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Why customers cannot approve requests ?


We recently deployed Jira Service Desk Server 4.1.0 and synced correctly our Active Directory users to Jira directory (they appear as customers). 

We took the basic licensing plan (3 agents - 10$)

The users in the office can login into the customer portal and raise requests.  

However when we add a customer to approve a request, the customer don't receive any emails.

Does customers needs license to approve requests ?

4 answers

1 accepted

0 votes
Answer accepted
Andy Heinzer Atlassian Team Apr 25, 2019


I can't see any clear problems with your configuration so far.  But a few followup questions for you.

  1. What SMTP service have you setup in Jira to use ?  You can find this in /secure/admin/OutgoingMailServers.jspa Just curious if this is a gmail, yahoo, or some other service like exchange, office365 etc.
  2. Are users in the service desk customer role getting other service desk notifications, like issue created, or issue resolved email notifications?
  3. Is the approver able to login to the customer portal and see this request?  This can tell us more about whether there is some unexpected permissions issue here, or perhaps something else is wrong.  That user should be able to login to the portal and see under My Requests a link for Approvals.   I'm not suggesting this as a workaround to email notifications, just trying to better understand the scope of the problem here.
  4. Am I right in understanding that when the request is created for the first time, the customer does not have to complete the approvers field yet?  Is that field only required by this specific 'needs approval' transition?
  5. I'd be interested to see if you can take a closer look at the logs Jira creates when this approval is added to the request.  This should be logged in the $JIRAHOME/log/atlassian-jira-outgoing-mail.log file.  You might have to enable debug logging for outgoing mail to see content here in this log.

How to enable debug mode for emails:

  • Go to Administration (Gear next to profile) > System > Logging and Profiling page
    • This can also be accessed by pressing 'g+g' and typing Logging and Profiling in the pop-up.
  • For Outgoing Mail, 
    • Scroll down the page to the Outgoing Mail Section
    • Ensure that you have an Outgoing Mail configured and that Outgoing Mail log is enabled as without it, debugging cannot be enabled.
    • Click the blue Enable link that appears in this section to enable outgoing mail debugging.

I would not recommend leaving that debug logging on long term, the log could get real big real quick.  It's probably best to just enable it, recreate the actions that should trigger an approval notification, and then turn off the debug level logging within 1-2 minutes of that event. 

I'm interested to see if Jira is trying to send that approval email or not.  The debug of outgoing mail should help us figure that out.



Hi @Andy Heinzer 

Thanks for you inputs. 

*We just made some others tests and looks like now the customers receives the approvals notifications!*

One thing we're trying to fix, when the approver receive the email notification (he can approve/decline button) but if he clicks ''View request'' it leads to the customer portal saying that he don't have permission to view the issue. We are trying to see in the permissions schemes what is blocking this.

1. SMTP is not configure yet. We use Exchange for the mailing directory but we're getting to this. Agent and admin still received a notification when we tested an approval request. As they already have license, maybe the customers portal-only requires to have the SMTP configured. We synced Active Directory to Jira to have those customers, we didn't add them as users. They're just part of the ''Customers'' tab, and don't have any project role.

2. Yes, the reporter, the participants get the updates from the ticket. 

3. The approver can login into the customer portal, but don't have any approval pending in ''My requests'', even if he received the email notification.

4. We have some issue types with an ''approver'' optional field when the customer raise an issue in the portal. He then can search any user to pick. We'll decide after the ticket is created if the approver chosen is suitable.

Same issue. How did you fix it?

Forget my previous long comment. 

We've figured out and fix some permissions issue in the configuration. Also the permissions works with domain accounts (Active directory)

Sometimes, answering a step-by-step thread can make us realize what went wrong. 

Thank you @Andy Heinzer , @Susan Hauth _Jira Queen_  for your support

We appreciate


Hi IT Newadm


I am having the exact same problem as you, can you enlighten me on the permissions you changed to get this to work?




We are facing the exact same issue in JIRA Service Management Cloud, please help on what permissions were changed to get this working? Thanks in advance..


0 votes

Hi IT,

Did you turn on the customer notifications for "Approval Required" in the Project Configuration? Unless that is enabled, approvers won't receive an email.

Hope that helps


Hi Susan,

Thanks for your reply, this notification is already enabled. I just figured out something now, when I go to the Customers tab on the left panel then I click on a customer and view the project roles (there's currently no project role associations for this user).

I've tried to click ''Edit Project Roles'' and it leads to no screens to configure. Capture.JPG


Did you try using an agent as an approver to make sure that works?



Could you also paste a screenshot of your approval customer notification set up?



Yes an agent is able to receive the notification (which license applies). Agents are part of the jira-servidesk-users group



So the screen was a bit cut off for the second approval required notification.  I assume that in the "To" box its "Approvers".  Especially if you're saying that Agents get approval notifications.

And your non-agents are listed in the "Customers" (Side tab)? 

So then we might need to dig into how the workflow is set up for the Approval step where you are saying that the Customer does not receive an email.

What field are you using for the Approvers?  ANd is it properly populated? 

How is the Approval step in the workflow configured?



This is the workflow I'm using for the project.


The transitions are shown in the customer portal. 

Here's the configuration I have for the ''Needs Approval'' status


Here's the Approvers field. I used the default configuration scheme


WHen you look at an issue where the approvers are not receiving an email, what is the value in the field "approvers"?

I'm not sure to understand, I'm already able to search a customer and add him as an approver 


So looking at your screenshot.  I see that "juan" is an approver.  But how did he end up in that field?  Was he added as the approver in the creation of the issue?

No, I've added a field in the customer portal so people can add approvers. Also when an issue is created, an agent can add an approver from the workflow field

Seems like everything is right.  I'm stumped.  Escalating to other Community experts.

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