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I'm about to attempt a massive import into an existing Jira project, what should I know beforehand?

Mark Hasamear
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Nov 08, 2023

As the title suggests, I'm about to import a large number of issues into my pre-existing Jira project. Jira was unavailable to us for a while and so for 2 sprints of this increment we had been statusing our tickets via spreadsheet. The import .csv file has tickets that will need to be updated in Jira, as well as rows that will need to be added as tickets. Additionally, when we got Jira back, all the data was rolled back to before our Planning Event. This means that a lot of our tickets in the excel sheet that I think are updates will actually be additional tickets. The part that I think will be tricky is that a lot of these tickets have Issue IDs that were already assigned by Jira when I made the export. 

Can you tell Jira what the issue ID of a ticket is? Or will these Issue ID's be reassigned when I import?

What happens if Jira has already assigned an a specific Issue ID to a new additon I've imported, and then I import another team's backlog and that same Issue ID is already in use? 

What should my gameplan be? I have 16 product lines to do. I figured the easiest way to break this down would be by team. But do I need to break it down further?

 - pre-existing but now missing issues (these have specific Issue ID's that Jira doesn't know)
 - new additions (missing Issue IDs)
 - regular status updates (matching Issue IDs)

Does it make sense to break this down by team or should I just do all tickets from those three categories one at a time? 

Is there a size limit for csv to keep the import operating smoothly?

Anything else I should know? 

1 comment

Bastian Stehmann
Community Leader
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Community Leaders are connectors, ambassadors, and mentors. On the online community, they serve as thought leaders, product experts, and moderators.
Nov 08, 2023

Hi @Mark Hasamear ,

You can tell Jira which column should be the issue key.

If you import this, it will reassign this key to the issue. 

But this will work only if the issue is not existing yet. If the issue key exists, it will "overwrite" the issue. That means the issue created in the mean time will be lost.

So in general, you have to identify the issues, which already exist and clarify if you want to update them. If yes, everything is fine. If there are existing issues, that should not be updated, you have to assign a new key (or maybe you can just leave the key empty, not sure about that).

So you'll have three kinds of issues:

Existing issues, that should be updated

Existing issues, that should not be updated

New issues


I would import each of these groups separately, as the import will be easier to configure.


In general, there is no file size limit.

Hope this helps.

Like Mark Hasamear likes this
Mark Hasamear
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I'm New Here
Those new to the Atlassian Community have posted less than three times. Give them a warm welcome!
Nov 08, 2023

Thanks a lot! Very helpful.


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