Whilst configuring JIRA OnDemand and coming across many limitations and having to put in some less than desirable workarounds, it now also looks like I cannot hide fields from users. Is this correct?
JIRA is intended as a collaboration tool, and hiding fields from users runs absolutely counter to the principle of openness that a team needs when its members are working together. So no, there is no way to hide fields from users. A field either exists and is available to all, or it does not exist for the issue/project.
If you were on the server version, there is an add-on which will enable this function, but you can't use it on Cloud.
I can give you a perfectly sound use case:
If you have an application with privacy sensitive data (e.g. personal data), and a bug is reported that affects a certain user, then you want to store the data of that person so the developer can use it for debugging. But other people involved don't need to know the specifics of the user. Once the developer has extracted the specifics of that user into a reproducible generic scenario, the privacy sensitive data is not needed any more, and should (by law) be hidden for as much people as possible (e.g. product owners, testers, release managers, even other developers in the project)
This could be accomplished by using a field that is only visible for
- the assignee, if has the project role 'developer'.
We have to remember that Atlassian markets Jira not only to small dev teams. We have customers who use Jira for financial or management, which require different levels of access. We have customers who use Jira for quality inspection or non-conformance management in the defense sector. There is a lot of potential for improvement in regard to customisation of user view, that cannot be left to the marketplace alone.
None of these arguments are a good reason to break collaboration. The instant you start hiding information on a shared subject, you have changed people's understanding of it and crippled their ability to work on it effectively. You might as well hide the whole thing from them.
These arguments are a good argument for having different projects with varying visibility, not hiding fields.
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