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Creating Virtual Users in Jira?

(There's an old thread from 2012 on this issue, but seems to no longer work in modern Jira)

My team would like to create some virtual users in JIRA to assign stories to external entities, eg "Art Outsourcers".  I cannot find a way to do this.


1 answer

1 vote

It hasn't changed - you need to create actual user accounts and use them as if they were real users, but it doesn't matter if you set their email addresses to distribution lists, their names to things like "Art Outsourcers" and you never actually log in as them.

The bit that has changed a little - dummy users need to be active users, or they won't show up in lists.  Still doesn't mean you have to log in as them.

Thanks Nic — but then these users count against our quota, right?  That seems to be the main point for virtual users, that since they're not actually "used", we aren't charged for them.

Correct. The main point for "virtual users" is not licencing though, it's to do things without being real people. Ideally, you wouldn't do that at all - all actions should be attributable to users. Atlassian have improved the handling of user accounts and basically disabled your ability to have unlicenced activity accounts, but that's just a side effect of the improvements.

So just to clarify...  Today in FogBugz, we have 3 virtual users – BuildMaster Prior Release, Build Master - Current Release, and Build Master - Next Release.     As we release to production, we change the email address associated with each of the BuildMaster so that the appropriate person receives email for the release that they are in charge of.   This allows developers to automatically assign issues to the correct BuildMaster for a particular release without having to know who that person actually is.   Sure - they could need to remember that Sally is the BuildMaster for Current and Fred is the BuildMaster for Next, but why bother?   But that's FogBugz.  In JIRA, if I'm understanding correctly, each of my 3 BuildMaster "users" would require a license, correct?     Thanks!

Correct, they'd all need a licence.

Might be easier to simply have fields though - one for each user.  You can then put whomever you like in that field on an issue-by-issue basis, no dummy accounts needed.

True, but email does not get sent automatically to a name in a custom field.  Perhaps I can work that out using a workflow transition.    Thanks for the quick reply.

You can use user fields in the notification scheme, no need to mess with workflows

Like remi_saunier likes this

Does Jira have "virtual user" types?  - there is way to not use quota of users

Not quite, that's an answer for an older version and things have changed.  You still need to create licenced accounts.

@Nic Brough, in JIRA Software Cloud there is an option called "Application Access." If I uncheck the "JIRA Software" checkbox will it still use a license? It, essentially, disables access to JIRA for that user. I presume that would release their license usage, no?

The model is quite simple, I'm not sure where the questions are coming from.  Ok, there's some complexity around application access does, but...

A user who has access counts towards your licence.  That's it really.

I'm using Jira Cloud and I'm baffled at just how blunt an instrument the current API token implementation is. In any other system, you'd be able to constrain the permissions on the token at the time of creation, but in Jira you have no choice; Jira simply grants the token the self-same permissions as the user who creates it - so any customisation implies creating a dummy user account, impersonating that user, creating the API token, just to control what the tool that is using your token can see?

Based upon this thread, Atlassian appears to be saying that for every possible variation of permissions you might want to associate with an API token (for example), for every API token you might ever want to create, you have to create an associated Jira user account, with a working email account somewhere and pay for an additional seat on Jira?! This is a crazy system.


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