It's not the same without you

Join the community to find out what other Atlassian users are discussing, debating and creating.

Atlassian Community Hero Image Collage

How to merge Jira instances with colliding project keys?

Pavel Boev May 29, 2017


I have to merge a smaller Jira Software Server instance into a bigger one.

I read a lot of blog posts about it and the process is now clear for me.

However there are projects in the smaller instance, which use the same project key as project in the bigger instance?

To add to the complexity both instances are linked with Confluence servers, which need to be merged too.

In which system is better to change the project key - the source (before merging) or the target (again before merging)?

Let's imagine that the project key is ABC and we have issue ABC-1 in both instances.

If I change the key in the source instance to DEF, then the issue ABC-1 will be accessible by two issue keys - DEF-1 and ABC-1.

OK, but now if I move project DEF to the other instance and search for issue ABC-1, which issue will be returned - DEF-1 or ABC-1 from the target instance?

I am trying to anticipate all problems with incoming links that will arise after the merge

1 answer

0 votes
Sukanta Jana May 29, 2017

If you change the issue key still you face some issue when you try to merge the two instance. You may try to explore other options.

As you have smaller Jira instance you can export all the ticket in excel format. Then create a project with key DEF in your bigger instance and upload all the tickets in DEF project. Please use csv format to import this.

Pavel Boev May 29, 2017

CSV import is not an option.

We must use the built-in project XML import, as we want to preserve all comments, transitions, modifications.

And the source instance isn't small - it's just smaller than the receiving, but still pretty big (100K+ issues)

Sukanta Jana May 29, 2017 • edited


Follow the below process than.

Create an empty project with key DEF in bigger instance. Make sure all the configuration is same like ABC project of Smaller instance.

If you have a existing empty project in biger instance, you will get a ' 'Overwrite Project Details' option during Project restore, please uncheck it. So your new project will display with DEF key only. It will not accessible by ABC key anymore.


There is a very simple solution to your "project keys problem".

Before starting the merge you must do the following.
1. Rename the project on the small JIRA system
2. Export the Project, use the XML backup
3. Delete the already renamed and exported project.
4. Import back the project via the XML importer.

This way you will loose the records in DB for the old key in the DB.
Do not forget to try this on a test instance :)

To see what kind of problem you can expect you can take a look at the presentation that I've made on the European Summit 2017 here ->
or at the community

Pavel Boev May 31, 2017

Thanks, George.

I will try the approach you suggested.

I am worried that links from other systems (Confluence, Github) will be broken, but I suppose it is inevitable.

I watched your presentation at the Summit and it's quite helpful

Peter Toudjarski May 31, 2017

Hi Pavel, did you get you problem resolved?

Suggest an answer

Log in or Sign up to answer
This widget could not be displayed.
This widget could not be displayed.
Community showcase
Published in Jira Software

How to prevent the propagation of unused project schemes, workflows & screens in Jira software

Atlassian ranks project attributes as the third most important factor impacting performance in the category of data. It’s not surprising, since project attributes are precisely the rules used to ma...

1,378 views 1 17
Read article

Community Events

Connect with like-minded Atlassian users at free events near you!

Find an event

Connect with like-minded Atlassian users at free events near you!

Unfortunately there are no Community Events near you at the moment.

Host an event

You're one step closer to meeting fellow Atlassian users at your local event. Learn more about Community Events

Events near you