Modern software development is an increasingly complex and collaborative process that involves an ever-increasing number of tools, processes, and responsibilities. Left unchecked, this complexity not only prevents businesses from being agile and productive but also encumbers developers with unnecessary frustration and toil.

Modern application architecture has shifted from monoliths to microservices in order to help businesses grow and become more efficient and effective in terms of scale, cost, and resiliency. As a result, software isn’t just written anymore, it’s assembled. Further, developers are responsible for both building and operating software, including maintenance and uptime.

According to the Atlassian State of Developer Survey, 69% of developers say that the number of tools they use in their role is increasing, and 55% say the tools they use make their roles more complex. And each new responsibility comes with even more tools – but no single place to track all their work. Unhappy, overworked developers are major blockers for businesses to innovate and move faster.

Today, we are excited to announce Compass, a new Atlassian product that eases the toil placed on software development teams. Compass comes from Point A, an Atlassian program to create new products in collaboration with customers. It’s a Point A product composed of three things:

  • Components catalog that provides developers with a map of all the components they use to assemble their software and the teams that own and collaborate around them. Developers can access shared components, documentation, and other important information to build software in one place.
  • Scorecards – a DevOps health tool – allow developers to measure and evaluate their architecture based on the baselines, security, or compliance requirements they need to meet.
  • Apps – an extensibility engine allowing you to install apps – bring in information across a broad variety of developer SaaS tools to give teams both alignment across all their work and the flexibility to choose the best tool for the job.

Read on to learn how Compass can help teams master the complexity of distributed software architecture.

Mapping of software architecture and teams with components

‘Components’ provide a unified interface to track both the technical architecture and related teams as they evolve over time. Developers can access shared components, documentation, and other important information to build all of their software in one place.

compass card authorization screenshot

The catalog also understands dependencies between components and their owners and makes finding what developers need or the team that can help faster and easier. For example, incident remediation is improved by having all the latest information about what has changed to a given component and any relevant dependencies in one place.

compass dependencies

Define and improve development and operational health with scorecards

Teams usually conduct a couple of audits a year on their software components to ensure they are secure and reliable. This means finding out things are in a bad spot way too late.

With Compass, this auditing practice goes from once or twice a year to nearly real-time with health scorecards displayed on components. Health scorecards tell the team exactly what is up with the component and what needs to be done to get it back up.

‘Scorecards’ enable organizations to set baselines around specific operational, security, and compliance requirements and can be viewed at any time. They offer insights into problem components that need attention and changes that have happened over time. This helps teams improve their architecture and minimize the impact of an incident (or the chance of them happening in the first place.)

compass metrics screenshot

Scorecards also offer best practices that improve teams’ operations over time. Through regular assessments built into Compass, a team can identify operational problems, reflect on component performance and health, and create action items to address known issues.

compass alpha checkops screenshot

Build a world-class developer experience with our extensibility engine

Compass includes a powerful extensibility engine called “apps” to extend and customize the Compass experience to meet each team’s unique needs. Our open-toolchain approach brings in information across disparate SaaS tools like code, CI/CD, observability, incident management, APM, and security into Compass in order to build a developer experience that matches the way each team works and the tools they use.

compass activity screenshot

Compass is fully compatible with Forge, Atlassian’s cloud app development platform, making it easy to build secure, reliable, and scalable apps, and we’ve partnered with some of the industry’s leading SaaS vendors to provide a world-class developer experience out of the box. But we know every team has its own unique needs and preferred tools, so we’ve made it incredibly easy to write new apps. Forge’s integrated Functions-as-a-Service platform means that any team can extend Compass with minimal setup, with Atlassian-operated compute and storage.


Get started with Compass

Compass is mission control for distributed architecture, offering a holistic view of software development components as they evolve over time and the teams that build and collaborate around them.

With components, scorecards, and apps, we’re excited to see how Compass can help teams not only tame software sprawl but also improve how teams work.

Compass is available today in alpha, with a beta coming soon. Being part of the Point A program, Compass will continue to evolve with customer feedback so that the end result meets the needs of customers by solving their most pressing work challenges.

Introducing Compass: mission control for building software better