Interesting times for Atlassian Add-Ons developers

Atlas Camp Berlin June 2014

This June we headed off to Berlin for AtlasCamp, the annual conference for Atlassian Add-on developers. It’s an especially interesting time in the Atlassian Add-On world and we went to discuss the future of Add-on development within the Atlassian ecosystem.

There were loads of talks on a range of issues and we thought it would be useful to report back on a few particularly interesting topics.

CQL and Rest API 2.0

There are both big and small changes coming to Confluence that’ll bring a smile to the face of end-users and developers alike. The announcement of the Confluence Query Language (CQL) brings the much-loved search facilities of JIRA to Confluence. Searching in Confluence is something we’ve looked to improve through our popular Advanced Search plugin and our Enterprise Search Solution. The introduction of CQL is something we’ve been hotly anticipating as it brings a new dimension to tracking down important information in Confluence.

Similarly, Atlassian discussed the Confluence Rest API, which is bringing stability to the Confluence platform with version 2.0 and is already changing plugin development. Indeed, it’s shaping our development for Community Forums 2.0 significantly as we look to update our product offerings inline with the new Rest API. The core code of Confluence is being moved across to REST API which gives support for developing Connect add-ons.

Atlassian Connect

OnDemand has been causing a stir for some time now with Atlassian expecting big things for the cloud offering of their popular software development tools. It quickly became obvious that Atlassian Connect, the development platform onDemand Add-ons, was the star of show at AtlasCamp. There were a number of great talks around developing add-ons using connect and developers were provided guidance on tools to use, design patterns and how to approach security concerns.

Connect Add-ons run as web applications hosted remotely, with users registering their instance with the Connect service provided by the developer through the marketplace. The Add-on makes use of the Rest API, web hooks and JSON descriptors to make the magic happen for the user’s onDemand instance. Connect represents a significant paradigm shift for the development of Atlassian Add-ons which have historically been developed with the SDK and run on the JVM of the host instance.

HipChat

There was definitely also a general focus on increasing the integration between all Atlassian applications. HipChat fits neatly in the middle of the field, allowing fluid and frequent communication across teams to create a truly collaborative environment. Following Atlassian’s recent announcement that HipChat is now available for free there’s really no excuse to not try what is probably Atlassian’s coolest tool.

Atlassian also released HipChat Video as a premium service and highlighted how 1-2-1 video sharing helps improve collaboration in the development environment. So you can now watch your beta testers try your Add-ons for the first time or have your remote developers join you in person.

HipChat will be becoming even cooler as Atlassian provides extension points to the popular chat client. This will mean that developers can create Connect Add-ons to customize HipChat for specific needs and organisations. Keep an eye out for further developments.

And there’s more!

Atlassian revealed some of their plans for the future with some fantastic offerings being made available. With Atlassian Summit just round the corner, be sure to check back for more information.