Inspiration

Hundreds of companies have been using Canned Responses on JIRA Server. After gaining my first experience in writing JIRA Cloud add-ons I thought that it's a perfect moment to blend recently gaining attraction Canned Responses add-on with my recent knowledge about Cloud API and with the desire to make something truly awesome!

It also resolves 4th top voted issue for JIRA Service Desk - auto reply template feature.

What it does

Canned Responses let you prepare collection of reusable response templates for JIRA comments. After that you can use these templates to create repetitive responses rapidly. To make it even more useful you can also use values of any fields from JIRA issue like reporter name, issue key, project name etc.. Those values will be resolved when you insert a template to the comment.

Major features:

  • works with JIRA Service Desk
  • three visibility scopes - global, project and personal templates
  • share templates with your team by using global or project scope
  • dynamic macros for any standard or custom issue fields to create contextual templates (e.g. $reporterName$)
  • autocomplete for macros and templates using $ sign

How I built it

I started from atlassian-connect-express template and reused some concepts from our other JIRA Cloud add-on - Agile Poker for JIRA. Application is now hosted on Heroku and templates are stored in Mongodb (Heroku app). I use Vuejs library and webpack to build frontend.

Challenges I ran into

  • Figure out what APIs are available on Cloud to make Canned Responses concept possible to move to Cloud.
  • Webpack HMR (hot module replacement) is hard or impossible to configure in environment proxied with ngrok together with Vuejs.
  • It's not possible to truly integrate with comment field as we do it on Server which lead to second comment box that doesn't implement many features from original comment box from JIRA

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

For a long time we thought it's not really possible to move Canned Responses concept to JIRA Cloud because of deep integration with comment fields in Server. I've managed to find viable way to do it 3 months ago on our ShipIt hackaton (borrowed from Atlassian culture). Afterwards I pushed the project onto the production during my 20% time (time when employees are allowed to develop their own ideas).

What I learned

  • you can refresh an issue page using Atlassian Connect
  • you can plug into left side of issue view
  • Vuejs components are truly reusable (WOW)

What's next for Canned Responses for JIRA

  • usability fixes (preview of rendered comment, inserting by text search etc.)
  • push Atlassian to give me API for deeper integration with standard comment box
  • support Security Levels and Service Desk internal comments
  • sharing one template within multiple projects

Built With

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Updates

Damian Skrodzki posted an update

New version of Canned Responses has just been released!

Over the last month the UX has been polished and few features have been added including:

  • editing templates right from templates selector
  • firstName macros for reporter, current user and assignee - create more informal responses easier
  • cursor macro - start typing at the chosen position after inserting the template
  • search templates by text in the managment page
  • initial project template - setup a default template for your project
  • many small UI improvements and bug fixes

P.S. Thank you for all your likes and votes for this project <3 Damian

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