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How is a field not on screens getting a value?

WW Rising Star Dec 01, 2022

We have a very large instance of Jira Data Center v8.20.10 and JSM v4.20.10.

Scenario:

  • There is a field that is on no screens.
  • The field has one context associated for one specific project and a global context (all other projects).
  • Both contexts have the default value of "ABC."
  • There are almost one million issues with values in the field, all but 70 of them are "ABC."
Even though the field is on no screens, issues created as recently as today have the value "ABC" in that field.
How can this be?
Do all global contexts with default values automatically populate all projects' new issues with that default value? That seems wrong.
Am I missing something?
Should we not have global contexts with default values?
PS I did not create but inherited this instance.

2 answers

1 accepted

1 vote
Answer accepted

Yep, a hidden field with a default will take on the default when the users can't set it.

Technically, it's not wrong - the default is telling Jira to set a value when the users don't choose one.  The fact you've chosen not to offer them the option to do so is not important.

This sort of thing is endemic in all sorts of systems.  Defaults, templates, and pre-filled fields absolutely need to be minimised and only used when they actually help make life easier for people.  Whenever you think you should use one, always question it.  Is it really going to help?  If you're not asking people to think about what they're entering, do you even need to ask them for it?

Oh, and could you not automate it, rather than ask the user?

WW Rising Star Dec 05, 2022

Yeah, I figured out that a custom field with a global context and a default value will give a default value to the field for every single project's issue.

Again, I inherited this instance and am performing cleanup on it.

It still does seem wrong that if a project is in no way associated with a field (like through a screen) that it should get a value for a custom field.

0 votes
Joe Pitt Community Leader Dec 01, 2022

It sounds like a script or post function is putting it there. As long as the field is associated with the project you can update it with a script or post function

If it isn't on any screen, how did you find out it was there? 

WW Rising Star Dec 05, 2022

The Custom Fields screen and a search on the field not is empty.

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