new to SIL Manager and the language.  Are there any videos that can show how to write simple code to find information on an issue or project?

Amelie Winkler _Appfire_
Marketplace Partner
Marketplace Partners provide apps and integrations available on the Atlassian Marketplace that extend the power of Atlassian products.
December 7, 2022

Hi @Carmen Bullock sure, we have the Power Scripts master class, which gives a more general introduction (Lesson 4-8), or for more concrete examples, you could check out our documentation. Hope this helps!

Dan Tombs
Community Leader
Community Leader
Community Leaders are connectors, ambassadors, and mentors. On the online community, they serve as thought leaders, product experts, and moderators.
July 26, 2023

Hey @Amelie Winkler _Appfire_

Have Appfire got any other resources regarding SIL learning? I’d love to get a proper learning path under my belt as well as pass on to others in our team.

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