Nope, unless you are in a "clustered" mode (i.e. datacenter license), JIRA will not start if 2 instances are trying to access the same database.
But if you point a second installation of JIRA to your jira_db production, any changes in your JIRA test will affect your production database.
What you want to do is to duplicate your database (potentially on the same database server, but a different database, for example jira_db_test ) by dumping&importing your db from jira_db (prod), and have your test instance to point at this one
Hope it helps
Only if you really want to corrupt your data.
The whole point of a test environment is that it is isolated from your production environment so that you can sanity check behaviour before putting your production data at risk. Even within the limited circumstances where this is possible, it's a very bad idea.
Clone your database and point your test instance at the clone, instead. The first time something goes wrong, you'll be very glad that you did.
I have multiple projects that use variations of the same base workflow. The variations depend on the requirements of the project or issue type. The variations mostly come in the form of new statuses ...
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