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How to copy a custom field

I have a JIRA project that has a custom field dropdown which is multi level and has a few hundred values in it. There are people using this custom field in their JQL to add issues to their board and in their filters, so if I use this custom field in another project its possible these issues will also appear. This is a central custom field that a lot of other projects depend upon.

For this reason, I'd like to make a copy of this custom field, but how? There is no option for this. I can find solutions on taking the value of one custom field and setting it in another (with Scriptrunner), but this is not what I'm talking about. I simply want to copy a custom field instead of re-creating it and hundreds of values within it.

2 answers

1 vote
John Funk Community Leader Jun 09, 2020

Hi Steven,

You can add a new Context to the field and show different values for that field based on project or issue type or a combination of both. 

Go to Settings > Issues > Custom fields

Then search for the custom field

Click on the 3 dots to the far right of the field and choose Contexts and default value

Then click on Add New context

You will need to add the options from scrap (or cut and paste one at a time)

Be sure to Edit configuration to limit to certain issue types and/or projects. 

Right, so I can create a new context for this field, map it to only this new project that needs it. But then the values are all empty and I still need to copy the hundreds of values across manually. It would also need to be maintained but thats another issue.

John Funk Community Leader Jun 18, 2020

True - so we use an add-on called External Data For Jira Fields found in the Marketplace here: https://marketplace.atlassian.com/apps/1219994/external-data-for-jira-fields?hosting=cloud&tab=overview

You can connect your field to a database or XML or other sources. I use both types of sources right now until I fully move to a database with a small Ruby front end to it so non-Tech people can update and maintain separate lists. Right now I am generating an XML file from a spreadsheet for a few fields. 

It's only for Jira Cloud.

There is also this one that I saw yesterday but I have not looked at it at all yet:

https://marketplace.atlassian.com/apps/23337/elements-connect-formerly-nfeed?hosting=server&tab=overview&_ga=2.56882287.413982196.1591014579-1313086432.1576012938

There are versions for Cloud and for Server. 

Either route is worth the investment for me.  :-)

It seems like an oversight that copying custom fields isn't available.

Using a JIRA addon for $500 a month seems overkill to manage one custom field though.

John Funk Community Leader Jun 07, 2021

Here's a request you can vote for and follow for multiple contexts per project:

https://jira.atlassian.com/browse/JRACLOUD-6851

Hi @Steven Rhodes 

How are you maintaining the values in your custom field drop down? A couple hundred values seems like a lot to just be managed from your custom field configuration.

At that moment we didnt have anything to manage it. Now I have an excel sheet, as in this custom field drop down we have items that when issues are created with those items, map to individual Slack support channels, so I keep track of which items will send an "issue created" webhook to which channel, and the JQL for the webhook.

I needed to copy at the time, but have now convinced the project admin to use the existing one, and work with a team to clean it up instead of making his own version.

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