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How does a field context work, exactly?


I am very confused about a field configuration works in Jira, especially when it comes to field contexts.  I am looking at the fields available for issues and it seems fields are missing based on how the field contexts are defined.

For instance, I see "Story Points" on every issue for every project, which is exactly how the context is configured.  I do not see "Change reason" for any issues, but it has the exact same context as "Story Points".  Neither "Story Points" or "Change reason" are assigned to any screen.

Frankly, I do not want to see the "Change reason" field, but I do want to understand how this all works. Can someone explain this to me?

3 answers

Field Contexts are very interesting.

Here's how I've used it in the past and hopefully it helps you understand.

I have a custom field (Business Name).  This custom field is a Single Select Drop down.

For Project A, Business Name can have the values: A, B, C.

By adding a context, I can reuse the same field (Business Name), but give it different values.

For Project B, Business Name has values: X, Y,Z.

As you can see, same field, but different values show up based on the project that is assigned to the context.

With that said, I don't think that solves your problem with Change Reason.

I would recommend you share a screenshot of your screen configuration under the project settings.  From there, for the issue type that you want to remove Change Reason, please share your actual screen (might be the same for Create,Edit,View) or share each one if they are different.

0 votes
Peter DeWitt Community Leader Dec 16, 2021

@dmimatt There are two components here. in order for a field to appear on an issue, it needs to be present on the View screen and the field context needs to be set for that issue type and/or project. If you have one and not the other, things won't work for example:

Field on View Screen  Field Context set for issue/project   viewable 
Field on NOT on View Screen  Field Context set for issue/project  not-viewable
Field on View Screen  Field Context NOT set for issue/project not-viewable


We use contexts extensively for every custom field created but only to limit project use. We don't usually set a context for issue types. For Server/Datacenter, this improves performance, indexing, and searching. I don't know the exact impact in cloud, but I can't image it hurts.


As an aside, you can do some really cool stuff with contexts too. For example, you cloud use a single screen scheme for all projects or a set of projects. These screens would contain a large set of fields but you could turn them on/off based on the projects. Keeps administration all in on place.

Now as far as some of the system fields (not custom) they appear on the screen layout regardless of the config it's not always obvious but is what it is.


I should also add that when I do a "Find your field" for "Story Points" on these screens where it is showing up, "Find your field" tells me it SHOULD be missing.

Screen Shot 2021-12-16 at 5.15.43 PM.png

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