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79 Questions and Answers about Jira Automation

Hi all,

We recently ran a webinar called Getting started with automation in Jira. There were thousands of attendees and a ton of questions! We didn’t get to answer them all on the day so we have collated the most popular here. There are a lot so make use of the Table of contents to jump to what you need. 

Before you read on, make sure to reserve your seat for our advanced webinar in June: How to supercharge your automation in Jira Cloud

Laslty, here are some general resources to help you out:

 

Table of contents:

  1. How to get started / where is automation? (Q 1-4)

  2. Functionality (Q 5-15)

  3. Pricing / limits (Q 15 - 23)

  4. Jira Service Desk (Q 24-26)

  5. Use Cases (Q 27 - 67)

  6. Slack (Q 68 - 70)

  7. Third Party Integrations / Road Map (Q 71 - 79)

 

 Question

Answer

1. Where can I find automation?

Jira Software Cloud (Classic)

Project admins

Project settings > Project automation (bottom of nav)

Global admins

Jira settings> Automation rules

 

Jira Software Cloud (Next-gen)

Project settings > Apps > Project automation

 

Jira Service Desk (Classic)

Project admins

Project settings > Project automation (bottom of nav)

Jira Service Desk automation sits above the nav and Jira Automation at the bottom

Global admins

Jira settings> Automation rules

 

 Jira Service Desk (next-gen)

Project settings > Apps > Project automation

  • JSD automation sits as an item in the main nav

 

Or you can just use the handy Jira shortcut of typing ‘gg’ which will open up a search box where you can type automation.

We are working on making this much easier and consistent in the coming weeks.

 

 

2. What is the difference between Automation and Project automation?

Global admins will see ‘Automation where you can set up multi-project and global rules. You can also grant/revoke access to certain Project Admins to create rules.

Project Admins will see Project Automation. In here, you can set up rules only for the projects you are admin for.

 

3. How do I enable automation?

 

You don’t need to enable it. It is ready to use natively in every single Jira Cloud instance (across all Jira products)

 

4. Is it available for Server as well as Cloud?   

           

It is available natively in Jira Cloud for Jira Software, Jira Service desk and Jira Core. However, you will find an app on the Atlassian Marketplace called Automation for Jira Server with similar functionality. There is a paid and free version.

5. How can we limit or grant permission for this feature?

By default all Admins and project admins can create rules, with project admins being restricted to projects they have access to. If you want to lock this down further, you can specify groups to restrict project admins.

 

3c22ae40-3f2d-45c6-ac7e-20a7c718de27.png

 

6. Is there a limit to how many IF/ELSE components I can use? 

There is no limit to the number of IF/ELSE conditions that can be used. There is, however, a limit to the number of overall components (conditions, actions, etc) that can be used in a rule. This is currently set at 64.

 

7. Are rules searchable?

Yes they are. From our rule list there's a search box top right, so you can look for rules by name. You can also sort by project and so on. We're also going to improve this functionality in the future.

d9fdb77a-8222-4477-9972-e8edaeb4274d.png

8. Where can I learn more about smart values?

You can see an extensive list of smart values here:

Or this blog can teach you how to find a smart value for pretty much anything in your Jira instance.

Better again, join us for our advanced webinar where we will walk you through smart values in detail.

 

9. Does the issue history identify that Automation has made a change?

Yes you can see that the "Automation for Jira" user did the update. You can also track the breadcrumbs through the audit log.

1d8bed00-3e43-440c-baa4-eab0989ad2cd.png

 

10. How do you stop a rule from looping? (i.e one rule setting off another rule)?

You can choose whether a rule will be allowed to start another automation rule but we also have protections in place. Read more about how we protect your rules from looping in this blog.

3ce7786f-12fd-40b0-a7c9-ad61961b8f64.png

 

 

10. Why use automation instead of Transition Post Functions?

 

You can add more complex conditions and control the flow better than with Post functions. See all the actions available. There are things you can't do with automation, like Validators.

 

 

11. Will automation need to follow the set workflow scheme transitions behind the issue, or will it skip straight to that status?

 

Automations will still need to respect the configured workflow. i.e. If you try to transition the current issue to "Done" but the issue doesn't have a valid transition from its current state to the target status, it won't work.

