Licensing of Service Desk as part of big Jira installation


At our company JIRA is growing very rapidly with expected usage in the thousands soon. The normal usage is of JIRA base and JIRA Agile, but I have an interest in introducing JIRA Service Desk for my minor team (10-15 agents).

But I do not understand if there is a possibility with JIRA to just set up Service Desk licensing on one or selected projects that have the interest for Service Desk functionality. Or if JIRA SD licenses can be set towards specific users in the JIRA system.


3 answers

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With service desk, there are three types of user you need to be aware of.

Normal JIRA users - this remains the same

Service Desk agents - this is how you licence the agents.  It is system wide - it doesn't matter how many projects are Service Desk enabled (you can use as many or as few projects as you want as Service Desk projects).  You nominate these agents with groups as you'd expect.

Customers - do not use any licences, you can have as many as you want (but they can only use the Service Desk portal, they don't see the rest of JIRA)

Thanks Nic - can customer's see the status of their tickets and comments made in the Service Desk portal? Or do they have to be a normal JIRA user to see those details? 

Depends on which status you mean.

Service Desk uses a JIRA workflow in the project, but most of us use the "status map" function.  Imagine I've got a workflow of New -> in progress -> question for customer -> in progress -> resolved -> closed.  I use service desk to show the customer status of "With Nic" (new and in progress), "With customer", "fixed" (resolved) and "closed" instead of the internal status.  The customers see these mapped status.  JIRA users see the actual workflow.

Makes total sense - and the customers obviously see comments in service desk as well? Just making sure that if we have a JIRA instance for our engineers, and a Service Desk portion that integrates with that we don't need to buy JIRA licenses for all non-engineers to see ticket status / updates. 

Comments can be "internal" or "shown to customer (and internal)"

Hi Hans,

Yes you can setup JIRA SD on selected projects only in your JIRA instance, but then bear in mind that users who needs to actively work on issues (transition issue, log work etc...) should then all have an agent licence. 

SD also knows collaborators (=any user with a valid JIRA user licence), but the only thing they can do on SD-enabled projects is to add comments (so not very logical in my opinion, because what I understand from "collaborator" is that they can "collaborate" (work) on an issue (eg. transition the issue, assign issue, log work etc...)

So be carefull to enable SD on any existing JIRA project that you have, your users that previously had access to the specific JIRA project (before SD was enabled on it) would need to become all agents with the corresponding agent-licence fee.

There are several posts already on the Atlassian blogs that clearly indicate that few JIRA customers understand this far-from-logical licence policy from Atlassian regarding SD, so hopefully atlassian will in the future do something about this licence policy.


For more info please see 

For the licence policy more specific please see

For the specifications what a collaborator can do (not much in my opinion) please see



Thank you for your answers Nic and Bart

I don't see the limitations for collaborators/normal or customer clients as any major change from how we use Jira today.


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