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How to modify issue history? (Jira Cloud)

There are situations when you may need to modify issue history, e.g. when you needed to quickly do a simple import that did not include history, but later realize that it would be possible to program a more sophisticated import that retains history.

How can you do it in Jira cloud? This question has been asked before for Jira Server, and there the only way seems to be to modify the underlying database, which Jira cloud users cannot access.

I have some ideas about this, but please let me know what you think.

Current state of Jira Export/Import

  • Jira can export:

    • XML + attachment files (apparently a whole database backup)

  • Jira can import:

    • XML + attachment files (the whole database backup), though it does currently not work for me.

    • CSV (including creation date, but apparently not history)

    • JSON (apparently with history)

    • Trello (no creation date or history)

    • Other Jira instances

Potential options for fixing history

  • Rewriting history via API or GUI

    • Apparently not possible

  • Backup, rewrite history in the XML backup files and restore

    • Probably viable

  • Re-importing

    • Not an option because then I lose the more recent history

  • Export recent history via API to JSON import format, merge with old history, re-import (issue keys will change)

    • Probably viable, but must check that re-imported issues will have the same links as the to-be-deleted issues.

Note that Atlassian is looking to completely overhaul the backup/restore experience. I wonder whether they will change the backup format from XML to JSON.

1 answer

0 votes

The only viable option on your list is "backup, hack backup, destroy current site by importing hacked backup"

Jira is an issue tracker, the whole point is to track changes made to the issues.  Destroying the history of an issue is the antithesis of what it is for.

I've only ever run into one case where editing (not destroying) the history of an issue was a valid thing to do, and it's not a case I'd ever expect the authors of software to code for.  Plus it's now fixable without resorting to database hacks in Jira and Confluence.

destroy current site by importing hacked backup

With destroy, do you just mean overwriting (as would be expected), or are you implying the backup format is so difficulat to understand and modify that it will easily get corrupted?

Plus it's now fixable without resorting to database hacks in Jira and Confluence.

What do you mean? Editing the history is possible? If so, how?

The import will destroy all the data currently in the site.  If, for example, you took the backup on Monday, edited it, and imported it on Friday, then you would destroy all the data that has been added or amended since Monday.

No, as I said in my answer, the history is not editable (without database hacking).  I was talking about the one case where you should be amending history records, but you don't need to do it in the history any more because of some of the recent changes to the way Jira stores certain data.

Like Marco Eckstein likes this

I was talking about the one case where you should be amending history records, but you don't need to do it in the history any more because of some of the recent changes to the way Jira stores certain data.

Can you please tell me what that case is and what these changes are?

It doesn't matter because you don't need to edit the history to make the change any more.  If you run into it, you'll be looking to make changes elsewhere now anyway.

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