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When building apps for Atlassian cloud products, you have platform and framework options to help you develop secure, full-featured apps quickly. There are three main ways to develop cloud apps and integrations with Atlassian:
This table compares the capabilities of Connect, Forge, and external apps and integrations.
|Forge||Atlassian Connect||External apps and integrations|
|App hosting||Hosted by Atlassian||Hosted by you||Hosted by you|
|UI extensibility||In-product UI modules (custom UI and UI kit)||In-product UI modules||No in-product UI elements|
|Product APIs||Managed REST and |
|App languages||Serverless Node.js functions||Any language |
(optional frameworks for Node.js and Java)
|Any language compatible with your auth method|
|Auth and data implementation||Use built-in authentication, sandboxing, and development environments||You have complete control over auth and data implementation (or use JWT token by default)||OAuth 2.0 and basic auth available|
|Distribution||Make apps for yourself or your team (Marketplace distribution coming soon)||Make apps for your team or sell in the Marketplace||Make apps for yourself or your team|
|Compatibility||Jira and Confluence compatible||Jira, Confluence, and Bitbucket compatible||OAuth 2.0 apps are Jira Platform, Jira Service Management, and Confluence compatible. |
Other product REST APIs available through other auth implementations.
You'll need to consider the different security responsibilities shared between you and Atlassian, depending on your chosen app architecture. Learn more about the Atlassian cloud shared responsibility model.
Forge is our new development platform that helps you build secure Jira and Confluence Cloud apps with less overhead.
Forge provides built-in security, Atlassian-hosted infrastructure, and UI extensibility options. It also offers a streamlined DevOps experience with development, staging, and production environments.
You'll write your app with serverless Node.js functions, manage the app with the Forge CLI, and create the front end with either custom UI or UI kit components. Forge is currently available for Jira or Confluence Cloud development.
Forge is recommended for developers building their first Atlassian cloud app, or any developers who want less infrastructure and hosting overhead.
See the Forge documentation.
Atlassian Connect is a framework that enables developers to build apps and integrations on top of Jira, Confluence, and Bitbucket Cloud products.
Connect gives you complete control over the tech stack, infrastructure, and integration with Atlassian cloud products. You determine your security implementation and authentication with external cloud providers, such as AWS, Google Cloud, or Heroku.
You can write the app in any language, but we provide frameworks for Node.js and Java to help you test things out and get started with JWT token authentication.
Connect is recommended 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 projects that require more control over storage or compute hosting.
You can also build some types of apps without Atlassian Connect or Forge. These apps can still access data and create content through the cloud product APIs.
For app security, you can use OAuth 2.0 (3LO) to pass information between your integration and Jira Platform, Jira Service Management, or Confluence, depending on your security needs. See the Authentication and authorization overview for more.
OAuth 2.0 integrations are best suited for projects that need to access product data on behalf of a user, but don’t need any in-product UI elements. Be aware that OAuth 2.0 integrations cannot be listed in the Atlassian Marketplace, so if you eventually want to list your app, consider building a Connect app with user impersonation instead.
For all our cloud product APIs, see the cloud API documentation.
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