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JIRA Service Desk: Can an external third party be involved via email?

Hello! :-)

We are evaluating JIRA Service Desk and plan to use it as Self-Hosting (Server). We are going through the documentation and have some questions.

Can an external third party be involved via email?

Example: A customer mails a request and it is turned into an issue. To solve the issue the agent has to contact an external third party via email (WAITING FOR THIRD PARTY). The external third party answers via email and the issue status is updated. The agent can process the issue and solve/close it. 

Is that possible?

Any help would be really appreciated. Thank you. :-)

4 answers

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Answer accepted

Hey Susi - I guess this was just implemented in the latest version of JIRA Service Desk. Otherwise you could add the third party to the issue so that they can answer via email (which leads to the creation of a comment that the customer can see too) or you create a separate issue for the communication with the third party in the JIRA Service Desk project so that the customer does not see the comments.

Any special reason you don't want to have the third party being involved as a Service Desk collaborator (consuming a normal JIRA license, no Service Desk agent)?



Thank you for your assistance, Christoph. Your answer cleared my confusion on how to handle communication with third parties (comments that the customers can and can't see). Have a great day! :-) 

You're welcome Susi, glad to help :) have a great day too!

Hi Christoph,


 I have the same question. This is how it works for us:

We handle issues/requests for our customers, but we are partner with multiple third parties. Most of the time we would have to ask the third party what to do with the request. We want to forward the issue, mainly that you would like to have all the communication inside of the Jira service desk so that it does not sit in one of the agents personal email accounts.

What do you mean with adding the third party to the issue? How do I do this?

Hi Micha,

by adding the third party to the issue, I meant adding them as a participant to the issue. This leads to their comments being visible to the customer. If this is no option, you could create JIRA users for each third party and add them to your Service Desk project as collaborators (so that they can comment but their comments won't be visible to the customer). This way they can see all the issues in the Service Desk project so you might want to use a security level per partner and an internal security level as default.

Hope that helps


Like # people like this

Hi Christoph,

Thank you for your reply. Indeed, I don't want the comments of the third party to be visible. What do you mean with collaborators? Does that mean I have to add them as users in my Jira application, so the tier goes up?


Thanks in advance.

Hi Micha,

you're welcome. With collaborators I mean JIRA users which are added to the Service Desk project as non-agents but are using JIRA (so also consuming JIRA Software/Core licenses). Another option could be the JETI add-on ( to forward issues and receive replies but I would recommend to test it in a testing environment first and see if you can configure it so that it works your way.

Hi Christoph,

I'm steppin in as I got the exact same problem: third party collaborators to the issue.

They can fully access the issue, but their comments should be Internal, i.e. not visible to the Customer.

I tried to follow your suggestion and I create on purpose a user group and a Project Role. I added the collaborator to the user group which in turn is added to the "People" of the project with the Project Role. I then gave both the group and the role all the permission to add comments.
Unfortunately when a collaborator sends an email, no comment is added and the Mail Handler reports the message:

"FAILURE - You do not have permission to create internal comments on this issue"

Is it some permission issue or what?




Like Micha likes this

I have a similar request, we have a number of third party vendors that have their own ticket system. We would like to track the communications between ourselves and the third party in the same Jira ticket, however keep them as internal communications. 

Ticket is raised by client, we need to involve third party vendor, ideally from a custom drop down field, we select the vendor and the comments get sent to that vendor. They reply via email and the comments get update but only visible by us internally.

The vendor response could be too technical for the end user or contain information held under an NDA. 

We would then decide on the next step to the client.


Do you have any examples on this type of workflow. 




Hi Dean, any solution for this yet? We are in a similar situation as service provider for multiple customers.

I am testing the add-on 'Email this issue' now. But I'd rather see Atlassian implement this in Service Desk directly. I hope this add-on can help you as well!

Deleted user Oct 08, 2018

Hi Micha, 

We are really struggling to work round this very similiar issue. 

Has Email this issue resolved this problem for you?




Hi Kyle,


I'm sorry, but you can't split the communication between the customer and third parties. Also not with this add-on. Too bad!



Really need this functionality too.

Same here. I would consider emailing the ticket as a basic functionality that should be available in Atlassian. Other ticketing systems provide the option.

Like Jan Jaap Wallien likes this

Hi all, 


We use Email This Issue. 

With it, we can email anyone we want and they can reply to any emails we have sent them with the use of ETI.

ETI allows for anyone to email a ticket even if they are not the reporter or associated with it in any way. If they are not the reporter or participant the email is added to the ticket as an internal comment. They do NOT need a license. 

Hope this helps. 




We have a similar problem, using "E-Mail this Issue", but if we send E-Mails with this to an external JIRA System, E-Mails are "skipped" because of the Bulk-Header Filter.

We cant disable the filter because of other bulk e-mails that are not relevant to the issues.

is there anyway of an allowlist of e-mail adresses that are not filterd by the bulk-mail filter?

@Felix Haverkamp 

You can disable the bulk filter per mailbox, so you should be able to allow bulk messages for that single incoming address on the second instance your sending to. 

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