12. Can I export automation rules to insert them in another Jira instance?

You can export & import rules as a JSON file. You may need to update custom fields, etc if they differ. 

c1b34668-98b5-476d-a2cc-6907a6b2f835.png

 

 

13.Does automation work with classic and next-gen projects?

 

Automation works across both classic and next-gen projects. However, there are some issues in next-gen which we are currently fixing up to make it work as well as in classic. 

 

14. Do you have any tips regarding the optimisation of Jira rues? 

This blog offers a few tips to optimize your rules to be most economical with global automation rule limits.

 

15. Does automation work with Jira Cloud Standard or just Premium?

 

Automation works across all plans. Every single Jira Cloud instance has access to automation.

Every instance has access to unlimited single-project automation rules. Depending on your plan, there are limits to consider for global and multi-project automation rules.

16. What are the automation limits for multi-project and global automation rules?

Jira Cloud Free has unlimited single project automation rules and a monthly total of 300 multi-project / global rule executions.

Jira Cloud Standard - has unlimited single project automation rules and a monthly total of 500 multi-project / global rule executions.

Jira Cloud Premium - 1000 multi-project and global rule executions per user, per month. (i.e - if you have 200 Premium users, you have 200,000 global automation rules per month)

These limits are pooled across all users. 

 

18. Where can I find the pricing models?

 

You can find the pricing and comparison page here.

19. If you hit your monthly automation rule limits, what happens? Do you get notified?

Yes, you will get an email notification and an in-product prompt when you are getting close to hitting your automation execution limits. You can keep track of all your automation usage within the product under the usage tab.

38f90f31-03f6-4b67-a8fc-29dc2607d7ae.png

 

20. Can you pay for overages rather than upgrading to Premium?

 

No, at the moment, to get more multi-project or global automation rules, you would need to upgrade to Jira Software Premium.

 

21. Is there a limit to how many rules you can have?

 

No there is no limit to how many rules you can have. It helps to use the labels to keep track of all of the rules.

 

22. What do you mean by multi-projects? We have lots of individual projects but I don' envisage having rules that cross project boundaries. 

 

A multi-project rule is simply any rule that fires across more than one project. If you are not running automation rules across more than one project, you have unlimited automation executions!

 

23. Does automation work across both Jira Software and Jira Service Desk?

 

Yes automation works across the entire Jira suite of products including Jira Core.

 

24. What will happen to Jira Service Desk's existing automation engine?

 

We're doing some work at the moment to consolidate the different Automation engines and will let Jira Service Desk customers know of any actions that need to be taken in plenty of time.

 

25. Do you have some sample Jira Service Desk use cases?

 

This a handy resource for anyone looking to get started in Jira Service Desk with automation: 7 automation rules to turbocharge your Jira Service Desk

 

26. Where can I generally get more sample use cases?

 

You can see more automation use cases here.

Also check out our Rule Playground. It may offer some inspiration.

 

27. Could we use automation to archive 'Done' tickets automatically after X days?

 

Yes, this would be easy to do with a scheduled trigger. You can see a very similar use case here in our automation guide.

 

28. Can automation email me with any issues that haven't been updated in 5 days?

 

Yes. You can use the scheduled rules to match issues that haven’t been updated in 5 days and send you an email. The caveat (for now) is that you'll get an email for each of the issues that's overdue, rather than a single email. However, we are shipping a new feature that will allow this in the next few weeks.

 

29. Would automation be useful to extract weekly reports from Jira?

 

It would! We are very close to releasing this exact functionality. You can track it here.

31. Are we able to clear the Label value when a task has moved into Done?

Yes you can trigger a rule on Transition to Done, and then set the Labels as empty using the ‘edit issue’ action

0e442d2d-dc1e-4c75-bfd7-854766c3f17c.png

 

 

32. Will ‘Edit Issue’ actions work on a cascading select field?

 

We don't have support for cascading select fields just yet in the simple form, but you can use advanced Json to achieve this. See more in this community post.

33. When an issue is created in JSD, I would like to move it to a project in JS. How do I move it? I only see an option to clone it.

At the moment, you can’t move an issue with automation. However, you can simulate a move by cloning the issue and deleting the original.

86dcdcd6-b630-49f2-8047-02d0e3d1fffa.png

34. Can rules be set for labels and flags? We don't have a "Blocked" status, we use flags

Yes, you could do this. However, you would need to use the additional fields section in automation

e829d329-5da2-4fcd-9efa-adf0af5a5a96.png

 

35. Does Automation have triggers/actions related to Sprint start/end?

There are triggers to start a sprint (as per screenshot). Currently there are no actions to start or end a sprint but we are tracking this ability here.

