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How to update existing JIRA tickets from Excel

I am looking for a way to manage the following change management round trip:

1. export a query result into Excel (available), say all bugs of a certain project release

2. record change management decisions in on of the fields problem by problem

3. import back the changes to JIRA

So *no* new records are created, the available import methods do not help here.

Issue is to update a specificed list of fields in the record. In a change management meeting with a crowd of people it is way too slow to update the tickets online. Capuring in Excel and later reflect that in JIRA is what I want to achieve. That Excel also serves as a record, which exact list was discussed in that change management meeting. Just operating on the records does not give ability to publish the outcome of the meeting.

Kind Regards, Martin

1 answer

Having worked CM for many years, the trick is to yell louder and make them respect the process.

Failing that, you can update existing issues with a CSV import.

https://confluence.atlassian.com/display/JIRA/Importing+Data+from+CSV

However, you have to maintain a 1:1 ratio in the Excel/CSV file or you risk losing data when you import.

ok, the link gives an important hint (while all text around talks about migrating into JIRA thus creating new records):

Issue Key You can set the issue key for an imported issue. If an issue with a given key already exists in JIRA, it will be updated instead.

I assume the following will work:

1. run a query

2. export into Excel, say, just key + summary

3. maybe just correct some typos in the summary

4. save from Excel to csv

5. import from csv

As a result I would expect that all tickets in the list get updated if the summary was updated.

The statement 1:1 I would like to understand better: I understand that I better do not change the structure of the table, but just change the cell contents.

Thanks for the help.

You need to keep the Excel/CSV and the Fields matching at a 1:1 to ratio, you should not remove columns from the csv or you run the risk of losing that information.

You would have to export all of the fields, make your changes, save as csv, then re-import. If there are any colums missing in the csv, you run the risk of resetting the data in all the other fields to blank/default.

If you exported just key + summary, you could lose assignee, description, priority etc.. when you re-import.

Ok, understood.

What happens then to all data, which is not exported to Excel (Export, Excel, all fields) like all the Activity information, Tempo data, sub-tasks, attachments, structure, other plug-in related data?

I would in any case suggest to change that as follows:

  • new tickets: unspecified fields are set to default
  • modified tickets: unspecified fields remain as in the DB

Kind Regards

I've honestly never looked at the generated data (activity, work log.. etc..)

I did lose data once from an import, migrating projects one at a time from one server to another.. but it was only once out of about 40 imports in a week.

Just be careful to back up your data before you import.

Well, I conclude that this was never deeply tested. In consequence I don't intend to risk anything going that path.

It does not seem to be possible to UPDATE EXISTING Jiras using the CSV import feature. I could not find anything about how to do that. Using the import feature ALWAYS created NEW tickets and did not update existing tickets. Mapping the "Issue Id" field did not help, and there is no way to map "Issue Key" (MYPROJ-123) in the import wizard. Also, "Summary" field mapping is mandatory, which clearly shows that the feature is only designed for creating NEW tickets. Really annoying that there is no appropriate feature. In my case, I need to mass update time assignments (Original estimate) for >100 tickets. We'll do it manually...

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