I would like to find out how I can import project, issues, user stories into a Jira instance from another Jira instace. In other words, Jira A contains project info that needs to be imported into Jira B - and I need to retain the hirearchies and issue #'s from Jira A (if at all possible)
You can do this with the Project Import tool natively in JIRA.
Basically you take an XML dump of JIRA A and point the Project Import in JIRA B at it.
Select the project you want, work through a couple of screens to make sure everything is available (fields, users etc) and then import.
Both JIRA A & B need to be at the same version
Full instructions here: https://confluence.atlassian.com/display/JIRA/Restoring+a+Project+from+Backup
If JIRA A & B are the same version but have different field configurations etc, try out "Project Configurator": https://marketplace.atlassian.com/plugins/com.awnaba.projectconfigurator.projectconfigurator
or "Configuration Manager for JIRA" https://marketplace.atlassian.com/plugins/com.botronsoft.jira.configurationmanager
to get them synced up first.
If this is your first time trying this process, test it out in a separate environment first to get the process down before trying in production.
The new version 2.0 of Project Configurator for JIRA lets you export one project, or a group of them, and then import those projects into another instance. Both operations (import and export) are offered directly by this plugin, which will take care to manage required configuration changes and data & attachments export and import. Thus, the process described by @Geoff Jacobs [GLiNTECH] in his answer becomes very simplified.
The export process will exclude data belonging to projects which are not exported, so it will be more efficient than the standard JIRA backup.
(DIsclaimer: I lead the team behind Project Configurator)
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