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Importing Epics and stories using csv and external system import option


I've seen several posting about this, but none ever seem to have a definitive 'this is the way to do it', so I apologize for asking again.

I have an existing project and I have a csv of issues from another project(created from xml export on other system) that I want to import into this project. I have 2 questions:

1) how to I need to set up my columns to import epics and the stories that belong to them. They both will reside in the csv, they are not already in the project i'm importing into. I have tried 3 different ways based on other posts, and neither work:

a) I tried mapping my issue id column in the csv to issue id in jira and then putting the Epic's issue id in the epic link column of the stories belong to that epic

ID  summary Epic Name Epic Link

1    parent     MyEpic

2    story1                            1

3    story2                            1

b) I tried using Epic name as the link vs the id

ID  summary Epic Name Epic Link

1    parent     MyEpic

2    story1                            MyEpic

3    story2                            MyEpic


c) Also tried using issue key name

Issue key  ID  summary Epic Name Epic Link

    ISSUE-1 1    parent     MyEpic

    ISSUE-2 2    story1                            ISSUE-1

    ISSUE-3 3    story2                            ISSUE-1

Can someone help me out in clarifying how you do this?


2) My csv will have issue ids in it. Since I have existing issues in my project, do I run the risk of messing up issue ids of existing issues, or does jira assign new ones to issues being imported. What about when I'm using issue id to connect task/subtask or epic/story, could I link to the wrong issue if the id already exists on another issue?


Thanks for any help!



3 answers

2 accepted

2 votes
Answer accepted

Hi Jay,

You can import Epics from CSV and then provide values using Epic Name. Then in Stories later in the CSV use an Epic Link column with the name of the Epic that the Story should be part of.

Check out the following Community post that gives a breakdown and example on how to do this:

Let me know if you have any additional questions.



How can I import the Epics from CSV and then provide the names later? When I use the import tool, I cannot match the field "Epic name" although it is a column in my csv. 


But I cannot import the epic without the epic name field:

Does anyone know what I am doing wrong here? 


I have tried the work-around of importing the epics as stories and then bulk moving them to epics, but when I do this, I end up having the same Epic name for all of the epics instead of having individual names per epic. 

Thank you!

Like Jeanette_Viljoen likes this
0 votes
Answer accepted

Hi Earl,

I found my problem yesterday I believe. It seems that the ordering of the rows in the csv is crucial, I needed to have the epic before any of its members(my csv had different ordering than what i had in my post. I also found the mention of duplicate story names and cleaned that up as well. I can now import epics and stories all in one csv file.


Hi Jay, 

Thanks for the update and Good catch.

To shed some additional light on why this is occuring, the CSV is doing a sequential line by line issue creation during the import.  The Epic link is linking the child story to the parent Epic when the child issue is created so the parent must exist for the child issue to know what issue it is linking to otherwise it would be attempting to insert a NULL value to the epic link field and error out.


Like # people like this



On this note, can you have the same Epic Name in different CSV files, I am uploading several CSV files into the same Project.





Hi @Jeanette_Viljoen ,

If you are importing the issues in multiple parts the main factor is to make sure the Epic exists before the child issue is created, as the child issue needs an existing Epic to be present for the Epic Name to have a possible link to occur.  So if you have already created the Epic in a previous import, the Epic issue should not be added again into a follow-up import to avoid duplication.   However, if you import the Epic and Child issues in the same CSV the Epic needs to be in a row higher than the child issue that is linking to that Epic.


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