In a perfect world, all teams would use the same tools as this would significantly break down the barriers of communication. However, in the real business world, teams have different means of getting things done. Teams that use Jira or Jira Service Desk need to communicate with teams that don't necessary use these tools.
For example, how should Jira teams generate purchasing orders for purchasing departments which don't use Jira?
Two leading apps on the Atlassian Marketplace provide a simple answer. nFeed is a popular Jira app created by Valiantys, which queries data from SQL, Active Directory, LDAP, Salesforce, REST APIs - or even Jira itself. You can instantly display updated results in Jira and Jira Service Desk custom fields. Likewise, PDF View Plugin by Midori is the ultimate app for customizable PDF export for Jira. When these two apps are used together, Jira quickly becomes a powerful tool to ease your purchasing processes.
While the use case below is fiction, a close variation was implemented by a well-known transportation company. The use case in this article has been simplified for clarity, yet it reflects an example of a real implementation.
How to create purchase orders in Jira without the fuss
In this scenario, Julie is responsible for managing the IT equipment throughout the University of California system.
When she needs new material for one of the universities, she creates a request in Jira Service Desk where she can select what material she needs to order along with the desired location. Once her purchasing order request is complete, she can click submit and wait for approval from Chris, who is the Jira Service Desk agent in charge validating and forwarding requests. He checks Julie's request, and if it is valid he approves it and generates the purchasing order.
While Jira is commonly used in the organization, some departments still rely on other tools which are not connected to Jira. Yet that's not a problem, as Chris can easily generate the purchasing order from the issue - in one click, he'll retrieve all the important information.
Step 1: Create the purchase order with nFeed
Our journey starts with Jira Service Desk. Julie logs in and creates her request.
nFeed connects Julie directly to Best Buy, so she can pick the right items
In this screen, Julie first selects a category and then selects the desired material from the drop-down list. In our example, those fields are fed by the Best Buy REST API, but it could be any other REST API or SQL database where the organization stores asset references.
Further information appears automatically about the selected item
When Julie selects an item, three other fields are automatically populated: Visual, Price and Description. Those fields are also connected to Best Buy API and their value depends on the value of Material. This helps Julie confirm her selection. Now, Julie must select which location will receive the materials.
A university list is readily available for Julie to pick the desired location
There is no need to manually enter all the universities' names and addresses, as the Jira Administrator configured an nFeed field connected to a university directory. In our example, the field is connected to Google Places API, but it could be any user directory or database where the organization stores this information.
She just has to select the right university...
The detailed location information automatically appears on the request
...and all the relevant information is visible! Thanks to Google Maps API, she even has a map of the selected university.
Now that her request is complete, she can click on Create.
Step 2: Validate and print
From the agent view, all fields set by Julie are visible:
The created purchase order is ready and visible for Jira Service Desk agents
Chris, our Jira Service Desk agent, has all the information needed to validate the query in the issue view. There is no need to open an external tool, get the address from the directory or the price from the supplier: all fields are connected and display up-to-date information.
Chris can validate the request and generate a purchase order from the issue:
PDF View Plugin provides an export option specifically designed for purchase orders
This menu action is provided by PDF View Plugin. It is based on a template specifically defined for purchase orders.
The purchase order has been created in PDF format with all details coming from the Jira Service Desk ticket
These powerful out-of-the-box PDF templates, based on Velocity, produce a clean and customized purchase order. Because PDF View is compatible with nFeed, all nFeed fields are visible in the report - even the images!
Finally, this PDF can be sent along to the purchasing department who will buy the necessary materials for the university.
These are two must have apps to manage your business reports! Give them a spin on the Marketplace today!