This is a guest post from StiltSoft company, a small team of Atlassian Experts and avid fans of JIRA and Confluence from Belarus. StiltSoft is the Atlassian Verified Vendor that develops Smart Attachments for JIRA, Table Filter for Confluence, Awesome Graphs for Bitbucket and other add-ons. This blog post will highlight the capabilities for organizing the tasks and attachments in Atlassian JIRA with the minimal investments and maximal efficiency. The post intends to showcase how the synergy of two addons: JIRA Smart Attachecments and JIRA Email This Issue can help you in that.
The Atlassian Marketplace is the place that continuously aggregates all kinds of add-ons and augmentations that enhance user experience in JIRA and other Atlassian products.
In this blog post, we are going to feature two add-ons - Email This Issue and Smart Attachments. The first add-on can greatly simplify your communication with external customers of yours and the second one can efficiently manage different artifacts and documents that appear during these interactions.
Setting Up Email This Issue
This add-on works on the basis of the incoming and outgoing mail servers configured in your JIRA. For the incoming server you also need to configure the email handler which will process the incoming emails from your external stakeholders and submit them either as new issues or comments to the existing issues.
Additionally, you can define the issue email template. Here you can customize the HTML template, add Velocity code for additional issue fields, configure output of contents of custom fields into the email subject, and so on.
You can also configure all kinds of notifications that should go to external stakeholders or JIRA users upon occurrence of specific issue events. Optionally, you can define canned responses that people will receive as a confirmation for request submission, or any other event.
To better tailor email notifications to specific circumstances, you can define the context for triggering email notifications. Here you can select projects, issue types, JQL filters, applied templates, notifications, define the list of senders or email addresses that the context can be applied to.
Email This Issue provides sufficient capabilities to configure the email sending rules and define email templates applicable in each specific situation.
Managing Requests with Email This Issue
In our blog post, we will take a look at operation of the localization agency that handles localization requests through JIRA by using Email This Issue.
The customer from game development company usually submits requests with a bunch of files for localization by email. They can include some short video cuts, verbal cues of game heroes, some documentation and promo materials, as well interface resources for different audiences.
Usually, the average request contains from 8 to 10 files of different formats. This creates additional problems for localization managers to locate the files for translation, and then to choose the already translated files for sending to the customer.
Email This Issue add-on handles all these incoming requests and creates issues within the related JIRA project or posts new comments for the existing issues.
Organizing Attachments within JIRA Issues
Smart Attachments is a right tool that can help you to efficiently organize attachments in your JIRA issues.
This add-on lets you create attachment categories that can be further used for attachment distribution among them for quick accessibility. Additionally, you can define the issue types for displaying this or that category, as well as set up access restrictions for different users, user groups, or project roles.
By default, all the attachments from new requests are stored in the Files for localization category. To automatically distribute attachments across categories, the project administrator configured the post function that automatically sorts out files across multiple categories depending on file formats. This procedure is executed when the localization manager transitions the issue from Open to In Progress status.
Once the localization manager proceeds to translation of the attached files, he or she already has a clean view of different file formats stored in different folders.
Managing Localization and Attached Files
While uploading the localized resources, translators can use the capabilities of Smart Attachments for managing document revisions. This helps them to track separate document revisions, and they can always discuss some occurred issues with the team with the help of comment threads.
If various localization managers work on different content types, each of them selects the completed attachments that should be added to the final email to the customer.
This feature of Email This Issue allows the manager to quickly select the completed files while sending the email to customer. This keeps the consistency of issues and prevents the problem with sending old versions of attachments, or even their initial versions.
Sending the Confirmation Email to Customer
At the final stage of localization, the project manager usually writes the final email and re-sends all the localized files to the customer. Email This Issue allows him or her to do this without problems directly from JIRA. Here the project manager can specify the required recipients, select the appropriate email template, and manage additional parameters of the letter.
All the attachments stored within the Add attachments to email field will be automatically added to email and delivered to the customer.
The project manager can also view the whole history of email communication on the Emails tab within the issue.
Using Add-ons Together
Using Email This Issue and Smart Attachments together is not an option, but a must if you deal with multiple attachments that you exchange during email communication. Email This Issue add-on allows you to quickly and efficiently process incoming email and regulate the outgoing email notifications to external stakeholders. The capabilities of Smart Attachments allow you to bring order to dozens of attachments that appear during email communication, and which you cannot efficiently manage with native JIRA tools.