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Is there an alternative to burningcode's now defunct Jira Watchers Custom Field plugin?

Ken Wood Rising Star Aug 16, 2021

I searched, if answer is there I missed it. I followed the tag for the plugin, it the answer is there I missed it.

Is there an alternative to burningcode's now defunct Jira Watcher Custom Field plugin?

9 answers

I'm in the same boat, and wondering the same thing.  It's been working with version 8.5.x for a while, but I need to upgrade to 8.13.10 now.  


Ken, are you running Jira v8.13.x and is the plugin still working for you there?

We bit the bullet and upgraded anyway, and it's working. At least as far as I can tell. 

Like Dave Liao likes this

When we upgraded to 8.13 in 2021Q1, it was still on the supported list.  I would have noticed otherwise.  I just discovered it was dropped 10 minutes ago when I was trying to find a link to docs for a user!

Blech.  I just upgraded to 8.13.13 this morning... didn't notice anything.  I suspect it will have to be disabled for the next big upgrade process.  

It definitely breaks in 8.21.1.

Like John Stoffel likes this

Thanks for providing that info on 8.21.1, Darren.  We'll be going to 8.20.5 (LTS) shortly and will watch to see if this breaks in that release as well.

Like John Stoffel likes this

How bad is the breakage?  I guess we will be moving to something newer when we get a chance, but honestly, this is a slowly dying instance so it might just move to the cloud at some point.  Maybe.  I just admin the system, not the Jira info itself.  

So I haven't a clue how this plugin works, can someone explain to me how I would check if it's even being used or setup in Jira?  Assume I know nothing of Jira, but I do know Linux/Postgres/Apache, etc.  So even though I have it enabled, it's not clear if it's actually in use. 


Otherwise I guess I'll clone to a test instance, disable it and see what breaks, but I haven't a clue how to test it.  


Or what to replace it with if it does break and my users say they need it.  


@John StoffelIt adds a custom field. You should be able to go to Administration > Custom fields and find the field by type. If you find some, you can track back via their screens to project etc. and find where they are used.

Thanks for the hints.  Looking at my setup, it looks like the darn thing isn't even used.  Heh.  And nothing has broken according to my users in the test instance I setup for them which was a clone of production.


I apprecaite all the help people have given me here. 

The plugin broke after upgrading to 8.22.2 as well and now I am not really sure if there is any replacement for it?

We just upgraded our test environment from 8.20.1 (still works) to 8.22.2, and it is broken.


  • Cannot re-index Jira
  • All dashboards fail
  • All filters fail

Those were the ones I noticed, but it's more than enough to stop us from upgrading production. We rely heavily on watchers and the similarly failing Jira Component Watchers app, and now we are stuck.

I will not that if I disable the two apps I can still add/remove watchers from existing issues, but I cannot add them to new issues.

I somehow managed to fix the plugins by decompiling them and fixing the broken constructor. The actual issue has been already reported -

Like # people like this

Hi @K M ,

could you share the "fixed version you created" OR the steps to do it ourself?


thank you in advance.


Kind regards,



Like Sami Ahmed Shaik likes this

@Matt Van Kuyksure, but which plugin? `jira-component-watcher` or `jira-watcher-field`?


Which version? And how can I contact you? (any email?)

version 2.8.1. You can contact me on _.

Oh.. I only fixed versions 2.8.3 and 2.8.5. Not sure how compatible they are with 2.8.1

2.8.5 is perfect .

I will try to send it to you later this week - if I don't (I will be at a conference) please remind me about it.

Thank you for that, I see the app itself not available anymore on the Marketplace... 

Yeah, unfortunately I couldn't find anything, neither bitbucket repository nor the addon on marketplace.

But I will wait until you get back to me. Looking forward to it :-D

hey @Matt Van Kuyk your email is not visible anymore in one of your replies :P

Hi  @K M ,


it is [].  


Kind regards,



@KM or Matt could you please send me the copy of the plugin as well ?

@Matt Van Kuyk 

Hi Matt, how can I contact you? Would you mind sharing the fixed version of Jira Watcher Field with me too?

