Importing project configuration into production

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The next step in the promotion process is importing the new configuration into production. 

Before you begin

Importing a configuration involves a large number of changes to a Jira instance, so it is a good practice to adopt some safety measures, just in case something goes wrong or not according to expectations. 

The most recommended protection is to have a valid backup of the production database from just before the import. This usually requires that the production instance is closed to users. The reason for that is the fact that user operations performed after the backup would be lost if the backup had to be restored.

Close the production instance to users and back it up, either with the Jira XML backup tool, or by using native database tools. 

Import the project configuration

  1. In the production instance, open a Jira session as a user with the system administrator permission.
  2. In the top-right corner, open the Administration menu, and click Add-ons.
  3. In the menu on the left, in the PROJECT CONFIGURATOR section, click Import project configuration. A page will open, where you can specify which configuration file you want to load, and choose some import options.

    This page shows a form with several elements:

      • A notice about warnings before importing configurations (only if you have never launched an import before)
      • A button that lets you select an XML file to be imported
      • Several other import options, which you can select to enable
      • A list of object types, which you can select to be ignored during the import

  4. Click Choose File, and select the XML file you exported from staging. Make sure that the Apply changes radio button is cleared. This will allow you to run a simulation without loading the changes.
  5. Select some import options.

    You can read about each import option here, but let's first see how they are used in most cases:

    • Create other projects – Usually, this option is enabled if you choose to disable the Smart custom field context option.
    • Smart custom field contexts – Enable this option if the production instance has a large number of custom fields and projects that use them, and you don't want the new configuration to impact other projects. If you'd rather have the custom fields configured exactly the same as in staging, then disable this option.
    • Try to publish drafts – Most users enable this option so that the add-on automatically publishes new versions of workflows and workflows schemes.
    • Continue on errors found in dashboards and filters – Enable this option if you're importing a large number of filters and dashboards that are not controlled by the admin/development teams (they were authored by the users.) Otherwise, you can disable it.

  6. Click Import project configuration at the bottom of the page. This will launch a simulated configuration load. You will then see a page with results.


This page shows a simulation of all operations that would be performed on the production instance after importing the configuration file. Since it's only a simulation, none of these changes have actually been applied. Review this information, and check if the changes are aligned with your expectations.

If everything is fine, you can launch the actual import. Go back to the Import project configuration page, again select the XML file, and enable the Apply changes option. Finally, click Import project configuration at the bottom of the page. You will obtain a similar results page with the trace of all changes that have been applied to the production instance.

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Last modified on Jun 16, 2020

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