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JQL for custom field to identify empty values

In our Jira Cloud instance, we have a custom field called "Parent Link" which allows to set another Jira issue as a parent issue.

I am trying to create a JQL for my project where I can identify all issues that do not have a "Parent Link" set.

My JQL looks something like this:
project = "myproject" AND issuetype = Epic AND "Parent Link" is EMPTY

I tried "IS EMPTY", "= Null" and multiple other variations but the query does not seem to work. Is there a solution to this?

1 answer

1 accepted

0 votes
Answer accepted
Brant Schroeder Community Leader Apr 21, 2021


What type of custom field is it?  What type of project teams or company managed?  If you give me that information I can try and recreate the issue.

Hi Brant, thanks for your support. 
The field is an issue link type of field (i.e. I can select a Jira ticket in the same project and set it as a Parent Link. Normally my issue is an EPIC and the parent is an INITIATIVE which is a custom Issue type).

The Jira instance is company managed but I can access the project settings.

I just discovered that "Parent Link" might not be our custom field but a new field that was created automatically when our instance was upgraded to Jira Advanced Roadmaps.

To my understanding, we need to populate this field in order to fully show the hierarchy in Advanced Roadmaps

Dave Atlassian Team Apr 22, 2021

@davide.lora That's correct - Parent Link is a field provided by Advanced Roadmaps. In order to set it to a value you will need to configure additional hierarchy levels in the global Advanced Roadmaps configuration (see Plans -> Settings -> Hierarchy Configuration). As well as creating the hierarchy levels you'll need to make sure that you issue types assigned to the additional levels and that they are associated with the projects that you want to use them in.



Hi @Dave, thanks for your help on this.

I unfortunately do not have global admin permissions but I have created a simple roadmap and it looks like the Parent Link field and hierarchy are set up correctly.
My orginal issue still stands though :( 

I would like to filter via JQL all EPIC that do not have a Parent Link. Currently, the JQL in my original post does not work and either it does not return any results or it returns an incorrect list of EPIC (some have the Parent Link set up others don't) depending on if I use "IS EMPTY" or "= NULL" or similar variations.

Would you be able to adivise on the correct JQL to do this?

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Dave Atlassian Team Apr 22, 2021

Hi @davide.lora,

Apologies I just jumped in halfway to confirm your observation about the custom fields coming from Advanced Roadmaps. I've just tried that same JQL filter (the only difference being the project name) and it seems to be working for me (...which I know is literally the worst thing someone can say when you're reporting a problem, so I know how unhelpful it is).

However, I think the JQL you're using should be working so I would recommend opening a support request to get someone to look into this in more detail (you can use )



Like davide.lora likes this

Hi @Dave thanks for your help. Can you just clarify if you managed to get it to work with the "IS EMPTY" or "= NULL" option?

Dave Atlassian Team Apr 26, 2021

Both actually seem to work for me!

super, thanks for confirming. I have raised a support request as suggested :) 

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