2db2c186-64bd-4d87-b5ee-771d0771f366.png

36. Can we set up assignee for Project Roles instead of one assignee?

Yes you can use the ‘Assign action’ to assign the issue to a member of a Group / Role

4d52c42f-3c9b-456e-b691-035f0a625457.png

37. Can you auto assign task based on a label?

Yep you can create a trigger on Label changed, a condition to what the label is, and an action to assign the issue.

85bc1e5f-d256-4c35-94ed-789e2bdd4c4e.png

 

 

38. Is the auto-assignment (balanced workload) based on tickets quantity or story points?

Is it built-in logic or is there anything we need to do?

 

It's based on ticket quantity currently. It is all built-in logic. Nothing you need to do!

39. Can you change assignment based on a transition (with balanced workload).

For example, assign a task to someone in the QA team once dev done

Yes you can, you can trigger on an ‘issue transition’, and then use the ‘Assign issue’ transition with balanced workload

c1c55978-6236-4933-9b04-3f27a3fe0770.png

 

 

40. What happens if I am the assignee in one of the automated steps and I go on vacation?

 

At the moment, there is no way to tell if a user is on vacation (or sick, on lunch, etc) though we have an issue in our backlog for it here.

41. Can you match a field to the parent? For example.. when the subtask was created you can make it match what the parent field is... like assignee on parent is Mark.. subtask will pick Mark

Use the "Edit action" to set the Assignee field to a linked issue's value, like the parent's Assignee for subtask. You can use a similar pattern for many fields and custom fields.

c5dff15a-3f23-4611-885f-b17db9075f69.png

43. Can the assignee be automatically set to the reporter, rather than a specific user?

Yes. You can specify other issue and fields to copy values from. Here you can set the assignee to the user referenced in the reporter field.

756fed46-02ce-4c8b-bb69-f6f33a667273.png

44. Please show one example of accessing a custom field. 

There are built in smarts with automation so you can see your custom fields in the dropdowns. Where this isn’t possible, you can use smart values.

So if you want a access a custom text field called "My text field" you can use the smart value:

{{issue.My text field}}

We will be talking a lot more about how to use smart values in our upcoming advanced webinar ‘How to supercharge your automation in Jira’

fb0a647d-6c3b-426d-ad7b-97e1c3aa2e45.png

 

46. Is it possible to parse the body of an incoming email which creates a task, to extract a component of the body to populate a specific field?

 

Yes, you can use a regular expression to extract text from the email body to populate other fields.

48. Can we assign a story that has all linked items completed to another column?

Yep you can use the "Related issues condition" to check if all linked items have been completed and the the "Transition" action to move that task to another column

d14e0ef7-86ac-42db-b62d-a7a1b0664747.png

 

49. Can we create the rules and combine it with Fixversion/ Release ?

 

Yep we have triggers for when a Version is released so you can add automation rules when this occurs.

50. Can we use a time based rule to trigger an action? 

Yes, you can use our Scheduled trigger to run a rule every 1 day for example, and searches through issues with an Open status for more than 48 hours then send a notification to the assignee. You can see a good example of this in this blog.

21458443-df13-443b-b100-87acf76b2273.png

 

51. If an issue is of a highest priority, is there a way to auto allocate it to the latest release?

 

Yes, you can use a condition to check if the issue is high priority and then use Edit issue to set the version to "Last release version" or "Next unreleased version".

 

52. Can we auto-allocate a Critical item to the Active Sprint?

 

You can use an Issue fields condition to check if the issue's priority is Critical and then the "Edit issue" action to set the Sprint to currently active Sprint.

 

53. Can automation run retrospectively.

i.e - if you create a new rule, can it be applied to existing issues?

 

You could but you would have to run two rules. The first would be a rule with a scheduled trigger that searches for existing issues via JQL and performs your action.

Rule 2 would fire moving forward using whatever trigger you like.

 

54. How do you assign tasks to epics as part of an automation?

 

You can use the "Edit Action" to set the "Epic Link" field of an issue, which will set the Epic of that task.

Note: this functionality does not currently work in a next-gen project though we have a fix in motion here.

