I have some fields for issues that are populated from a selection of entries.
Some of the tickets in Jira have somehow changed and are no longer showing the entry selected but show a 5 digit number instead, like an ID or something
This makes my fields useless as I have no idea what these numbers stand for; how do I change this back?
5 digit numbers are almost certainly IDs in the database.
The answer to this actually goes back to what you've changed already. What did you change that caused the fields to start displaying numbers? The obvious change is an upgrade - either of Jira or the plugins that provide these fields?
I'm 99.99% certain that something has been changed. It'll be one of the administrators though - your average user won't have access.
I'd expect you to know if you'd suddenly upgraded the core system, it's pretty obvious, but I had to ask :-) But it could be as simple as the plugin(s) providing these fields have been updated, and one of your admins has perfectly innocently clicked "upgrade" in the UPM and inadvertently broken them.
Anyway, lets focus on the fix - what type are these fields? Go to Admin -> Custom Fields, find them, and look at their types.
Mmm, multi-select is very worrying. It's a standard field, by which, I mean Atlassian provide it off-the-shelf. That should not ever be displaying the option-ids, as it would be upgraded in line with the core product.
My initial thought was to do with plugins because Jira used to store the plain text of a select/multi-select option in the database when you chose it, but one of the upgrades changed this to store an ID (the reason - if you're storing actual data strings, you can't rename options without a massive hit. If you store an ID, you are free to rename options, internationlise them, etc)
But if it's a standard multi-select, I'm a bit worried because it's core functions. I'm a bit stuck on where to look next, but I would also be seriously considering a support request with Atlassian, as it looks like a bug or flaw there.
Edit: Ooops - one other idea - the field might well be multi-select, but how is it populated? If it's by humans, I'd still go with "support request". But if it's by a post-function or listener, then you might want to look at that - again, upgraded/misconfigured/etc
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