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JIRA Automation Clone Links and Update to new issues

Alastair Tooth
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Oct 22, 2023

Hi Team,

I am currently working in a company that has tasked me with creating an Epic Cloner from scratch via Jira Automation in Jira Cloud - there is no budget to purchase one of the existing tools.

The use case is also very specific.  They are a white label company, and regularly deliver the same software solution every few months.  Because of this, they want a 'Template' of the required Epics / Features / Stories / Sub Tasks with all the key information pre-written into them, stored in Jira, and then they want to be able to clone it for a new customer.

I have created the cloner and it's working alright, but my current issue is being able to update the related links.

- The related links when cloned will always relate to the template's issues (makes sense)
- I need to be able to update them so they relate to the newly created issues
- This will have a variety of different links at different levels (i.e. one story might have a dependency link with another story, as well as a parent/child relationship with a Feature)

I have gone down a very complicated path to resolve this but can't help but think there must be a very obvious and easy way.  Is someone able to help?


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Bill Sheboy
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Oct 23, 2023

Hi @Alastair Tooth -- Welcome to the Atlassian Community!

Short answer: there is no simple way to do this with out-of-the-box features.

Longer answer:

One of the reasons there are marketplace addons for cloning capability is it is complicated  to do this with Jira.  Without one of those addons, other approaches are:

  1. Cloning Rules: Build a set of automation rules to do this, including the complexities of re-linking the issues.  From what you describe, it may be helpful to have a custom field in the issues to find the target issue for linking, zap the existing links, and use JQL searches to find/relink the issues.
  2. Creating Rules: Build a set of automation rules which creates the issues from scratch, each time as new.  This eliminates the linking problems from cloning, but could run into both maintenance and maximum rule size constraints.
  3. Issue import: Rather than use automation, use a set of import files to create and link the issues.
  4. Build your own cloner: Using the REST API functions, build your own application (external to Jira) which can clone issues and more effectively link them, using the issue create functions.

Kind regards,

Alastair Tooth
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Oct 24, 2023

Hi Bill!

Thanks so much for the response - much appreciated.

I am coming to terms with the limitations of JIRA Automation (slowly but surely) - i'm thinking i will need to go down the pathway you mentioned first with cloning, but unsure of the best practice.

So far my thinking is to Create labels for the individual issues (A,B,C,D...) and then after all issues within the epic are cloned i'll run a subsequent automation that has rules to say Link A with B, D with A, etc, etc

Was hoping that wasn't what i had to do as it feels like it'll be ugly, and was hoping there was an alternate option that was within reach, but based on your response and my timelines i think it'l be the only one i can tackle.

Thanks for the asistance though!

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