How can I automate an Issue Custom Field when the Rank of an Epic is changed?

Guilherme Bombonato Vaz de Mello April 24, 2024

I have 2 boards: one displays only Epics, and the other displays only Issues. The Epic Board is ordered by Rank, so I use drag-and-drop to arrange them. I would like to update a Custom Field that I created, called "Epic Order," when I reorder Epics using drag-and-drop. Additionally, I'd like this field to be replicated to all Stories associated with the Epic that was reordered, in such a way that the Story Board is automatically reordered when I change the order of the Epics.

The problem is that I can't find the "Rank" field when searching for it in the automation feature. Is there a way to copy this field to a custom field?

2 answers

1 vote
Bill Sheboy
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April 24, 2024

Hi @Guilherme Bombonato Vaz de Mello 

I believe the Rank field still uses the "Lexorank" algorithm, producing an alphanumeric string to enable easy add / remove / modify of the order of issues without changing all other issues.  That field is not directly edited, but it can be modified using the REST API functions.

You seem to be describing replicating the Rank value as a number field in your Epics, which could be filled by running a JQL query with ORDER BY Rank ASC using the Lookup Issues action and then using the {{index}} to set the field.  That may cause unintended consequences / problems...

  • Re-ranking an epic will require updating the field for all other epics (unless you decide not to update any completed epics).  That will cause a lot of issue updates and rule running time, possibly leading to a service limits problem, and shutting down your automation execution for a period of time (i.e., 12 hours, a day, rest of the month, etc.)
  • If that still works, another automation will need to be triggered by the first rule's edits, updating the child stories for each epic which changed.  And so a single epic re-ranking could link to many issues being updated by rules...again possibly leading to automation limit challenges.

I recommend meeting with your Jira Site admin to perform some quick math / back-of-the-envelope calculations to determine the impact of such rules, the problem solved by using them, and if other options exist.

If you end up doing this, consider using a periodic update with a scheduled rule triggers instead to reduce the risk of cascading rule looping.

Kind regards,
Bill

Guilherme Bombonato Vaz de Mello April 25, 2024

Thank you for the advice. I'm not entirely sure if I understood everything correctly, but what I need to do is copy the "Lexorank" field of the Global Rank to another alphanumeric custom field and replicate it for all Stories within an Epic. However, I'm having trouble finding a way to copy the data from the Rank field.

That's the field.
Jira1.png

I can see it in the "Issues" screen.
Jira3.png

But I can't find it in the automation fields.Jira2.png

Bill Sheboy
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April 25, 2024

That field would not be human-readable...and copying it would likely break things: the rank value for each issue in a site is unique.

Repeating my earlier ideas:

  • The REST API function is needed to programmatically update the rank field
  • Please discuss what you are trying to do with your Jira site admin for their input
0 votes
Rebekka Heilmann _viadee_
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April 24, 2024

Hi @Guilherme Bombonato Vaz de Mello 

where in Automation are you looking for the field?

Guilherme Bombonato Vaz de Mello April 25, 2024

Hello! Thanks for your reply.
I'm trying to find this field called "Classification", that is our Global Rank field

Jira1.png

Jira2.png

On the "Issues" screen, I'm able to find the field and see the data
Jira3.png

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