The JSON import examples use an externalId field to identify issues to be linked. But evidence suggests that using this causes a custom field to be created during the import. We already have an external ID custom field and want to avoid creating a duplicate custom field (JSON is not an option if we can't avoid this).
Ad 1. I am not aware of any method to link without using externalID
Ad 2. externalid is a special field created automatically by the importer.
In my opinion there is no issue with that you wil have two fields called externalID... importer will create a second one and it will not use your original field. After successful import you can just delete the field. There is no reason to keep in in the system.
Everything should be fine. You can do some test on a test system first to be sure if the procedure is working for you.
I hope that this will help you.
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