Last updated Apr 19, 2024

Getting set up with Atlassian Connect Express (ACE)

Before developing a Connect app, there are a few steps to get set up:

  1. Get a cloud development site
  2. Enable development mode in your site
  3. Install Atlassian Connect Express (ACE)

Follow the steps in the sections below to get ready.

Get a cloud development site

The Cloud Developer Bundle provides a free Atlassian cloud development site for building and testing apps. To create your site:

  1. Go to and sign up. It may take several minutes to provision your site.
  2. Once your site is ready, sign in, and complete the setup wizard.

Your cloud development site has Confluence and all the Jira products installed. Note that Atlassian cloud development sites have limits on the number of users.

Enable development mode in your site

With development mode you can install app descriptors in your development site from any public URL. This means you don't need to list an app in the Atlassian Marketplace before installing it.

  1. In the top navigation bar, click Apps then Manage your apps. If Apps isn't visible, click More first. Selecting Manage your apps from the Apps menu
  2. Under User-installed apps, click Settings. Opening the manage apps settings
  3. Select Enable development mode, and then click Apply. Enabling development mode in settings

After the page refreshes, you'll see the Upload app link. This link enables you to install apps while you're developing them.

Install ACE

Atlassian Connect Express (ACE) is a Node.js toolkit for building Atlassian Connect apps. It uses the Node.js Express framework, allowing you to leverage routing, middleware, and templating within a Node.js environment.

  1. Verify that you have Node.js and npm installed correctly (the version numbers returned may vary):

    $ node -v
    $ npm -v
  2. Install atlas-connect by running:

    npm install -g atlas-connect
  3. Verify the installation by running:

    atlas-connect --help

If ACE installed successfully, you'll see the following:

 Usage: atlas-connect [options] [command]


  new [name]  create a new Atlassian app
  help [cmd]  display help for [cmd]


  -h, --help     output usage information
  -V, --version  output the version number

What's next

Once you're set up, try a few of the Connect Tutorials.

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