Jira Cloud platform Developer

Jira Cloud platform Developer

Last updatedDec 1, 2020

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About Jira Cloud platform

Looking for the latest updates for developers? See the changelog to get the latest updates and announcements for Jira app development.

Welcome to the Jira Cloud platform developer documentation! Jira Cloud platform provides a set of base functionality shared across all Jira products, such as issues, workflows, and more. Jira products are built on top of the Jira Cloud platform. Jira Core has the same functionality as the Jira Cloud platform, whereas Jira Software and Jira Service Management have additional functionality.

Developers can customize, extend, and integrate with Jira by creating apps. Apps can integrate Jira with an existing service, add new features to Jira, update Jira settings, or retrieve information from Jira.

This page covers the basics of developing for Jira Cloud:

  • Creating Jira apps and customizations with either Forge or Connect.
  • Using the Jira APIs in apps, scripts, or one-off calls.
  • Following Atlassian’s development standards for security, design, and the Atlassian Marketplace.

We recommend using Forge or Connect to build apps. You can also integrate with Jira Cloud by building OAuth 2.0 (3LO) apps or calling the REST APIs via scripts or other API clients.

Forge apps

Forge is Atlassian's new development platform for building Jira and Confluence Cloud apps. We recommend Forge if you plan on building apps for use within your organization. Forge is also recommended for developers building their first Atlassian cloud app, or any developers who want less infrastructure and hosting overhead. Note that Marketplace distribution is not yet available for Forge apps.

To start building a Forge app, see Getting started with Forge. If you'd prefer to learn more about Forge first, see About Forge in the Forge documentation.

Connect apps

Atlassian Connect is a framework for building apps for Jira, Confluence, and Bitbucket Cloud. We recommend Connect for developers who need to sell their cloud app or integration in the Atlassian Marketplace now or in the near future. Connect is also a good option for developers who want complete control over the tech stack and infrastructure, for example, projects that require more control over storage or compute hosting.

To start building a Connect app, see Getting started with Connect.

Note that there are a number of frameworks for Connect that make it easier to create apps. See Connect frameworks and tools for details.

Building apps outside of Connect

Apps built without Forge or Connect can still access data and create content through the Jira APIs. These apps can use OAuth 2.0 (3LO) or basic auth to pass information between your app and Jira, depending on your security needs. See the Security section below for more details.

Note that Forge and Connect are required to implement certain functionality in apps. For example, only Forge and Connect apps can extend the user interface of products.

Using the APIs

You can use the Jira Cloud platform APIs in Jira apps, as well as in scripts, API clients, or other methods of making calls.

  • The REST API allows you to access and update Jira entities, such as projects and issues.
  • The Connect JavaScript API lets you use iframes with your Connect app, so that your iframe can call APIs, store cookies, access user info, and more.
  • The Forge JavaScript API (Forge documentation) provides additional functionality to the Forge platform so that you can interact with REST endpoints and to store data.

Atlassian development guidelines

Follow our design guidelines to make your app consistent with Atlassian's products. We also have resources to help keep your Jira app secure and add it to the Atlassian Marketplace.

Atlassian Design guidelines

Since Forge and Connect apps can insert content directly into the user interface, it's important that apps are visually compatible with Atlassian design. We have resources to help you design your app:

  • Atlassian Design Guidelines — Our design guidelines define core interactions with the Atlassian applications.
  • Atlaskit — Atlaskit is a library of reusable frontend UI components.

Security

There are a few basic options for security, depending on what sort of app you are trying to make:

  • Forge apps use OAuth 2.0 when authenticating with Jira. Scopes are an OAuth 2.0 mechanism that limits an app's access to a user's account. The Forge platform also provides managed APIs to make requests on behalf of the user, meaning that third-party code is never trusted with user credentials.
  • Connect apps have HTTPS and JWT authentication built in to secure communication between your app, Jira, and the user. Our Connect toolkits, Atlassian Connect Express (ACE) and Atlassian Connect for Spring Boot, handle most of the security setup for new apps. Note that OAuth 2.0 (3LO) isn't supported for Connect apps.
  • OAuth 2.0 (3LO) apps use OAuth 2.0 (3LO) to pass permissions and data from Jira.
  • Basic auth is supported for making API calls, but is not recommended unless you have other security measures in place.

Read the Security overview for more details.

Atlassian Marketplace

You can sell your app on the Atlassian Marketplace so other cloud users can install it, or list it privately if you don't intend to sell or distribute your code. Private listings use secret tokens that you can generate yourself.

If you're interested in selling you app on the Atlassian Marketplace, read our licensing guide and selling on Marketplace for more information.

Examples and resources

Check out our example apps and patterns for app ideas and strategies, or see some tutorials on more advanced topics:

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