You use Jira issues every day. They’re how you and your team track the individual tasks you’re working on. Issues can represent a help desk ticket, a software bug, or an individual sliver of work that’s vital to a larger project. 

As a project manager, there are often many reasons why you need to export Jira issues for use on other platforms. Maybe your team needs to compile issue data into Excel to analyze SLAs. Perhaps your compliance team needs to import information into an auditing software. Or, you might just need to share reports with stakeholders unfamiliar with the Jira environment. 

There are three basic steps to export issues from Jira:

  1. Select the issues you need to export.
  2. Find  the export button located in the issues Navigator Menu.
  3. Select your desired format. There are several options, including XML, Word, CSV, and more. 

 

Screenshot of Exporting Issues in Jira

Figure 1 Exporting Issues in Jira

 

Seems easy enough, right?

Unfortunately, there are several limitations to Jira’s Export Issues feature:

 

  • Jira’s Built-in export functionality does not support formats like PDF or Excel:

 

With the advent of Jira 7.2, Atlassian discontinued its native export to Excel due to a Microsoft Office security update that placed new restrictions on users with high-level security settings. 

 

  • Exports are missing critical data: The export does not include comments, transitions, or attachments. This can pose an issue for many Jira users that need to refer to  diagrams, illustrations, or screenshots to understand the data completely. This can also make it challenging to properly export comprehensive data for migration.
  • 1,000 issues limit for Jira exports: For large organizations managing dozens or hundreds of initiatives, 1,000 issues is just a drop in the bucket. 

 

Here are the techniques used by top Jira users to overcome the limitations of the native export feature. 

6 Techniques for Improving your Jira Issue Exports

Technique  #1: Using the export button

The simplest method is the one outlined above: locate the export button in the Navigator menu to export issues into different formats. 

If your organization has relatively straightforward export needs, this hassle-free choice is for you!  However, if you need to squeeze a little bit more out of your Jira exports, check out the following techniques.

Technique #2: Unlock Excel exports

For now, Jira allows you to ignore Microsoft’s security restrictions and re-enable the Excel export option. To do so, you’ll have to reboot your machine. Here is how to do it:

  • Shut down your Jira instance.
  • Navigate to the <jira-home> directory and open  jira-config.properties.
  • Edit the file by adding a parameter in a new line: jira.export.excel.enabled=true
  • Save and close the file.
  • Reboot Jira.

When you restart, you’ll see the Excel export option. 

Technique #3: Quash the 1,000 results limitation

Avoid Memory Exceptions by exporting a large number of issues through batches. Follow these steps:

  • Shut down your Jira instance.
  • Navigate to the <jira-home> directory and open jira-config.properties.
  • Up the maximum by adding a parameter in a new line: jira.search.views.default.max=[new max] 
  • Save the file and close it.
  • Reboot Jira.

Voila! You can now export as many issues as you’d like.  

Technique #4: Easy PDF and Word Issue Templates

Anova Apps has made it easy for users to export issue templates into a PDF or Word format by using Easy PDF WORD Issue Templates. They allow you to export individual Jira tickets using velocity templates with issue parameters—and export comments.  Using this app, you can easily include comments in your Jira issues export. 

Technique #5: Export Jira Issues with Java API

Comfortable with Java development? With this technique, you can set up outputs before exporting issues. It requires a JQL query through Java API. 

The query for versions previous to Jira 8:

String jql=”assignee=currentUser()”;

SearchService.ParseResult;

parseResult = searchService.parseQuery(applicationUser, jql);

if (parseResult.isValid()) { try { /** * Execute the search and get the issues */

List issues = searchService.search(applicationUser, parseResult.getQuery(), PagerFilter.getUnlimitedFilter()).getIssues(); }

catch (SearchException ex){ LOGGER.error(“Error searching: “,ex); } } else { LOGGER.error(“Error parsing: ” + parseResult.getErrors()); }

The query for Jira 8 versions onwards:

String jql=”assignee=currentUser()”;

SearchService.ParseResult;

parseResult = searchService.parseQuery(applicationUser, jql);

if (parseResult.isValid()) { try { /** * Execute the search and get the issues */

List issues = searchService.search(applicationUser, parseResult.getQuery(), PagerFilter.getUnlimitedFilter()).getResults(); }

catch (SearchException ex){ LOGGER.error(“Error searching: “,ex); } } else { LOGGER.error(“Error parsing: ” + parseResult.getErrors()); }

Download the full .java snippet for previous Jira 8 versions, and here for versions above Jira 8, given Atlassian changed get Issues( ) to get results( ). Just add class and a method for a function call.

Technique #6: Export Issues using REST API

You will get a JSON output file using REST API. Once you have logged into Jira, you will be able to retrieve all the issues using JQL from a URL by using the following command:

Method: GET Url: JIRA_BASE_URL/JIRA_CONTEXT/rest/api/2/search?jql=“assignee=currentUser()” 

These are the common methods used by companies to export issues from Jira.

Easy solutions to a pesky Jira problem

Jira is a robust project management tool for organizations of all sizes, but when you encounter a seemingly minor issue, it can be maddening. Hopefully, these 6 tips for improving your Jira issue exports will make things a bit easier for your team and help break through any productivity slowdowns caused by platform limitations.  



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