 

55. For the sub-tasks being created, can you dynamically set the issue summary names?

 

Yes you can use smart values to dynamically pull in data from different sources

56. Is it possible to add an automation based on a comment in the thread of a ticket?

 

Absolutely, you can listen to comments using the ‘Issue commented’ trigger. Use a condition to check who commented and if they are part of a group, then close the ticket.

7d899bac-6a28-4fd7-b717-28f97899fca9.png

57. How can I use automation to transition an issue to done once all their child tasks are done?

This screenshot shows you how to do it step by step.

5bb90b32-6949-4684-9461-cc8d10f64b98.png

 

58. Is it possible to automate logging work? 

Yep you can use the "Log work" trigger to automatically track time.

We have automations that will "Log work" and you can use the "Edit Action" to set the Original, Remaining estimates. We also have a trigger that can fire when Work is logged

d875bd25-368d-4dc8-a7b3-ccc1099d513b.png

 

59. Does automation allow you to set a date X business days from when a status transitions?

 

You can use smart values and then functions on top of that. One of those functions is an add business days, so you can use that to set a date

 

60. Can I create automation to linked tickets based on certain keywords?

 

You can use JQL in many places to filter out issues. With this you can create a rule that listens for an issue event, check if it contains certain words and then perform an action.

61. Is it possible to copy a user value from a custom user field to the watcher list?

Yes, we've made it pretty easy to copy the value of one field to another using Edit issue action or transition/create. You can specify the issue you want to copy from and the field you want to reference.

cda4cfa0-6061-445c-af9f-409ac1d4a296.png

 

62. Can you have multiple Triggers to kick off an automation? 

We have a trigger called "Multiple issue events" that listens for all issue based events (or a specified subset). We do not currently support an arbitrary list of triggers for a single rule.

953c4df7-e3a1-4817-a137-e786f2963a98.png

63. Can automation help link issues from one project to another when creating new ticket?

 

The answer to your first question is yes, we have a Link Issues actions that will allow you to link issues across projects.

f1c4e791-ceca-40c8-8e0c-79dd1bb15ad0.png

In terms of detecting key words, you can use our Issue Fields Condition to check and see if there are certain keywords and then link this issue together.

e5625478-6827-4873-b95f-c19b7b5e2997.png

 

64. How do you schedule based on specific timing e.g. every day 8am SGT or weekday 9am SGT?

You can do this using Cron. There are lots of handy Cron websites which can help or check out the docs. Take a look at the first rule in this blog for a real life example.

8b5fa453-f6e0-47c9-a8e2-8c26c3df7bb9.png

 

65. Is there a way to select "Current Sprint" for the automation rather than having to select a specific sprint?

 

For sprints you can select "Active sprint" or "Next sprint".

 

 

67. Can we send Slack messages to a specific channel (or integrated app) as an action?

 

Yes this is easily done through the Slack action. Read more in this blog.

 

68. I have not found a way to send a DM slack to assignee or reporter on an issue. Any suggestions?

 

You'd need to store the Slack ID as a user property against each user (since there's no way to automatically map a Jira user Id with a Slack user Id) and use that to mention people in the action

 

69. Any plans to add Slack messages or commands as a trigger for automation?

 

Further integration with Slack has been much requested. We have an issue in our backlog for it which we are tracking here.

 

70. You mentioned integration with GitHub, GitLab. Is there any intention to provide better integration with Azure DevOps?

 

We eventually hope to support all DevOps tools that integrate into Jira though this will take time. In the mean time you can use WebHooks to integrate Automation/Azure. although this blog is for GitHub, you might gain some inspiration.

 

71. Are there Automation rules that integrate with Confluence and vice versa?

 

We don't have confluence integration yet but that is an obvious and natural direction for the product to head.

 

72. Is Tempo integrated with automation?

 

You can set Tempo time tracking fields using the Advanced JSON format, but you can't trigger on Tempo field changes.

 

73. Does automation provide some action to integrate with Trello?

 

Not at the moment but this is definitely something we would like to look at in the future.

 

74. Can triggers be external (coming from Confluence, Email, etc.)

 

Yes you can setup Incoming Webhooks as a trigger, so any system that can send Webhooks like Confluence can support this (not Email, however)

 

75. Can I Generate QA Test JIRA ticket automatically when an official QA test build is released?

 

Yes, you can use an Incoming webhook trigger from your build system and then create a Jira ticket

 

76. Do the automation rules work for bulk edit?

 

Not right now but we are very close to shipping the ability to process issues in bulk with automation.