@Matt Van Kuyk @K M  Hi, would you mind sharing the fixed version of Jira Watcher Field v. 2.8.5 with me plaese?

Hi @Matt Van Kuyk I think your email must be being removed by a bot or something.


Is there any chance you could post some instructions on how to do this for us please.


Many thanks



Like Andrejs Kostenko likes this

Can anyone figure this out? Maybe Atlassian knows how to get past this issue? 
Would really appreciate a solution to this...


Hi. Could you please send me the 2.8.5 fixed Version?

Hi everyone,
We migrated from 7.0.1 to 9.1.x and this plugin was very useful, I couldn't contact the developer and we don't see it available anymore.

I have tried to decompile it and fix the error, but with no luck.

I see that someone can fix it, could you please share it?

Or send it by mail? or a Drive?
Thank you so much.

Like Sonya S_ likes this
David Yu Rising Star Oct 06, 2022

@K M Would you mind sharing your patch? I've been keeping a clone of the original source here but unfortunately it's a pretty old version (not 2.8.5)

My story: I didn't want to setup the whole plugin development environment. I attempted a decompile and added "ComponentAccessor.getComponent(FeatureManager.class)" to

import com.atlassian.jira.config.FeatureManager;
genericConfigManager, multiUserConverter, applicationProperties, authenticationContext,
searchService, fieldVisibilityManager, jiraBaseUrls, userBeanFactory, groupManager,
projectRoleManager, soyTemplateRendererProvider, userFilterManager,
fieldConfigSchemeManager, projectManager,

Threw that file into "external-src" and ran ant to compile (also had to throw a few files into the /lib sub-folder")

Was getting NoClassFoundExceptions so had to hack the manifest.MF file with: com.atlassian.jira.config;resolution:=optional

Re-packaged it all up and it's "working" I guess in Jira 9.3.0

Can I have a copy of fixed version of Component watcher and water field, too? 

we upgraded to 9.3 and have same issue.

still have below errors during re-index after uninstall those 2 add-ons. 


Caused by: io.atlassian.util.concurrent.LazyReference$InitializationException: io.atlassian.util.concurrent.LazyReference$InitializationException: org.springframework.beans.factory.BeanCreationException: Error creating bean with name 'com.burningcode.jira.issue.customfields.impl.WatcherFieldType': Bean instantiation via constructor failed; nested exception is org.springframework.beans.BeanInstantiationException: Failed to instantiate [com.burningcode.jira.issue.customfields.impl.WatcherFieldType]: Constructor threw exception; nested exception is java.lang.NoSuchMethodError: 'void com.atlassian.jira.issue.customfields.impl.MultiUserCFType.<init>


thanks in advance,



Hello @Matt Van Kuyk 

following this thread as we're also stuck at 8.20.x version as we use the Watcher field plugin; would also be interested to get your fixed version for testing, if possible.


@Gaël NEUEZ , @Matt Van Kuyk , @Sonya S_ , @David Yu , @K M  colegues, anybody is successful with jira watchers filed and component watchers in latest jira server version?

No, following thread comments, I understand that @K M  managed to create a fixed version, it would be great if we could get access to jar or source code...


Like Andrejs Kostenko likes this

I patched a copy ( of the watchers plugin but it's use/test at your own risk.

Like Gaven Ray likes this

Thank you so much David I put this on a 9.4.0 test box.

Hi David, thank you. 

but I did test and it not working yet.


the error messages is:

Unknown Reason

The requested method GET is not allowed for this URL.

David Yu Rising Star Nov 30, 2022

You've got to manually download and upload the plugin.

Hi David,

It was what I did, download the update and install it before trying it.
The installation works and raises the instance well. But when trying it gives the error.

Hi Deigo, I see what you mean, the configuration menu is erroring out with a 405 method not allowed error.

After some research, this is due to changes in Jira 9, in particular Verification of Jira web action request methods

I've added the necessary annotations to the WatcherFieldSettings.class and recompiled:

@SupportedMethods({RequestMethod.GET, RequestMethod.POST})

Unfortunately, it's still giving out a 405 error and I'm stumped.  It works if you add the DarkSiteFlag feature but that is not recommended


Maybe someone else more knowledgeable can answer/help. For now, I'll pull the download link offline.

