How to Sync Tickets Between Zendesk and Jira With Automated 2-Way Updates

How to Sync Tickets Between Zendesk and Jira With Automated 2-Way Updates

One of our account executives was on a call in April 2024 with a director of client services for a large organization that was handling over 4,000 Zendesk tickets and Jira issues at any given time. This director had a team of approximately 300 IT technicians in 130 assignment groups and they struggled to put together a cohesive, efficient workflow to get tickets between Zendesk and Jira effectively. While these technicians were manually copy-pasting updates between tools or in a shared spreadsheet, the leadership team quickly realized they were losing time – lots of it due to this inefficient process. 

This story is fairly common for teams using multiple tools for handling customer tickets such as Zendesk, Jira, ServiceNow and others. So if you’re experiencing the same struggles, here’s a simpler way to handle customer tickets or incidents at scale by syncing Zendesk and Jira with Unito’s 2-way integration. 

New to Unito? Here’s more information about this Zendesk Jira integration.

In this article:

Setup in Zendesk and Jira

To sync your tickets, we’ll show you how to build a flow in Unito. A flow represents the connection between tools in which Unito automatically creates Jira issues or Zendesk tickets based on your team’s manual activity.

A note about permissions: the platform can only operate within the same permissions as the user who authorizes Jira and Zendesk in Unito. So if you’re able to create new tickets or issues, then Unito can too through the rules you set in your flow.

Questions about security? Unito is SOC 2 Type II certified and compliant with international data privacy regulation including GDPR and CCPA, among others.

Connecting Zendesk to Unito for the first time

All you need to connect Zendesk to Unito is your Zendesk URL.

Connecting Zendesk to Unito with a Zendesk URL

Setup in Jira Software or Jira

If you’re connecting Jira to Unito via OAuth2, then there are no extra steps to sync your Zendesk tickets other than following the on-screen instructions when adding your account for the first time:

Unito OAuth screen for connecting Jira with 3 options: OAuth 2, an API token or OAuth 1.0

Anyone using Jira on-premise (local server) may wish to review our guides to on-premise installations or connecting Jira via ngrok.

If you’re NOT connecting Jira with OAuth2, you’ll need to follow a few extra steps (click to expand)

Here’s how to configure Jira if you aren’t using OAuth2 (click to expand)

  • The Jira account connected to Unito must have administrator access with global permissions.
  • Then, you’ll need to:
Jira profile page to change email contact visibility
Changing your Jira contact email visibility enables Unito to discover your account and sync Jira issues to Trello.

Step 1. Connect Zendesk and Jira to Unito

  • Sign up for Unito if you haven’t already!
  • Navigate to the Unito App and select +Create Flow.
  • Select Start Here to connect Zendesk and Jira.
  • Then +Choose account to specify the projects in each tool you plan on syncing.
  • Click Confirm.
Screenshot of connecting ServiceNow and Jira Service Management to Unito to sync issues and records

You can either type in the name of your project or scroll through the list to find the one you want to connect. Only tickets from those specific projects will sync in this particular flow. Afterwards, you can duplicate this flow and change to another project or project to go through this process faster.

Read more about connecting tools to Unito.

Step 2. Choose a flow direction for creating new tickets or issues

Your no-code Unito flow lets you automatically create new Zendesk tickets or Jira issues based on manual activity. So in the example below, when someone on your team creates a new ticket in Zendesk, Unito will automatically creates a linked Jira issue.

Connecting Zendesk and Jira to Unito to sync tickets and issues

If you choose a one-way flow at this stage, you can still apply 2-way sync to individual fields in Step 4.

When is the best time to create a 2-way flow? Choose a 2-way flow direction if you have tickets in a specific Zendesk project that you want added to a specific Jira project and issues in Jira that you want added to that same project in Zendesk.

Read more about flow direction.

Step 3. Filter out unrelated tickets from syncing by setting rules

Now, we can set up rules to determine which manual actions in your tools will automatically create new Zendesk tickets or Jira issues.

This is extremely useful for filtering out unrelated data from syncing, particularly if your Zendesk projects contain large volumes of data. You’ll want to apply rules that filter out all but the most essential tickets or issues.

We recommend syncing tickets or issues based on your custom drop-down fields in Zendesk or single-select fields in Jira, since those will always be unique to your project and use case.

