Synchronising JIRA custom field values with legacy systems

About 6 months ago, I was moving a legacy ticketing system to JIRA.  In addition to importing the old data, I also needed to synchronise not the JIRA issue data, but the actual options displayed in the drop down lists on the Create Issue screen.

I was planning to write my own plugin to do this, but just before I began I thought ‘lets have one more look in the user created JIRA plugin library first’.  By some amazing luck, a new plugin had been added in the last few months that did exactly what I required: Wim Deblauwe’s Database Values plugin.

searching-exampleThis plugin allows you to connect to an external database, fetch some values, and use them to populate the options in your custom fields.

We are using it in several ways, the most useful of which is to display our product model range in our JIRA.  When a user reports a problem with a product, then can select the product from a huge cascading drop down list (a 2 level drop down list containing Product Category/Model).  This prevents any ambiguity and reduces chance of user error.  It also allows us to standardise searches for specific models across multiple JIRA projects.

The list of models comes from a legacy system.  The added bonus of this is that when we later export the JIRA issue data to that legacy system, the drop down list values are the same so the data can be exported as is without any filter program in between.  The plugin retains not only the values (e.g. “Product XYZ”) but also any key associated with it (e.g. “018”).

I presume it would also be possible to connect to an MS Outlook address book in order to display customer names. This is something I may need to set up in future as we start to use JIRA for more CRM related activity.

You can also sort the values however you wish using an SQL query.  Another cool feature is that it can display the values using the JIRA AJAX textbox.  See Database Values for further information on this great plugin.


11 thoughts on “Synchronising JIRA custom field values with legacy systems

  1. Is there any chance to get this working with Jira 4.0?
    (Or alternative solutions)

    Thanks a lot,

    • Sorry I do not know, I am just a user of that plugin.

      I also want it for Jira 4.0, we are going to update JIRA soon but without this plugin we will have to go to 3.13 instead of 4.0 which is a big shame.

  2. Hi all,

    I’m working with Jira 3.13.4 and we have a customer that wants include a BLOB image on this customfield view. Is it possible?

    If possible, should I configure that field diferent as usually?

    Thanks in advance,


    • Hmm, an image in a customfield…? I don’t really understand why you would want to do that, and I suspect it would not be possible. Perhaps you can explain in more detail?

  3. Hi,

    The question of our customer is show an image on customfield type DatabaseValues. I have asked to Wim, the creator of this customfield and he has told me that it is not possible.

    Thanks for your help.



  4. Hi

    i got the atlassian-jira-4.4.4-x64.bin, i keep getting a mysql driver error, where must i place my mysql driver, i don’t have a common/lib path.


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