Greetings from the Atlassian Developer Relations team!
There’s a lot going on behind the scenes here, and we thought you’d like to know about some of it.
Atlassian now has a full-time, dedicated Developer Relations team. Our job is to make it easier for developers, both within Atlassian and without, to improve and extend the functionality of Atlassian’s products. Since the formal creation of our team a year ago, we’ve released several things to make your lives easier. We also have exciting things in the pipeline, and if you haven’t heard about them yet, read on!
Here’s a review of our recent accomplishments:
Atlassian Plugin SDK
Developing plugins for Atlassian products can be a frustrating experience at times. We feel your pain, you can be sure. At AtlasCamp last year, we unveiled the Atlassian Plugin SDK, a collection of scripts and Maven plugins to make your plugin development faster, easier and more fun. Neat features include:
- Automatic reloading of plugin resources — no more restarts needed to see your changes
- Up-to-date (and actively maintained) Maven archetypes for all Atlassian products
- First-class integration test support, including cross-product testing
- Easily test your plugin in different product versions and servlet containers
The SDK is used every day inside Atlassian for development, and it’s made our lives a lot easier. The Developer Relations team is pushing ahead with updates and new features all the time. We’d love to hear your thoughts on it.
(By the way: the SDK is an open source project under the Apache 2.0 license. All contributions and participation are welcome; see here for more details on how to get involved.)
Atlassian plugins now have a dedicated website to call home. plugins.atlassian.com allows plugin developers to publish information about their plugins to an attractive, open, publicly accessible repository. Here, users can find contact and support information, release notes, compatibility charts, and download (or even purchase) information for anything that runs in an Atlassiann product.
We just released version 1.1 of PAC, which includes powerful free-text searching and RSS feeds for updates to plugins by product or category. The Developer Relations team, again, is pushing ahead with updates and new features, and your suggestions are always welcome.
Atlassian has always offered hosting support for plugin development efforts, but with studio.plugins.atlassian.com, we’ve turned it up to 11. This site is a Jira Studio instance dedicated to plugin development. Anyone may request a project to host their plugin’s development. Features include:
- A Jira project for issue tracking
- A Confluence space for documentation and collaboration
- A Subversion project for hosting your source code
- A Fisheye instance for indexing and searching your code
- A Crucible instance for code reviews
- Coming soon: support for continuous integration builds using Bamboo
This is a powerful resource for plugin development, and we encourage you to try it out.
Revamped documentation on confluence.atlassian.com
Last February, Atlassian held the first of what we hope will be many Doc Sprints: a three-day binge of documentation cleanup, tutorial writing, and chocolate consumption. The result was a freshly cleaned development documentation space, over 20 brand-new tutorials for common plugin writing tasks, and a lot of sugar-induced wall-bouncing. Old, inaccurate information was replaced with new, accurate information, and the community’s response has been positive.
If you haven’t been to the Developer Network space in a while, stop on by. We think you’ll enjoy what you find.
All of these things are available right now.
Here are some of the things you can look forward to:
If it’s not the number one requested feature by plugin developers, it’s pretty close: plugin authors want a way to store plugin-specific data in the product’s database. Well, we put our heads together, and after the concussions wore off we decided on a solution: plugin authors will soon have access to a simple ORM-style storage mechanism for their plugins.
Based on ActiveObjects, we’re going to offer a cross-product plugin that allows any plugin to create a private dataspace for storing almost any kind of data. This system will play nicely with the product’s existing tables, transparently work inside backups and imports/exports and not require the plugin to know anything about the details of configuring the underlying database.
The initial results are promising, and we hope to offer a prototype soon. We don’t know exactly when it’ll see the light of day, but we’re very excited about it and we hope you’ll be pleased with the results. Stay tuned!
Summit and AtlasCamp 2010
You’ll be able to meet the Developer Relations team at this year’s Summit! We’ll be giving presentations, chairing discussions, and chatting about all manner of crazy things. Stop by!
Also, save some time in early October for the 3rd annual AtlasCamp conference! Join us in beautiful Half Moon Bay for three days of good food, all-night gaming, and solid plugin hacking by Atlassians and some outstanding plugin developers. This event is great fun, and we hope to see you there.
Lastly, thanks for reading, and you can always reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions, suggestions, or even complaints.