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Five Options for Creating Jira issues from Online Forms

Online forms are a great way to collect information. Done correctly, they are easy to access, easy to fill out and easy to deliver.  It’s nice not to deal with paper, or to have to resend an email because you forgot the attachment. Features like validation and choice lists help ensure that the right data gets collected in the right format.

But then what? Most of the limitations of web forms come into play after the user hits the submit button.  Tools like Google Forms and Survey Monkey can aggregate the data collected, but if the data is related to a request, it doesn’t really help move the process along.  That’s why online forms and Jira make such a potent combination: you have the data-collecting power of a well-designed form, backed by a Jira workflow.

This article explores several options for creating Jira issues from web form, with pros and cons for each method.

JIRA Issue Collector

The first possible solution is the easily-overlooked issue collector. The issue collector creates a tab on the side of your webpage. When users click this trigger tab, a Jira feedback form is created which subsequently creates a Jira issue when they submit the form.

Price: Included with your Jira subscription. Visitors to your web site do not need JIira user account in order to submit a form.

Pros:

  • The issue collector is simple to get up and running (must be done by a Jira administrator).
  • You can have different issues collectors for each issue type. 
  • It’s great for bug reports, as can also capture environmental details such as browser and page.
  • You can also attach additional files. 

Cons:

  • Form design is very limited.
  • Can only add a single set of instructions at the top of the page.
  • You are limited to selecting among previously created custom fields for your form fields.
  • You cannot embed the form onto your own web page.

 

TIP: You will have to specify a user as a reporter for each of these issues. You may want to create a dedicated user for this purpose.

Jira Service Desk


Another possible solution is Jira Service Desk – Atlassian’s answer to request management.  Using Jira Service Desk gives you access to a lot of great features like queues, built-in approvals and SLAs.

Price: Your Jira Service Desk subscription - visitors to the customer portal do not need Jira user account in order to submit a request.

Pros:

  • You can display any of the Jira fields.
  • You can also attach additional files. 

Cons:

  • Adding instructions is limited to text at the top of the page and hints for individual fields.
  • You are limited to Jira fields (generic / custom).  Creating a large number of custom fields can cause performance issues and administrative challenges.
  • Forms can only displayed in the JSD customer portal (not embedded into your page), which requires user authentication prior to access.
  • Requires a certain technical knowledge (a Jira administrator) to implement. May not be feasible for all teams if resources are short.

 FormStack & Zapier


You can also use non-Atlassian tools (such as FormStack) to create your forms and then pipe the data into Jira issues by using an additional application such as Zapeir.

Price: Pricing starts at $39 USD a month.

Pros:

  • FormStack provides a powerful form editor with great features like conditional logic and a multitude of question types.  
  • Forms can be embedded in pages, or hosted by FormStack. 
  • You need to a third party, such as Zapier, to pipe the data into Jira. If you are receiving less than 100 submissions per month, you can use Zapier for free. Set up is relatively straight forward, and you can map the question responses to fields in Jira.

Cons:

  • FormStack will accept file uploads, however there is no way to get these files to attach automatically to the Jira issue.
  • You will also have to consider how you want to handle the original form submissions in FormStack. There is an option to encrypt the responses in FormStack’s database, or to not store them at all after they have been passed off to Zapier.

TIP: Can't see a Jira field that you would like to populate with a form field? If the field does not appear on the “create screen” in Jira, then it won't be accessible via the REST API which Zapier uses to create the issue. 

 

Google Forms

Price: Free. 

Pros:

  • Simple and elegant form builder.
  • You can embed forms in webpages, or link to the form. 
  • Zapier can pick up new updated responses and pipe them into Jira.

Cons:

  • You will either need to write code or employ a third party (such as Zapier, Cloudpipes, etc.) to connect to Jira
  • Google will accept file uploads, however, once again there is no way to automatically send these files to the Jira issue.
  • All the responses need to be stored in a Google sheet. 

 

Jira Forms Apps & Add-ons

The other option is to use an add-on that was designed specifically for creating forms in Jira. While I am associated with ThinkTilt, the makers of ProForma, if you search for forms in the Atlassian Marketplace, you'll find multiple options.  When you're choosing which of these apps best meets your needs, consider questions like:

1) Does the solution create a one:one relationship between forms and issues? What if you want to associate more than one form with the same issue?

2) Can the forms be published to the JSD portal? Can more than one form be included on a single JSD request for handling processes that require follow up information? Can customers edit their request forms from the portal so important updates don’t end up buried in a comment chain?

3) What features are available in the form builder? Can forms be created without code? Can checklists be created? Can images be included? Can you use conditional logic to create dynamic fields? Can form fields link to Jira fields? What about validation?

4) Can Jira issues be created from forms, ensuring that all of the needed data is present from the moment the issue is created?

5) Can automation be employed to do things like transition an issue when a form is submitted, automatically add a form when it is transitioned to a new status, or block an issue from being transitioned unless the form is present?

6) Can the solution be easily adapted to non-tech teams like HR, Facilities, Legal and Marketing?

7) Is the solution burdensome for your Jira support team? Will it require the creation of a multitude of new custom fields? (Too many custom fields can become a nightmare to manage and will eventually have a negative impact on Jira's performance.) Will it require new Jira configurations?

Nothing can compete with forms for collecting data. Users are prompted to supply the needed specifics. Responses are structured. You can use validation ensure complete information and to build in your business rules. Combining the data-collecting prowess of forms with Jira's issue tracking is a winning combination.

 

 

4 comments

Hi Jennifer, thanks for this post!

A bit limited list, to be honest, as there are much more options for the task. But as suggested in the article, look for the marketplace apps, https://marketplace.atlassian.com/search?query=forms

Additional questions to ask yourself, that will help you to understand why marketplace apps, specifically designed for Atlassian platform, are a better choice:

  • They "live" inside your network - very important, as Jira/Confluence is quite often behind the firewalls and sensitive data does not "travel between the networks"
  • Uses Atlassian common design (Atlassian User Interface) and feels native to Jira/Confluence
  • No need to have service account for integrations and Jira issues are created in the credentials (and permissions) of an authenticated user
  • Integrates well with Atlassian tools (like Proforma (not affiliated - we build a bit different app in the neighbouring area, but with a different scope) with JSD)

 

Just adding my 2 cents... I hope you don't mind, Jennifer

Thanks for chiming in, Alex. Excellent points.

Hi 

The issue collector is not working with customized forms.

 

We are not using the JSD.

How can I replace the issue collector with this tool?

Can I create a http  to call this form?

 

Regards

 

Friedrich

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