Behind each of the 200,000+ customers who use Atlassian products, there is a unique team with a problem to solve. Sometimes, those problems can’t be solved with Jira or Confluence off the shelf. Whether teams need a customized service hub or they work in highly regulated industries that require strict compliance, there are workflows, apps, and integrations from the Atlassian Marketplace that can help our customers solve their exact needs.
At the core of Atlassian’s vision for our cloud products is a powerful platform that unleashes innovation across teams of all shapes and sizes. We’re investing in a world-class cloud app ecosystem to further differentiate our products and make sure cloud customers can find the exact apps they need for their use cases. And we want to ensure our community of 25,000+ developers and 1,000+ Marketplace Partners can continue to build, launch, and grow these apps alongside our customers.
Today, we’re excited to share that our next-generation cloud app development platform, Forge, is generally available. Forge is an app development platform designed to future-proof how Atlassian cloud products are customized, extended, and integrated.
Forge is the culmination of over two years of work, during which we re-envisioned what modern cloud extensibility should look like in the next decade and beyond. We believe customers will increasingly ask for higher standards from app developers: everything from compliance and data management practices to scaling performance for tens of thousands of users. We wanted to move beyond the industry norm of iFrames and delegating all responsibility to app developers. Instead, we’ve chosen to build an industry-leading hosted compute platform that makes it easy for developers to build secure, reliable, and scalable apps.
Now, developers can rely on Forge’s hosted infrastructure, storage, and function-as-a-service (FaaS) to build new cloud apps for themselves or for the Atlassian Marketplace. Forge is available for the Jira family of products and Confluence today, and will support other Atlassian products in the future.
Forge takes app development to the next level with:
- Platform power – making it easier for developers to build compliant and reliable apps on our platform, reducing the complexity of building for cloud
- Enterprise-grade security – giving customers confidence in app security with more control and visibility into which apps have access to what data
- Unleash every team’s potential – by empowering faster development of innovative apps to solve more use cases for teams from engineering and IT to business functions
Let’s dive deeper into each of these capabilities.
Apps are easier to build, certify, and rely on with platform power
New apps built on Forge are fundamentally different from ones built using traditional cloud app development frameworks. With Forge, apps are built and run within the boundaries of Atlassian’s cloud platform, which unlocks new benefits for both developers and customers.
Here are three ways Forge makes it easier for apps to meet cloud customers’ needs while delivering a best-in-class developer experience:
Intuitive app development
Building cloud apps can be a complicated process. With Forge, developers can build with an easy-to-use command-line interface, thorough documentation, app samples, and a low-friction onboarding process.
With Forge, developers also get an integrated Atlassian DevOps toolchain out of the box, to accelerate testing, deployment, debugging, and logging for their apps.
Forge lets developers keep customer data hosted in the Atlassian cloud, making it easier to comply with GDPR and other regulatory requirements. We’re working towards SOC2 certification for Forge, as well as making Forge meet the needs of customers’ data residency requirements in the future. Even app developers that still need infrastructure outside Atlassian’s cloud can benefit, as their total scope of work shrinks.
Building scalable and performant cloud infrastructure is a particular skill set – one new to many developers in our community, some of whom are more familiar with building for on-prem deployments. It’s often significant work even for experienced developers to make their apps ready for enterprise scale. Forge apps instead run on the same infrastructure as Atlassian’s cloud products. These apps can be ready to meet the needs of our largest customers from day one.
In total, these benefits mean that apps can be built faster and better with Forge. As one of our early adopters of Forge, //SEIBERT/MEDIA – Big Eazy Software, shared:
Forge has significantly reduced the development time of an app. We didn’t have to worry about the initial setup and have been able to start the implementation very quickly. We saved time when thinking about architectural security matters (like request authentication), GDPR compliance, or operating costs. Forge really lowers the barrier to entry for developers to get their ideas implemented.
More apps support enterprise-grade security for customers
As we invest in meeting the needs of our enterprise customers in cloud, we are empowering our app ecosystem to do the same. The standard pattern in most cloud ecosystems is for app developers to run their own infrastructure, leaving it up to them to sort out security and meet a bar suitable for customers. We see an opportunity to help both developers and customers by solving for three aspects of security.
- More control: with Atlassian-hosted computing and storage, developers don’t need to rely on external platforms to build and host their apps. This means that sending data out of Atlassian’s cloud becomes an explicit operation with a finer scope. For example, an app might use a particular remote API to translate issue data – but that’s the only time the app needs to send data out of the Atlassian cloud.
- More granularity: Forge uses OAuth 2.0 to support more granular scopes, ensuring apps only access data they need to perform the customer’s use case.
- More visibility: administrators installing and managing Forge apps will be presented with richer information about the app’s more granular controls and scopes.
Our Marketplace of apps help every customer move work forward
Apps built on Forge can be published to the Atlassian Marketplace as free or paid. The Atlassian team reviews every app to make sure it meets customer expectations and is ready to be used in production prior to approval. With over 50 new cloud apps being released on the Marketplace every month, customers can expect an increasing number of these apps to be built on Forge moving forward.
Here’s a preview of just a few of the new apps built with Forge that have already launched on the Atlassian Marketplace:
Link Management for Confluence by Lively Apps lets customers find and fix broken links across their spaces.
Easy Subtask Templates by //SEIBERT/MEDIA – Big Eazy Software allows you to create multiple subtasks based on custom templates.
Unleashing the potential of our developer community with Forge
During our beta, more than 3,500 Forge apps were created, and we worked closely with customers, developers, and existing partners to refine the platform with their feedback. As part of Codegeist 2020, we saw the creativity of our developer community unleashed, with more than 100 Forge apps created to solve the challenges of remote work, along with smarter, supercharged workflows for teams using Jira and Confluence. Most recently, we’ve added distribution on the Atlassian Marketplace, and new apps like Link Management for Confluence, Visualize with AWS, and Easy Subtask Templates have already been listed, ready for customers to evaluate and purchase.
Start building with Forge today
Whether you’re a customer who wants to build an app or integration for your own use case or a developer looking to create the next big app on the Atlassian Marketplace, we invite any developer to test out Forge today.
For our existing community of developers and Marketplace Partners, we’re diving into even more details about what has shipped recently in the Forge platform and our future roadmap at today’s virtual Developer Day, also available on demand.