JIRA Backup Fails with Illegal Pattern Character Error

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The JIRA XML backup fails with the error "Illegal pattern character" and the following appears in the atlassian-jira.log:

ERROR ServiceRunner    Backup Service [service.services.export.ExportService] An exception while running the export service "Backup Service": Illegal pattern character '<>'
java.lang.IllegalArgumentException: Illegal pattern character 'o'
        at java.text.SimpleDateFormat.compile(SimpleDateFormat.java:769)
        at java.text.SimpleDateFormat.initialize(SimpleDateFormat.java:576)
        at java.text.SimpleDateFormat.<init>(SimpleDateFormat.java:501)
        at java.text.SimpleDateFormat.<init>(SimpleDateFormat.java:476)
        at com.atlassian.jira.service.services.export.ExportService.createFileName(ExportService.java:301)
        at com.atlassian.jira.service.services.export.ExportService.run(ExportService.java:114)
        at com.atlassian.jira.service.JiraServiceContainerImpl.run(JiraServiceContainerImpl.java:61)
        at com.atlassian.jira.service.ServiceRunner.execute(ServiceRunner.java:47)
        at org.quartz.core.JobRunShell.run(JobRunShell.java:195)
        at com.atlassian.multitenant.quartz.MultiTenantThreadPool$MultiTenantRunnable.run(MultiTenantThreadPool.java:72)
        at org.quartz.simpl.SimpleThreadPool$WorkerThread.run(SimpleThreadPool.java:520)


This is caused by the wrong format being used in the Automatic Backup Configuration in JIRA services. This format specified here is used for generating the file names.

This is similar to Backup Service is not Working Properly due to Misconfigured Parameter.


The Date format need to be corrected in the Backup Service configuration as per the steps given below:

  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.
  3. Edit the existing Backupservice which is already administered.
  4. Update the date format to a valid format. 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'.
  5. Click 'Update' to save the configuration.

(info) Additionally, as per our Backing Up Data we recommend using native DBMS backup tools instead of the XML backup.

Last modified on Nov 2, 2018

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