I’m a member of the development team in San Francisco that has, for the last year and a half, been working on the Atlassian Gadgets framework that provides support for drag-and-drop dashboards and OpenSocial Gadgets in JIRA 4.0, Confluence 3.1, and other Atlassian applications. It’s been an interesting, fun, and challenging project that we were happy to see released to the world when JIRA 4 went live in October.

The Atlassian Gadgets team, however, uses JIRA Studio to manage our development. The integration between issues, wiki content, source code, and reviews made it really quick and easy to get the new project off the ground, but with the drawback that we weren’t able to “eat our own dog food” by using the new gadget capabilities of JIRA 4.0 in our own project until recently.

JIRA Studio, meet gadgets

Now that JIRA Studio 2.0 has been released including JIRA 4 and the new OpenSocial Gadgets dashboard, we’re able to get in on the gadgety goodness. I created a new dashboard on our Studio instance to give me quick access to information about the Atlassian Gadgets project itself. JIRA Studio 2.0 already comes out of the box (or out of the cloud?) with a number of useful gadgets — the issue-tracking gadgets that come standard with JIRA 4, of course, plus gadgets to access source repository information from FishEye, review statistics from Crucible, the JIRA Studio unified Activity Stream, and build information from the newly-included Bamboo. In addition to the supplied gadgets, I added some gadgets published from jira.atlassian.com, our official public issue tracker. This lets me keep track of issues reported against JIRA 4.0 and Confluence 3.1 that relate to their gadget functionality (hopefully not too many of them). This is where the true power of gadgets really made itself evident. With just a few clicks I was able to integrate information from several sites, including two different JIRA sites, into one cohesive display. With the release of Confluence 3.1, I can add a gadget to quickly navigate to pages in our internal wiki, too, as well as inserting gadgets from JIRA into project tracking pages in Confluence.

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There’s more to come…

We’re just getting started with our support for OpenSocial Gadgets. We’ve got lots more planned for future releases. What I’m really looking forward to, though, is seeing what the community comes up with. Gadgets are written in XML, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript — the standard technologies of the open Web. Writing gadgets to integrate with RESTful Web services is easier than you’d think.

Why don’t you give it a try?

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