Atlassian this week made available a Forge platform for building applications that complements its existing portfolio.
Mike Tria, head of platform engineering for Atlassian, said Forge is intended to provide an application development environment to both IT organizations and third-party partners. It provides developers with access to an integrated Atlassian DevOps toolchain to accelerate testing, deployment, debugging and to capture log data, added Tria. Forge also presents developers with a command line interface through which they can be onboarded to the Atlassian cloud where Forge runs to access documentation and application samples. It uses OAuth 2.0 to ensure applications deployed on the Atlassian cloud only access data they have permission to access.
The overall goal is to provide developers with a more modern application development environment as an alternative to the application development platform the company previously made available.
Once an application is built, developers can then publish their applications on the Atlassian Marketplace as free or commercial offerings. There are already more than 3,500 Forge apps that were created during a beta process that began late last year. Forge will soon be extended to the rest of the Atlassian portfolio, noted Tria.
Forge is intended to complement an Open DevOps initiative launched earlier this month that tightens integration between the Jira project tracking and management tools provided by Atlassian and a wide range of other tools commonly employed by DevOps teams. The goal is to not only make it easier to correlate issues that are listed in Jira with artifacts found in various software platforms, but also to collect data from DevOps tools to automatically update Jira.
That data will then be employed to inform key performance indicators (KPIs), based on graphs that Atlassian provides within Jira, to keep track of value streams. Rather than having to acquire a separate value stream management (VSM) platform to track software development progress, the insights needed to understand the impact of, for example, a delay to one project becomes a dividend of using Jira.
Like most providers of software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications, Atlassian has been making available a platform for building applications on top of the same platform it employs to build its own applications. Atlassian claims there are more than 1,200 partners building applications in addition to internal IT that teams that have built custom extensions to its applications. Atlassian has already shown a proclivity for acquiring independent software vendors (ISVs) that build applications on its platform. As part of the overall Forge initiative, Tria said Atlassian will be working more closely to identify the white space that won’t be addressed by the Atlassian product roadmap at some future date.
In the meantime, independent software vendors and internal IT teams will need to determine to what degree they will prefer to stand up their own application development environment versus opting to be dependent on Atlassian. In theory at least, applications built on Forge should be more tightly integrated with the rest of the Atlassian portfolio. The only potential downside is, of course, any potential conflict that might emerge with a provider of an application development platform that also happens to sell application software.