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How to keep tabs on filters and dashboards?

Hope you are all having a great day.

Jira Server/DC does not have a good way for non db admins to see which filters are used on which dashboards. Under Administration - System - Filters, we have a way to find all filters (both shared and private) and see some information about them.

giphy

However, after a while a fairly much used Jira instance ends up plethora of filters. I mean A LOT! Some are used on dashboards. Others are used for subscriptions or Kanban boards. Yet others were used on a dashboard that has now been deleted. How to manage all these filters?

One approach that I sometimes used it to add the number of the dashboard using the filter as a prefix to the name of the filter. For example, below you can see the filters that are used on dashboard #23717:

filters.jpg

This makes it easier for me to find the filters and delete them once I want to delete dashboard #23717. The drawback to this approach is that maybe someone has used one or more of these filters on another dashboard...

I have also resorted to limiting who can share filters to try to get the filters under control. Basically restricting this permission to a select few. Drawback here, of course, is that most users are unable to share their beautiful creations with their team mates...

How are you tackling this issue?
Or is it not an issue for you... 

Thanks,
KGM

10 comments

Taranjeet Singh Community Leader Apr 25, 2022

Thanks for sharing this article, @Kristján Geir Mathiesen ! It is indeed a big issue & maintenance overhead when shared objects like filters and dashboards go out of control, i.e. their numbers keep on increasing without most of them actually being actively used.

I like your preventive approaches to maintaining filters, but they come with certain imitations as you pointed out.

For me, I have mostly not paid much attention to preventive maintenance approach for filters but instead I have used detective approach & worked on cleaning them up based on any inconsistencies reported by a 3rd-party Marketplace add-on (like, Instance Check for Jira), when used periodically, to make sure we don't have any inconsistent filters (like, the filters pointing to a deleted custom field, or belonging to an inactive user/owner, etc.) present in a Jira Server/DC instance. I do not remember exactly, but I think this add-on can also point out filters that are being pointed out by a nonexistent dashboard, agile board, or a group filter subscription. This makes sure that even if we have a lot of filters, we should not have the bad ones that can impact Jira performance.

But I also believe that preventative maintenance approaches are equally important and sometimes, more useful. So, I am also eager to see & learn what others have done to avoid filters and dashboards from growing unnecessarily in a Jira Server/DC instance.

Like # people like this

That's a creative idea. 👍

You brought up a valid issue because there are so many filters created.

For me, I usually prefix it with the project key so that I can find all the related filters by projects. Sometimes a filter is used across multiple dashboards. However, it can still be hard to search for filters in gadgets.

For those useful filters, I would add the filters to the project shortcuts, so that they can be easily accessible by fellow project users.

On top of that, we also developed our own Menu Gadgets to organise filters which is free on Atlassian Marketplace.

We also added direct JQL support for our Multiple Filters Chart Gadgets so that users don't need to create 1 extra filter just for charts. 

I remember the old days where the view all filters page will evaluate the filters to search for the number of matching issues. 

They have improved it to skip the search and count display because it can slow down Jira when there are "a lot of filters"

Darryl Lee Community Leader Apr 26, 2022

Hey @Kristján Geir Mathiesen - intriguing topic! Yeah, my first thought was "You'll have to go to the SQL", but right there in the first sentence you say you're looking for a solution for "non db admins".

I did find this previous answer with the aforementioned SQL queries, but there is a good discussion about how that's not even possible with Cloud, and a link to this feature request:

JSWCLOUD-20801 -Add a feature that indicates the filter and dashboard usage

If that ever happens, it'd be nice (ha) if it got backported to Server/DC.

OH, hm... Optimizer for Jira app used to let you see Filters, but I don't know if that feature was ever restored, and unfortunately while it lets you see/manage Boards, it does not appear to let you see Dashboards. I wonder if @Craig Willson _AppFox_ might know more about that. :-}

Like # people like this

Thank you @Hua Soon SIM _Akeles_ and @Taranjeet Singh for your insights. I should have qualified my post a bit better - at least give a better background. My instance has a lot of Dashboards, each usually having five or more filters (some have close to 15). So this becomes a real issue.

@Darryl Lee thanks for these insights, very much appreciated.

Like Hua Soon SIM _Akeles_ likes this

For dashboards, we built Dashboard Folders for Jira to keep the dashboards organised.
This will help to reduce everyone creating a separate dashboard for their own uses.

It can also restrict certain groups of users from creating their dashboards.

Hey everyone and thanks for tagging me in here @Darryl Lee :) 

You are right, the ability to see Filters is currently not part of Optimizer for Jira but it's on our roadmap to bring it back. In the current version you can see the Filters associated with Boards but I appreciate that's not quite what you were hoping for. 

We're always open to a discussion about the features on our roadmap or any other functionality you would like to see, so please feel free to reach out to us at any time (support@appfox.io). 

Like # people like this
Jack Brickey Community Leader Apr 27, 2022

@Kristján Geir Mathiesen ,

I enjoyed your article. I'm on a small cloud instance and even I have to deal with an over abundance of filters. Filters typically just hang around and nobody ever deletes them. I haven't really thought about limiting who can share filters but that is a nice idea and I may implement. I use a different prefix method. After mistakingly deleting filters that were referenced on a dashboard I started using "D -". 😉

Like # people like this

@Jack Brickey I like your prefix. And to extend it it a bit, one could do:

  • D for Dashboard filters
  • K for Kanban filters
  • S for Subscription filters
  • ...

Like it! What I have done with Kanban and Scrum filters is to put the number of the board in the prefix. Associate them that way.

Like # people like this
Dave Liao Community Leader Jun 03, 2022

@Kristján Geir Mathiesen and @Jack Brickey - I love the idea of prefixing filters for their intended purpose. Keeps things nice and tidy. 🙏

Now to write up some SQL (or a ScriptRunner script) to pull a list of filters by name 😁

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