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Understanding inward and outward link in terms of parent and child relationship,

Hi folks,


I need some clarification for the linked issues,As I am new to jira,

I got the link from forum as ,


But need some clarity on this, Lets say there is one issue as issue-1 and there is a link to it as blocks issue-2 , so in this scenario which issue will be child issue and which issue will be parent,

So how do we interpret it

either : issue-1 blocks issue-2

OR : issue-2 blocks issue-1


Please explain what will be parent issue in this case and which will be child,


Thanks in advance,

2 answers

1 accepted

1 vote
Answer accepted

There is no parent/child relationship in links.  What there is is a directional piece of information.

If you go and look at the link definitions you will find that each link type has "inward" and "outward" definitions, and you really need to be very clear when you define these, as in most cases, the language tells you the direction.

It helps to think of it in a sentence, much as you have typed in your question - "issue 1 blocks issue 2"

For "blocked", you want some language like

Inward: is blocked by

Outward: blocks

This way, you can accurately describe the direction of the link from either side, because it will say "Issue 1 is blocked by issue 2" or "Issue 2 blocks issue 1" - either way, it is clear which one is the blocker, and what it is blocking

If your JIRA has been amended to remove that directional language, I'd strongly recommend putting it back!  (It is directional by default)

One exception is in the defaults - when you want a non-directional relationship such as the rather vague "relates to".  Then you use the same phrase for both directions

Nice Explanation Nic, thanks --cheers,

If A 'Blocks' B (outward), does B also 'Blocked By' A (inward).

Or: Is issue linking symmetrical?

Issue linking is not symmetrical, it's directional.  A blocks B, therefore B is blocked by A

You can use the names differently if you want to.  A never ending blocked loop could be done by saying "blocks" on both inward and outward descriptions (A blocks B, therefore B blocks A), but there's not many uses for same-named directions beyond the very generic idea of "related to"

Like Ann Kristin likes this

Thank you, Nic!

Is there an add-on that will allow me to create a parent-child link?

for example:  would like to create a link between a story to Zepher Test (issue type Test). This link should have a Parent-Child relationship (Stroy is the parent and Test is the child). It is very important that there will be no option to link many stories to a Test. Meaning I will be able to link many Tests to a story, but the Test will be linked only to 1 Story (one to many relationships between Story and Test)

No, there's nothing that will do that.  But you don't really need a parent-child for this, a link with a clear name is all you need.

Thanks, but we would like to have all the properties of the parent-child links.

To be able to find the children in a simpler way (rather than script runner) and also to be able to create a new Test from a Story (same as we do with sub-tasks and issues in epic...)

Repeating that you want something is not going to get you a different answer.  There's nothing that will do this with your test issue types.

Hi any hints about JQL searches? I can't seem to search inward or outward separately. For example, I do issuelinktype = blocks but it's giving me both "blocks" and "is blocked by"

Not built into Jira, it just looks at the type of link, not the direction.

Er, that's this post...

Oops, sorry, this one:

Solved: jira query: issues with linked issues (

Look for a comment from Andy Heinzer Dated Nov 11 2019

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