We have some people in AD whose records are 'contacts' and not 'users', and there is no email associated to them for this reason in their JIRA user account. If we were to add the email addresses directly into the JIRA db (by SQL) would they persist after the next AD sync (I am thinking the blank record in AD email address field might overwrite the manually entered data in the email address fields in JIRA). Looking for advice on the best way to do this and want to make sure the data persists after re-indexing and/or a JIRA restart, and future AD Sync's.
Standard advice - never update an Atlassian application's database directly. It will almost always go wrong.
In this case, it's a moderately simple update, and, although it will work if you follow the usual SQL path (Stop JIRA, back it up, run the SQL, start JIRA and re-index if you've touched index-related data), you are right about the next update.
JIRA just acts as a local cache when you have external directories. Every update from AD is going to overwrite your local data, because it is just a cache.
You need to give these contacts email addresses in AD if you want them to have emails in JIRA.
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