By all measures, the Atlassian Plugin Libraries have been a tremendous success. We now host more than 350 different plugins, the vast majority of which are open-source and free to use. Most of these plugins have been developed and donated by generous members of our community. What may have started as small, internal projects to meet specific needs often evolve into a substantial code-base that is broadly useful to a large number of people.
However, one of the drawbacks of a largely user-contributed plugin library is that Atlassian is not in a very good position to offer support for those plugins. There’s too much code that we didn’t write for us to do a solid job of giving support. So we have generally referred plugin support requests back to the original author and the community of plugin developers.
Our community of plugin developers is extremely generous with their help, so that works well enough in most cases. However, some customers have asked for a more formal support channel. And others have asked for Atlassian to offer guidance about which plugins we feel are the most well-tested, stable and reliable.
I’m happy to announce today a fairly significant change to how we deal with these user-contributed plugins. We’re announcing the first set of “Atlassian Supported” plugins. We’ve selected about a dozen of the most useful and widely-used Confluence plugins, and are designating them as “Atlassian Supported”. What does that mean exactly? Well, to start, that means that we’ve reviewed the plugins and made sure that they have met certain criteria. A supported plugin must:
We feel like these are important criteria for any plugin, and we encourage all plugins developers to try to meet these benchmarks. But we will ensure that all Atlassian Supported plugins fulfill these items.
Secondly, you can now file tickets about Atlassian Supported plugins in our official support system: http://support.atlassian.com. Please file your ticket against the product you’re using. For a problem with a Confluence plugin, use the Confluence Support Project, and so on.
Of course, if you find an actual bug in a plugin, then you can go straight to the issue tracker listed on the plugin’s homepage and file a bug there. For most plugins, you can find their JIRA projects on Atlassian’s Developer JIRA.
Below are the first set of plugins to earn the Atlassian Supported designation:
- BloggingRPC Plugin
- TinyMCE Plugin
- Chart Plugin
- Clickr Theme Plugin
- Contributors Plugin
- IM Presence Plugin
- Mail Page Plugin
- Plugin Repository Client
- Table of Contents Plugin
- Social Bookmarking Plugin
- Dynamic TaskList 2 Plugin
You’ll see the “Atlassian Supported” badge on their homepages:
As I mentioned, we’re starting with just a few Confluence plugins, but we intend to expand this program in the future as quickly as we are able. We will never be at the point where we offer support for all, or even most, of the plugins in our libraries. We hope those libraries will always be a home for mostly user-contributed work. But we do intend to provide a path forward, where broadly useful plugins with a signifiant community of users can take the next step in quality and reliable support.
We really hope that this proves useful. As always, we’d love to know your thoughts, so please comment away.