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What is the difference between users and customers?

Currently I have a long list of customers but a relatively short list of users in our JSM instance.

I revoked access to the site for a user, thinking they would still remain a customer, but all their tickets became unassigned. Is there a relationship tree between users/customers/people/etc. that clearly explains the differences?

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A very simple way to describe it is that "Users see issues, Customers see requests".

Requests all have an issue behind them, as the main object that Jira works with, but customers have nothing to do with issues directly.  They can't even see the issue, let alone be an assignee or reporter etc.

There isn't a relationship tree beyond my initial short description (although it doesn't tell you that "users can also see the request side of an issue when working with an issue that is behind a request")

Thanks for the insight Nic. 

The person I revoked user access to was removed as a participant from existing requests. 

However, some of the existing participants on other requests do not show up on the user list. 

There seems to be an inconsistency with how these 'roles' are applied.

Don't forget users can also be customers.

Sure. What I'm confused about is why some customers who aren't also users can be added as participants.

Or are participants tied to requests, not issues?

Ah, sorry, I should have expanded on that.

Yes, participants are a request-level thing. 

But you can also have a field of type "participants" for issues - it is read-only though, it's not an editable field, it simply lists uses that have commented, or are the reporter or assignee on the issue (jira users only, not customers)

Okay that's helpful to know, thank you. Acknowledging your last comment, in terms of 'roles' in JSM you could summarise the relationships as:

  • Reporter - Issue
  • Assignee - Issue
  • Customer - Request
  • Participant - Request
  • User - Issue

I guess we could also add:

  • People - Project
  • Lead - Project

There's a lot you could add to the list - custom fields, approvers, developers, people in custom project-roles.

But overall, it really is customers = portal/request, users = issues, boards, projects, agents, administration, all of Jira (depending on their permissions)

Thank you for your support on this Nic. It's been great to get some insight into this.

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