As someone who fully admits to being scared of my inbox, I was both intrigued and disheartened by a question I saw in the Atlassian Community. The user wanted advice on how to create a post function that would send the Reporter an email with an attachment.(The attachment was an Excel sheet that the reporter was to complete.)
The Problem with Attachments in Jira
From the Jira Admin’s perspective, I totally get why you would want to do this. Fields that are included on an attached form are fields you don’t need on the issue itself. So it makes total sense, but… doesn’t it seem a little inefficient?
Sure it’s efficient from the JA’s point of view. He/she is going to use automation (in this case, Script Runner post function) to send the email. However, the Reporter has a lot of hoops to jump through:
- Open the email
- Download the attachment
- Complete the attached form
- Upload the completed form to the Jira issue
Being a pain for the Reporter is not the only problem with attachments. While attachments are an easy way to include detailed information on a Jira issue (certainly easier than building custom fields for each data point), that information is not easily visible. When you go to the issue that includes an attachment, you still have to download the attachment to see the information it contains. There’s no way to see it all in one place.
The Solution - ProForma Forms & Fields for Jira
Enter ProForma. ProForma is the Jira app that makes it easy to build forms that embed in Jira issues.
There are several advantages to using ProForma forms to gather information on your issues:
- As with attachments, forms allow you to gather a lot of information without creating custom fields, screens, screen schemes etc., making life easier for Jira administrators.
- ProForma forms are embedded directly on the Jira issue. There’s nothing to download. You simply click Show or Hide depending on which form you want to view. Everything happens within Jira.
- Agents with Administer Project permissions can create and modify forms for their teams. Adding forms to a project or issue will not impact the performance of your Jira instance. Thus, you can safely assign form creation and maintenance to the project level.
- Teams can collect exactly the data they need. They can prompt users to include all the information required. They can use validation to build their business rules into the form. They can make changes when needed without requiring new issue types, new Jira fields, etc.
ProForma and Jira Service Desk
ProForma not only allows you to embed forms on Jira issues, it also allows you to publish forms to the Jira Service Desk portal. All of those issues sitting in the queue waiting for more input from the customer represent lost time. How much more efficient could your service team be if they had all of the information they needed to respond to every request? How much important information is buried in comment chains?
ProForma feature can transform how teams use Jira Service Desk:
- Publish forms to the Jira Service Desk portal so you always get the information you need for a given request type.
- Include multiple forms, per Jira Service Desk request, making it easy to execute complex processes and collect follow-up information via the JSD portal
- Allow customers to edit forms from the portal.
- Designate forms as either internal or external allowing you to keep processing hidden from the customer or to make processes more transparent by showing the results on the Jira Service Desk portal.
Come See for Yourself
If you’d like to learn more, come by booth B17 at Atlassian Summit. We’ll be demonstrating ProForma, showing off our upcoming Confluence app and giving away copies of our new book – Effective Jira Administration. If you happen by around 3:00 PM on Tuesday, you’ll also have a chance to talk to Certified Jira Administrator, author and Jira-superuser, Rachel Wright.
See you there!