Automating JIRA application backups

JIRA applications can be configured to automatically create an XML backup of JIRA application data on a routine basis.

(info) Please note:

For production use or large JIRA application installations, it is strongly recommended that you use native database-specific tools instead of the XML backup service. XML backups are not guaranteed to be consistent, as the database may be updated during the backup process. Inconsistent backups are created successfully without any warnings or error messages, but fail during the restore process. Database-native tools offer a much more consistent and reliable means of storing data.

To configure automated JIRA application backups:

  1. Log in as a user with the JIRA System Administrators global permission.
  2. Select Administration > System > Advanced > Services (tab) to open the Services page, which lists the current services running on this system. By default, there should be at least one 'Mail Queue Service' running, which cannot be deleted.
  3. In the Add Service form towards the end of the page, complete the following fields:
    • Name — a descriptive name for the backup service, such as Backup Service.
    • Class — the appropriate fully-qualified class name for the Backup service using either of the following methods:
      • Select the Backup service from the list of JIRA application Built-in Services. To do this:
        1. Click the Built-in Services link below the Class field to expand the list of JIRA application built-in service classes.
        2. Click the Backup service link. The Class field will automatically be populated with the following class text string 'com.atlassian.jira.service.services.export.ExportService'
      • Type the fully-qualified class name 'com.atlassian.jira.service.services.export.ExportService' into the Class field.
    • Delay — enter the number of minutes between backups. A good default for this would be 720 minutes (12 hours) or 1440 minutes (24 hours).
      (info) Please Note: The interval specified in the Backup Service Delay (mins) is the time when the next backup job will run since the last server restart. Backup services cannot be scheduled to run at a specific time of day - please see JRA-1865 for more on this.
  4. Click the Add Service button. The Edit Service page is displayed.
  5. Complete the following items on this page:
    • For the Date format field, specify the format which JIRA applications will use to name the individual backup files. This format can be anything that SimpleDateFormat can parse. A good default is 'yyyy-MMM-dd-HHmm', which would generate files named like this: '2007-Mar-05-1322'.
    • For the Delay field, modify the number of minutes between backups if necessary.
    • If the Use Default Directory checkbox is displayed, see the note below.
  6. Click the Update button. Your backup service is now configured. XML backups will be performed according to the schedule you specified in the Delay field.
    • For every successful backup, a zipped file of your XML backup will be saved in the backup directory.
    • If a scheduled backup fails for any reason, the zipped XML backup file will be saved into the 'corrupted' directory, which is directly under your nominated backup directory. A file explaining the reason for the failure will be written to the 'corrupted' directory. This file will have the same name as the backup file, but with the extension '.failure.txt'.
      (info) JIRA applications will create the 'corrupted' directory if required - you do not need to create it.

About custom backup directories

The Use Default Directory checkbox (not shown in screenshot above) is for legacy JIRA application installations (prior to JIRA 4.2), which have backup services that use custom directories.

If you are using JIRA 5.1.0 or earlier, the Use Default Directory will always be displayed, as the option of using custom directories has been deprecated. If you are using JIRA 5.1.1 or later, the Use Default Directory checkbox will only be displayed if you upgraded from a version prior to 4.2 and you are editing an existing backup service which used a custom directory.

  • If you are not using a legacy backup service with a custom directory, select the the Use Default Directory checkbox. If you do not, your backup service may not work correctly
  • If you are using a legacy backup service with a custom directory, you can choose between using the default directory or your custom directory (cannot be edited). Note, if you choose the default directory option, you will not be able to choose the custom directory option.

The default directory location is the export subdirectory of the JIRA application home directory.

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