Last month, I attended Connect Week Sydney in the Atlassian headquarters, an event for add-on development vendors to exchange information and experience, as well as have hackathons for the add-on development of Atlassian Cloud.
This time around, Asia-Pacific vendors gathered to discuss and convey their needs to Atlassian add-on engineers. There was also a discussion about the extension points.
So what is Atlassian Connect?
In a nutshell, it is a platform on which add-ons for Atlassian Cloud operate. In the past, when developing add-ons for JIRA Server and Confluence Server, it was common to use Atlassian Plugin SDK. It would write codes in Java and create a JAR file by building with Maven.
However, Atlassian Cloud add-ons do not depend on the programming language.
Interaction with JIRA is done in the REST API and Webhook. A panel or a page would be embedded in the form of the iframe on the screen of JIRA and Confluence. They are implemented on the web service side that add-on developers prepare on their own.
Scopes have been introduced to the REST APIs. Therefore, the API able to be used from the add-on are quite limited now. Add-ons which are used on JIRA via API will be somewhat limited with Atlassian Cloud.
I did not even expect to be reunited with the iframe in this way in 2016.
I said before that the web service side would not depend on the programming language. Whether Ruby, PHP, or C++ work, developers will always have trouble if there are so many options. Atlassian now has two frameworks they officially support.
The first is Atlassian Connect Express which, as the name suggests, is one that can be handy to develop add-ons in the Express-based Node.js for Atlassian Cloud.
The second is Atlassian Connect Spring Boot – a relatively new framework. As the name suggests, you can write add-ons for Atlassian Cloud in Spring Boot.
Since developers of the Server version of the add-on are supposed to be familiar with Java, it might be easier to use the latter.
Atlassian Cloud is still a growing service, and I truly believe that the number of extension points add-ons can use will consistently increase.
Why not take the first step with Atlassian Cloud add-ons and grow the Atlassian Connect services?