Update: I fixed the problem and uploaded for testing.

Hi David,   thank y for you time and dedication.


where you put the link for test?

Hi David,
It seems to me that I am in error, I was looking for the "Jira Component Whatchers" and you are trying to repair the "Field Whatchers".

They are two different plugins and I think both stopped working after the migration to Jira 9.x.


Exactly, I was testing it and I realized the error, that's why when I went to see the components the access didn't appear in the menu.


Sorry for me error.

David Yu Rising Star Dec 02, 2022

Ahhh, Component Watchers. Maybe if time permits, I will also patch that.

Like Andrejs Kostenko likes this

Hi David, 

that would be great.......

Like Andrejs Kostenko likes this
David Yu Rising Star Dec 06, 2022

I patched Component Watchers. You can examine the commits to see the patches. Use/test at your own risk, no support given, yada yada yada. 🎅

@David Yu 

Could you please share with us fixed version of "Jira Watcher Field" compatible with v8.22.x ?


Unfortunately, this add-on is causing chaos in our upgraded test instance.



Sami S.

David Yu Rising Star Dec 02, 2022

@Sami Ahmed Shaik what version are you currently using?

@David Yu  Thanks for the response,

We are currently using Jira Server v8.22.6 & Jira Watcher Field v2.8.5



Sami S.

David Yu Rising Star Dec 02, 2022

Sami, you are welcome to test my patched version against 8.22.6 at your own risk.

@David Yu 

Thanks for the patched file, I uninstall and re-install with the patched file, got the following error



Sami S.

Sami, not sure what the problem could be. I tested locally on new 8.22.6 install and it worked for me.


@David Yu 

Let me try by clearing the cache from the Plugin folders and will share the results.



Sami S.

@David Yu 

Same error even after clearing the plugin cache. Any other solution you could recommend us?



Sami S.

0 votes

Anybody can help with that issue?
I'm at version jira server 8.20.4. Need upgrade it until latest version. But no success with JIRA Watchers field and Watchers Component, Alo I use Security level that has custom watchiers field.

How is possible to upgrade jira server from 8.20.4 till latest version and watchers field and component watchers able to work?

could somebody share the the "fix" OR the give a steps to do it ourself?


thank you in advance.

0 votes

Hi, if anyone is still looking I have an App called Watch It that allows you to watch components in a project and to add watchers during issue creation.  It is available on Jira server, data center and cloud. 


You can check it out at:




additional question, does anyone knows where "Component watcher" stored in database? 




This is a post-function scriptrunner script that works if you have a static user to add as a watcher.  Place script after the "Creates the issue originally" post function on the create transition.

import com.atlassian.jira.component.ComponentAccessor

import com.atlassian.jira.issue.watchers.WatcherManager

import com.atlassian.jira.user.ApplicationUser

import com.atlassian.jira.user.util.UserManager


def watcherManager = ComponentAccessor.getWatcherManager()

def userManager = ComponentAccessor.getUserManager()

def user = userManager.getUserByName("") as ApplicationUser"User"+user.toString()) "Issue"+issue.toString()

watcherManager.startWatching(user, issue)


This would be the ideal solution except for cases where Issue Security Levels is being used with watchers. In that case, you'd want watchers to sync with that field when changes are made. I guess there would need to be a global Script Listener that updates the user field with changes to watchers.

Has anyone been able to test this against Version yet?

It wont magically start working on newer versions, the changes were made by Atlassian development team and it's very unlikely they are going to revert to an old constructor.

Hi Matis,

If I understand correctly, you say that the version
is jiracomponentwatcher 2.4 working fine on Jira Sever 9.1?

Hi Diego,

No, the opposite, it should not work on any newer Jira versions..

Is it possible to get the fixed version 2.8.5 as 2.8.6 over Atlassian Universal Plugin Manager?
When not, please send me also the fixed 2.8.5.

Regards Harald

We moved to 8.20.6 (LTS) and it did not break there.  Looking at all the other comments, it appears to first break on 8:21.

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