Internal versus external comments/responses

My company has been looking at JIRA as a replacement for an support system for software products and solutions. Our current system provides tracking of issues (questions, defect reports, enhancement requests) for our customers.

One requirement that we were struggling with is how to best setup internal and external communication. Our current support solution allows customers to send in a support request, they receive an automated reply and the message is distribute to the project team. Any replies to the issue (by email) are by default only distributed internally to the project team. There is an easy enough mechanism for an internal staff member to send an "external" response that gets set to both the internal project team and to external recipients (submitter and maybe other external addresses). So we want to allow private internal discussion of an issue and then provide more controlled external responses.

Options we considered for implementation with JIRA include:
1. Use a separate projects for internal discussion (i.e. dev team) and external communication (i.e. helpdesk). This felt like quite a bit of duplicate work. It seemed that you could link issues between the two projects, but you still have potentially twice as many issues to manage.
2. Add a custom notification scheme that only distributes "comments" to the internal project team, and updates/etc to the external submitter. This didn't seem a good solution because we may not want all updates/etc going to the external address.
3. Customize the notification scheme to not email to external addresses for all events, then have internal users explicitly "mention" any external users they want notified when making a comment/update. This seems a bit haphazard, more error prone and harder work for our internal users given this will be a regular action.
4. Create a custom "External comment" event. We configure the notification scheme for "Comment" and Update/etc to only distribute internally, then create a custom "External comment" with a different notification scheme that will be sent to the external submitter. I have no idea how involved this would be and am always a bit cautious about customising a product like JIRA that might create future issues with software updates.

In addition to the above, if we expose our JIRA system via the web for customers to login to, it would be useful if they could only view those messages that were sent to them as an "external message", so that factors into the options considered. I guess with Option 4 above, we might be able to control visibility of certain event types.

I also just read about the JIRA Service Desk and wondered if this might address the requirement above. I didn't find much detailed documentation on the way email interactions work, presumably it works the same way as the underlying JIRA platform and doens't mess around with notification schemes.

Thanks in advance for any guidance you can offer.

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Accepted answer

Just pinging this issue - apologies for the long initial message providing lots of background, the crux of the matter is:

How do I most simply set up JIRA so we can easily send comments for an issue either internally to a project team or internally+externally to the project team and the customer?

Anyone able to offer some insight or is this something that JIRA struggles to provide?

Hi Daniel

I read through the whole thing but i could not figure out the question you want us to answer.

You are more likely to receive an answer if you be a bit more specific and concise in your question.

Rahul

How do I most simply set up JIRA so we can easily send comments for an issue either internally to a project team or internally+externally to the project team and the customer?

Daniel, not sure if this has been answered for you, but you can set the security of each comment by clicking the lock icon and selecting the role to which you need the comment visible. Just make sure that you have cordoned off your customers outside of your developer or agent role and you should be fine. (See "Comment Visibility" on https://confluence.atlassian.com/display/JIRA/Commenting+on+an+Issue)

I have a similar issue except I would like to track internal bugs and improvement items seperate from externally generated/provided bugs and improvements.  Any recommendations on how to separate the two? 

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