 

77. Can attachments be copied from one issue to another? I've had issues trying to do this as part of a rule.

 

At the moment, no though it is a popular request. We are tracking it here.

 

78. Hi, is there any automation to create dashboard/project automatically?

 

Not at the moment. We are tracking it here.

 

79. Do you already have plans to offer conditions and actions based on Forge, say a 'Run Forge function' action?

 

This is definitely on our Roadmap and is our strategy for extensibility. Forge is still in its early days but looks really exciting and is a great complimentary technology for automation.

 

I hope these questions and answers help. If we didn't get to your question, feel free to pop it through to the support team. All feedback, as ever, is welcome here :)

Thanks,

John

14 comments

Excellent tips, thanks for sharing.

Since there is a third-party app mentioned (Tempo), I would like to add that both Issue Checklist Pro and Issue Checklist Free apps also offer integration with Jira Automation. 

Here is a documentation link.

Like John McKiernan likes this

Correct me if i'm wrong, there is actually 80 questions/answers. 

You've typed the N°10 twice :) 

Like Andy Heinzer likes this

Thanks for sharing those @Jack Hunter _HeroCoders_ 

There are indeed other apps mentioned but I think Tempo was the only one mentioned in the webinar. Appreciate you including the link,

John

Ah you got me @Assia Touati !

I knew I was going to make a mistake in there somewhere. I think I may have broken a record for longest community post ever :) 

Like # people like this

@John McKiernan  maybe the longest post, but so rewarding for jira users. Thank you for your time

Like # people like this
Taranjeet Singh Community Leader May 01, 2020

@John McKiernan Really great and useful information for anybody who wants to use JIRA Automation add-on!

Like John McKiernan likes this

Very good article.

 

Thanks🙏

Like # people like this

Great webinar; great summary of Q&A; more like this!   🧐

Like John McKiernan likes this
Sharon Helms Community Leader Jul 09, 2020

Thank you, this is super helpful for our teams just getting started with automations!

Like John McKiernan likes this

This was a great webinar, and my first exploration of the functionality has prompted this question:  Is it possible to configure a global webhook that could use a project-level variable to configure the endpoint URL?  An example use case would be to define a webhook behaviour once but send its payload to a different URL per project (E.G. for Google Chat Room endpoints).

It would make sense in this use case to have a condition that checks for the presence of required variables before firing.

Thanks!

Hey @Scott_Brogan ,

Glad you enjoyed the webinar! Have you attended the advanced automation webinar yet? Lots more to learn :)

With regards to your question, it depends a bit on your rule. There isn't really a concept of a global rule running in a project (unless if you mean, running on an issue that's in a particular project?)

If that's the case then it is possible to have some 'If' checks on the issue project then either send different webhooks, or you could use the new 'add smart variable' action to set different smart values based on a bunch of issue conditions that check which project it is in if/else statements.

From there, you could use that variable in a single send webhook action.

Sorry I know that is a slightly complex answer but hopefully it helped a bit!

John 

@John McKiernan Hi John, remember me? I'm still pushing the boundaries of Automation for Jira...  :-)

Regarding Question 5, you might want to clarify where that "Global Configuration" is located. Even searching for "global" using the "Search Jira admin" feature will not find it!

To get there, one has to navigate: Jira Software > Settings > System > Automation > Automation rules > menu > Global Configuration.

One other tip: The phrase "Global administrators" on that screen is a bit confusing. I believe that term is legacy, although I might not have fallen far enough down the rabbit hole while trying to research it. In Jira Cloud these days I see only site-admins, jira-administrators, and administrators.

I'm all three of those types of Admins, but still I was worried about unchecking the box on that screen. My desired is to disallow project admins from managing rules (they haven't any training in Jira automation). But I don't want to inadvertently remove my own access (not knowing for sure if I'm one of the mythical Global Admins).

Hey @Mykenna Cepek ,

How could I forget! One of our first customer stories for Automation for Jira all those years back :)

Hope all is well and thanks for the message.

As ever, you are quite right. We have used the term Global Admins as a team internally for so long but indeed it should be Jira Admins or Jira site admins. 

Thanks also for adding those breadcrumbs. I have updated the description. We have been trying to surface automation more prominently but still a work in motion. 

Cheers,

John

Like Mykenna Cepek likes this

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