Worst Jira Admin Contest: Broken Transitions

Mistake 8

Sometimes workflows break or develop conflicts due to administrative actions in other areas of Jira. In Server and Data Center, the built-in Integrity Checker function can sometimes detect and resolve these issues. But other times, and in Cloud, your users are the first to report a missing transition, a visual error, or other unintended behavior. Yikes!


Admin > Issues > Custom fields > Create custom field

I had just finished a project which involved custom date fields with workflow validation rules. I created custom date fields but we later decided to use custom date time fields instead. Since it’s not easy to change custom fields types in Jira, I needed to delete the new fields, re-create them in the new "Date and Time" format, and update all the workflow behaviors referencing the old fields. When I deleted the original fields, I assumed Jira would delete the related workflow behaviors too. After all, Jira does remove fields from screens using them. I was wrong! I immediately caused conflicts in my active workflows and received numerous error reports from end users. The only solutions were to restore the workflow to its previous state or quickly delete and replace any of the problem rules. (I did the latter.)

Instead, always test your change in a non-production environment, and use tools to help detect impacts and errors.

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1 comment

Matt Doar
Community Leader
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December 16, 2023

How would the integrity checker have caught the problem in the case of using different custom field types?

But yes, workflows can have all kinds of old, deleted info still embedded in them. Which is tricky to remember to check for. Exporting a workflow as XML and grepping for the custom field id sometimes helps me remember to do this.


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