Why searching for empty custom field is not returning all issues it should


Recently I added an optional custom text field for my project and searching for issues with it empty is not returning all issues. JIRA version 5.2.2


Lets say I am working with a base JQL that returns 688 issues.

If to that base JQL I add "and customfield is empty" I get 0 issues.

If to that base JQL I add "and customfield is not empty" I get 210 issues.


So what is going on with the remaining 478 issues?

For reference I tried referring to the custom field in all the supported ways and my index is up to date. Could not find any bug report on this.

3 answers

1 vote

There's a third question that you can't actually ask properly:  "Show me issues where the field is not valid".  I suspect if you could answer it, you'll get 478 issues.  This is because the field is neither empty or filled, it's not physically there.  Bit like going into a clothes shop and asking for the beer rack - they don't have one, so there is no way to answer the question.

Look at the customfield list, find your custom field, and look at its "context" - I expect you'll find it is limited to a specific set of issue types and projects.  If it were global, you'd get the answers you were expecting...

Is this customfield in a context for a project or an issuetype? That would explain the differences. The 478 issues would have a context where the custom field is not defined for.

Thanks Udo.

Yes, that custom field is defined for a context based on project A and issue type B. But precisely the base JQL is searching for issues within that context.

So the base JQL is project=A and type=B

Ok. Can you tell us what type of searcher you are using for that field?

Field type is Text Field (< 255 characters) and searcher is "Free Text Searcher"

Just tried a corresponding search (for a text field with this searcher) on my side - everything is fine. And you're sure that you have done a reindex after you added this custom field?

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