How JIRA Updates Issues from Email

Still need help?

The Atlassian Community is here for you.

Ask the community


As described in Creating Issues and Comments from Email it is possible to configure JIRA so that users can send email to create issues, and reply to mails to update the issue. This KB article describes how the process works.

Sending Mails

This is configured as described in Creating Issues and Comments from Email.

Replying to Mails

When a new issue is created or updated a mail will be sent if the notification scheme has been configured. Recipients can then respond to that mail. It matches in the following manner:

  1. JIRA searches the subject for an issue key, if this matches an issue in JIRA it knows to update that issue. It searches for the issue by accessing the database, so this will still work if indexes do not exist. For example, [JIRA] (JRA-34294) Support postgres 9.2. Any replies to this will update  JRA-34294 - Getting issue details... STATUS .
  2. If that does not work, JIRA will inspect the header of the mail to find the "In-Reply-To" value, then attempts to link it to the message. The proper formation (as of JIRA 5.2 as in JRA-9979 - Getting issue details... STATUS ) is below. In previous versions this matches the "In-Reply-To" value to what is stored in the notificationinstance table.


    (info) The issue-id is taken from that value and matched against the issue in JIRA.

If neither of the above criteria are met, the email will not be matched to an issue.  What should happen is:

  1. User sends an email to create an issue.
  2. They receive a confirmation from JIRA, or someone updates the issue and they receive a mail.
  3. The user replies to either of those mails to update the issue.

How The Notification Instance Table Works

  • When a new issue is created, this table stores the ID created along with the message ID and some other information.
  • When a mail comes in that does not have an issue key in the subject, JIRA will compare the message ID of the incoming mail to the message ID stored in the notificationinstance table.
  • If it finds a record there, the issue ID (source) is stored in the table and this is used to match the mail to the relevant issue.

Last modified on Apr 26, 2022

Was this helpful?

Provide feedback about this article
Powered by Confluence and Scroll Viewport.