Creating a custom field in an existing project as a way to manage labels

We have a very large project with over 10,000 jira issues. When creating issues in this project all labels have been user defined. Issue labeling is now out of control. In an effort to end this practice and force all users to use project leader defined labels the following idea has been proposed: create a custom screen and force everyone to select predefined labels.

I haven't set up that many projects and am nervous about doing this. I did set up one project with a lot of customized fields so I can repeat this part but I don't want to crash anything. I need some guidance and reassurance and opinions!

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It is normal to be nervous when making changes on a Project that is already in use, although as you have mentioned that you have done this settings once, I am sure that you can it do it again.

There is a plugin that can help you loads in regards of setting fields on screens which is JIRA Admin Helper:

The plugin will help you to find out why the fields may not be showing up on the screens. Also if you have any problems just create a support ticket at and we will promptly help you!

I should have added that the reason I am nervous is not the creation of the custom form.....although that isn't the easiest task. :) The reason I am nervous is I don't know if the historical jiras will be searchable if I change the definition of the label fields. It is a very newbie question.

If you are running the download/onsite version of Jira (as opposed to the OnDemand version) you can request a dev license so you can install the system on a non-production server. We do this in our environment so we can test out more complex changes prior to rolling them out in production. You can backup and restore your database to the dev machine in order to replicate your production system (just make sure to turn off any incoming mail handlers and outbound SMTP (unless these are what you are testing) - otherwise people in your notification scheme will get messages from the dev box, and the dev box might pop messages out of production mailboxes.

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