Setting rules to sync Zendesk tickets to Jira with Unito
In this example, we’re adding a rule to filter tickets based on priority, but you can apply almost any field to your rules. Zendesk drop-down fields or single-select fields in Jira are ideal for rules.

Issues and tickets that match your rules will stay in sync with Unito. As soon as the rules no longer apply, that item will stop syncing.

Find out more about setting rules in Unito.

This is where you tell Unito which fields in Zendesk to link with similar fields in Jira so that manual changes in one affect the other automatically.

When you first open this screen, you’ll be presented with two options. Select Auto-map to begin with a pre-built template that can later be modified.

Click + Add mapping to add a new pair of fields to be synced. Then, click Select a field for each tool, and find the appropriate field to map.

A table of field mappings linking together Jira and Zendesk.
Here’s an example of our demo’s field mappings between Jira and Zendesk. The blue question mark icon indicates a custom field.

Tip: If you aren’t sure where to put data from one tool when it syncs over to the other, you can always add it to the Description Footer, e.g., Issue ID to Description footer in the example above.

Clicking on the gear or cog icon beside a pair of fields will allow you to customize the individual values or statuses of that field to link them when one or the other is changed manually.

Linking status between Jira issues and Zendesk tickets with Unito

In this example, we created a Jira Status field in Zendesk that’s synced to Jira’s native Issue status. We then linked 8 options for each possible status so that if the issue in Jira changes, that same change will be reflected in Zendesk. We called this Zendesk field the “Jira Status” because it’s meant to be one-way only, so that only the team in Jira can update it in order to inform the support team in Zendesk.

Useful Links for this section:

Step 5. Launch your Zendesk Jira integration

If you’ve followed the steps above, your flow will now: 

  • Add a new issue in Jira when a ticket is created in Zendesk based on the rules set in Step 3.
  • Keep Zendesk tickets and Jira issues in sync as long as they match the conditions of your rules.

Our use case was for a one-way flow direction, but you can easily apply the same steps to a different one-way flow from Jira to Zendesk or a bi-directional flow between both tools. In each case, you can still set 2-way updates between your tickets and issues.

Here’s a quick snapshot of our synced Zendesk ticket and Jira issue, highlighting a few of the fields that are being kept in sync:

Screenshot of a Zendesk ticket synced to a Jira issue by Unito.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out and let us know.

What’s next after you sync Zendesk and Jira with Unito?

FAQ: Jira Zendesk integration

More about this Zendesk Jira integration

Unito is SOC 2 Type II Compliant and adheres to international data regulation standards, including GDPR and the CCPA.

Compliance badges for OWASP, CSA (cloud security alliance), and PCI DSS. Text reads: Sync your stack at scale, securely. Unito is SOC 2 Type 2 certified with strict measures in place to ensure the protection of customer data.

What are some examples of use cases for this Jira Zendesk integration?

Here are just a few scenarios where connecting Zendesk and Jira could greatly enhance your IT operations:

Customer Support & ITSM

Workhubs <-> Zendesk

Performance tracking and reporting

Why sync Zendesk to Jira?

Here are just a few reasons Unito customers have wanted to sync tickets to issues:

  • Cut out copy pasting: This is a struggle that goes against the status quo. Who doesn’t love a little ctrl+c followed by ctrl+v? But how often are you doing this each day? It may be fine for a few dozen tickets once in a while, but when your organization starts handling issue, tickets or incidents in large volumes, it’s only a matter of time before carpel tunnel catches up with you!
  • Visibility: Can you see me now? Somewhere in your process and workflows, there are scrum masters, product owners, project managers, or stakeholders who need to know what’s going on and make sure resources are aligned. Getting that kind of oversight is much easier when your data is consolidated (or shared) in a single space.
  • Keep everyone in the tool(s) they like and away from the ones they don’t: If you haven’t experienced this problem, you may not fully grasp the severity of it. But there are some tools made for software teams and others that aren’t. Don’t force your programmers or devs into an unfamiliar tool, or worse – don’t send non-technical teammates into highly complex interfaces. Instead, you can split the difference (and cut costs from your SaaS tool licenses) by keeping everyone in their preferred environment and simply sync relevant work with Unito.

What’s involved in building a flow with Unito?

There are four main steps to any Unito flow:

Ready to sync Jira and Zendesk yourself?

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