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CSV Import/Export projects with custom issue hierarchy


Hello experts,

I'm new to JIRA so might be missing something obvious.

Business use case:

I need to generate a CSV containing a list of issues (similar to the export of "Base Project 3") which will then be sent to various teams and they would create + run projects using those issues. I need a template for the CSV which can be imported with minimal configuration, and eventually I will create an automated process to generate that CSV (outside of JIRA).

My idea was to create a sample project with the necessary issue types and parent links, export that to a CSV and import that CSV back into a new project. This way I can then work on generating the CSV in the required format.


I have a project called "Base Project 3" which defines a custom issue hierarchy above the epic. For reference, the issue hierarchy is "Deliverable 1" -> "Deliverable 2" -> "Deliverable 3".

Screenshot 2023-10-31 at 12.11.57 PM.png

I have added some issues in the project and configured the parents as applicable. The issues are named to indicate their issue type. Here's how the base project looks like in Advanced Roadmaps:

Screenshot 2023-10-31 at 12.10.23 PM.png


I exported this project to CSV with some selected fields, and it looks like this:

Screenshot 2023-10-31 at 12.27.29 PM.png


I want to import the CSV exported above into a new project, called "Imported Project 2". I first created the project, and configured it to use the same issue type scheme. When I went ahead and imported it, I could not map the "Custom Field (Parent Link)" and "Issue Key" fields for some reason.

Screenshot 2023-10-31 at 12.15.47 PM.png

All the issues get imported with the correct issue types, but the parents are not set correctly. Instead, the issues map their parent issues to "Base Project 3".

Screenshot 2023-10-31 at 12.17.55 PM.png


Screenshot 2023-10-31 at 12.18.39 PM.png

How do I resolve this? Is admin access required for achieving the above (even though I have admin access)?

I am using a premium license and creating company-managed projects. I would prefer not to use any plugins to support this since that does not align with my organization's plans at the moment.



2 answers

0 votes
Luka Hummel - codefortynine
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Nov 02, 2023

Hi @Rajat Saxena

I'm Luka from codefortynine.

It seems like you are looking for an efficient way to replicate issues and their configurations from one project to another in Jira. While exporting to CSV and importing is a common method, it can sometimes fall short when dealing with complex issue hierarchies and links, as you've experienced.

Given your use case and the need to maintain issue hierarchy as well as parent links, you might want to consider using an app like our Deep Clone for Jira. Deep Clone allows you to bulk clone issues while maintaining issue links, sub-tasks, and even custom fields configurations. It can significantly simplify the process you're attempting and reduce the manual effort and potential for error associated with CSV exports and imports.

Here are a few benefits of using Deep Clone for Jira that are particularly relevant to your scenario:

  1. Maintain Issue Hierarchy: Deep Clone can clone issues and maintain the hierarchy that you have set up in your "Base Project 3".
  2. Clone Projects: You can clone projects, including their configuration. This would be helpful for creating your "Imported Project 2".

  3. Preserve Links and Custom Fields: All the links and configurations, including your Parent Link, can be cloned as well.

  4. Automation: Once you have your process set up, you could automate the cloning process, reducing the need to manually create a CSV and the subsequent import.

  5. Minimal Configuration: Deep Clone is designed to work out of the box with minimal configuration, which fits well with your requirement.

I understand you mentioned a preference not to use plugins, but given your specific requirements and the limitations you're encountering with Jira's native CSV import functionality, Deep Clone for Jira could offer a much smoother and less error-prone solution.

If you decide to reconsider the plugin option, you can explore it further and see if it aligns with your business requirements. This could also be a more sustainable and time-saving approach as you move towards automating the process.

Hi Luka,

Thanks for answering but I would like to carry out this import natively with Jira's default functionality.

0 votes
Trudy Claspill
Community Leader
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Oct 31, 2023

Hello @Rajat Saxena 

I believe the problem is that you are providing an explicit issue key (i.e. BP3-23) in the Issue Key and Custom Link (Parent link) fields of your CSV file.

If you want the imported issues to be linked to other issues that are also being created during the same import process, you need to change the Issue Key values in the CSV to be unique numeric values, and then use those unique numeric values appropriately in the Custom Link field.


Change all occurrences of "BP3-23" to "1".

Change all occurrences of "BP3-22" to "2".

And so on, renumbering all the issues in Issue Key and updating corresponding references in Custom Link.


think that will work. I don't have a Premium system where I can test that at this time, but that is the methodology that used to work.

Hi Trudy,

Thanks for answering. I tried with your suggestions, but unfortunately it did not work.

If I simply provide a numeric value like "1", the importer throws an error saying "Invalid Issue Key '1' - it must contain at least one dash in the project key part."

If I provide a value like "-1", the importer throws an error saying "Invalid Issue Key '-1' - it must contain at least one character in the project key part.".

The only other option is to actually provide a key in the form X-1, but that's pretty much the original problem itself.

Trudy Claspill
Community Leader
Community Leader
Community Leaders are connectors, ambassadors, and mentors. On the online community, they serve as thought leaders, product experts, and moderators.
Nov 06, 2023

It appears that importing issues at all hierarchy levels in a single import process isn't quite supported.

It looks like you have to execute imports of the higher level first, then provide explicit issue IDs in the import for the next level, as described in this article.

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