How JIRA and JIRA Service Desk Work Together

Each service desk you create with JIRA Service Desk is based on a JIRA project. If you have multiple teams within your business that respond to different types of requests, you'll likely want to manage these in separate projects (for example, an IT project, an office & supplies project, etc.). Each service desk can be designed to meet the specific needs for both the service desk team who manages the requests and the customers who make them.

For information on setting up JIRA users to use JIRA Service Desk, see Setting up service desk users.


When you set up a service desk, you can either:

  • Create a new service desk project - This option is ideal if you have new internal processes that need to be managed through a central tool. JIRA Service Desk will create all the basic components of the service desk: a template Customer Portal, generic SLAs, and basic reports. JIRA Service Desk also provides the underlying JIRA features optimized for IT service desk requests: a workflow, fields, and issue types. All you need to do is customize them to meet your needs!
  • Create a service desk for an existing JIRA project - This option is ideal if you've already been using JIRA in a help desk capacity (for example, to fill IT requests, etc.). When you create a service desk for an existing project, JIRA Service Desk uses the workflow, fields, permissions, and issue types you already have set up on the project as a basis for the flow of requests in the service desk.

A look at how JIRA projects work in JIRA Service Desk

JIRA Service Desk lets you put the power of JIRA into the hands of your support agents (for example, by allowing them to move requests through complex workflows). However, the Customer Portal lets you present a simpler experience to your customers. In other words, customer portals let you map the components of JIRA to the information your customers will see and understand.

Each JIRA Service Desk project is based on a JIRA project. The request types within a service desk are based on JIRA issue types.


You use the Customer Portal screen to map request types to issue types and to customize how request types appear for customers. You also use this screen to add new request types or remove ones you don't need. For more information on designing a Customer Portal, see Configuring the customer portal

The workflows and fields associated with an issue type can also be customized on the Customer Portal. See Configuring request types and workflows for more information.

Last modified on May 6, 2014

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