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How to query a user name by a display name

In our CI pipeline, when the unit test fails, we need to parse and get the commit's author such as "Alex Yang" (alias is alexya) who is also a Jira system user.

When I call Jira REST API to create an issue and set the assignee, it needs the "name" of the user in the Jira system such as "alexya" instead of a full or display name "Alex Yang". (using the name I can create the issue successfully, but displayName will fail)


POST /rest/api/2/issue



"fields": {
"project": {
"key": "AAAA"
"summary": "3rd task created with rest API",
"description": "creating of an issue using ids for projects and issue types using the REST API",
"issuetype": {
"name": "Bug"
"assignee": {
"displayName": "Alex Yang"
"priority": {
"id": "2"


It will fail with the error: 


{    "errorMessages": [],    "errors": {        "assignee""expected Object containing a 'name' property"    }}



Furthermore, I tried to use REST API to query the user information, but

the REST API GET /rest/api/2/user?username=alexya can only accept the parameter "username" or "key", can't use the displayName to query the details of a user so that I can't use the displayName to get the user name. e.g.



"errorMessages": [        

"Either the 'username' or the 'key' query parameters need to be provided"    

],    "errors": {}}



Any help will be much appreciated. 


1 answer

I was looking for this too. Setting the assignee requires the accountId, but the commands to look up a user by displayName and/or emailAddress were removed for GDPR compliance

The only workaround I have found is that JQL queries still accept displayName or emailAddress.

So you can perform a query to match assignee or reporter in existing issues, and then extract the accountId from those results. It's a hack, and it only works for users who have had at least one issue assigned to them before, but it is better than nothing.

Here is a very quick-and-dirty snippit using jira's python api wrapper that gets the job done:

if '"' in username:
    return None
for field in ["assignee", "reporter"]:
    query = f'{field} = "{username}"'
    result = jira.jql(query, limit=1)
    issues = result.get("issues", [])
    for issue in issues:
        user_obj = issue["fields"].get(field, None)
        if user_obj:
            if username in [user_obj["displayName"], user_obj["emailAddress"]]:
                if user_obj["active"]:
                    return user_obj["accountId"]

Pulling the /users api endpoint seems to include display name, can maybe be parsed out of that?

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