What are calculated custom fields?

Calculated custom fields are NOT Jira’s typical custom fields.

A calculated custom field computes values on the fly instead of storing them in the Jira database. The value is recalculated every time the issue is displayed or updated.

You can then display the field on issues and dashboards, and create reports that help you make better business decisions and estimations. This field can be used anywhere in Jira, including in JQL searches in the Issue Navigator, Saved Filters, Agile Board queries, etc.

Jira, however, doesn’t offer you this option out-of-the-box.

Appfire’s Jira Misc Custom Fields (JMCF) for Jira Server and Jira Data Center lets you create new calculated custom fields to display information based on computed values. It gives you the ability to quickly:

  • Create more useful screens
  • Enable better search and filters
  • Build more powerful reports and dashboards

What can you do with calculated custom fields

There are two main ways to use JMCF’s calculated custom fields.

  • Expose Jira’s ‘hidden’ information – such as the WHO and WHEN of specific transitions or field changes – that information is otherwise not easily accessible to users;
  • Create calculations – from simple math operations to sophisticated Groovy scripts – based on other fields and insights available in Jira.

Empower users with insights ‘hidden’ in your Jira Issues

With Jira Misc Custom Fields (JMCF), you can access many new Calculated Custom Field types to expose any kind of information not readily available in Jira.

This will allow users to know the dates and authors of all transitions, status, and field changes. Issue information that is not otherwise accessible in Jira can now be made available in screens, reports, and dashboards – and the data is always up-to-date. It can even be used for searching and in filters.

For example:

Here is one of many use cases in practice: JMCF’s Transition Caller custom field type displays the person who resolved an issue

Create calculations based on other fields

In your Jira projects, you might need to perform calculations based on data readily available in your Jira custom fields. While Jira gives you the ability to create custom fields, it doesn’t give you the ability to perform calculations, even reasonably straightforward ones. Let’s take a look at this simple example:

Calculate work cost estimates (‘hours worked’ x ‘hourly fee’)

Creating custom fields that record “hours worked” and “hourly fee” is not difficult in Jira – see how to build custom fields. However, performing a fairly straightforward calculation on the cost of the project (“hours worked” * “hourly fee”) is something that cannot be done automatically in Jira.

While your team members can technically make this type of calculation manually, it is not the best approach as it is an extra step in a process and is error-prone.

And most importantly, the field is not responsive to changes. For example, if the number of hours worked increases or the hourly fee changes, so should the cost. Yet, it will not, unless you do this on the fly, automatically, with a calculated custom field.

Read this article to see how this calculation can be done – with step-by-step instructions. The calculation example can be adapted to many of your business scenarios, such as calculating cost across various projects and calculating estimates for future projects based on related projects. Plus, this example shows you how simple it is to use our Editor and Tester, even if you know nothing about Groovy. You can simply click your way to a perfect business solution.

What to know about JMCF

Each field takes only minutes to configure

JMCF’s comprehensive collection of 20+ custom field types makes it easy to build an unlimited number of custom fields. You can display data based on computed values to support any number of use cases and show results as text, number, date/time, duration, etc.

These field types are quickly configured right inside the Jira’s custom field’s “configure” page.

Need to troubleshoot? It’s simple to do, as any related errors will be displayed right on the Issue View screen (if you’re a Jira administrator).

Build powerful scripted fields in Groovy. Fast.

JMCF uses simplified Groovy language and API to help you easily write sophisticated formulas. It offers a powerful editor with syntax highlighting and on-the-fly syntax checking, an interactive inline help system, and an integrated script tester to get things done faster and more accurately.

Fields are searchable and support statistics

Jira Misc Custom Fields offers multiple search templates that make it easy to search for issues based on the calculated fields. What makes JMCF unique is its support for dashboard statistics gadgets.

Important! 
JMCF search templates can also be used with non-JMCF custom fields. For example, you can use JMCF's "Date Time Searcher (Statistics-compatible by month)" to create statistics by month on a standard date/time picker field.

You can even display calculated labels fields – they enhance your ability to search by prompting you with a list of possible values as you search. Additionally, you can configure calculations to determine which label to apply when certain conditions are met, i.e. to categorize issues. Calculated label fields can also be used to populate charts based on field values.

What can you do for your team with JMCF

JMCF will help you tailor your Jira instance to accommodate the various project and departmental needs and improve the user experience. For example:

For Software Developers

Plan your work or sprints better

  • Automatically calculate work hours left until the due date, even excluding weekends;
  • Show the number of bugs blocking the resolution of a feature;
  • Display the release date of the issue’s Fix version;
  • Enable searching for issues that have been resolved by a specific person and within a specific time period;
  • Build single-click filters to let users see – and report on – their specific resolutions.

For Support Teams

Create better usability for service agents

  • Display all comments provided by a particular user, such as a level 3 support engineer, with the time and date;
  • Roll up all the details from a sub-task into a parent issue or within linked issues in tasks, stories, epics etc.;
  • Display user availability based on their time zone or show the number of underutilized members in each team to enhance escalation processes.

For Project Managers

Create better reports and dashboards

  • Calculate the total number of hours spent by developers on issues;
  • Display – and warn about – an issue that is open for more than the required number of days;
  • Display a pie chart to see all team’s specific resolutions for a particular period;
  • Show a dashboard with specific weekly resolutions, per user;
  • Calculate how long an issue has been open before submitting it for customer review/approval. 

A comprehensive collection of field types enables the creation of an unlimited number of custom fields to boost usability and decision-making.

Last updated: 2022-11-22

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